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The Holy Grails of Console Collecting 64

Retrogaming with Racketboy has up a feature looking at some of the 'holy grails' of console collecting. These are titles worthy of long, hard searches through auctions and used game stores ... both for their quality and their rarity. From the article: "16. Star Fox: Super Weekend/Donkey Kong Country Competition Cartridge, Estimated Price (Loose): $200. If there was a big one-two punch in Nintendo's fight against Sega's Genesis, Star Fox and Donkey Kong Country would be it. While the main retail games may not be rare at all, there was a special package that is quite desirable. The Star Fox: Super Weekend and Donkey Kong Country Competition cartridges were used by Blockbuster Video in tournaments held within the store, and never received a true commercial release. The winners of the tournaments would receive prizes such as jackets and sometimes even vacations."
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The Holy Grails of Console Collecting

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  • There;s a DaVinci Code joke in there somewhere. But being a mere male, I am unable to conceptualize.
    • This is all in retrospect, what about holy grails to come? That would bring some real discussion! I say in several years we will be looking at things like the zelda 64 gold edition cartridge, etc. (though I would acknowledge the difference between cosmetics and limited-release software.)
      • I'd say those Burger King Xbox games might be worth a bit a few years down the road...

        Also there was a limited Edition Xbox 1 version of Counterstrike availble only to people who pre-ordered... in about 10 years I bet it'd fetch a pretty penny.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        This is all in retrospect, what about holy grails to come?

        Duke Nukem Forever?
  • I would think a Vectrex machine *itself* would be a 'holy grail' of sorts. I remember reading about it decades ago when I was a lad, but I still have never seen one in person, nor do I know anyone who even remembers that thing.

    Anyone out there still own a working unit? Was/is it fun to play?

    • My cousin had one. It was ok, more of a novelty than anything. The game I remember best was something akin to the Atari 2600's Combat, with two people in tanks trying to shoot each other.
    • Actually, they show up on Ebay fairly often. For that matter there seem to be 9 of them up right now! (And quite a few cartridges as well...)

      I used to play on one a lot, and years later I worked for the company that designed the danged thing.

    • Don't forget the Fairchild Channel F!

      There are plenty of old consoles that are next to impossible to find these days.

      I kept all my old consoles for ages and my demanded that I get rid of most of them because I never hooked them up or turned them on. I resisted, but many of the old consoles don't work incredibly well, and my emulators do. I had an Atari 7800, NES, Sega Master System, SNES, Turbo Grafix, Genesis, and N64 I got rid of. And honestly I don't have serious regrets. I could point to them and sa
      • "I could point to them and say "I own them!" but what does that accomplish over than waving an e-penis around?"
        Well, for one it gives you the right to play the play the games on that nifty emulator.

        "I kept all my old consoles for ages and my demanded that I get rid of most of them..."
        And I'm pretty sure the missing word in this sentence is "Mom". :-)
      • The second I can run homebrew code on a PS3 or 360, the PS1, PS2 and XBox will probably be permanently retired. If I get a Wii, the same with the GC.

        You can run GBA homebrew code on a GameCube. You cannot run GBA homebrew code on a Wii because, as far as the public knows, the Wii has no Game Boy Player.

        • XPort's brilliantly ported XBoyAdvance players GB, GBC and GBA games quite well on my XBox.

          Though I have emulators for my PS2 and Dreamcast as well, the XBox is my system of choice for emulation at the moment. I imagine I will eventually shift to the PS3 for all my emulation needs.
      • OMG the Fairchild Channel F! With the F8 microprocessor.

        Came with built in games, spent many hours playing with the stupid draw program. Controllers really sucked!

