Retro Gathering VCE 2017!

This weekend I visited Retro Gathering VCE (Vintage Computer Edition) in Västerås with my friend Gabriella. This years focus was Commodore PET that celebrated 40 years, Apple II and adventure games which is right up my friend Gabbi’s alley ^_^ It was as awesome as always! A bit fewer people visiting the convention this time, but that just meant less people crowding around the tables where I wanna buy stuff XD But I understand that it might be frustrating for the sellers to get fewer customers :/ But it’s usually a bit fewer people at the Vintage Computer Edition of Retro Gathering in spring time, compared to the regular Retro Gathering they host each fall. Probably because less people are into old computers and more people are into Nintendo and newer consoles … unfortunately :(  Well, another thing that might also have been the cause of less visitors is that Nintendo at Bergsala in Gothenburg hosted a launch party for the Nintendo Switch during the same weekend. I know a lot of people who went there instead.. But I had a great time at Retro Gathering VCE! Met and chatted with so many friends that I’ve gotten to know through these last couple of years, I just love the retro gaming community here in Sweden! :D

There were still a lot of things to look at and to buy. My biggest mistake was not to snag an Atari Jaguar CD unit, boxed and WORKING! I waited and they were gone within the hour.. >_< But I bought lots of other cool stuff ^_^ I’ll make another post when I’ve gone through it all XD

There was a big showcase of some old computer stuff, I don’t really know much about this kind of stuff, but some things were from the 70s and quite unique. The coolest thing was a guy who had put together Spacewar for people to try out, the very first video game from 1961! :D Both me and Gabriella tried it out ^_^

Apart from all the awesome people that were there, visiting or selling, there were also loads of computers on demonstration that you could try out :) I kind of fell in love with the Microbee and the game Hopper! I got the highscore, until Magnus had to go beat me by 100 points XD I need to get me one of these computers so I can practice some more ;) Seriously though, if anyone has a Microbee lying around I am more than interested! :D There was also a competition held on a Commodore PET to play the game Car race by Satoru Iwata. This reminded me a lot of Race on Philips Videopac, but it was a bit more difficult, especially because of the slippery stages XD But I managed to get a decent score on there as well :) I’ll have to wait and see until they upload the scores on the Retro Gathering homepage to see where I ranked ^_^

I’m already looking forward to Retro Gathering this fall! Meanwhile I’ll also be attending Retrospelsmässan in Gothenburg in April ^_^ I’m happy they’re back!

Korean Tetris games add upp to 100 different Tetris games! :D

I’ve reached 100 various Tetris games! :D I think I will celebrate with playing some more Tetris tonight!! ^__^

My two latest additions are not that common. One is Tetris on MSX from Korea, or Zemmix as they called the MSX there. Apparently Korean government banned Japanese companies from selling products in Korea, so they made their own knock-offs. The Zemmix / MSX Tetris game is not the greatest Tetris I’ve played. It’s odd. It only gives you 1 point per row cleared, no bonus for making a Tetris (4 rows at once), and the sound effects and music is scarce and dull. Also the controls are quite jumpy, I don’t know if it’s my joypads that are glitchy, but I tried 3 different ones and it was equally difficult to steer the tetraminos..

Anyway, here’s some gameplay of it,  I sat for hours last night trying to record gameplay through my Elgato but I just couldn’t get the signal unscrambled, it has some serious anti-pirating code built in or something XD So I ended up just shooting it with my phone.. sorry for shitty quality, but at least you can see what it’s like ^_^ I couldn’t find a video of it anywhere else..

The latest addition is another Korean game, but for the Gam-Boy, which is Korea’s equivalent to the Sega Master System or the Sega Mark III. The Gam-Boy was produced by Samsung in Korea. It reads 테트리스 which means Tetris ^_^

This was better than the MSX/Zemmix version of Tetris, it had a lot of different settings. One cool feature that I’ve only seen a few times before in Chinese Tetris games is the scrolling. If you set it to scroll the blocks at the bottom will shift one block to the left or right (it changes each level you increase) and makes it more difficult to plan how you want to build! It’s interesting :) But you can of course play without the scrolling feature as well. In the beginning there’s also the choice of Easy or Hard mode, hard makes the floor rise with random blocks once in a while, and you can also set speed to Low or High, once you get to the next screen though you have even more selections where you can set level and height, the height starts you off with blocks already on the board. You can basically make it really difficult for yourself by setting highest speed, highest level, tallest height and add some scroll to it XD Basically impossible! I enjoyed it, except for the music that was kind of shitty and the controls being a bit jumpy. There was like a delay every time a new tetramino appeared in the top.

