Gaming in Paris

Once again I’ve been travelling abroad. I’ve been in Paris eating French food (not Escargots and frog legs, mind), watching the erratic traffic and, when my legs couldn’t bear me anymore, read Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and played Metroid 2: The Return of Samus and Mega Man: Dr. Wily’s Revenge for the Gameboy, in a hotel room in the heart of the city that smelled of sour, decades old smoke. Ah, Vive le France!

Of all places in Paris, of every place one could imagine, I never expected to find video games in The Louvre:

Nintendo 3DS in The Louvre?! Radical!

Nintendo 3DS in The Louvre?! Radical!

It’s the Nintendo 3DS that one could borrow/buy (?) as an audio guide when touring the muséum. I also saw a lot of people walking around with 3DS systems of this particular color (the same that I have, mind you) in the streets around the most renowned hallmarks of the city. I never used the system, since I can read French (but I have forgot how to speak it as fluently as I used to, which was so-so) and it seems as if Korean Air and Nintendo offered this to costumers of the former only. I never looked deeply into this though.

While I’ve only managed to reach the last level of Dr. Wily’s Fortress in Mega Man for the Gameboy, I actually managed to beat Metroid II. The last boss, the Queen Metroid, was a pain in the behind until I realized that it’s much easier and dramatic to roll up into its mouth and blast it’s belly 4 times. The gastric acid takes away a little of your health but that’s nothing when compared to the chunks she takes when she connects with her jaws around Samus. I mean, compare 4 tiny bombs in the Queen’s belly to 150 missiles to her face. You heard me. 150 missiles. 150 projectiles into her visage all while dodging her chomping at you and spewing spikey things that home into your fragile being.

Anyhow, here’s my finishing screen, I died 5 times in-story and 6 times against the Queen Metroid until I saw this screen which clocked me at 7h 46 min:

Yay, I did it!

Yay, I did it!

I always had a hard time discerning whether I had 49 or 99 health left as the “fours” look a lot like “nines”. Anyhow, I got the crappy ending, and I couldn’t care less, but the game was awesome indeed and a must to play if you’re a Metroid fan. The creepy atmosphere and all was there, and I’m pleased to say that there’s no Countdown Sequence part in the game! No diarrhea for me!

And I’ll take the chance to wish y’all a Merry Christmas, or Happy Holidays, or Hanukkah, Chrismukkah or Eat-athon or whatever you prefer, and I’ll see you very soon after the festivities with a new and huge Retro Games Hunt post (yeah, I’ve got a good haul this time).

video-game-santa1

Heck, let’s just say:

HAPPY GAMING HOLIDAY TO Y’ALL!

 

First two images Copyright MartianOddity

Last image from: http://almostnerdy.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/video-game-santa1.jpg

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Games I’m still looking for, but that still haven’t been dirt cheap.

I’m still looking for some video games and collectibles that I haven’t got a hold of yet. As some of you might’ve seen I’ve found some of these games, and others I didn’t plan to get, but the list keeps growing (and shrinking sometimes) for every day. The “Gotta have them” list contains games and accessories I really, really want and the Bargain Bin are things I’ll buy when they’re dirt cheap because I just kinda want them right now.

THE “GOTTA HAVE THEM” LIST:

1. Tetris DS [NDS]

– This is the best Tetris game I’ve ever played. Period.

2. Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga [GBA], Partners in Time [NDS], Bowser’s Inside Story [NDS]

– Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga was awesome. I’m looking forward to owning these games, too bad they’re on the more expensive side.

3. Gameboy Camera and Printer [GB]

– I’ve always wanted a Gameboy Camera ever since a guy in class boasted with his own. The mini-games, the photo manipulation tools, the Gameboy Camera is nothing short of a high-tech marvel. In 98′ that is. If I get one I’ll get one of those cables from the end of the 90’s-beginning of the 00’s which enables transferring your images from the Camera into your PC through the Link Cable port.

Doesn't it look awesome? Doesn't it look expensive? It's 30 bucks at its cheapest, unless you make a great deal somewhere with someone that either nice or oblivious of this thing's real value.

Doesn’t it look awesome? Doesn’t it look expensive? It’s 30 bucks at its cheapest, unless you make a great deal somewhere with someone that’s either too nice or oblivious of this thing’s real value.

4. Gameboy Pocket (the one looking like the original GB or a transparent one)

– For collection purposes, and it looks really nice. The other colors look too plastic-ish.

