Re: Finding Lost Treasures – JRPG Overload Edition

Some people collect stamps, others coins. I collect video games.

In my last entry I mentioned that I picked up a Sony PlayStation 2 that I had to make a bit of a special trip for. Still sealed and unopened, which some people were selling close to over two-hundred dollars and more on eBay, I purchased it at the retailers price of $99.99. And this would actually come in handy because it seems that now according to my brother, the opened slim PS2 is now experiencing, shall we say “technical difficulties”. Plus it’ll also help me play a few games I picked up earlier in the year. So for this next entry, I’m going to need to go into the past. Not that far, but to the beginning of 2012 at least.

Tax Season can be a terrible time for some. Waiting until the last moment to file, having to deal with third-party tax companies just for them to take a percentage of your refund, searching for old tax records and even the worse – owing money. Ouch. Others look forward to the refund for the money back they paid throughout the year. And that’s where I’ve been at for the past years. So when I received my refund, I took care of my responsibilities and was lucky enough to have some spending money left over. So I naturally starting looking to what I could find from my backlog of games I was still searching for.

As I mentioned in my first posting, I have somewhat of an addiction for collecting RPG’s (Role-Playing Games), sometimes classic JRPG’s (Japanese Role-Playing Games) at that.  I overlooked my collection and found that I currently owned the recently released Dragon Quest remake games of IV: Chapters of the Chosen, V: Hand of the Heavenly Bridge, VI: Realms of Revelation and IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies for my Nintendo DS and Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King for my PlayStation 2 (I love Level-5 games). So having the collection of IV-IX (4 through 9) I noticed that there was one entry missing – Dragon Quest VII. Developed by the now gone Heartbeat Studios and ArtePiazza (who would later develop the NDS remake versions of Dragon Quest 4,5 & 6 I mentioned earlier), it was originally released in the earlier 2000’s in Japan coming a year later to North America for the… original Sony PlayStation One. I searched for a copy through eBay, and found one but found I had to wait until the auction was over. (As of this time in the year, I had not yet frequented the local “flea” market for games as much as previous entries.)No “Buy It Now” option. Luckily I was able to get a Like New copy with little to no damage to the case, manual or discs for a fairly good (and surprisingly) cheap price. I wondered if I was lucky enough to have won an item most people were not aware of was up for bids. I was able to fill that one missing piece of my Dragon Warrior/Quest collection that I have, so far. And as a collector, it annoys me to some end have a piece missing of a collection or series.

After knowing the copy of the game would be coming, I thought of what other games am I missing sequels or other parts of too. Going through my PS1 games now, if anyone were to ask about role-playing games or series, most would assume they would almost think of the Final Fantasy series automatically. Picking up my copy of Final Fantasy Chronicles, it seemed a bit strange at the time that SquareSoft (Square-Enix now) would decide to include a copy of Chrono Trigger instead of another entry into the series such as the, at the time, unreleased Final Fantasy III. And even though it now included FMV (Full Motion Videos) cut scenes, this version of Trigger isn’t the greatest and is generally looked down upon with its long load times. Or why not release Chrono Trigger in its own packaged collection along with a translated version of Radical Dreamers? Since Dreamers isn’t a game that is generally available, I decided to look for the not direct sequel, but sequel none the less, Chrono Cross for the Sony PlayStation One. This game is not hard to find. So easy in fact most online stores still have Greatest Hits copies eager to sell. But I was looking for an original black label copy, which I found albeit used. Still I was able to pick it up cheap and felt satisfied with what I bought.

Remember, the purpose of me doing this is so I can experience and play great, past or what I think are interesting games. And even though I sometimes wish I could spend hundreds of dollars on pristine, new copies of rare games, I make do with what I can.

Clicking on information for Chrono Cross, there are always other “featured” items at the bottom of eBay pages showing other products you might be interested that could be closely related. From there, I clicked on several more auctions and came across a clean (no scratches, dings or marks) copy of Vagrant Story. Always hearing the setting for this game took place in the world of Ivalice, which was the same world for Final Fantasy XII and Final Fantasy Tactics, but not directly connected intrigued me about the game just for that reason alone. So I placed an impromptu bid and found someone who seemed to want it just a bit more. After a small bidding war, I was lucky enough to have won, even though I paid a bit more than what I was willing to go. No way expensive by any means, but still more than what I thought I would.

Now let me take you even more into the past. When my family first bought me my original PlayStation (PS1) for Christmas, I was given a Greatest Hits copy of Resident Evil Director’s Cut. I love all things zombie, but this wasn’t really a “Director’s Cut” as I would find out later, but it was the only game I had at the time. The only other disc I had to play was the demo disc that came included within the box. After playing RE for a marathon of what seemed like over ten hours straight, I popped in the demo disc to see what exactly it had. After playing demos for Tomb Raider 2, Blasto (Remember him? Don’t blame you), and Hot Shots Golf which my family and I played over and over again, I then watched all the preview videos which included one for a game called SaGa Frontier. For some reason this video stuck in my memory for a while, and I remember seeing copies of the game at stores. But I hardly had patience for RPG’s at the time and with friends coming over to play games all the time, I simply wanted to blow stuff up in action games or play sports games.

Now, let’s fast forward back to early 2012.

After picking up the games I mentioned earlier, I continued to look at my PlayStation One games and thought it was finally time to pick up that copy of SaGa Frontier I had been seeing in the store long ago. I was going on some blind faith that the game would be good, considering all I was going on was a demo video from way back. I found a semi-good copy that was cheap so I placed a bid on it. Unfortunately, moments after that, I found someone who was auctioning off both SaGa Frontier 1 and 2 for almost the same bid price at what I just placed minutes ago. Damn. Well, I figured I probably shouldn’t pass up both games for what seemed like the price of one, but if I won both auctions, I would end up with 2 copies of the same game. I placed a bid on the two for one deal in hopes that things would work out. Come close to the auction, I was outbid on both. I thought great, I’m off the hook for the single copy, but the price for the 2 games had now almost nearly doubled. So now it seemed like I was going to pay for both games regardless. So, did I win? No. Damn snipers got the best of me on that one. Needless, to make another long story short, I found the games (yes, I decided to get both after all) from two different sellers and now I finally have my copy of SaGa Frontier. Almost 15 years later.

So do I think the games are fun or any good? Don’t know. When I have a chance to sit and play them, I’ll let you know. Maybe even in another entry.

(This post can also be found at ThreeTallNerds.com)

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