        Thanks for the flash back!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I've had a working GCE Vectrex unit since 1983. It's a wonderful machine, though a bit noisy, and I find that people are fascinated by the vector screen even though it's only white lines on a black background. It was the only game machine I had in college -- couldn't afford a PC back then. :-)

      Some of the games are quite fun. Mine Storm is far more than "an asteroids clone", though -- with magnetic mines, magnetic shooting mines, and various interesting shapes above level 13 (when the game starts skipping
    • and a Sean Kelly multicart that has just about every vectrex game ever produced. Still, what's most desirable in the Vectrex world are those colored overlays to place over the screen. *Very* hard -- and expensive -- to obtain. But the game system is remarkably fun to play if you dig old vector games like Asteroids, Star Castle, or Tempest.
      • Really, colored overlays are expensive? I have a few of those sitting around in the basement too, I think... plus the original Vectrex carrying case!
    • I have a working Vectrex in my basement right now.

      I always enjoyed it when I was a kid, and they had some really cool ideas. First, the Vectrex had (I believe) the FIRST analog joystick on a home system, beating Nintendo by about 15 years (!). Second, they used a light pen for some of their titles, which everyone at the time thought was going to be the "next big thing".

      I haven't played it in a while (it's fragile), but it really was a nice system, even though it was a bit underpowered even for the

    • I've got one and stumbled across a "multi-cart" at a local used toy store. One of the nice things about the Vectrex is that GCE released all the games in to the public domain so things like the multi-cart are legally on the up and up. It's a great unit, but good luck finding one without resorting to Ebay - in all the years I've been hitting thrift stores/garage sales, I've only found 2.
    • I should dust off the one sitting underneath my desk then...

      I once played "Mine Storm" for ~4 1/2 hours straight (at work! Ah, the good ol' days...). IIRC, the levels wrap around after 20-something.

      Hmmm, I wonder if John Dondzila is still making new games, and if Sean Kelly is still making multicart boards?

  • by LiquidCoooled ( 634315 ) on Friday October 06, 2006 @03:04PM (#16340175) Homepage Journal
    They left of Duke Nukem Forever for the Atari 2600 [3drealms.com].
  • From the Dictionary of Christian Theology:

    The Holy Grail of Console Collecting refers to the Nintendo Entertainment System that Jesus Christ and the twelve apostles played after the last supper. The exact fate of this relic is unknown, but many medieval churches have claimed to possess a joystick or a cartridge or other component of this legendary system. The most convincing relic is the Drop-Lid of Turin which is an angled piece of plastic that is purported to be the "door" from the front of Christ's Nintendo. Carbon dating of the artifact has been inconclusive.
    • by ajlitt ( 19055 ) on Friday October 06, 2006 @03:49PM (#16340787)
      3) Yet the CRT didst still blinketh green.

      4) And the Lord said, "Remove thy cartridge and blow into it, such that the breath of life that I have given unto thee would give new life unto thy cartridge."

      5) The people did as the Lord spoke, so that the scourge upon the console should be lifted.

      6) The Punch-Out title didst appear, and the people rejoiced with beatings upon Glass Joe and offerings of burnt Hot Pockets.
  • Not Impressed (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) * <{akaimbatman} {at} {gmail.com}> on Friday October 06, 2006 @03:17PM (#16340359) Homepage Journal
    I thought these titles were supposed to be worth tracking down? Atlantis II, for example, is not much different from the original. As such, it's just a collectors item rather than a really fun game. Pepsi Invaders is just Space Invaders (not even that different from the original 2600 version), and the NES Compo Cart is simply a timed game to get the most points in Mario, Rad Racer, and Tetris. (Ah, I remember actually competing on this cart. Memories.) Basically, I don't see why you'd spend money on these titles unless you're a more of a collector than a player.