5. Bomberman 64 [N64]

– I’ve already explained why I want this game in my review of it. It’s fun, challenging and a great multiplayer game. I remember renting this game. Good times…

6. Wario Blast [GB]

– It’s Bomberman mixed with Wario. Wario! He’s awesome. Such an asshole he is, that Wario. Wanting to take ower Bomber World because of greed. Gotta love him.

7. Rare Gameboy Carrying Case:

– They’re frickin’ expensive. I mean, it’s ridiculous how expensive they are. I know they’re rare and all… but can’t I get one for a few bucks anyways? Just an exception for little me?

Arcade action at you home, with slow-motion generated from pausing and unpausing games in rapid succession much like a Turbo Pause) and that doesn't work well in all games. But the Turbo and the other buttons work well though.

Arcade action in you home, with slow-motion generated from pausing and unpausing games in rapid succession much like a Turbo Pause, which doesn’t work well in all games by the way. But the Turbo and the other buttons work well though and give Arcade Power in your hands. Now You’re Playing with Power!

8. Disney’s Magical Quest 1 and 3 [GBA]:

– After finishing the 2nd game I feel I must have these games. In the first you can be a sorcerer, which is awesome, and in the third you can play as Donald, which is even more awesome. Also the last game was never released for the SNES outside of Japan. Gotta love the GBA and all its revivals!

9. The NES Advantage Arcade Joystick:

– This is a must-have for everyone that loves arcades and owns an NES. They can be found for a fair price as well. I long for one, really.

10. Wario Land II [GBC]

– I want the color version of the game, then I’ll have all the Wario Lands for the handhelds. They’re supposed to be the best platformers for the handhelds and I think everyone should try them out, at least Super Mario Land 3: Wario Land.

THE BARGAIN BIN:

1. Advance Wars: Dual Strike and Days of Ruin [NDS]

– Since I’ve not even beaten the first game officially, and not even started on the second one, I think that I’ll buy the games if they’re dirt cheap. I mean, they’re fun and all, but I’m no great strategist, and I don’t like to get my ass handed to me. I’d like to pick it up myself, thank you very much.

2. F-Zero X [N64]

– I’ve already explained why I want this game in my review of it. But I don’t want it that much right now since I’m looking for other stuff I want more at the moment. The game is awesome and all, don’t get me wrong, any N64 owner should have the game, but I’m just not that interested at the moment.

3. Pokémon Green [GB]

– Just for collection purposes, and because I find Venusaur and Japan awesome, I want to own a copy of this game. But not that much now really, as I won’t be able to thoroughly play the game since I know no Japanese.

Japanese Pokémon Green boxart. I'd love to own it  eventually. I mean, it's Venusaur!

Japanese Pokémon Green boxart. I’d love to own it eventually. I mean, it’s Venusaur!

4. Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 1 & 2 [NDS]

– The first game had good graphics, music and gameplay, but I couldn’t beat the last tournament. You’d have to breed and train and all that, really grind your monsters (or maybe acquire a shred of skill) to be able to win. I hope the second game is just as good. And I can’t say no to games designed by Akira Toriyama!

First image from: http://www.etsy.com/listing/31074210/gameboy-carrying-case

Second image from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:NES-advantage.jpg

Third image from: http://media.giantbomb.com/uploads/1/12537/520519-pokemon_green_jap_super.jpg

Now Playing: Metroid 2: Return of the Badass Metroids

Metroid-II-Logo

I’ve played some more. I’ve got 26 Metroids left to vanquish, I’ve picked up the Varia Suit, the High Jump Boots, the Spring Jump, an extra Energy Tank, a few Missile Tanks and the Wave Beam. You can only have one beam at a time if I recall correctly, but the Wave Beam is much better than the Ice Beam, one can hit more targets and it seems stronger overall.

The Metroids aren’t weaklings anymore. They evolved from puny Alpha Metroids into Gamma Metroids:

Bigger, badder, more lethal than before. Dang.

Bigger, badder and more lethal than before. Dang.

I also defeated a mini-boss, Arachnus, for the Spring Jump powerup (jump while in morph ball). It was only susceptible to bombs and was more difficult to beat when compared to the other Metroids. It reminded me of Mini-Kraid from Metroid 1:

That's him there, that little thingy to the right really does pack a punch.

That’s him there, that little thingy to the right really does pack a punch.

And that’s where I currently am right now in the game. 26 more to go, until the end or whatever plot device the game will present to me next. I’m glad I’m playing them on my GBA SP, the color and backlight really helps out.

