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Stories from the Book of Genesis Vol. 03

Before we get to the fateful day of my fifteenth birthday, we need to go back a bit farther.

I was ALWAYS into playing my Genesis. Even when I was at an age where most kids my age sold their old systems to get the newer ones every five years. It was a thought that never crossed my mind, and when I heard of some other kid at school doing it, it almost disgusted me. “But you’ll wish you could be playing those games in a few years”

“Shut up fat ass!” they’d say.

*Sigh*

Anyway, what I’m saying is that I always played my Genesis. There wasn’t a year that went by that I didn’t get at least ONE new Genesis game. That was until I got a N64 for cheap in ’98. The N64 was a GREAT machine, and I loved it so much I actually put away my Genesis for the first time since I got it for Christmas in ’92. I’m not ashamed though. There were too many systems to play, and not enough TVs. It happens. For a time, I didn’t get any new Genesis games. That all changed when a new store opened up across the freeway: Funcoland.

My brother and I learned about Funcoland from the huge ad in the Sunday paper. We went to the place, and were just amazed by how much old stuff they had, especially in such a small area. We started to look over the entire store: systems we’ve only read about, games we’ve only heard of, now being seen. That was all fine and good, but the real reason this new holy land was so significant was the rack near the back of the store.

More specifically, the Sega Genesis rack.

My brother and I just went nuts looking at all the old games.

“Hey, we rented this once!”

“Woah, we traded this in years ago!”

“Hey, we don’t have a box for this!”

“What? Bomberman was on Sega?”

“Hey! It’s that old Ghostbusters game Joe used to have!”

Kid Chameleon!”

That last one stopped us. Kid Chameleon was a game we had bought brand new years ago, and played a lot, until we traded it in because we were tired of not being able to beat it. I mean c’mon, “Over 100 levels!?” Who has time for that?

After much debating (BUT MOM, WE USED TO HAVE IT! PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE). We finally went home with our cherished prize. We dug out the Genny, and put in Kid Chameleon. As we played it, it seemed that some sort of feeling overtook us. We eventually shut off Kid Chameleon, but instead of unplugging the system, we put in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. When Sonic and Tails jumped out of the title screen, we got the same happy feeling that had overtaken us back when we had first played it at Christmas ’92.

Soon we were back at Funcoland, this time with more money. We grabbed a price sheet this time (man do I miss those), and went to town buying up the Genesis rack. First up were games we used to own (which wasn’t hard, we’ve only traded in something like five, ever), then it was on to games we had only rented years ago. Soon, we were content. Every once in awhile we’d stop in to see what was available. Both of us soon were buying for just cheaper games, or games we read about online (which had only recently become a part of out lives). We even got our friend Joe to come in and buy old games that his brother had sold years before. Soon, we were content on our games.

Now comes the story. July twelfth, 2002. I wake up fifteen years old, but don’t really feel it. I mostly just play games for a few hours, eat breakfast, and go out to Cleveland to eat at Muldoons, an Irish alcoholic beverage and eating establishment (AKA a bar) for lunch. After that, we start just driving around Cleveland, looking for garage sales (this was a rare year, where my birthday was on a Saturday). The streets were mostly dead, with any sales being mostly either tools or just old arts and crafts that may as well been burned or tossed in the local landfill.

As we head back towards home, I ask to go to Funcoland, which by this time has been bought out by Gamestop, and things had changed. Long gone were the price sheets and the Sega Saturn displays. These were the days of most of the older games being stuffed in the middle of the store. Having just played Legend of Dragoon for PlayStation, I had recently become interested in finding a good RPG for the Genny.

I ask the clerk, who seemed a bit happy that I wasn’t asking for Grand Theft Auto. He took me over to the rack where I was already looking, and couldn’t find anything. I asked about the more expensive games behind the counter.

*Gasp* “Who told you about that?”

“Um, I don’t know”

“That’s an employee secret!”

“But then how do the customers get the games?”

“Well, we get it out of here when it’s needed”

“Well, then wouldn’t a customer know it existed?”

“Um….. Hey, that Funcoland in Mentor could have a copy for you, let me call!”

He quickly grabbed the phone and dialed. The clerk next to him to just stared at him like he were an idiot. Soon, I was told that the Mentor store had a copy, but it was $30. I suddenly felt discouraged. I figured we weren’t going to get it, so I went and grabbed Out of This World from the rack, just because I had heard it was good (and it was, but hard as hell). That cost me $3. Right before I left, my mom told me she’d buy me the game, but only because it was my birthday. I start getting excited. I tell the clerk to tell Mentor to hold on.

We go flying down to Mentor, which is a bit of a ride away, and soon land at Funcoland. This place is obviously bigger, and holds more of almost everything you could possibly ever name. I go right to the counter. Apparently, one of the clerks was hiding the game away, so he could take it home that night. This became apparent when he was so pissed off when I asked for it. Right when I walked up to him, I heard the dreaded “Can you hold on, honey? I need to leave the store a moment” from my mom. So I grabbed the game, and started moving towards the Genesis rack.

Damn, did this Mentor shop have a better selection or what? Most of the games here were boxed! Hell, they even had games with their respective instruction manuals! (Yeah, we were an easily amused bunch at times). I was content on just getting the RPG, but my brother then grabbed a copy of Talespin (another game we used to own, but traded for obvious reasons). I told him it was worse enough that we were spending so much on one game. He argued that it was my birthday, so it was fine. Convinced, I start looking seriously for a game. That’s when I saw it. McDonalds Treasure Land Adventure! A game that we had rented when it first came out ,and suddenly disappeared soon after. I grabbed it up. My brother then reached for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, another game we once rented.

“Vic, that game sucked.”

“No It didn’t!”

“Yes it did. We beat it 100 times, it’s not even worth the few bucks, just put it down.”

“Well I want it!”

“Whatever”

By this time, out mom had walked backed in, and was ready to buy the game. She wasn’t exactly happy when she saw we got $15 more worth stuff. But she simply just paid for the games, and we left. We went back home, and right to the basement, where the Genesis was sitting. We sat and played our new haul. Soon, we eagerly booted up the game that was the main reason for our journey:

Shining Force II.

My god. The classic intro was good enough. My brother and I just stared at the screen. What a game we found! It was so good, we moved the Genesis to my room, and moved the N64 back to the basement, where it has remained to this day.

Later that day, I looked at GameFaqs for information on our new acquisitions. Many members of the message boards claimed that Shining Force II was one of the rarest games for the system! This made me feel better, until I read a few posts down.

“No, it’s not that rare. It’s just expensive on eBay because people are idiots!”

“Show me proof.”

www.Digitpress.com.”

I clicked on the link, and was changed forever. I followed the smart GameFaqs member instructions, and found the Genesis rarity list. I was a bit let down when SFII was only a two, but when I checked the other games I had bought, I felt better about my haul (Especially the Ronald McDonald game: An R6!). I read over the list, and soon had memorized most of the harder to find games. It changed me. I was searching for games based on rarity along with fun factor, and it made the whole experience better, the experience of my Genesis. And I owe it all to Shining Force II.

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