    For games that are actually fun, here's my list in no particular order:

    1) Shuttle Orbiter (2600) $50 - $80
    2) H.E.R.O. (2600) $10-$20
    3) Diner (Intellivision) $50-$100
    4) Galaxy 5000 (NES) $10-$20
    5) Thin Ice (Intellivision) $20-$50
    6) Killer Bees (Odyssey 2) $10-$15
    7) Dreadnaught Factor (Intellivision) $10-$30
    8) Happy Trails (Intellivision) $10-$15

    The Intellivision is sort of a leader in this space as some of their best titles were released after Mattel Electronics folded. As a result, these titles are very hard to get ahold of. I've only named one's I've played. I'm sure that Stadium Mud Buggies and Thunder Castle are lots of fun too. (In fact, I've been forcefully told as much by others.)
    • Basically, I don't see why you'd spend money on these titles unless you're a more of a collector than a player.

      I think you answered your own question. The article is about collecting, not playing.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) *
        Ah, but the summary says that they're worth searching for because of their, "their quality and their rarity". I honestly can't think of how most of these could be considered "quality". Most of the collectors items for old game systems are the crap that no one wanted to play the first time around. Stuff like Tooth Protectors, Chase the Chuckwagon, boxed "Action Packs" containing Combat and Dodge 'Em, Channel F consoles, Emerson Aracadias, etc. It's all rare, but it's also all junk.

        The truly GREAT stuff are t
    • The title of the article is "The Holy Grails of Console Collecting", not "The Holy Grails of Hard-to-Find but yet Still Fun-to-Play Old Games".

      Besides, we've already got one. Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time.
    • #20 on the list is Panzer Dragoon Saga which is one of the finest RPGs ever made. Other rare post-NES classics that need to be rereleased include:

      Sapphire for the PC Engine which is so rare that counterfeits sell for over $60 [superpcenginegrafx.com]. The ever-popular Akumajo Dracula X: Chi no Rondo [gamespy.com] is another great PC Engine game. Besides the previously mentioned PDS, the Saturn also had Shining Force III and Radiant Silvergun [wikipedia.org].

      There are plenty of classics out there that are just so hard to get a copy of these days. :(
  • The list (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    FOr those who don't crave writeups..

    20. Panzer Dragoon Saga (Sega Saturn; NTSC-U, PAL)
    19. Psychic Killer Taromaru (Sega Saturn; NTSC-J)
    18. Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega Master System; NTSC-U)
    17. Congo Bongo (Intellivision; NTSC-U)
    16. StarFox: Super Weekend/Donkey Kong Country Competition Cartidge (SNES; NTSC-U, PAL)
    15. Magical Chase (TurboGrafx 16; NTSC-U)
    14. Myriad 6 in 1 (NES; NTSC-U)
    13. Bounty Bob Strikes Back! (Atari 5200; NTSC-U)
    12. Mine Storm/Mine Storm II (Vectrex; NTSC-U)
    11. Bubble Bath Babes
    • They have Sonic the Hedgehog and no Dracula X for the PCEngine?
    • 17. Congo Bongo (Intellivision; NTSC-U)

      The U an R+ items aren't fetching what they used to. In 1998, I had the Intellivision Congo Bongo (boxed) listed above. Someone paid me $50 cash, just for the box. I then sold the mint cart and instructions on eBay for another $75.

      I also noticed Chase the Chuckwagon (2600) isn't on the list when it would have been near number one over five years ago.
  • Goes for outrageous prices on eBay. On the rare occasion one can be found.
  • ...by holding onto my original Chrono Trigger with instructions (the box is somewhere in my closet in my parents house). You can get ~100 for that on ebay from time to time.
    • heck, even the loose cart (which i have) still runs for about $35. A loose cart Earthbound runs commonly $50 (again, I have it too - because my wife is a huge Earthbound fan).
      • You're kidding... right?

        I picked up Earthbound at Best Buy for $5.99 when they were trying to make room for N64 stuff (mid-1997). They had tons of 'em and the boxes were big and took up a bunch of valuable shelf space.