And here is a scan of the actual map from Nintendo Power. It's a huge game, for being on the Gameboy that is.

And here is a scan of the actual map from Nintendo Power. It’s a huge game, for being on the Gameboy that is.

First image from: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e8/Metroid-II-Logo.png

Second image from: http://metroid.retropixel.net/metroid2/metroid_gamma.gif

Third image from: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-hkJg3C5wWFs/T8zuavBd2GI/AAAAAAAARpo/9BSwcBfYXRA/s320/Metroid+2+-+Return+of+Samus_41.png

Fourth image from: http://metroid-database.com/m2/m2map2.jpg

Region Unlock and New Pin Connector

You need a normal Philips screwdriver, some patience, a small screwdriver, some patience and last, but not least a new 72 Pin Connector.

This is my NES, "artistic angle style".

This is my NES, “artistic angle style”.

Turn the NES upside down, you'll have to unscrew the top.

Turn the NES upside down, you’ll have to unscrew the top.

Next you'll have to unscrew the uppermost metal plate and remove it, you'll see which screws I mean. If unsure, watch the Youtube video.

Next you’ll have to unscrew the uppermost metal plate and remove it, you’ll see which screws I mean. If unsure, watch the Youtube video.

Next remove the screws holding the cartridge slot, make sure to remember where the longer screws are supposed to be and gently jerk it out from the Pin Connector (the place where the cartridge connects).

Next remove the screws holding the cartridge slot, make sure to remember where the longer screws are supposed to be and gently jerk it out from the Pin Connector (the place where the cartridge connects).

You'll be left with the motherboard in front of you. Now you'll have to turn the board upside down to access the other side of it. To do that you'll have to unscrew...

You’ll be left with the motherboard in front of you. Now you’ll have to turn the board upside down to access the other side of it. To do that you’ll have to unscrew…

The screws around the upper right corner. Screw them.

…the screws around the upper right corner. Screw them. Off.

And now you can turn the board around and begin to find the Lockout Chip.

And now you can turn the board around where you have yet another metal plate, but to lift off this plate you’ll have to…

But to take it off you'll have to firmly pull out the controller and power ports and make sure to mark which one that's the cable for controller 1 and which one is for controller 2.

…firmly pull out the controller and power ports and make sure to mark which one that’s the cable for Controller 1 and which one is for Controller 2.

And now you can simply lift it off with very little effort to see this marvellous image: the true innards of the system. I know, I'm such a geek. Can you spot the Lockout Chip?

And now you can simply lift it off with very little effort to see this marvellous image: the true innards of the system. I know, I’m such a geek. Can you spot the Lockout Chip?

It's this one, at the lower right of the board. It's labelled

It’s this one, at the lower right of the board. It’s labelled 3195A.

Now gently pull out the 4th pin from the left, like I've done in this picture. I used a small screwdriver but honestly it was easier to use a Wine Bottle Opener as when i fixed my brother's NES. I kind of twisted it around and twisted the pin cleanly off. Anyhow, now you can connect back the power cords and stuff and test if you're getting a blinking red light. If not, you've succeeded.

Now gently pull out the 4th pin from the left, like I’ve done in this picture. I used a small screwdriver but honestly it was easier to use a Wine Bottle opener as when I fixed my brother’s NES. I kind of twisted it around and twisted the pin cleanly off. Anyhow, now you can connect back the power cords and stuff and test if you’re getting a blinking red light. If not, you’ve succeeded.

... and a last optional, but strongly recommended part of this tutorial. Remember when Nintendo said that blowing the cartridges didn't work? Well, they were right. While it might initially remove dust from the connectors it will oxidize them at the same time, making them less able to connect properly for a good reading of the cartridge. Just pull it out...

... and a last optional, but strongly recommended part of this tutorial. Remember when Nintendo said that blowing the cartridges didn’t work? Well, they were right. While it might initially remove dust from the connectors it will oxidize them at the same time, making them less able to connect properly for a good reading of the cartridge. Just pull it out…

...and you're seeing this picture. Now just insert your brand new 3rd party connector...

…and you’re seeing this picture. Now just insert your brand new 3rd party connector…

... and you're done. You've region unlocked your NES and added a new pin connector.

… and you’re done. You’ve region unlocked your NES and added a new pin connector.

