Game Market 1983 - Chapter 28
I, who was leisurely browsing the bookshelves, let out a smirk after I heard that comment from the student.
‘Mmm~ Well, he’s not totally wrong I guess.’
The curiosity of the other students were perked him, and they started to barrage him with even more questions. One student looked around the bookstore, and he inspected the games released for the Family.
“There’s no game like that here?”
“I told you already that it wasn’t officially released…”
“What the hell do you mean? Then how did your cousin get a hold of an unreleased game?”
“That’s… He said he bought it at a second hand store?”
“He bought an unreleased game from a second hand store!? Just what kind of game is it? What’s the genre?”
“My cousin said that it was a new genre that he’d never seen before. The theme is a fantasy setting, but the characters inside the screen are standing on top of some kind of chessboard map. You’re suppose to move the characters around to fight the enemy. The problem is…”
“He says that the data inside the game will restart when his character dies…”
“What? What are you talking about?? You’re saying that if a character dies, then it’s gone forever?”
In response, one student, who was listening to the story, scoffed, and he remarked:
“Then you can just turn the device off and on or load back into a checkpoint.”
“Apparently that specific character disappears even after a load…”
“What did you say!? Then how about starting from the beginning?”
“That’s not possible either. If all of the characters are dead, it’s game over. And the game is unplayable after that.”
“Crazy f*cking… Who’s the developer? They’re making money off of a game like this? They should be protested against.”
“He said that there were no mentions of the developers, so there was no customer center to complain to. Like I’ve said before, that game was bought in a second hand store in its bare disk form without the cartridge. Plus, its price might seem peculiar; he said it was 1000 Yen…”
“1000 Yen? It’s that cheap? No way. Is your cousin a liar?”
“He’s not that type of person. Anyways, he lost all of his characters, and he suffered a game over… So recently, he has been going around the second hand stores to search for a game named Dragon Emblem…”
“Phew~ That’s amazing. Perhaps we should search for that game too?”
Soon after the students stormed out of the bookstore, the store owner shouted in a loud voice to them:
“You rascals!! A book store is a place of serenity!!”
As soon as I stepped out of the bookstore, I watched the students running through the streets and closed my book. The mystical game that not anyone could play: Dragon Emblem…
The student’s explanation from a while ago was pretty accurate.
This game that required you to move your characters in a fantasy setting and fighting the enemies within would be called a simulation RPG genre in the future.
The title named Dragon Emblem was my first ever creation after the time slip. And… it currently boasted the highest difficulty in the history of games.
Of course, I made it so that it was possible to beat the game. However, it was impossible to clear the game on the first try. As soon as one character died, Dragon Emblem would turn into a game that would be impossible to beat…
I was able to distribute this to the market without going through Mintendo’s cartridge production factory. How was that possible?
First of all, I didn’t utilize the standard supply chain. Like the student said before, I passed this game to the second hand stores at a base price of 500 Yen per unit, which was more economical compared to other games.
And the shops would double the base price into 1000 Yen when they sell it to the customers.
In the weekends, I sold 2~3 cartridges to each of the bustling game shops in the middle of Osaka. After spreading about 200 units of the title, I quietly waited for the word of mouth to go around.
There was no need to hurry. I was also busy working. Once in awhile, I would visit these shops and check if any copies of Dragon Emblems were sold; however, other than that, I payed no attention.
The result of slowly spreading Dragon Emblem between the places was… A strange urban legend that started to go around.
-A fantasy game that boasted a satan level difficulty…-
On the weekends, I sold the slowly gathered cartridges to second hand game shops. If someone asked how I got my hands on a Mintendo game cartridge… You didn’t think I threw away all of the unsold products of Triangle Soft, did you?
Starting with the reputation that Junpei brought, Final Frontier was starting to receive great responses from the players. Junpei was one of the most respected reviewers that the players listened to. No matter how spectacular a prequel to a game was, he critiqued what needed to be critiqued. He didn’t even give Dragon Warrior 2 a perfect score.
As a person like that gave a 36/40 review score to this new game, it piqued the interest of players, and that caused them to buy the game. As a result, the responses were immensely positive.
The Final Frontier that had sold 3,000 units in the first week, after being publicized in the FamiTong, sold over 30,000 units every week, after one month had passed. Mr. Kawaguchi, who had returned from his fishing hiatus to the ocean, called in with a shaking voice at this unbelievable situation.
“Mr. Kang, what is going on?”
“That’s why I told you to have a little more patience. A good game will definitely be recognized by the players~ The word of mouth has started to go around, so it should sell fast, like when a sail is holstered onto a boat. You should also send a request to Mintendo before the stock runs out.”
“Thank you very much. Please stop by my office when you visit Tokyo as I have many things that I want to discuss with you, Mr. Kang.”
“Alright. I’ll contact you before I visit.”