        I have the cart, "manual" (it's really a strategy guide), and box, all in good condition.
        • yeah, you can make a little bit o' cash of off that. here is what ebay is selling them for (hope link works, sorted by highest price first): http://search.ebay.com/earthbound_W0QQfrppZ50QQfso oZ2QQfsopZ3QQmaxrecordsreturnedZ300QQsbrsrtZl [ebay.com]
        • by Morlark ( 814687 )

          I have the cart, "manual" (it's really a strategy guide), and box, all in good condition.

          Y'know, it's funny you should say that about the manual, cos (with regards to games in general) I've always thought of that the other way around... The "strategy guides" you get these days quite often contain stuff that really should be part of the manual. So by shipping sub-standard manuals with the games these days, they're often forcing you to buy one of these strategy guides just to work out how to play, and max

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      And all I can say is thank god for re-releases and Xbox emulators for keeping the price on games like Chrono Trigger down. Videogame speculators will always annoy the hell out of me, but I'm happy when games like Chrono Trigger fall in price. The game used to be worth $300-$400 on Ebay until it was re-released on the PSX.
      • by Valdrax ( 32670 )
        I've been on the other side of that. I lost much of my joy for the CCG Magic: the Gathering when the release of Chronicles -- an expansion that rereleased some of the best cards from previous expansions -- utterly gutted the value of my collection. My collection dropped in value to 40% of what it once was, with most of the value in common and uncommon cards as my good rares lost 90% of their value. I made hard trades and spent long-saved cash for some of the cards whose value evaporated.

        I never really go
      • I'd never sell it anyway. I keep all of my old videogame stuff ever since my mom cleared out my atari 2600 and box of games and gave it to my aunt (who sold it on Ebay I think). At one point I was pressed for cash and thought about selling CT. Now I'd rather keep it since I'd prefer it running on my snes than an emulator.
  • I'm not surprised it didn't make the final cut but in the honorable mentions, the Tengen version of Tetris for the NES deserves a nod.

    And that Battlesphere isn't on here makes me scratch my head but someone else already brought that up.

    And finally, what on earth is "1990 Nintendo World Championships"?
    "but gamers everywhere know very well of it's existence." (Except for me apparently.)
    • Ultima Holy Grails (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Enderandrew ( 866215 ) <enderandrew AT gmail DOT com> on Friday October 06, 2006 @03:52PM (#16340823) Homepage Journal
      Go through a list of Good named roms, and you'll find there are plenty of unlicensed, pirated carts out there. On the Atari 2600, licensing didn't exist because no one made games for other people's hardware before. There was no such thing as third party initially. But when games like Space Invaders, Pac Man and the like became huge hits, other companies released knock-offs that were really the exact same game. Atari sued and lost, and thusly we have third party development today.

      There is a game I've seen screenshots of, Origin confirmed, but I can't find any info on. It is rarer than rare. Origin was making SNES and NES ports of many of their PC RPGs. Some are decent and some are horrible (Ultima VII on the SNES for instance). They were dumbed down versions more often than not.

      However, the original Words of Ultima: Savage Empire was built using the Ultima VI engine. Origin worked on redoing the game using the Ultima VII engine with all new graphics. The only screenshots and info I've found was for a Japanese Super Famicom version, but it was never officially released.

      That would be a rare cart.

      Within the Ultima series you've also got the Lost Vale addon for Ultima VIII that was finished, but never released. Even the staff who made the game say they have no idea what happened to the files, but they might be floating around. For years collectors have looked for anything related to it, and just last year the single existing copy of the box prototype popped up on EBay, was confirmed as legit by Origin staffers, and sold for thousands of dollars.

      When an empty box sells for thousands, the software itself would be holy grail worthy.

      There is also the original 2D isometric Ultima IX that got scrapped, but that was also unreleased.

      For a rare released title, there was an FM Towns version of Ultima VI with full speech. Try finding that.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by cgenman ( 325138 )
        As a game developer, there is actually a staggering amount of stuff which is unreleased. It's estimated that 3 out of 4 games that are seriously developed never get released. Most of these at least make it to the demo stage, while others get canceled very, very late in the project.

