Retro Gathering Vintage Computer Edition 2016

This weekend I drove all the way to Västerås to attend the first Retro Gathering convention of 2016, they’ve started hosting two conventions a year since it’s become so popular with retro games and vintage computers here in Sweden. This Retro Gathering they called VCE, because it was a Vintage Computer Edition, and damn! There were a LOT of vintage computers there ^_^ I think it scared off a few of the Nintendo-fanatics though, since there were a bit less visitors than usually, but still there were loads of people! :D

Retro Gathering VCE 2016

It’s so much fun going to these conventions, mainly to meet with all the friends you’ve gotten to know through the common interests and also, of course, to buy shitloads of games!! This year was no different for me.. I came home with a massive haul. I will make a separate post once I’ve gone through it all XD Here’s  picture of most of it stacked up in a couch! Just so you can get an idea ;D

Retro Gathering VCE 2016 loot

I also really enjoy seeing all these odd old machines, they always have more things like this at Retro Gathering than any of the other conventions here in Sweden. Most conventions are strongly focused around Nintendo.. so it’s nice to see something different ^_^ Some of the things they had brought in this time I had never even seen before! So many cool machines ^_^ There was an Apple Pippin for sale (or even two, one was boxed and new!), there was also an Iris Crimson that appeared in Jurassic Park, and a bunch of other cool machines. These are just a few of them! Do you recognize them all? ;D I sure didn’t!

Most of the computers there were for sale, I was really close to buying the T2100 with the beautiful monochrome orange screen, but once I returned to buy it it was already gone >_< For only $34! I also glanced at the Japanese Commodore 64 which was quite rare, with a few boxed cartridges! So beautiful ^_^ I did however buy some other systems, like the Atari ST 1040 and a ZX 81 ^_^ Apart from computers there were LOADS of games for sale, both Nintendo, Sega and lots of other stuff! Pappas Pärlor was also there to sell some of his awesome custom bead arts ^_^ Apart from this you could find almost anything at Retro Gathering VCE! I even saw a Vectrex 3D imager! It’s 3D-glasses for the Vectrex, and they were boxed with 2 games! Super rare and also super expensive >_<

I’m super happy with my weekend trip to Retro Gathering VCE 2016! I met so many nice people, had lots of fun and I’m looking forward to the next Retro Gathering this fall ^_^ I’m quite exhausted now though, and I will be busy with my haul for a while, testing all the new games! :D :D :D I will update shortly with everything that I bought ^_^

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