The Vectrex


The Vectrex has always been a mystery to me, I haven’t really read up on it or anything, but it has crossed my path of hunting down retro games all over the web more than ones. I’ve always been intrigued and thought many times about whether I should get it on eBay or not. It was always pretty expensive, and I had no clue if I would be able to play it or not (because of power outlets and such). I didn’t even know what to expect from it, but it sure looked cool! :D Recently though a friend found an ad in Sweden from a guy who was selling one! I got so excited I rushed to buy it instantly! I might sound like a total n00b, but I actually prefer not knowing about games and even systems until I get them in my possession, that way I can experience them the same was as I would if they were new, the only thing I basically research when game shopping are the prices so I don’t overpay ^^

This one was originally sold in Sweden (I didn’t even know it was released here!!) and it had a bunch of games and extras :D

Vectrex system
Vectrex console

The first problem I encountered was how to turn the Vectrex off?! It started immediately when I plugged in the power cord.. but I didn’t wanna change cartridge or move it until I figured out how to turn it off first! I had to google for about 40 minutes before I found out! I discovered an old original users manual for the Vectrex as a PDF that someone had scanned in (THANK YOU!!) and finally read my way to understanding that the volume lever IS ALSO the on/off button. At first I didn’t believe it, because I kept turning it to max and the minimum but nothing happened, but like with any old machinery you have to be patient! After turning the volume knob all the way to the left (turning the volume down) until you hear a click, just leave it there for a little while, the system will power down after all the juice has run out of it! Haha, this was trippy >.<

Vectrex game insert

It has a cartridge slot on the right side of the screen, and that’s where you insert the games. It comes with one built in game as well called MineStorm :D

Vectrex joystick
Vectrex controller joystick

Vectrex controller

The system has two controller ports, I got two controllers with the system ^_^ One controller can be folded into the front of the system so it’s not lying around :D The controller is kind of awkward when used though. It’s big and bulky, not really comfortable to hold so the best way to play is to put it in front of you on a flat surface in my opinion.

Vectrex and games

On the above picture you can see the controller folded into the bottom of the system, it’s got the logo on the back of it :)

I also got 19 games with it, they were:

Armor Attack Art Master Bedlam Berzerk
Blitz! Clean Sweep Cosmic Chasm Flipper Pinball
Fortress of Narzod Hyper Chase! Rip Off Scramble
Soccer Football! Solar Quest Space Wars Spike
Star Hawk! Star Ship WebWarp

When I added them to my collection on it said I had all the games for it, but I haven’t researched it any further. Perhaps there are more games that came out in North America? Then again, I’m not sure whether this system is region free or not…

Every game that I got had it’s overlay! Overlays are a colorful transparent plastic cards that you put in front of the screen to give the illusion that you’re playing in color ;D Since every game displayed on the Vectrex is white on black it sure provides some variation :)  My favorite overlays are Bedlam and Scramble:

Bedlam overlay2
Bedlam overlay
Scramble overlay

Here’s some other really pretty ones:
Vectrex Armor Attack overlay Vectrex Berzerk overlay
Vectrex Cosmic Chasm overlay Vectrex Starhawk overlay
Vectrex Webwarp overlay Vextrex Flipper pinball overlay

Another amazing accessory I got for the system was the Light Pen! This is used together with the Art Master program. You can Sketch, Connect or Animate ^^ It works amazingly well! :D

Light Pen Art Master sketch connect animate
Light Pen Art Master cat
Light Pen Art Master connect
Light Pen Art Master smiley

If anyone knows if there are more games released for it that I don’t know of, please enlighten me :D

All my Famicom pickups from Tokyo game shops

Finally updated the Famicom Collection Library, and also the Famicom Collage with the 103 Famicom carts I acquired in Tokyo :)
It was not easy getting it all back home with a weight limit of 23kg for the suitcase and 10kg for the carry on, I had to send home 7 packages (all weighing less than 2kg, because then it will count as a “letter” and be muuuuuch cheaper) ;D

Now I’m up to 868 unique Famicom carts (986 in total counting doubles..). It’s getting hard to find stuff I don’t already have for the system…

Here’s the thumbnails of all the 103 games I got in Tokyo!

