Every now and then, whenever I feel like it, I'll publically respond to your mail here. If you don't mind being considered for public ridiculing.. er.. responding, then mention so in the mail. Thanks!

Welcome to the special Christmas holiday cheery edition of Viewer Mail! Always willing to spread love and warmth across the globe, |tsr answers the NES related questions of a weary public. We start with a philosophical pondering about..

The status of the NES Scene

Subject: status of NES scene?
Date: Sat, 19 Dec 1998 21:36:46 -0800 (PST)
From: xxxxxxxx@ptd.net
To: tsr@atarihq.com

Read your rgvc post on the NWC cart.  Your comment was that the owner should
keep the
cart for when NES collecting *really* took off.

Does this mean, IYHO, that it hasn't yet?  From my experience,  NES collecting 
is now just as competitive, if not more so, than 2600 or INTV collecting.  I'm 
just asking what your point of view is.

A fair question; why am I such a stud that I can dictate whether a collector's item is "hot" or not? Here's my take:

Collecting of old video games (Atari, Intellivision, and other lesser-than-NES systems) began in fair earnest around 1992-93. I'd say it was a fairly little scene for several years, although rec.games.video.classic has existed basically since then. It wasn't until 1996 (again, imo) that things really took off; services like EBay and O'Shea brought both good effects - widespread cheap carts - and bad - ever-rising prices - to the community.

Nowadays, to an increasing amount of people, old video games are collectable - no one can deny that. Because of that, NES games (and, later on, 16-bit works) are going to increase in value more quickly than 2600 games have, as a direct result of nostalgia getting faster and faster, and more and more Jams-wearing kids of the 80s find old consoles in their closets and get back into the scene. I can yell about prices now, but I can guarantee that they'll go up, probably eventually heading inevitably towards what Funco's list looks like these days.

Check out the Digital Press guide for an illustration of this. The NES price guide was just added to this edition, and there's maybe only about 4 or 5 titles that are given any really high value (the Panesian porno titles, the NES World Championship cart, and maybe Tetris); compare this with the 20 or so Atari 2600 titles that go for over $40 in the Guide. Quite a few NES games, such as Color Dreams titles, are given high rarity values but low prices since there's (currently) near zero demand for them - not that a price guide is the Bible, but it shows that NES games still have a while to go.

Right now, in Japan, the Famicom scene is basically in full bloom, in the position where I see the USA NES scene in a couple of years. There are a handful of really rare games, contest prize carts, etc. that go for over $100 all the time, another handful of slightly less rare games that hover around the $30-50 mark, and the whole rest at $20 and (far) below. It's all in all not a bad state of affairs, but as you can surmise, it has become very difficult to get those last few top-tier extremely rare cartridges in Japan without outlaying some cash.

In short, now is the time to get as many NES games as possible, while the vast majority of them are still cheap. The scene will not get really big for another couple years yet, and I know that one day certain unlicensed titles will become extremely hard to get your hands on, so get going!

On the other hand, there's another way to increase NES games' value really quickly...

Let's make Nintendo support the NES again, dammit

Subject: spy hunter cheat
Date: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 01:12:10 -0500
From: "Xxxxx Xxxxx" (xxxxxx@xxxxx.xxx.xxx)
To: tsr@atarihq.com

I've recently spoken with nintendo about devloping a nes game for
the n64, one that would contain most of the orginal games in thier 
8 bit format.  considering the impact of roms from the internet, i'd 
be a huge success.  I don't think the guy i spoke to took me 
seriously, and he refused to tranfer me to R&D.  If you have any 
inside phone numbers or ways to present this idea WITHOUT lawyers 
and representation(you and i can't make any money becuase we 
don't own the rights to the games...) i'd be helpful.  PLEASE SUPPORT 

Yes, it ends there.

Either way, I thought that the IDSA (which another guy who mailed me said stands for "International Dick Sucking Association" which generated lots of mirth among my friends, let me tell you) said that the spreading of 8-bit ROM images impedes the production of such classic gaming projects. Which is in my opinion a better thing; the last couple of years have shown that homebrew efforts like the Supercharger CD, the recently released Intellivision Lives! and others are more accurate and more fun than shovelware like Activision's Atari collections.

By the way, if I had any "inside phone numbers", I'd be using them to interview Howard Lincoln, not to whine about rereleasing old games.

Bored of piracy ?!

Subject: collecting
Date: Tue, 22 Dec 1998 22:35:30 -0400
From: The Hills (xxxx.xxxxxx@xx.xxxxxxxxx.xx)
To: tsr@atarihq.com

I gotta ask you, is collecting Famicom pirate stuff (and maybe a few
originals) worth the time and effort? I've always been interested in the
whole pirating thing, and I was brought up on the NES, but nowdays with the
PSX and N64, I'm afraid I might loose interest... what do you think?

I have to tell you; when I found my first few multicarts, I thought they were the hottest things since Koosh balls and Vision Street Wear. Now it's boring; they're mostly the same apart from different labels. Original pirate productions, like King of Fighters and Somari, though, are another story.

My suggestion: a multi or two will probably come across your way sometime in the natural course of collecting NES; get one or two good ones, which contain most of the classic NES material, and forget about the rest. Concentrate on non-pirate Famicom material; that's where the real gold is.

One shot

Subject: Rob
Date: Tue, 22 Dec 1998 12:42:00 EST
From: xxxxxxxx@xxx.xxx
To: tsr@atarihq.com

Do you know which games you can use with rob? I know that gyromite is one, but
on the list ROB was not one of the rarity controllers.  Could you please e-
mail me the other game(s) titles?

No, I won't; instead I will list the titles on Viewer Mail, because for some reason I've been asked this question about four times this last month! What is it with you guys - are the ROBs of the world slowly taking over via brain waves?

The two games that support ROB are Gyromite and Stack-Up. Nintendo said that more would be on their way, but they were out-and-out lying since the robot had come out in Japan several years earlier with the same two games and was already dead by the time the big US push started. Sorry to disappoint.

And finally

Subject: RE Wholesale catalog & pricing in U.S.A $
Date: Sun, 22 Nov 1998 17:08:44 -0500
From: "murphy discount" (xxxxxxx@xxx.xxx)
To: tsr@atarihq.com

Have a retail store and aminterested in your wholesale prices

i need a Wholesale catalog for my buiness a.s.a.p    thank you 

A wholesale catalog containing what? Wholesale prices for what? My web page? OK, that's easy:

  • Price of index.html - $50,000/yr/person
  • Price of index.html with graphics - $100,000/yr/person
  • Price of my amazing new logo - $4,000,000/yr
  • Price of entire site - one (1) NES World Championship cart

Please send me your order ASAP. Thank you

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