Game Purchase Story

often times when looking at someone‘s game collection, you can find a certain game that has some character to it, whether it be a price sticker from some small store, a cracked jewel case from moving multiple times with it, or some other unique story behind where they got it. these don’t always get talked about or shown off as much as actual collections (because some games have less of a story behind them than others), but some of these stories are more interesting than the games themselves! do you have a fun or interesting story behind any of the games in your collection?

one that comes to mind for me is Fire Emblem: Awakening. i had been looking forward to the new Fire Emblem as a fan of the series since playing the GBA one. i just assumed that i would be able to walk to any game store on the day of release and grab one, but there was some sort of issue with shipments/availability during the first months of release and most stores got very few copies?? you could download the games digitally but all of the wifi at my campus and dorm was notoriously bad (less than 50kbps) so downloading wasn't an option. i called around to various big chain stores at 10am until i found one Target on the edge of San Jose that had 2 copies, one of which had already been bought by the cashier that i was talking to, lol. they asked me for my name and told me they could hold it for a little while, but i had to pick it up soon. anyways, my classes that day had been cancelled for some reason, so i was able to pick up my copy and a breakfast burrito and play for 12 hours straight. thanks, Kevin from Target!

I have a bunch of these! Here are two I can think of right now:

Magic Knight Rayearth:
This was maybe only 5 years ago. I was at a game store in Culver City with some friends, which has kind of variable quality in terms of what's in there. They have their valuable games behind glass as most do, but they also have racks in the center of the store. On one rack there was Magic Knight Rayearth, just sitting out in the open with no price tag. The manual had the stickers still in it and everything. So I bought it up to the counter and asked, "so... how much is this?"

And the cashier went "let me just look that up for you," and I was like "well, here we go" assuming I was about to get a big ebay sticker price. And then she says "that'll be 15 dollars."

I tried to hide my feelings. The game was about $200 even then. "Yeah, I'll get this but I'll keep looking around," I said. Anyway, I bought it, and all my friends were wide eyed with horror. @Personasama was there and can confirm. After we got outside he was like "HOW MUCH DID YOU GET THAT FOR" and when I told him he started hitting me with the plush he bought (or maybe he already had the plush, I forget, either way he smacked me with it heh). Took it home and played it straight through and had a great time!!

Buster Bros:
The story is in this thread

but basically there was an old store called Games Plus, that I never saw or went to. But I knew of it because my favorite childhood game store, Knights Video Games in Fremont, CA, bought some of their stock when they went under. I got a LOT of import games (and especially turbo grafx/PCE games) that had Games Plus stickers on them, as well as a few american games like... magical chase (for $6). A bunch of my games have Games Plus stickers and it just sort of became part of my game life.

Anyhoo, 20 years later I was browsing a shop in Concord, CA, and I saw this copy of Buster Bros:

Games plus returns again!!! I'm probably not keeping it because like... turns out I already had a clean one. But some part of me wants to keep it for the memories, and just because of the oddity of finding games from the same defunct company in two different unrelated game stores 20 years apart?

@cera I get the sense you're probably too young to have gone to Games Plus while it existed, but it WAS in San Jose, so I wonder!!

@exodus#4330 yeah, i lived in rural norcal until the 2010s so that would have been before my time. my old video store (that also went under) sold and rented video games as well, and they even had a few CRTs with consoles set up where you could pay like $5-10 to play a game in the store, including multiplayer games. that shop was right next-door to the only pizza place in town which had a Neo-Geo 4 slot cabinet with Metal Slug, Bust-a-Move, and SamSho. let's just say: fridays after school in those two spots went WILD

That Magic Knight Rayearth story is the kind of thing I tell myself to keep me going in mom and pop videogame stores time after time. Have never had near that kind of luck though, what a get!

I got a disc only copy of Rule of Rose for $20. I found it using the gamestop website that let you search for store stock. There were 2 stores in SoCal that had a copy, so I went to Compton to get one. The other one was in like Van Nuys or Reseda… I tried to get it too but they couldn‘t find it. Anyways this was maybe 2010/2011? I’m pretty sure the game was still pretty valuable then, but according to PriceCharting disc only was going for ~$30 so maybe I didn't get away with a steal as much as I thought I did…

I bought a nice Sony PVM off cragslist for $30 back in 2015 I think. I could sell that for way more now O_o

and this year I actually paid a lot for this:


Car Battler Joe, a game I regret not buying during the many countless opportunities I had back when the game was still available at retail.

since we're not traveling, I figured I should take all the money I would have spent on vacationing and put it towards something I've been wanting for a while. I did have to cancel my trip to Midwest Gaming Classic after all, so the flight itself was already more expensive than what I paid for this.

