Adventures in Collecting – The Journey Begins

To be candid, I’ve wanted to collect video games for a while.  It’s a daunting thing to think about, though.  There are just so many of them and when certain titles start to rise in price, they reach some serious heights sometimes.

At first, I took to the tactic of picking up odds and ends here and there.  I don’t have a ton of income and there are only a couple of retro video game stores in the area.  This meant I could moderate how much money I spent and slowly build up my collection with titles that I may not necessarily be seeking out but would bolster my number of pieces.  That worked for a while but felt aimless.  Also, I managed to double buy not once but twice, making my still tiny collection redundant.

That was when my new objective came to light to give me a little more direction in the midst of this new quest.

There are a few series that have made a huge impact on me but haven’t seen the light of day on stateside shelves.  In past overviews, I’ve made it clear that I absolutely adore the Fire Emblem series.  It hits all of my sweet spots- large casts, intrigue and grounded plots dressed up with strategy battles.  I also recently started my Atelier series overview which is another group of games that I’ve fallen for.  Given that they just reached their nineteenth entry (with the twentieth just announced as Atelier Nelke), the heavily anime-inspired crafting RPG has preoccupied me heavily over the past few years and was a big part of the bonding between myself and my husband.  Then there’s the Shin Megami Tensei series.  Specifically, I’ve been enamored with the Persona series, but every piece of gaming under the Shin Megami Tensei brand has enthralled me with their mature themes and modern day/post-apocalyptic settings.

The ‘trouble’ with these series is that a large number of their offerings live overseas and need to be imported to get them.  This actually benefits me, though, because I’ve settled on not purchasing a new game until the one I’ve ordered arrives, placing a few weeks in between orders.  It also means that I have more direction and the products I’m going out of my way for really mean something to me personally.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’ll still be picking up other games along the way when I can.  This method fits my style a little better, though, and I’m excited to check out some items I wouldn’t have seen just perusing retro stores near me.

Much to my excitement, my first purchase arrived a couple of weeks ago in the form of Fire Emblem Gaiden for the Famicom.

There were so many interesting things about receiving this game, not the least of which is that it is the first Famicom cartridge I’ve ever come into contact with.  The box itself seems like it’s about 2/3 the size of US packaging for Nintendo, and the cartridge is a rectangle rather than a square (I know this might be old hat for other collectors out there, but my mind was kind of blown!).  The game was also in near mint condition with only some damage on the corners of the cardboard containing the contents.

Now to be clear, I can’t read Japanese.  I dabble in playing around on Google translate to help with phrases here and there but that about sums up my ability to read kanji.  There is very little chance I will play these foreign titles and as of this writing, I haven’t even gotten a Famicom system and don’t have plans to do so yet.  That doesn’t change the awe I had looking through the manual and over the packaging.

For the personal note on this one, I loved Fire Emblem Gaiden since I played the fan translation a few years back.  Seeing some of the roots of the series I had become mildly obsessed with was a treat, and I loved the story of Celica and Alm.  It played a lot like Sacred Stones, one of my favorite Fire Emblem games, and it had a lot of interesting mechanics for its timeframe.  I was pretty ecstatic when Fire Emblem Echoes was announced so finding its source material at a reasonable price on eBay felt pretty fortuitous.  If I was going to start off with this mission, this felt like the right ‘first blood’ to be drawn.

My next purchase is already on the way and should be here in the next couple of weeks, though I do have another piece to write about in a few days.  My plan is to fill out these series as I can and to talk up some fun facts about the experiences as I can so I hope you’ll enjoy the journey along with me, collector or not!

(Also, if you’d like to check out more information on this game, check out the first part of my Fire Emblem Overview that goes over the first two games in the series here.)

7 thoughts on “Adventures in Collecting – The Journey Begins

  1. What I thought was a nice touch in Awakening is that you get to find out what became of the continent on which Fire Emblem Gaiden takes place – it becomes the Valm Empire. Some of the maps from Gaiden even make a reappearance in the paralogues of Awakening.

    Either way, it’s cool that you have been collecting Famicom cartridges. I have a few Super Famicom cartridges myself (such as Treasure of the Rudras, Shin Megami Tensei II, and Live A Live). I actually played the entirety of Treasure of the Rudras untranslated. I only understood about half the text and I had to consult a guide to make sure I was understanding things right, but I still found it a great experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    • All of the references back to the Archanea and Valentia worlds were amazing (as were all of the nods to the other games that gave me faith that Nintendo might be listening to my desperate pleas for remakes of Genealogy of the Holy War and Thracia 776). Awakening is such a great ‘starter’ game for people interested in the series, and the facts that you mentioned are sterling reasons why.

      I love what little I’ve played of Rudras and congratulations on getting through it in its original language! I wish I knew remotely enough to even stagger through some of these games but I’ve tried to cut my teeth on some of them and just get frustrated and move on. Maybe with some study and work, I’ll be able to muddle through.

      I’m a little jealous of the Shin Megami Tensei II cart, though, and while I haven’t played Live-A-Live, I’ve heard great things from some Twitter folks. Do you collect in any particular way or did you just happen to seek out a couple of certain titles?

      Liked by 1 person

    • If it’s something you’re interested in, it could definitely be worth looking into. Prices are surprisingly low for a lot of older titles (from Japan especially) and it’s something that has sparked a certain part of my gaming curiosity and vigor that I’m pretty happy about. Obviously, there are hurdles like money and making sure you find reliable sellers- the last order I placed, the seller canceled three days later and then I had to go through the motions of getting refunds, etc. If it’s within your means, though, I say go for it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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  3. Really cool, had no idea the fire emblem series went so far back. My first and only experience with the series was on GBA. Generally not a fan of this particular genre however that game was one I truly enjoyed!

    Congratz on the find!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, I feel like a jerk that this comment got stuck in my folders on the back-end so I hadn’t gotten to see it, but I’m glad that you got a glimpse into the past of the series! The GBA games are pretty amazing (and honestly, probably going to be a little later in my collection since they’re all pretty expensive with all of the parts included!)

      Thank you very much, and sorry for the late reply!


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