        A lot of this stuff simply is so rare that it's undiscovered. Or the game isn't a big name, so nobody cares. For an example of rare stuff on a shipping game, the E3 version of Eyetoy: Antigrav used colored gloves to track hand
        • That's why most publishers don't like to announce to show titles unless they are confident in them.

          I weep over a bunch of unreleased titles that I would love to have seen and never got my hands on. In the PC RPG-genre alone, I regularly weep over:

          The original Ultima IX, Bob White's Ultima IX, Torn, Jefferson (Baldur's Gate 3: The Black Hound), Van Buren (Fallout 3), Ultima X Odyssey, Worlds of Ultima: Arthurian Legends, Ultima VIII: The Lost Vale, Ultima Underworld 3 (which years later became Arx Fatalis),
      • If you're talking about rare Ultima games, isn't the king really Escape from Mt. Drash [wikipedia.org]? I've known more people to drool over the merest possibility of owning one than just about any other PC game (including the plastic-mask Suspended and the flying-saucer Starcross).
    • And finally, what on earth is "1990 Nintendo World Championships"?

      Info [atarihq.com]

      The Nintendo Tourney Cart was just a mishmash of Super Mario, Rad Racer, and Tetris. The idea was to get to a certain number of points in Mario, beat a race in Rad Racer, and then use the remaining time (yes, you were on a clock) to get the highest possible score in Tetris. The basic strategy was to get past the first two parts as quickly as possible so that you could begin raking up a huge score in Tetris before everyone else.

      Pretty much

    • 1990 Nintendo World Championships

      In 1990, Nintendto held "tournaments" in various cities (including many in the U.S.). Players played SMB, Tetris, and Rad Racer for timed periods, and players won or lost based on the number of points they accumulated. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nintendo_World_Champi onship [wikipedia.org] for more information

      I participated in one of the 1990 tournaments and was successful enough in the lower rounds to get to play on the "big" stage which was modeled after the one used in the Wizard.

  • Is that picture of Number 14 actually how it looks,or is it a lame photoshop (in the verb sense...if this is what it looks like, I'm thinking more like an intern with MS-Paint) because they couldn't get an actual picture? The label looks off-center and it appears another can be seen below it.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Had you read the article like a good n00b...

      While the game itself was released many times, these actual carts were released twice, the other time from Caltron, who reportedly went bankrupt during it's production. Myriad Games would later aquire the leftover carts, shipping them out in a new box, and with a numbered label for the price of $69.

  • Laptop 360 (Score:3, Informative)

    by Enderandrew ( 866215 ) <enderandrew AT gmail DOT com> on Friday October 06, 2006 @04:43PM (#16341511) Homepage Journal
    http://www.benheck.com/ [benheck.com] - Ben Heck's XBox 360 Laptop. Only one in existance and it probably sold for several thousand considering it cost $1,200 in parts alone to make.
  • I have #16! (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I bought the starfox tournament game about 10 years ago at a pawn shop... I was pissed because I thought it was the regular version and I could only play it for 5 minutes.. Apparently it's worth $200 now. Any ideas on how to sell it? I'm not sure e-bay is a good idea since i want to get as much as possible for it, and I don't think there's a very big market for it..
  • The chart is missing the most valuable game of all: Earthbound for NES. Unlike other prototypes, that one had the final ROM image. It was approved for release but marketing did not want to (see Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]).

    By the way, I thought there were a lot of those Star Fox competition cartridges. Is this some special version that also had Donkey Kong Country?

  • It's not the holy grail of console collecting, it's the holy grail of soundcard collecting.

    The Innovation SSI-2001, ISA soundcard based on the C64's SID6581 sound chip.

    If someone has one, or know where to find one, please contact me. I have almost every other main soundcard (sb-compatibles aside) on my Soundcards Museum [yvan256.net].

"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972