I recorded some gameplay of this one too so you can see what it’s like ^_^ Here’s Korean Tetris for the Gam-Boy / Sega Master System / Sega Mark III:

Some other recent Tetris purchases that has helped adding my collection up to 100 Tetris games are these ones below ^_^ Two quite rare ones for the Japanese MSX and the Sharp X68000. I still need to find myself an X68000, so I can play it! That one and the PC ones are the only ones I can’t play right now. I also need to find an old PC with Windows 98 XD… Tetris Elements and Tetris Gold are both PC games. Then there’s a ZX Spectrum Tetris game, Tetris Attack for Game Boy (which isn’t quite Tetris in my opinion, but since it’s called Tetris I’ll count it..) and a Japanese PS2 Tetris Kiwamemichi game ^_^

See the entire collection of 100 different Tetris games >>

Here’s some gameplay of Tetris Ultimate that I usually play when I’m on my Xbone. Just to show that I don’t suck completely at Tetris XD

A new challenger has appeared! Retrospelmarknad in Vetlanda

Last weekend I took a roadtrip to Vetlanda with my friend Matt, because we had heard that they were arranging a retro game market! I actually didn’t have too high expectations in sellers and visitors attending, both because of the lesser known town of Vetlanda, but also the amount of retro gaming conventions that had been taking place in the recent couple of weeks. I still needed to check it out though!

I was pleasantly surprised that it first of all was indoors (it said Retro Game Market in the Park, so I was afraid it would be outside in the cold of Swedish November XD) but also what a big number of sellers that were there! We first found a small room with only one seller who had set up 8 tables filled with games from the NES to PS2.. but we later discovered there was a whole other giant room filled with loads more! And there were lots of people that I’ve gotten to know from previous conventions ^_^

It was a lot of fun just talking to everybody, but I also ended up finding and buying way more than I had expected XD My biggest find was a boxed Japanese Virtual Boy! I now have 4 Virtual Boys XD But only one is boxed and it’s American. I’ve always liked the Japanese box design, but didn’t think I would find one at a decent price. This time I couldn’t pass it up though :D I also found a cute little arcade thing, the screen is smaller than a Game Boy Advance, but it carries similar graphics and has 108 games in 1! One of them is “Falling Blocks” which I also have on another system, it’s the most frustrating Tetris-like game XD The blocks are ridiulously shaped!

I also found loads of games for various systems. A few 16-bit games for Super Famicom and the Sega Mega Drive. I’m sorry about the upside-down photo of Raiden Densetsu, I just keep wanting to see it the opposite way! Haha! And I couldn’t be bothered re-shooting.. I don’t really like RPGs as many of you know, but I couldn’t resist price-worthy Final Fantasy games, it’s the only RPG series I’ve at least played a few games from.. and the box arts are so pretty ^_^ Super Family Circuit looked kind of like micro machines :) And the two Mega Drive games were in really nice condition and I didn’t have them before, platformers are always fun ^_^

I also got some Famicom and Famicom Disk System games that I didn’t have :) Fun to run into Tom & Jerry in the wild like this, you don’t see it every day ^_^ I have Baseball, but not he pulseline version. It’s hard not to pick up Famicom games when it’s something I don’t have XD

I also got a bunch of Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Advance games, and found an Amiga CD32 game called The Chaos Engine. I vaguely remember somebody telling me about it once.. saying it was good.. I guess we’ll see ^_^ I also bumped into a Tetris game I didn’t have! I didn’t even know Tetris Attack existed on Game Boy! It’s not really a “Tetris” game in my oppinion, but I can’t argue with the name XD

I’m really happy to see that so many Japanese Nintendo games have made it to the Swedish market! But the prices of them are also increasing.. The only negative thing for me with this Swedish market, just like a majority of the Swedish retro game events and conventions, was the giant focus on Nintendo.. I would like to see more varied things, like Atari, PC Engine, Commodore, and other more obscure systems, but I guess the interest in those things is just smaller :/

Other than that it was a pleasant surprise to see such a niched event pop up further south and I hope it will continue! They said they were looking at having another retro market already in spring next year :D

l00t from Retro Games Stockholm!

