Tomy Lupin LSI Tabletop

Tomy released some really great handhelds back in the 80s, and Lupin is no exception. Adorning the same name as the famous animation over here in Japan (wonder if there were lawsuits), you have to shoot your way through mazes in a bloody violent orgy (the ‘bloody violent orgy’ is dependent on imagination). ?

tomy-lupin-tabletop-handheld

A few details:

  • Release – exact year unknown, but in the 80s sometime
  • Power – 4x C size batteries
  • Display Type – VFD
  • Price then – Unknown
  • Price now – $25 – $90

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The VFDs (vacuum fluorescent display) really stand the test of time very well. I am always impressed when I get one that plays just like the day that it was made.

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Again, they didn’t seem to catch on that the controls are better with the D-Pad on the left. ?

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In use the Tomy Lupin is one of my favourite Tomy games so far (not that I’ve played a heap of them though). The controls are very responsive and the mix of key grabbing, maze navigating, and pure shmup madness are a winning combo. They don’t usually go cheap, but it’s one definitely worth grabbing if you’re into VFD based handhelds. ?

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Nintendo Playing Cards – No screens or controllers included

Before Nintendo was known for its video games, it was known for its games of the analogue variety. The following post is about two sets of Nintendo playing cards I stumbled across in two separate junk stores here in Japan. ?

Set One:
You may have seen the modern day Mario playing cards that are still being sold today, but the cards pictured bellow are considerably older – how old I’m not exactly sure, but judging by people I have spoken to here, they may be as early as the 70s. If anyone reading this post has any idea I would love to hear from you though.

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This particular pack is still sealed, and was bought in a store that has very little to do with video games at all. It was a very lucky find, as if these were in a store that had any regular game hunters coming through, they would not have lasted a day!

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Set Two:
This set also released by Nintendo, but of Irem’s Hammerin’ Harry is another quite early set (I think). Judging by the graphics printed on the cards they may have been released at around the same time as the Famicom version of the game, but again I am not sure at all. If so, these may have been released in the early 90s. I do know of older cards which have the exact same black plastic case. If anyone knows hard facts though, please link me to sites – I’d really appreciate it.

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This set is still factory sealed too. Unbelievable that people wouldn’t even crack them open!

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I was very lucky to find these two sets, specially for the prices that I did. ?

************************************************************************

An Update – March 24th

After making this post I decided to go on the hunt for more of these Nintendo cards. I decided to search outside the areas where Nintendo gear would normally be, and was lucky enough to find an auction selling a bulk lot of 6 completely sealed! Completely amazed I snapped them up quick. The photos bellow show you what I got.

Click to enlarge
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NeoGeo Pocket – Metal Slug on the toilet!

I know that many of my fellow gamers out there like to pamper themselves by taking long luxurious breaks on the toilet. Don’t be ashamed of it guys, I know I’m not. But having to sit a long time on the toilet does become somewhat tedious (can see you nodding in agreement).

Well your toilet breaks need not be tedious anymore! As now you can run’n’gun while you dump’n’splash. 😀

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The NeoGeo pocket comes in two main types – the Pocket, and the Pocket Color. The ‘Color’ of course means that it sports a color screen. The NeoGeo pockets seem to come in a wide range of colour schemes as well. The consoles I have pictured bellow don’t even touch the tip of the iceberg in terms of colours available.

The one bottom left is actually a Black&White version by the way.

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To make the purchase slightly more confusing for those of you after Pocket Colors, there are actually two versions to choose from. The picture you see bellow shows you both types. The console with the slightly recessed screen (the bottom one) is the newer version of the two. This newer version is slightly smaller and has the recessed screen I mentioned, but in use it doesn’t seem to make much difference.

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Another way to tell the difference between the two is the word ‘color’ written in the top right hand corner of each unit. The ‘color’ that is written in cursive is the newer version.

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NeoGeo Pocket thumbsticks kick serious arse! In my opinion there isn’t anything that touches them, and when I have used emulation to play NGPC games this is the thing that I always miss. It uses a very clever micro switch system similar to the NeoGeo-CD control pads that has a very reassuring click when moved in any direction. They wanted to have that arcade kind of feedback on a handheld and they pulled it off beautifully.

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When first turning the NeoGeo Pocket Color on (without a game inserted) you are greeted with the following screen. When I first got one, the horoscope section read “you will thoroughly enjoy toilet time from now on”, and holy crap (pun intended) it was right! 😀

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Like most handhelds of the era the NeoGeo was no exception in that it can support linked play. Unfortunately, due to being an antisocial introvert, I do not have any friends to test it out with, but I did buy a few of the link cables just in case. The only trouble is that the cable may not be long enough to link two players in a public toilet.

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I only have a few games at the moment unfortunately…

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NeoGeo Pockets are small machines that I can whole-heartedly recommend picking up if you have the chance. I am always on the look out for more as they make great presents. Just make sure you give them a quick smell before purchasing – I know where mine gets the most use after all. 😀

P.S. Sorry for the unnecessary toilet references in this post. At least if in the future you buy one from me, you know where it was tested.

NEC PC Engine Multitap

There comes a time in every PC Engine owners gaming life when they would like to have more than one controller plugged into their console. Why have only one port to begin with NEC?

When the time comes, this is what you’ll need: The NEC PC Engine Multitap.

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There isn’t a great deal to talk about when it comes to multitaps. You plug them in, and then suddenly that single controller port becomes 5 controller ports – that pretty much sums it up.

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Being that Hudson and NEC built the PC Engine as a collaborative effort, we should talk about the game series that arguably gave Hudson the most recognition, and also the game series that probably pushed most people to buy a multitap for their PCE – the Bomberman series. If anything, these 3 HuCards are the reason to buy a multitap.

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PC Engine multitaps can be picked up for around $15, but if buying loose they can be had even as low as one third of that. Well worth investing in. 🙂

PC Engine Memory Base 128

Misspent youth? Need memory? Well this won’t help with that I’m afraid, but it will help with game save storage. ?

The PC Engine Memory Base 128.

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Games for the PC Engine in the first few years didn’t really require a huge amount of storage space for game saves, but by the mid 90s that all began to change. Games were requiring more and more storage, and also collections were building, thus the issue of storage was becoming something that PC Engine owners were very mindful of viagra en andorre.

You’d think the logical choice would be to increase the internal storage within the consoles themselves, but the PC Engine Duo for example had only 2kb of built in memory with which to store save files, and as there were games released that could pretty much fill that whole thing something had to be done.

That’s where this guy comes in.

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One interesting thing is how this connects to the console. As you can see above, basically it is connected between the controller and the controller port on the console itself.

And now to a piece of advice for buyers. As I’m sure you’re aware the unit runs on batteries, and these batteries actually sit inside a housing within the Memory Base 128 itself, they don’t sit in the actual body of the unit directly. This means that if the little housing is not with the unit when you buy, you will not be able to put batteries in the device. The picture bellow shows in more detail what I mean.

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In use this device is a little on the tricky side. First of all, the game itself needs to be able to support the device, and any saving or loading of data will be done within the specific menu with the game – again only if it supports it. Nothing like the options of today that’s for sure.

Anyway, if you own a Duo and play many games that require large saves then this device is a must. Sorry it won’t help with your misspent youth, but you can’t have everything. ?

One last note. The Duo-RX did somewhat rectify the issue by including 192kb of internal storage. Just remember that if you want the poor-man’s RX (the Duo) then this is probably something that you will need to buy.

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