10-Yard Fight Zoids 2 - Zenebasu no Gyakushuu_ World Super Tennis_ Wanpaku Kokkun no Gourmet WorldWanpaku Dakku Yume Bōken (DuckTales) Utsurun desu. Ka wa uso hawai e iku_ Uchuu Keibitai SDF (Space Defending Force)_ Twin Eagle Tsurikichi Sanpei - Blue Marlin Hen_ Touhou Kenbun Roku_ Top Gun Dual Fighters Tōkyō Pachi Slot Adventure_ The Untouchables The Money Game_ The Black Bass_  Tantei Jingūji Saburō - Toki no Sugiyuku Mama ni_ Takeda shingen_ Spelunker II - Yuushahe no Chousen_ Spartan X 2 Softball Tengoku_ Snow Bros Shōgi Meikan '93_ Shinsen Den_ Shin Satomi Hakkenden_ Sekiryuou_ Sansāra Nāga_ Sangokushi 2_ Saiyuki World 2_ Saiyūki World_ Ripple Island_ Radia Senki - Reimei-hen_ Pyokotan no Dai Meiro_ Popeye no Eigo Asobi_ Pachinko Dai Sakusen_ Pachi Slot Adventure 2_ Pachi Otto Kun 3_Pocket Zaurus - Juu Ouken no Nazo Over Horizon Nishimura Kyōtarō. Mystery Blue Train Satsujin Jiken_ Napoleon Senki_ Nakayoshi to Issho Moulin Rouge Senki - Melville no Honoo_ Moero Twin Bee Might and Magic_ Meitantei Holmes - Kiri no London Satsujin Jiken_ Meijin Sen_ Meiji Ishin_ Maison Ikkoku_ Magic Darts Live in Power Bowl Layla Law of the West_ Kyuukyoku Harikiri Koshien_ Kyūkyoku Harikiri Stadium_ Kyūkyoku Harikiri Stadium III_ Kurogane Hiroshi no Yosou Daisuki! Kachiuma Densetsu_ Kujaku Ou 2_ Kujaku Ou_ Kōshien_ Katte ni Shirokuma Pro yakyu Family Stadium Jumbo Ozaki no Hole in One Professional_ Jigoku Gokuraku Maru_ Jangou_ J-League Winning Goal_ Ide Yōsuke Meijin no Jissen Mahjong_ Igo Shinan '91_ Igo Shinan_ Hyaku no Sekai no Monogatari (The Tales on a Watery Wilderness)_ Hototogisu_ Hiryū no Ken III - 5 Nin no Ryū Senshi_ Guevara Guardic Gaiden (Guardian Legend) Grand Master Gozonji Yajikita Chin Dōchū_ Gomoku Narabe Renju (pulseline)_ Golf Ko Open_ Gimmick! Game Party_ Casino Derby_ Fighting Golf F1 Circus_ Emo Yan no 10 Bai Pro Yakyū_ Duck Hunt_ Dream Master_ Dragon Fighter Dr. Jekyll no Houma ga Toki_ Die Hard Deja Vu Daiku no Gen San (Hammerin' Harry)_ Cross Fire Columbus - Ougon no Yoake_ Chuugoku Janshi Story Tonpuu_ Chūgoku Senseijutsu_ Chōjin Ultra Baseball_ Chiyo no Fuji no Ooichou_ Chitei Sen Kū Vazolder_ Chīsana Obake Acchi Kocchi Socchi Chip to Dale no Daisakusen Chaos World Burai Fighter_ Batman Dynamite Batman After Burner_


Retro game pickups in Tokyo

Finally I’ve had some time to go through all the games that were already on my desk before leaving for Japan, and also the 117 games I bought while in Tokyo!! :D

On this trip to Tokyo I mainly focused on Famicom, I just went through every shelf of every retro gaming store and picked up anything I found that I didn’t already have! This concluded in a few really rare and expensive titles, but also a lot of junk like baseball games and unplayable mystery solving games and RPGs, but I’m really happy to finally have Gimmick!, Over Horizon and Snow Bros in my collection :D
gimmick, snow bros, over horizon famicom

Snow Bros wasn’t as fun as I had hoped. Kind of like Bubble Bobble, but not as cute :/
Famicom Snow Bros screenshots

Over Horizon is a great shooter! The visuals are so pretty ^_^
Famicom Over Horizon screenshot

And Gimmick! was also a lot of fun! So adorable, but yet difficult! ^_^
Famicom Gimmick! screenshots

I also found Chip n’ Dale Rescue Rangers in pretty condition and Gebara (or Guevara)  which I’ve only ever encountered once before and it was too expensive that time. Below is also a game called Jigoku Gokuraku Maru. I had never seen it before but the cover art reminded me of Genpei Toumaden so I assumed it was good ;D and it was! But it’s just a sidescrolling action platform where you play as a red-headed girl :)

Guevara is a fun Commando-style shooter where you can team up with a friend (who then plays as Fidel Castro) ;D
Famicom Guevara screenshots
Famicom Gebara Screenshots

I found a Famicom cartridge copy of After Burner, I’ve never seen that before either.. I have it for Sega Master System and Mega Drive though.. Also got Cross Fire and Guardic Gaiden (Guardian Legend).

after burner

Cross Fire was kind of fun, very much like Dead Fox (Code Name Viper) but not quite as good.
Famicom Cross Fire screenshots

I’ve been looking for Wanpaku Kokkun no Gourmet World but it’s been awfully pricey on eBay, in Tokyo however it was much more affordable ^_^ The middle game is called Pyokotan no Dai Meiro and it’s kind of like a maze game but with various mini-games whenever you open chests and stuff. It was interesting :) I also found Moero Twin Bee on a cart! I’ve only ever seen it for the Disk System, I didn’t think it existed on a cartridge, but I was pleased to find it ^_^
wanpaku kokkun

Wanpaku Kokkun no Gourmet World was OK, kind of easy and childish though.
Wanpakku Kokkun no Gourmet screenshots

In Moero Twinbee you can play three players simultaneously! This blew my mind ^___^
Famicom Moero Twinbee cartridge screenshot

These were just a few of all the Famicom cartridges I got (103 in total!), but I also scored a few Super Famicom Games:
Hoshi no Kirby 3 Super Bomberman 2 Hebereke Popoitto
Bakuto! Dochers  CB Chara Wars

And some PC Engine and Sega Mega Drive games:
Dragon Half_  Cosmic Fantasy 2_
Chou Aniki_  Flash Hiders_
Block Out  Tanto-R

Now this was a few of the pickups, I will make another post soon with all the rest of the Famicom carts when I’ve uploaded them to the Famicom Collection Library :)