And here’s the Youtube Tutorial:

Now playing: Metroid II: The Return of Samus

250px-Metroid2_boxart

She’s back. After one of the most famous gender discoveries Samus Aran is on a new adventure to eradicate even more Metroids, this time with her gender known all along, and you’re the one that’s supposed to take her there.

The game plays as the first Metroid game, but with better controls, new weapons and power-ups etc. You start off choosing your save file. The save files are labeled as “Start 1”, “Start 2” and “Start 3” which confused me initially, but I quickly understood how to Erase a Save File (I chose Start 1 for simplicity’s sake) and start the game.

Now, I haven’t read the story behind the game yet, but judging by the self-explanatory status bar there are 40 (?) Metroids you’ll have to hunt down. The controls and mechanics of the game are obvious not only for old-time Metroid gamers but also for newbies.

The music so far is alright, having that creepy kind of tunes in the areas and the sound effects are typical for the Gameboy system.

Ugly fellas these Metroids, they've cross bred with something and are now... weaker.

Ugly fellas these Metroids, they’ve cross bred with something and are now… weaker.

It’s said to be a difficult game, and one particular gamer posted his own map in a post about the game (the game doesn’t provide a map, making it very difficult to navigate through):

Oh my Lord, what have I gotten myself into?!

Oh my Lord, what have I gotten myself into?!

You can find his post here: Link

I’ll update when I’ve reached certain milestones. So far I’ve killed about 8 Metroids, which shows that I’ve just started playing the game.

First image from Wikimedia.com, second from http://www.listal.com/viewimage/1464061

NES Carrying Case made by Fourty Four

I bought this case about 2 years ago. I’ve searched the Internet for more information about the case but so far I haven’t found anything about it. Also I’m interested about the collector’s value, to me it’s worth a lot because I like it, but I’d like to know the value never the less.

This is the carrying case. It says Nintendo in the front. One of the buttons doesn't work that well. There's a few scratches at the top and I noticed it's dusty.

This is the carrying case. It says Nintendo in the front. One of the buttons doesn’t work that well. There’s a few scratches at the top and I noticed it’s dusty.

Here's where the composit cables exit. See where it says Nintendo?

Here’s where the composit cables exit. See where it says Nintendo?

The opening at the left is for the power cable. Also it says Nintendo, 1991 and Forty Four, Made in Holland, Arnheim.

The opening at the left is for the power cable. Also it says Nintendo, 1991 and Forty Four, Made in Holland, Arnheim.

…aaaand the box when opened, with slots for NES games and a space for the unit at the right. It’s made out of cheap brittle plastic.

Does any of you know anything about this carrying case? Contrary to what people use to say Google hasn’t exactly been my friend.

Finished Disney’s Magical Quest 2: Starring Mickey and Minnie… without Minnie.

I’ve finally beaten the game. I don’t mean finally as in “finally, that game was so hard!” but finally as in “finally I have the motivation to beat the game when I remember I’m already at the last level.“.

It was challenging enough, at least in a “pick up and play”-way, and the bosses were tricky enough to beat. In my opinion Canvas-Face-Pete is by far the most difficult one to beat, followed by Cloudy-Face-Pete. But man does that cat (!!) have an ugly face!

Pete with his ugly face and a peg leg in a drawing made by Nelson Dániel at Deviantart.com

Pete with his ugly face and a peg leg in a drawing made by Nelson Dániel at Deviantart.com

I’ve already reviewed the game in my Top 10 SNES Games list and put it at #07.

Screenshots of the SNES game from Genkivideogames.com, I played the GBA version. Yay for portability!

Screenshots of the SNES game from Genkivideogames.com, I played the GBA version. Yay for portability!

I recommend the game for anyone that’s in for a light but solid platforming action. But I warn you, the flying squirrels in the woods level are a pain in the behind.

I’m a little bit sad that the only time you see Donald Duck is in the scene where you get your Vacuum-Cleaner powerup in the screen bottom right in the image above. Luckily you can play as Donald Duck, which happens to be my favourite Disney character because of his human side, in Disney’s Magical Quest 3. Unluckily that game wasn’t released outside of Japan. DARN IT!

HOLD IT! (Get the reference? Write a comment!)

The third game in the series was released for the Gameboy Advance. This means I’ll have to get both the first and third game for the GBA. Yay! But I wish they’d port Mickey Mania for the GBA as well, that game was awesome indeed!

I’ll update soon with a post about a retro item that I pride myself in owning and a post with a tutorial how to both region unlock your NES and replace the pin connector.

That’s it for now! (Get the reference? Write a comment!)