Since I went to Stockholm by train this time for the Retro Games convention I wasn’t able to buy more than I could carry, but once I got home I realised I had at least 35 games and also a new system with me home XD It was mainly games on cassette tapes though, and they don’t take up as much space ;D

Let’s start with the system. A few weeks ago I acquired a game from Zeela that I had previously seen at Retro Gathering, I mainly wanted to have it because of the cover. It’s called Softporn Adventure, and it’s made by On-Line Systems, which later turned into Sierra Online. The game is the predecessor to Leisure Suit Larry, but without graphics, it’s a text-based adventure. On the cover from left to right in the hot tub are Diane Siegel, On-Line’s production manager; Susan Davis, On-Line’s bookkeeper, Rick Chipman, an actual waiter from a local restaurant and Roberta Williams, famous for games like the King’s Quest series etc :)

Once I got the game though I just really wanted to be able to play it, and especially I want my friend Gabbi to be able to play it, because she’s totally into text-based adventures and she reaaaallly wanted to try this game when she saw it at Retro Gathering XD So I’m working on getting a setup for it to work :) At Retro Games I bought an Atari 400 from Michael Berglund, unfortunately he didn’t have the floppy disk drive, so I’m still looking for one of those.. but the Atari 400 computer he had for sale was apparently quite rare, since it was a Swedish version with a Swedish keyboard :) Either way, I can at least play some cartridge games that I got with the systems meanwhile, until I find a floppy drive ^_^

Most of the cassettes I bought this time were for ZX Spectrum, and a few Commodore 64 ones. One VIC 20 game slipped in and also one that I discovered was for MSX! O_o I actually have an MSX that I just haven’t blogged about yet, got it not too long ago, but unfortunately I don’t have a cassette tape deck for it yet :/ I guess that’s next on my list together with the floppy drive for Atari 400 ^_^

I’m really happy to have found the other two Horace games that were officially released for the ZX Spectrum, because I really really love Horace Goes Skiing! I’m hoping these ones will be just as good ;D I also got a bunch of other ZX Spectrum games, some that are text-based adventures for Gabbi to try when she visits, and some I just bought for the name or the artwork :) Transylvanian Tower looks rad! :D

When it comes to these old cassettes I mainly just buy them based on the name of the games or just looking at the artwork. I got six Commodore 64 cassettes :) The Official Father Christmas will be my go-to game this holiday XD

I got a few games for other systems. I bought Neo Drift Out from Sol, I now also owe him a game night at my place with freshly bakes scones because I got such a good price on it XD I bought Yie Ar Kung-Fu together with a 3DS game called Dream Trigger from Peter at Arkadbutiken. I found one Japanese Sega Mega Drive game I didn’t previously have together with some C64 games from Söders Spel & Skivhandel and I bought Martin Lindell & Thomas Sunhede’s newly released book “Svensk Videospelsutveckling“. Martin also had some promo games, so I grabbed Castlevania for my Castlevania Collection, and I got Pac-Man World 2 and Space Race with it ^_^ Thanks Martin!

I recently purchased an arcade cabinet from a friend (I’m up to 4 arcades now!) and it was a bit of a rare one, I’ll make a blog post about it soon :) I’ve gotten to know another collector in Sweden who knows a lot about this particular cabinet and when I showed him pics of mine he told me that one of the buttons wasn’t original. He apparently had a spare original part and was kind enough to give it to me ^_^ Thank you so much Pinge! <3 Also when I was talking to Peter from Arkadbutiken and he found out that I had a Blast City cabinet, he gave me the manual for it ^_^ Thanks a bunch Peter! <3

I’m really happy with my l00t, and that I managed to bring it all home on the train XD The Retro Games convention was a blast, and I can’t wait for the next convention to get to hang out with all these awesome people again! :D Now I’m off to play some Atari 400 ^_^

Retro Gathering L00t part I

It takes time going through, cleaning, testing and taking pictures of 105 games, a few consoles and other things.. that’s how much I came home with after this years Retro Gathering XD Anyway, let’s get to it! I mainly focused on cartridge based games this year, I found a whole bin full of cheap Atari 2600 games to start with ^_^ In the bottom were even some boxed ones :D I tried all these ones out tonight and some that stood out was Planeten Patrouilie and Sub Scan, these were fun and intuitive :) Fatal Run was also interesting, it had the most advanced tunes I’ve heard in an Atari 2600 game so far! Unfortunately it only played the music when you got Game Over XD Superman was probably one of the worst Atari 2600 games I’ve played.. I didn’t even understand what the hell I was supposed to do…

