Flea Market Haul…

Flea Market Haul… after the break…

Flea Market Haul…

INTRO

Why do I collect PC games? What’s in it for me? CD-ROMs are not gravel; They wear out over time. I’ve had CDs go “bad” on me. The first example that springs to mind is that an Ultima VIII CD went bad on me once and that was years ago with no prevailing factor involved. It’s not like I threw the disk into a tub of water or accidentally used it as a beer coaster or placed it in the microwave and heated it for an hour or used it as a throw toy to entertain the pets.

Even if the CDs or DVDs don’t wear out, then the latest operating system becomes incompatible with the game. Microsoft doesn’t care (and rightly so, depending upon your perspective) that you legally bought your game twelve years ago. If your game doesn’t work with Windows 7 or 8… Tough luck, kid. Enjoy the memories while they last… Or get an emulator… Or keep a spare computer around that has an older operating system.

Even if the CD is still good and even if it can still run flawlessly on an updated operating system… Do I even have the time to play these games anymore? Shouldn’t I be old and crotchety, huddled over a pile of financial paperwork or huddled over an automobile engine or outside watering the lawn or weeding a garden or planning a cook-out or cleaning out my clothes closet or… Something “important”? Games are for kids, right?

Last week’s purchase of “Hidden and Dangerous 1” broke a 4 week drought of good deals on PC games. What would happen this week and, even if I found a really great deal… What’s in it for me?

GAMES THAT I BOUGHT –

  • CIVILIZATION III: LIMITED EDITION (TIN CASE)…
  • HOMEWORLD (BIG BOX)…
  • WARWIND 2: HUMAN ONSLAUGHT (BIG BOX)…
  • RAILROAD TYCOON 3 (SMALL BOX)…
  • SEA DOGS (BIG BOX)…
  • AGE OF SAIL 2 (BIG BOX)…
  • STAR CRUSADER (BIG BOX)…

All for $12 dollars.

Yeah, it was that kind of a week. The vendor whom I bought “Hidden & Dangerous 1” from last week was back and, as the expression goes, was ‘loaded for bear.’ That was OK because I go to the flea market prepared to pay for one, too (not an actual bear, mind you… Let’s keep things legal). In reality, they were unloading the collection of someone who had passed away a few years ago, which is unfortunate. In a world where the guy lives and I don’t get this amazing deal and a world where he dies and I do get the deal… Let the guy live. Sure, I miss out on a deal but the guy lives, the guy’s family is elated and the world is a much better place as a result of it. I’ve got plenty of games already.

Having written all of that, whomever this fine individual was kept most of their games in good condition. The weak link in the bunch when it came to the condition of product was the Homeworld big box, which was a somewhat crumpled big box that only contained the jewel case (with game) and nothing else. Homeworld is a nice title, though, and now I have the perfect “throw-away” copy should I need one. All the other titles are in decent to wonderful condition. The Civilization III collector’s tin is missing an item and the tin is a bit bent but… Well, it’s a tin case. TIN. CASE. Do I sound like the cat who is unabashedly enamored for five straight hours with a cardboard box? I’m pretty certain that I do.

None of the games are instant gems for me but whenever you can find a game in your genre that you haven’t played before, then it’s a good purchase. I’ve heard of some of the games before (I remember seeing Star Crusader either early this year or late last year as a dirty jewel case only) and I’m sure that I’ve run across all of the games while researching the Internet on assorted gaming history.

GAMES THAT I DIDN’T GET –

The vendor that gave me the very wonderful deal had mostly modern military titles and, well, if you’ve read the blog, I’m not huge on the modern military genre. Some men like blondes, others go for brunettes. To each their own. If modern military computer gaming makes you happy in all of your NC-17 places, then don’t let me stop you.

The vendor also had some other titles that didn’t fall into modern military but I didn’t take them:

  • Phantasmagoria (Big Box)
  • The Sims 1 (Big Box)
  • Alpha Centauri (Big Box)
  • Some Interactive CD concerning the TV show “Saturday Night Live” (Big Box)
  • Baldur’s Gate 1 w/ expansion (Small Box)
  • Star Wars Galaxies & A Galaxy Divided (Both small boxes)
  • Age of Kings II (Big Box)

There might have been a few other titles that I didn’t put on that list but, trust me, I picked through all of them. Now, before you put your fist through the monitor for me passing up Alpha Centauri, here’s the reason why: No disc. Not only that but the collector must have used the box for not only Alpha Centauri but also it’s expansion, Alien Crossfire, because there was Alien Crossfire material in the box as well! [Insert blood-curtling scream of frustration here]. Oh well. It’s not like I stepped on a landmine.

From other vendors:

  • Star Wars: Battlefront II
  • Diablo II
  • Starcraft (in some repackaged DVD case)

Remember the vendor about 2 weeks back that kept telling me to wait? He was back but, this time, the items were out in the open. Despite the $5 dollar price tag (which is cheap for him), I already had the titles but I told them that his products were in excellent condition (they were, some of them looked like he had gone back in time, picked them off of the store shelf and then handed them to me) and the prices were awesome (which, for him, they were). As frustrating as it was 2 weeks ago, there’s no reason to have hard feelings over such things.

Every year, there is a vendor that comes to the flea market for a couple of weeks that I have dubbed “The Tarp Guy” because he lays everything out on a tarp and he mostly sells older games, consoles and the like. If I remember correctly, he sold me a King’s Quest VII, Siege of Avalon and Civilization 3 Complete. Unfortunately, his selection was not as robust as in previous years: He still hasn’t sold off the Warhammer Shadowed Horned Rat title and the last copy of Siege of Avalon from last year. He had a Sid Meier’s Pirates small box (he might have had that as well from last year but I can’t remember) that, foolishly, I didn’t look at because my copy has a flawed manual that accidentally duplicated a section of pages without providing for the ones that went missing. Of course, I’m beginning to sound like an anal-retentive PC game collector, stressing over such things (“Page 2 of my manual is slightly creased! NOOOOO!!!!!”). Therefore, I will stop now.

Other items… There was a boxed Atari 800XL computer going for $65 dollars. Nope. Didn’t even look inside. There was also a boxed Atari XE Game System (XEGS) that was missing the light gun. I didn’t even ask for a price. If the me of 5 years ago read that today, I’m pretty sure the me of 5 years ago would be putting a fist through the monitor in a desperate attempt to reach across both time and the Almighty Internet itself to strangle the me of today. I apologize, me of 5 years ago… I did not intent to offend my prior me. However… The desire to even ask for a price was not there. I don’t know. Maybe if it’s there next week I’ll at least ask about it.

CLOSING THOUGHTS –

Wow. Homeworld was a shade disappointing but, otherwise… Most impressive. Very most impressive. Highly most impressive. My fingers hurt from all of this typing.

I can’t wait for next week already. Bring it on.

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