Today I went to Game Legend #22, THE video game event for true elite game collectors and enthusiasts in Tokyo. One large room, dozens of sellers and an ocean of classic gaming connoisseurs created an unmatched ‘atmosphere of hardcore’.
And it was beautiful. In a time when Akihabara and Nakano are almost completely taken over by newer trends such as AKB48 and anime cosplay, the hardcore gamer of today could experience a delightful celebration of the obscurest among the obscure, among a crowd to whom the rarest of the rare is basic knowledge. It is such a sanctuary that Game Legends is, or so I would learn after I marched through the magic doors of retro gaming bliss.
There were around 100 different companies/people selling and exhibiting all sorts of cool retro game-related stuff: Remix soundtracks CDs that you cannot buy anywhere else, self-engineered papercraft kits of arcade cabinets, superplay DVDs/CDs, some games, hand-made merchandise for Famicom/PC-Engine/SFC/MD, bead art, keychains for MSX & X68000, homebrew releases for systems such as PC-Engine and PC-8801, figures & model kits, as well as lots and lots of doujinshi game-related manga.
Arcade cabinet papercraft kits for sale. Very high detail and cheap price, also beautifully engineered. Respect, and just a shame I didn’t have more cash to spend. I wish he would somehow publish the templates, but I see how he wants to make money with his work. It’s just that I would love to create an entire arcade with dozens of little cabs! ＼(;ﾟ∇ﾟ)/
The models for Starblade, Groove Coaster (and Darius Burst, not pictured) are a work of genius. He left a space so one could put an iPhone 4 or 5 inside to simulate a real screen! The original Starblade cabinet uses a a plastic overlay to distort the screen and simulate a 3D-effect, and he even thought of that and put a small plastic pane inside. Absolutely gorgeous work!
Check out the video tour through this little arcade:
Not the same booth, but while we’re at it… this guy modified a small gashapon Vewlix with a real LCD screen. The screen is hooked up to a WiiU and a girl was playing emulated Ordyne on a separate screen while the gameplay was also shown on the small Vewlix. This is the kind of pointless but mind-blowing stuff I want to see at events like this, thank you Mr. Creator!
Yeah, the names are all wrong! CyberGrafx, PC Energy… what sorcery is this!
The solution: Tiny papercraft models of PC-Engine hardware with well-made photoshopped name alterations. I bought a sheet that allows me to fold a bunch of boxes for ¥200 ^_^
Another booth had brand-new hardware from the PC-6000 series! Papercraft-style, of course… and I bought these as well. How in the world could you resist such cuteness? Just look at how Miku carries the box. (*ˊૢᵕˋૢ*)
This stand had self-knit little fellows for sale. Usually this kind of “handcraft” stuff costs a lot in Canada/Europe, but this guy only charged ¥300-500 for those. Probably a pure fan service with no intention of profit? I bought the Kirby that’s above the energy tank in the centre and it looks pretty cute, I’m happy.
This kid is playing the Sharp X68000 port of Terra Cresta using a Micomsoft XE-1 Pro. In other words, he is using the most sophisticated gaming equipment available in 1990 except for the original arcade version. What a childhood to have in 2015… I’m sure if he will ever be into games later in his life, he’ll appreciate that his father familiarized him with such great classics.
The same stand also had the Cyber Stick for X68000 set up and ready to be used with After Burner.
Finished models of shooting game (shmup) ships and characters. Right to left, there’s Antares (Border Down, 2003), Tiger-Schwert and Panzer-Jäger (Ketsui, 2003), the Element Daughter AI (Dodonpachi Daifukkatsu, 2008), some girl from a newer PS Vita/PS3 adventure, Lord British (Salamander, 1987) and Vic Viper (Salamander version also). Wish I’d already graduated and had more cash to drop on this… would’ve bought both Ketsui and Salamander ships in a heartbeat.
Close-up and top-down shot with in-game comparison for the Tiger-Schwert ship of Ketsui (ケツイ〜絆地獄たち).
Beautiful high detail Vic Viper model from Salamander. I think this one was really worth ¥13,000… very well-made.
Tac/Scan is a 1982 arcade shooter by SEGA with vector graphics. Everyone who has ever played on a Vectrex knows that vector graphics have not lost anything of their magic, even 35 years after. Unlike pixel-based graphics, vectors were and still are crisp and brilliant in appearance. People who walked past this machine still went “うわ、きれい! なにこれ?” (Wow, beautiful! What’s that?). Vector graphics are special and cannot be emulated. They are one of the things you need to experience yourself, or simply watch this (really short) clip I made to see what the fuzz is about:
This guy wore a Sega Saturn helmet and read Doujinshi through the open CD lid. Hahahahahaha! Check out the Virtua Guns in his pockets, too. Very cool.
If you’ve seen a guy with a horse mask playing Paca Paca Passion on a custom Virtua Stick Pro, you’ve seen it all.
NEC PC-6601SR (the computer below the screen) played on a NEC PC-TV151 in full RGB. Even though the scrolling is awfully blocky on this 1983 home computer, seeing such a rare machine in action was an amazing unique experience.
They sold the new release/port called Beluga (ベルーガ) for PC-6000 series at the booth. Go check it out:
Software for Tomy Pyuuta (ぴゅうた) and some neat doujin Sharp X68000 soft (Celia on the left).
Someone ported Gradius 1 for Sega Mark III, and then someone else built an adapter to play Mark III games on the Game Gear. And THEN, someone modified this Game Gear to use a Wiimote for a controller, and TODAY, all of these technological breakthroughs came together in one mindnumbingly awesome setup! My head exploded seeing this. Not literally, but still.
You can see a video of the Gradius MkIII-Version above. I cannot believe that the creator even used arcade sprites and it still runs this smoothly! The video exaggerates the sprite flickering quite a bit due to the recording, it looks a lot calmer in real life and is hardly noticeable. Also check out the MSX->Game Gear adaptors to the right.
A MIDI-cartridge for the Famicom, called the Famimi Midi. You control it with a Super Famicom controller. He was all prepared with some “notes” for people to play.♡╰(*ﾟxﾟ*)╯♡
Never thought I’d see a Bandai Pippin shirt for sale…. please just regard this picture as evidence in case I ever have to prove to someone that in fact, there is a place where you can buy fan T-shirts for the Bandai Pippin Atmark console.
I conclude this blog post with a picture of the washrooms. The sign on the only washroom in the vicinity translates to “Men only”. Tells you about what gender was dominant at this event! (⊙﹏⊙✿)
However, I must say that I did actually see a few women there. Even one caucasian girl who was carrying a bunch of arcadedoujinshis… there’s always exceptions to the norm!
My purchases ^___^