@p3ters#4339 daaaaaang, that Rule of Rose is a steal compared to now!

and i feel you, i've definitely been trying to pick up copies of games that have been on my list for a while now that i've been cooped up inside with nothing but time to play games.

@robinhoodie found two rule of roses while working at an electronics recycling place!!

I found a copy of Korg DS for the NDS at a random Half Price books. I couldn‘t belive it since I had a copy a long time ago but lost the cartridge in a move. rarer than hens’ teeth.

at that same half price books there was also a Gameboy copy of Race Drivin', an early Argonauts 3D game! I cannot believe I didn't get it.

Both CIB. I got Kuon CIB for $6 from a Gamestop years and years ago when they first had the system that would tell you what games where is what store.

This is actually my game buying story. I have probably visited every Gamestop in New York City over the last 10 years because of this feature on their website. It started by me chasing down copies of Twisted Metal Black Online. Which is basically a bonus disk that never saw full retail release but got packaged with PS2 Ethernet adapters or on later Greatest Hits versions of Twisted Metal Black. I wanted multiple copies because you can set up a LAN version of the game with those and like, Twisted Metal Black, really beloved game for me. Anyways, because I knew I could track down just about any game, and because in my early days of being an adjunct I often had to commute 3 hours by subway to teach one 3 hour class, I would make the trip home an adventure of listening to my iPod, stopping at various Gamestops to nab PS2 and Xbox games I had missed as I really was out of gaming that generation. This continued into even just last year where I was rounding out my VIta collection by making a journey of going to far flung Gamestops, walking around strange neighborhoods, going to funky local bakeries, riding bus routes I had never ridden, and just generally taking in the city I love. I've been much more on top of the current generation of games (also Covid), and sadly I feel like theres going to be less and less reason for me to make those kind of trips.

Anyways, here is one of my favorite finds from those wanderings. Enroute to Gamestop next to a Target on the East River, I would always stop at this Zapatista mural.


I remember that Fire Emblem release well too. Most major retailers had huge shipment delays. I was a college freshman & working at a mall Hot Topic when it came out. Unsurprisingly, Hot Topic employees and GameStop employees got along real well. Every day, before my shift, I would go into the smaller GameStop (this mall had two for some reason) and ask if they had my pre-order yet.

This nice guy behind the counter always said, "sorry man, hopefully soon." That same guy came into Hot Topic during my shift one day & I helped him find a My Chemical Romance 7" single he had been looking for all month, but no other sales associate had any info. He was like "thanks so much, I really hope we get those Fire Emblem games in soon for ya."

The next day I came in & that same guy was behind the counter. He practically screamed across the store when I waked through the entrance "DUDE WE FINALLY GOT IT, COME HERE LET ME RING YOU UP!!!!" & he gave me multiple high fives while I was making my purchase.

I also have story as to why I always went to that GameStop instead of the bigger one at the mall. A year prior, Harvest Moon: A New Beginning had just come out. I had pre-ordered it at the bigger GameStop just because it was closer to my store. When I went to pick it up, the guy at the register was like "don't you play games for adults?" & I just shrugged and got real sad. Somehow I worked the nerve to ask if they had the pre-order stuffed animal that comes with the game, and the guy had no idea what I was talking about.

So I ran over to the smaller GameStop where I knew most of their staff because they shopped at my store a lot. I asked them if they had the pre-order stuffed animal because they other GameStop didn't know about it and he pulls out the most adorable stuffed Yak I've ever seen & throws it at me. Then he's like, "we only have Yaks but you can have another one if you want because you're the only other person besides our entire staff who pre-ordered this game." Everyone who worked at that small store was a truly cool & kind human so I hope they're doing well wherever they are.

i got a copy of haunting ground in a trade i did with a buddy at work where i traded him a bunch of common ps1 stuff. he threw in the romancing saGa remake and strat guide too. what a guy.