I found these two little handhelds that were super cute! I love how “Hero and Princess” is such a total rip-off from Donkey Kong Game & Watch, it’s even dual screen! XD And the gorilla looks totally derpy XD

I finally got myself the Zapper for Famicom! It’s so funny how this one actually looks just like a regular gun, while we had to have the “kids-version” XD

I managed to extend my Tetris collection a bit, but not with a game.. a music LP and an old ad! My friend Marcus sold it to me and he also had a few other cool EP’s with video game reference :) I also bought a cute Dreamcast game from him called PenPen ^_^

After getting to know a lot of other retro gamers online I tend to usually have some deals waiting for me once I meet up with these friends at a convention :) Anders was kind enough to sell me a Video Computer VC4000 game which I didn’t previously have. I just got into this system thanks to an old high school teacher that found this system in his attic XD I also met the guy behind arkadbutiken.se on instagram who had a PCB with Hatris for me :D Can’t wait to try this one out, the arcade version must be so much better than the Famicom one ^_^

One of the things I bought from Zeela was this really cute little Pong clone called Las Vegas Super Color Teve-Spiel :D I tried it out tonight and it was fun, I didn’t see the colors though because apparently the TV was black and white XD I’ll try it with another TV next time… what I really liked about this Pong version is that the joysticks also go horizontally, so it actually resembles Tennis even more :) You can run back and forth and not only up and down XD It has SO MANY BUTTONS on it though! I had to read the instructions just to figure out what they were all for..

I also bought a bunch of games from Zeela, he has such good prices on old cassettes that it’s hard to resist XD So many pretty covers! I also got some extra memory for my VIC-20, which is probably the reason why I haven’t gotten more than half of the games to work on it so far XD He was also kind enough to dig out a few Jeff Minter games! Hell Gate and Gridrunner ^_^ I also picked up some Amiga games.

I also found a bunch of Videopac G7000 games that I was lacking ^_^ Some I bought from my new found retro gaming friend Jack :) Thanks for bringing them for me!

Some other things I found were a Case Boy that Söders Spel & Skivhandel thought would look great in my Castlevania collection because of the Castlevania screenshot on the box :D I also bought a reproduction of Trip World, mainly so I can play the game.. I’m probably never gonna spend that much money on the original.. I also got some cheap Famicom pirates, I thought they were quite funny since they read “4 in 1”, then “39 in 1” and finally “1000000000 in 1”!!! I’m skeptical to whether it actually contains that many XD Apart from this I picked up a bunch of other games, like Hao-Kun no Fushigi na Tabi for Famicom Disk System, Slider and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers on Game Gear, Puzzle Figher II on Game Boy Advance, Cobra Command on NES, Puyo Puyo on N-Gage, a hombrew game called Photon for MSX a few other games and I also got two ZX Spectrum games for free ^_^

There’s not a lot of Japanese games at this Swedish convention, but I did manage to find a few. I found some cheap PC Engine games I didn’t already have, and also Super Darius which cost a bit more. I also bought some Japanese Sega Mega Drive games from my friend Karl ^_^ And I found some really nice Super Famicom games! :D Yoshi’s Cookie, Yoshi’s Island and Super Bomberman 3 which completed my Super Bomberman set ^_^

Now this wasn’t the entire loot.. I’m saving some of the best parts ;D I’ll be back soon with part II of the l00t!

Retro Gathering 2016 was awesome!!!

Last Friday I drove up to Västerås to attend Retro Gathering on Saturday, my favorite Retro Game convention in Sweden ^_^ Retrospelsmässan is also really nice, but as a retro game buyer there’s just more variation at Retro Gathering :) You can find everything from vintage computers, Atari and Commodore to newer PS2 and 3DS games. There have been more newer games lately compared to the first couple of years that I started attending, I hope they don’t take over though, because I love that there’s a place I can go to find these old obscure computers and consoles! I mainly focus on old cartridges and cassettes when I’m at Retro Gathering. Nintendo and Sega I can find at all the other retro game conventions in Sweden anyway.

