We've all heard about the games, how good they are, and how much they're worth. But what of the story of the collector? On how you must have felt when you've got your hands on that particular game that you wanted. Perhaps it wasn't very eventful, or perhaps it triggers a certain memory in your mind, takes you back to that moment, and triggers that warm feeling inside that makes you realize why you got into collecting in the first place. Well, in my case every video game that I have put into my collection has a story. I'm here to tell you of one: Lunar The Silver Star Story Complete for the PlayStation.
It was around 2006, at the science fiction convention I-CON at Stony Brook University in New York, then the largest convention in Long Island. It was my first time ever being into a convention, as I was merely 15 and my parents were sort of strict on letting me go to these kinds of gatherings (call them crazy, I know). After the run-in with the usual jock who just shouts "NERDS!!" to the cosplayers as he was leaving to his dorms, I ponder to what I think to be...well, at the time I didn't know what to think about it, other then excitement! We set foot into what was known as the trading hall, and there I saw...
Literally tons and tons of items, from various science fiction novels, to manga and anime, the place (at least to me), had it all! I could'nt believe my eyes as I smiled, looking around the various merchant stands as I simply could not grasp what I was seeing, it was like a dream come true. Finally, I stumbled across a merchant selling video games. And there it was, Lunar sitting on display, with a cheap price to boot! I set to buy it, but the merchant declined, stating that he was "saving it for a friend".
My heart sunk, I had wanted that game for years, reading it on video game magazines like EGM, even seeing the advertisement on it (with that Working Designs "Our Games Go To 11!" slogan that I like so much), and it's not like I knew many places that still sell PS1 games anymore (there really isn't any classic game stores on the island, well what I believe to be at the time anyway), so after trying to barter him with no success, went on to do the event they had over there.
I think I went to one of those anime shows, where I met someone whom I heard discuss games. After much discussion with him, I had to hurry back to the trading room, as they were about to close for the night and I wanted to see what else I could get from that video game merchant. As soon as I came by the place, I check my pockets (as a habit, I usually check to see if I have my cellphones etc.) only to realize I didn't have my cellphone! My heart sunk, and I grew of worry, my parents had just bought me a cellphone, and if I told them I lost it they would kill me! So I must've looked like an idiot freezing there, because the guy then said "well don't stare out like that we're closing what do you want?", and I told him about the phone, and that I need to call home to get a ride back. He said he'd let me use his phone after he calls up the guy he saved Lunar for. And then, the guy whom I've met at the anime show came, talking back to someone.
Turns out it was him that the merchant was keeping the game for! Not that I cared at the time, I needed that cellphone. He came and told me that when I left in a hurry I left it behind, and that he noticed after I left through the door. With a sigh of relief, I told him thank you so much, as going home with no phone would've surely ruin my weekend. The merchant told the guy, "Hey that kid wants that game I'm holding for you, you want to give it to him? He seems a bit distressed about his phone and we have another one at the shop you can grab", he goes "allright", then I was able to purchase the game; at a discount no less at 20$! Turns out he was the owner, and said that he just wanted to grab that game as it just came in from a trade, as he was a collector himself. I promptly thanked them both, and here in my hand was Lunar, the game of my dreams! In my hands!!
After that convention, I went the next year. But as I looked around, I never saw them again. I hope they didn't go out of business, but those are the things I wonder sometimes.