@exodus#4330 lol god this story ffff

I think it was Mathew Kumar, Patrick Miller, you and me there? I remember because Pat bought the military-camo Gameboy Micro I was considering getting at the previous store we went to before the Magic Knight Rayearth shop. I was hitting you with a bag containing an Xbox copy of Shenmue 2, Panzer Dragoon Orta, Gun Valkyrie and Red NInja, because I just got an Xbox original and was looking to pick up all the Sega games and also Red Ninja because there wasn't Otogi there. Also it was probably 2012 because it was the shops on the way to Reverge Labs where I were still working at the time?

Anyway gfgggh I was trying so hard not to scream WHAT!!!! in the shop. Brandon was playing it super cool, trying to pretend he was only slightly interested so he wouldn't arouse any suspicion from the cashier. What a steal, what a caper

The best GameStop get I ever walked into was probably Dokapon Kingdom for Wii for $17.99 when it was worth $100+, when they all still had a bunch of used Wii games but nobody wanted them anymore.

A fun retail story I just remembered yesterday:

When the PlayStation came out in 1995 the demo disc pack-in had a one-level demo of Jumping Flash! I was very obsessed with. Preorders were barely a thing in 1995 but I pre-ordered it at a Software Etc. (one of the chains that eventually got rolled up into GameStop).

I walk in the day it comes out and the guy behind the counter barks SNES OR GENESIS at me.

I'm like, what?


So I say something like, "well, neither, I'm here to pick up Jumping Flash! for PlayStation."

He proceedes to dig around under the counter and in boxes grumbling, finds it, checks me out.... All the while upbraiding me for daring to come buy a different game on Madden release day.

I think I bought the last copy of Dokapon Kingdom in NYC. I traveled an hour from my job to get to a store in the Bronx, had the complete box in my hand when I see the cashier on the phone coming over to the Wii section, telling someone on the other end that they have the game but they don't have the box. I show them the box in my hand and smile, they then have to tell the person on the other line that they just sold the game. Got it for $30 I believe. Sometimes you just gotta roll the dice.

Probably my best game find was when I was a kid in highschool. I‘d go to garage sales quite a bit and this one must have owned a video store. Bought about 50 NES games for $1 each. Some were even in the box with manuals. I’ve still got most of them. Here's one of them.

I really miss those days. Not so much just getting games cheap, but being able to go and find games in the wild, not the internet.

@Personasama oh right, you hit me with a bag of stuff. where am I getting this plush idea from!? I did appreciate you not blowing my cover in the store as I tried to play it cool!

@hellomrkearns you can still find games out in the wild, just usually not that many. Flea markets are still pretty good for it, though there are people out there HUNTING for this stuff which makes it not so fun for a casual browser like myself. I still find good stuff that the experts miss though!

I also was reminded of this experience. Basically my friend messaged me (in 2017) that a guy was selling a really good laserdisc player on a forum but they needed to be in the bay area to pick it up. I decided this was as good a time as any to get into laserdiscs, and went and got the thing. I believe it was $180 and I wound up with a high end LD player they only made 500 of and ~120 laserdiscs, mostly anime and japanese movies. Oh and my giant laserdisc sign that he got from a video store.

I asked why he was getting rid of it all, and he said he was moving to japan with basically a backpack. We talked about what we did and I mentioned games, and said - you're not getting rid of any game stuff, are you? And he said actually yeah, if I wanted to come back in a week after he could pack it up. So in this thread you discover what I bought for $100. the thread is broken as is typical with older stuff on twitter.

These maracas alone were going for $100 at the time, because it's the US box.

@exodus#4471 :scream::scream::scream:

This twitter thread is basically Game Deal Fanfiction of the highest order. Borderline criminal.

I've had a few like this. if you wanna scroll for ages through another broken thread:

That main purchase, a neo geo home system with 7 games, two controllers, a duo with 20-ish games, and a few sega CD titles including Shining Force CD set me back $350. pretty good!

Now I'm getting irritated!

Yeah I think you can find things in the wild still if you are either

(A) Incredibly Lucky

(B) Religiously scour every store/flea/pawn/HPB whenever you have the chance and like, 1-in-100 you'll get something great

I am not A and I don't have the time or inclination for B so I don't really end up with anything TRULY great, but I've found some neat stuff here and there. Just happens sometimes, if you keep looking, but yeah... Going to used game shops now, I always have hopes but even if I end up finding something I personally think is "good", it's usually something I don't need.