I swear, in all my years of researching various Lunar Series goods, I always seem to stumble across something new. I remember a couple of years ago finding a Studio Gonzo calendar online that had a piece of Lunar 2: Eternal Blue art in it that I had never seen before. I lost the auction, of course, and now it feels like the chance to see that art up close is lost to me forever. Then, not too long after that, a Nall pin crept up on Yahoo! Auctions, of which I also lost the bid war on. Now I see it floating around on Etsy for many multiple times the price. Though I can’t actually confirm if it is the same one, I cannot ever see myself spending $800 on a goddamn pin. I can barely bring myself to consider saving up money over the course of several months to potentially buy a complete Panzer Dragoon Saga for even less than that!
But one thing I learned about semi-recently was a Lunar: Silver Star Story auto demo disc for the Sega Saturn. I already knew about, and own, the Lunar: Eternal Blue auto demo for the Sega/Mega CD, but that one has had more information floating around online for longer. But an auto demo disc for Silver Star Story? That was something I knew little about and felt the need to acquire, thankfully for dollars in the very low double digits.
For those who are in the dark, an auto demo is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. It’s a demo, but instead of you playing it, it plays itself. I suppose in a way it’s like a trailer, but I feel like it is more akin to those videos that would play on arcade machines when no one was using them, just showing various bits of gameplay until you finally slammed in your quarters. In all my sleuthing, there seems to be surprisingly little talk about the auto demo discs that Sega put out back in the ’90s, so I can’t say for certain what these discs were used for. I can probably assume they were given to stores to play in kiosks to entice you to purchase said game. That being said, I don’t know how soon before the Saturn release of Lunar: Silver Star Story that this disc was released, but it was most likely in autumn of 1996.
Last year, I finally bit the bullet and bought a pair of Slayers laserdiscs, after having been hesitant of potentially starting a collection of the oversized movie discs for years. Because I knew if I got one, I’d want to get more. I told myself to stick to just the North American releases of Slayers, which is thankfully just six volumes; just the first half of the first season. They didn’t bother releasing the second half on laserdisc after the localization break, I guess. I had gotten Vol. 1 and 3, which was a nice start. And now recently, I was able to add Vol. 2 and 4 to the set. I don’t have a laserdisc player and I’m not sure if I ever will get one, but they’re still a really cool thing to have. I didn’t even know there were Slayers laserdiscs in North America until a couple of years ago. Now I just have to track down Vol. 5 and 6 and my set will be complete.
Of course, I would be lying if I said it was going to end there, hah. I love Slayers enough that I want all of the Japanese laserdics, too, although I told myself to only get box sets for the TV seasons and OVA sets, to make it more special. Although the movies never had a box set from what I can tell, and Slayers Gorgeous was the last one to get a laserdisc release. (No Premium, but that’s fine. I don’t really care for that one, anyway.)
The real problem, however, is telling myself to stop at just Slayers laserdiscs! I’ve opened Pandora’s Box with this one. I don’t know if I should just collect laserdiscs of anime series I really enjoy, or limit myself to North American releases. It’s conflicting because I love the covers of the Lodoss War and Rayearth Japanese laserdiscs, but ugh, there are so many of them. Limiting myself to North American laserdiscs for anime series I like would at least have a much smaller cap on how many I ultimately end up with. I don’t feel too guilty if I end up doing both, though. Yeah, laserdiscs are huge, but they’re also extremely thin. It’s really not much different than having a collection of vinyl records. Just that one has made a comeback and the other hasn’t. And, understandably, probably never will!
I’m going to go ahead and start this with saying that I’m about to delve into a few personal things. It may be more information than you were looking for, but it doesn’t change the fact that it is extremely relevant to what is going on with me. With that said; Anyone who has been following me may have noticed that I was putting out content rather regularly, but since have not for the past two months. I’ve even been posting rather sparsely on Instagram, which was a platform that I used to be fairly active on. I had tried to keep myself consistent with releasing something new every Monday, whether it was a blog post or a video. But I started to slip from this trend back in August, and then completely in September.
One of my favorite parts of old gaming magazines is the advertisements. Granted, that doesn’t mean that I’m particularly fond of all the ads that I see, but if it slaps on relevant artwork from the game, I’m definitely more drawn to it than if it uses something else entirely. That’s part of the reason why I tend to like Japanese magazine ads over North American ones. That’s why I wanted to share a collection of magazine advertisements from Beep! Mega Drive, a Japanese magazine that focused on, you guessed it; Sega’s Mega Drive, Mega CD, and Game Gear. This collection doesn’t contain every single ad that I have gathered together, as some are too visually similar or don’t have anything particularly noteworthy about them compared to other ads for the same game. But you’ll certainly see a variety of familiar titles as well as obscure ones.
Growing up, I had a strange concept of game releases in correlation to where we actually were in time. I was born in the early 90’s and as a result, associated the NES and SNES with most of that decade. Never mind that the console behemoths of the time were the PlayStation, Saturn, and N64. Those consoles weren’t relevant to me until the end of the decade. As far as my little mind was concerned, consoles didn’t come out until I discovered them. Might I have been more aware of what was going on during that time if I had looked through the dozens of gaming magazines that my brother had? Possibly, but they never really caught my eye until the early 2000s, and by that point a lot of the games in those magazines were already a decade old.
But that didn’t stop me from being fascinated by the contents of those pages. As well, I finally started looking at game magazines on store shelves that had news about games that were actually relevant. I went through a short phase around the age of 12 where I collected RPG previews, reviews, and advertisements in a school folder and carried it around with me everywhere. This also meant that I had dissected numerous gaming magazines of my brother’s (which he gave me permission to do), as I just needed to have that information with me at all times. I didn’t care about the stupidly high number of pages about fighting games, or the often lewd or grotesque ads aimed at teenagers. I just wanted that sweet information about RPGs that slipped me by in my youth. Why didn’t I simply use the internet? I did after certain discoveries, which is what ended this phase, but that’s a story for another day.
While there is more to my history with gaming magazines, I’ll cut to the chase by saying I recently stumbled upon hundreds of scans of old magazines, well preserved by passionate fans. Information from the Golden Era of RPGs just waiting to be delved into, to see how these games were received during their time of relevance. And naturally, I wanted to share the findings with those equally as enthusiastic about the subject as myself. So that is where we are now.
Occasionally, even I need a break from RPGs. I do enjoy plenty of other genres, but it just so happens that good old role-playing games are my absolute favorite that I love to play and talk about most of the time. Thankfully, I have a small selection of games from other genres whenever I feel the need for something different. Through the process of computer generated random selection, otherwise known as the Backloggery’s Fortune Cookie, the game I would play next was quickly determined.