He was like a deadbeat man a half-step away from the gates of hell before he left for fishing; now, he’s overzealous to the extreme… I shook my head left and right, and I put down the receiver. At that moment, the telephone rang with a loud racket.
“Junhyuk!? It’s me, Junpei. Are you off work yet?”
“I answered your call because I’m off work…”
“Then come to Osaka.”
“Osaka!? You’re here in Osaka right now? When??”
“Just now. You told me that you would take me someplace nice last time~ Quickly pop out here. I, your older brother, will be waiting.”
“You travelled all the way from Tokyo just to get a meal off of me!?”
“I have something to ask you about this month’s article; I need your help this time.”
“Alright. I’ll be there in a moment.”
A brief moment later.
I drove my car, and I arrived at Dotonbori, Osaka. I looked around at the meeting place, trying to find Junpei. I could meet him easily if I had a cellphone… Although there were some uncomfortable moments like these in the 80s, there were other times where a profound sense of uniquity could be felt…
“Oii~ Here, I’m over here!!”
As I turned my head to Junpei’s voice, I saw the scene of him waving at me, while wearing a hat. Who said he wasn’t a reporter? The bastard was walking over to me with a professional film camera that was holstered on his shoulders. He approached me, and he spoke:
“It’s been a while. How have you been?”
“Well~ so-so. You should’ve gave me a call before you came to Osaka.”
“Then you would run away with the excuse of having work to do.”
“… Quick-witted bastard.”
“Keke. Let’s find something to eat, first. You said you’re paying today, right? Should I embrace myself with the storm of Osaka and eat myself to death today~?”
Dotonbori was recently formed, a popular place of entertainment. It was located around the Dotonbori river, which ran from the north.
Located at the 500m road between Ebisubashi to Senichi, Dotonbori hosted popular stores, restaurants, and flashing ostentatious signs that were hung all over the place like a complicated tetris game.
The bastard, Junpei, chased after me with a yakitori in his mouth, saying that he must eat it every time in Osaka.
“Ah~ hot~!! Hah~ Haht~!!?
“You would come to your senses after burning your mouth…”
I shook my head, and I smirked at the scene of Junpei rolling the yakitori around his mouth.
Since I came here, aside from Mr. Gunpei and Mr. Shigeru, I did not have very many people around my age that I would call my friends.
Should I say that this bastard was one friend that I could freely speak my heart to?
After a while, we arrived at a sushi restaurant with a unique crab sign, and we rented a room inside the restaurant.
“Was the nice place that you talked about… here?”
“Why? You don’t like it? Wanna go somewhere else??”
“Nah… I must’ve been possessed by a confused ghost for a brief moment. Of course…”
“Man. You probably ran over here anticipating that I would take you to a strip club…”
“Shut up~!! I work everyday, so I don’t have time to meet a girl.”
“What, you think I’m eating and playing every day?”
As I slowly lifted the shot glass, Junpei clanked his cup against mine with an unsatisfied expression. In the midst of filling our stomach with sashimi and talking about recent game industry happenings, Junpei laid his chopsticks down at the table, wearing a serious expression on his face.
“Actually, the reason I visited was to personally ask you a question.”
As I half-heartedly responded, grabbing a piece of sashimi, Junpei slightly crinkled his face.
“Alright. I’ll pay attention, what is it?”
“Do you perhaps know about a game called Dragon Emblem?”
What, it was about this? I swallowed my laughter inside, and
“Yeah, I know about it. Why? Are you also interested in that game?”
“My job is a reporter for a game magazine, why would I not be interested? But, have you played it before?”
“Yup, I played it.”
“What? Where did you find it!?”
“I bought it from a second hand game store like the rumors said.”
“What game store was it? Please tell me.”
“It’s a place in Kyoto, but we can’t go there right now. We’ve even drank, and… there was only one copy left when I bought it. I was lucky…”
“The rumors were true after all!! It would appear at Kyoto or Osaka rather than Tokyo!!”
That was because I live here, so it was obvious that I would spread it near me…
“But was that game especially expensive? I bought it at 8,000 Yen from the second hand game store. I heard that it was 1,000 Yen from the rumors…”
“It’s glaringly obvious that the price would rise~!! That game is an incredibly hot topic amongst the Family game maniacs.”
Like Junpei had said, Dragon Emblem that sold in the beginning for 500 Yen was now going for around 6,000 Yen. Of course, it was for the brand new copies that did not have the game data deleted…
After emptying the shot glass down into my throat, I took out a game cartridge from inside my jacket. Subsequently, Junpei’s eyes widened like a circle, and he opened his mouth.
“Uh…? You… that, you…”
“I knew you would ask about this, so I acquired another copy a couple of days ago.”
Even though I actually brought this copy that was laying around my house…
“Junhyuk~!! You bastard~ Aaooohh!! You lovely object!!”