I’ve really been into retro gaming lately. Christina and I have been talking a lot about the “good old days” and our desire to really focus on stuff from our childhoods because there’s not really a lot coming out that we’re interested in. This weekend we’re going to be moving some furniture around in the house and setting up a CRT television so we can finally hook up all of our old retro consoles.
This has led to me spending a lot of time online looking at retro collecting sites and scouring eBay for old games that I used to rent and never got around to buying. The price of old games has certainly gone up recently, probably due to several rare games getting mainstream media coverage after being sold for thousands of dollars and people thinking any old cart in their attic is going to make them rich.
The game I want more than any other is an NES action platformer called Little Samson. It was released by Taito near the end of the NES’ lifespan, and as a result the graphics, sound and gameplay were all top-notch.
I remember renting Little Samson on several occasions from my local video store and enjoying the hell out of it. I kinda forgot about it for a long time until a few years ago when the game itself popped back into my head, but the title eluded me. I would go on all kinds of message boards asking about “a game where you play as a boy, a golem, a mouse and a dragon, they each had their own level, then after that you could switch between them whenever.” No one ever had an answer beyond “I think I played that once” until someone on GameFAQs finally reminded me: Little Samson.
I checked eBay and it was expensive. $100 for just the cartridge! I didn’t think much of it and figured the price would HAVE to go down eventually.
Fast forward to now and the cart alone goes for at least three times that much. It’s never going down. I looked into it and it’s due to several factors: it came out after the SNES had already launched and most gamers had moved on, so not many copies were printed, and it sold horribly due to the name “Little Samson” implying it had religious content (in Japan the game was called Seirei Densetsu LICKLE or Lickle: Legend of the Holy Bell). Now due to the high demand by collectors it’s stupid expensive.
What really sucks is that I don’t want to buy it just so it can sit on a shelf and be part of a collection. I want it because I legitimately enjoyed the game as a kid, and since my folks didn’t have a lot of disposable income I could only rent it, never buy it. I want to buy it so I can PLAY it. It’s a fantastic game. The only reason it didn’t make my top 40 list was because I haven’t played it in over 15 years. I don’t mind paying, say, $100 for it. It’s rare. But over $300? Good lord.
Someday I’ll get it. Hopefully by the time I can justify the money it won’t have creeped up much further.