Retrofest 7 was a one day only convention held inside the gym of a church in River Oaks, Texas. There was a five dollar entry fee to a small, yet cozy arena where you could buy and sell old video games. I managed to wrangle my friend Hermon so we could make the drive over there. There were a few items on my wanted list. One of those was a copy of Animal Crossing, a game I'd never played, but my girlfriend loves. I promised her I'd stream it on my Twitch channel. Oh, and I needed a new Gamecube controller, since mine died on me while I was attempting to perform a stream test with my Gamecube and capture equipment.
While at the convention, my mouth was salivating over all the cool games they had for sale. There were a pair of complete in box copies of Ultra's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Arcade Game. At one time I owned both games. I'm 100% sure I lost them both when my parents made me give my system away to my younger cousin after they bought me a Sega Genesis. After all, "Genesis does what Nintendon't!" There were a ton of complete in box Nintendo games, but I wanted those the most. I didn't even bother to ask the proprietor how much they cost, because I knew it would be an outrageous price.
As far as consoles there was a Sega Saturn for sale, a Nintendo Famicom, various special editions, including the Mountain Dew O.G. Xbox, and the red 25th anniversay Nintendo Wii, which I once owned and foolishly gave away to my ex-girlfriend. My heart lept for joy when I was briefly reunited with a Sega Saturn. I still own mine, but after years of it probably getting tossed around in a closet I doubt it would still run. Besides, I don't have any of the cords or controllers for it. Cords were something else I was looking for, specifically a Sega Dreamcast A/V cord. Again, looking to do a stream test, I realized I didn't have my Dreamcast A/V cable. I prided myself on having the same completed boxed Dreamcast, with two controllers and a VMU since that now historic date, 9/9/99. Alas, I can no longer say that.
There were various other miscellaneous items of note. One guy had a Funcoland exclusive Samsung GXTV, which was what Funco used to demo their video game systems. This thing right here. There was a NES ROB. Someone had an original copy of Night Trap. Some of the things weren't for sale, they were just there to display. I would have paid a king's ransom for that GXTV. I may have to break down one day and track down the gentleman selling a boxed Sega Saturn. I would love to play Virtua Cop and the original Panzer Dragoon again.
Few of the games on my want list were there. The ones that were either had outrageous price tags, or were too damaged for me to risk a hefty sum just for it not to work. The first copy of Animal Crossing I came across cost way too much. It didn't even come with the instructional manual or anything else. It was just the box and the disc. When the guy told me he wanted $49.00 for it, I almost had a reaction like Tom Nook when he sees that you've taken off your uniform. I obviously moved on. I would later find one for $39.00, then $35.00. The ones I found after that stayed around the $30.00 to $35.00 price range. When I did find one that was $25.00, it seemed a bit too scratched for my liking. Also, the guy who ran that booth did not come off like a nice person. I left the game there and felt that all was lost.
Alas, I noticed another part of the building, an alcove where they had more vendors. That's when I found the Random Smash Customs booth, and lo and behold they had a complete copy of Animal Crossing, including the manual and the original AC branded memory card, all for $19.99. It immediately became mine. The proprietor was super cool, too. I asked if he took PayPal and he whipped out his phone and I scanned his QR code and our transaction was complete. Easy-peasy. Just look at how beautiful it is! Look. At. It. Last thing on my list after that was to find a Gamecube controller. You should have seen me inspecting the controllers hard, as if I was Gordon Ramsay inspecting an underling's foie gras. Did the buttons react well? Did it make any internal noise when I shook it? Was there any finger cheese around the edges? No. It too became mine.
In closing, I had a lot of fun, and aside from one bad apple, everyone there was super chill. I met some indie game devs, including one working on a Spyro the Dragon meets Dark Souls type of game. I even got to run into an old high school buddy of mine, and a former co-worker from my time working at GameStop. It was a great day, and now I'm looking forward to next year. I promise I will take more money and buy way more stuff. Here is a small photo gallery of pictures I took with my Canon Rebel.