1Up!: Finally finding those sought after finds. 

Every collector knows, every collector has that little sub list in the back if their mind every time you go game chasing, that list of must haves that you can’t live without and take priority over other finds. I recently completed the #1 item on my list, I finally got my hands on a Virtual Boy. 

I had only ever had one experience with the Virtual Boy when in grade 10 science class someone brought theirs in for everyone to check out. The teacher let us kick back and mess around with it and I remember the only games they had were Mario Tennis and Teleroboxer but it was something different from anything we had seen before in gaming. Yes, we all know the Virtual Boy was a flop, caused headaches, had a very limited amount of games, and was a horrible set up for a “portable” game, but it was unique, it had cool commercials and I remembered wanting one after seeing it in Nintendo Power magazine. 

Well 20 some odd years later and a lot of hustling later I can finally scratch one of my last sought after systems off my list. Outside of Ebay, I’ve found the Virtual Boy next to impossible to come by in my area, but came across this one in my favourite out of town game store and after begrudgingly trading off a Smash Bros melee for GC and a couple Gameboy Pokemon games I was able to bring this gem home and get it a home on the already stuffed to the brim game room display shelf. 

I’ve always enjoyed putting together mini goals in collecting, I have a thing for accessories and always have my sub list in mind when I go hunting as I never know when I might find that NES Satellite or Four Score I’ve been looking for. I didn’t have any of the accessories really as a kid and outside of Nintendo Power, didn’t even realize many of them existed. One I recently found that I was unaware of was the Nintendo Double Player wireless controllers. 

I came across them on a local buy and sell and had to look them up to see what they were before scooping them up. I find stuff like this unique as there was so many 3rd party controllers available that weren’t sold in all stores. Everyone remembers someone having a NES Advantage or Max, maybe a Power Glove, but I don’t remember any kids in my neighbourhood having wireless controllers so these random controllers have always intrigued me and have become a strange obsession of mine to collect. 

Speaking of the strange, I also like games that even if not fantastic, have a unique place in gaming, maybe it was the first game to use a certain style of graphics, physics or a new feature not seen before. One I recently found had an interesting distinction: 

That’s right, it’s the first actual talking game for NES. Nobody is really hunting around too hard for Big Bird’s hide and speak except for me and the completionist collectors, like I said they’re not always the greatest games but speech was a feature never seen in an NES game before. Games tried to create speech before but it was never truly real speech, just sound effects meant to seem like speech such as the “TKO” Mario says in Mike Tysons punch out. 

My other mini obsession is completing the mini sets within collections, like having a full set of Tengen games, all the game show games and series such as the Ninja Turtles set or the original black box games. I find them to be fun milestones as getting a complete NES collection is realistically out of my financial grasp, but these mini sets make nice goals to complete in the meantime. I’ve also been collecting gameboy equivalents or sequels as some games I had for the gameboy I didn’t have for the NES at the time and some I didn’t know we’re actually part of the same series until much later. 

Fortunately I still have more than enough of these mini collections left to complete to keep me hitting milestones outside of just my main collection for a while, so best of luck to all the collectors who are looking to check off the last items on their lists as well. 

See you in the wild, happy chasing! 

#retroredneck

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