So this year I was also asked to host an exhibit of my Castlevania collection, so I was there an hour earlier to set it up. People seemed to like it, but there were also a lot of visitors that asked me where it was. My cabinet had been hidden behind a roll-up behind the scene where they hosted the competitions, which was a shame… but people who looked found it anyway :) For those that missed it, this is what it looked like:

The first thing I spotted was a boxed Colecovision that Japon was selling. I snagged it right away, with a bunch of games and a steering wheel controller ^_^ Pontus and Jan at Japon are really nice and gave me a good deal on it :)

I love visiting Zeela’s table, it’s always filled with obscure and colorful things :) He also had a really fun rarity, Softporn Adventure by On-Line systems! On-Line systems later became Sierra, and on the picture of the “sexy” cover are executives and writers from the company, to the right is Roberta Williams, famous video game designer, writer and co-founder of Sierra On-Line who created for example the King’s Quest series :) This is the game that later became Leisure Suit Larry. Such a cool piece of history! I would have bought it if it wasn’t so expensive XD Also I’m not that into text-based adventures… ;D

Apart from this he showed me the TRS-80, a computer that I had bought from him a while back that I got delivered here ^_^ I needed one to play my Tandy Tetris game! It’s apparently some kind of Tandy computer.. It was in really nice condition though ^_^ Original box, and I got both a boxed joystick and a big box full of games with it! :D

He also had a bunch of other cool stuff ^_^ Like Strip Poker and Centrefold Squares for Atari ST, I bought these for a friend who had been looking all over the place for Atari ST games XD He AND his girlfriend were thrilled and couldn’t wait to play it!! Haha!

There were so many games for sale, and retro game related stuff ^_^ Spel & Sånt had brought some Virtual Boy rarities, they had the three games that I am missing! But they were darn expensive >_< Another seller had setup Zelda on CDi for whoever wanted to try it out XD The creators of Alwa’s Awakening were also there displaying their game which is almost done now, it will be released on Steam :)

My friends Nathalie and Andreas from up north were also there, and they were selling some of their games. Nathalie tried to sell me a weird DS game, and Andreas wanted me to upgrade my version of Tetris 2 to a mint copy XD I did end up buying Paperboy 2 from them though ^_^ Andreas is a pixel-perfectionist and he had some upscaler connected on display with Super Mario Bro 3, I don’t like when the picture is perfect and the scanlines are too obvious ;P I prefer it the original way with an old CRT and a bit of a glitchy pic XD

I finally got around to buying the game Photon that has been under development and on display for years at these conventions ^_^ It’s still not finished, but I bought an early version of it :) I also got to talk a bit to the man behind it who told me a bit about the Sord and the community around it :) Apparently there was a club back in the day that released a magazine here in Sweden called “Sordisen”, he had a few issues for sale. He also showed me a few different versions of the system. I almost went and bought one from Zeela, but then again, I don’t have any games for it yet.. so I think it’ll have to wait.

I competed in the yearly Swedish Championships of Pong this year as well :) I won the first take out but lost to my second opponent.. I haven’t been practicing enough, or rather, I haven’t been practicing at all XD I need to get my husband to start playing it with me!! The champion can be seen in the video below, damn that’s an intense Pong game!

As usual they also had a bunch of games and systems set up so people could try them out :) I saw an Intellivision there which reminded me that a seller had promised me from the previous Retro Gathering to bring me one, when I found him though he had already sold it to someone else :((( Hopefully he can set me up with another one.. I have so many Intellivison games and no Intellivisions to play them on XD

They also had some other exhibitors, one collection of Sonic games and one of Handic for the VIC 20 :)

One of the best things about going to retro game conventions though is all the people! I met so many old and new friends, and people are so friendly :D

After the convention we went out and met up with a bunch of retro gamers, and we found Kralleman and PingeAhlin there who had missed the convention, but had been off on more exciting business! They had scored a bunch of old arcades and other rarities from a connection they had. I was lucky enough to get to go check out their loot :D They had gotten rare prototypes for the Videopac, old minty posters with ads for the Luxor computer, boxed Vectrexes, a Taito Space Invaders arcade cab and a Super Bug arcade with super mint manuals, a really old wooden arcade and an original Break Out arcade. The Break Out arcade had only been played on 64 times, which means it’s hardly been used more than factory testing. That’s pretty rad XD

As you can probably figure, Retro Gathering has outdone themselves again and it was an awesome convention! I’ll go through my loot in a later post when I’ve gone through it all ;D