It’s been about 18 months since the last one so I thought it was time for another look at the collection as it stands at the moment. Most of it hasn’t changed in that time but there are enough new additions to warrant a second look. It’s partly prompted by some of my work colleagues wanting to see the “museum” as they like to call it + my house insurance rolled round again last month and I’ll need some sort of proof of what’s in here should the need ever arise. The quantity of stuff isn’t something I ever aspired to but it keeps growing and once you have the collecting bug it doesn’t let go easily. Whether this sort of hoard serves as inspiration or precautionary example will depend upon the reader.
I’ll say sorry for the quality of the photos before I start. I’m not sure the camera on my new phone isn’t worse than the last one but they will have to do the job. I probably should have tidied up before I started on this also but glossing over any mess I’ll start in games room #1 which is the smaller of the two and basically has my PC’s + lots and lots of games for them. I’ve branched out in recent years but I’ll always be a PC gamer at heart.
Bookcase #1 contains just about all of Bullfrog’s games, all the Lucasarts adventure games (now with all the hint books at long last), the might and magic series (also with all the guides), a pile of the earlier Star Wars games, a set of Star Trek games, a smattering of SSI RPG’s and some Delphine games.
Bookcase #2 is home of the Origin collection with most of the games that I’ve played on this blog. There are a few Sierra games sneaking in there and a shelf of Westwood games along the bottom.
Bookcase #3 currently has UO charter perched on the top which is one of those boxes that is so big I can’t find anywhere to put it. The rest of it is dominated by Sierra games which I’m as much a fan of as anything Origin ever put out. I did think I had a copy of every AGI and SCI game at one point but I now know I’m missing at least one still which I ought to remedy one of these days. At the bottom there are the Adventuresoft + Revolution adventure games + a load of Access games.
Onto bookcase #4 which has those Origin awards + Ultima ads sat on the top at least until I need the space for more boxes The selections of games starts to get more random by this point with the Prince Of Persia series, some Looking Glass titles, the Descent series + some Cryo games. A major addition since 18 months back is the Infocom collection which is only missing a handful of games now.
Bookcase #5 has a complete set of Legend Entertainment games, all the Lemmings games, some Id FPS’s and the larger boxes like U9 Dragon Edition.
Both of these rooms are in a loft conversion which means a sloping roof and not much headroom at the shallow ends of each room. The bookcases get smaller with the wall of GOG games in self printed cases now filling all available room above bookcase #6. A concession to modern gaming props up each end with the collectors sets for Fallout 3 + New Vegas. Below that lot is a small selection of Interplay games with the Wasteland/Fallout + Bards Tale series.
Bookcases #7 + #8 contain guide books too big to fit in the game boxes, some newer games in DVD cases + a handful of random big box games most of which I’m not too fussed about. The Ancient Art of War series bears a mention which was a great early RTS long before C&C/Dune. The Wing Commander action figures still take a load of space up on the top and are unlikely to survive there for another 18 months.
In the final bookcase there is a small assortment of Japanese Origin bits and pieces + some overflow from the magazine cover CD’s from next door.
While I’m in here, this is my PC complete with a majorly modded case which I did myself many years back. It’s not exactly subtle being this large and this purple and always draws a comment or two. It’s had a long succession of replacement PC components and is looking a little battered these days if I’m honest. This was built for watercooling long before it became relatively mainstream and still contains the same full size aquarium pump as when it was new.
On the desk, there is a pile of 90’s MIDI sequencers with an MT-32, CM-64 + an SC-155, all essential bits of kit for DOS gaming if you ask me. Under the desk among a mass of cables is the beige box that is my DOS/Win 98 machine with a selection of joysticks piled on the top.
Moving next door, the second room is at least twice the size and more of a communal gaming room with a big sofa and all my other systems. Starting at the entrance, it has a case of old gaming magazines much as they were 18 months back. The Theme Hospital stand up advert is on the wall these days as I has to put it on display somewhere.
On the right of that is a chest of drawers. This has two drawers full of cables and parts and 4 drawers full of Origin bit’s and pieces, the top one of which is the stuff I’ve shared on here so far. CIC regulars may recognise those rather nice Origin medals in the photo from the forums. They were handed out at one of the Origin Christmas parties in the late 90’s and are made of solid metal making them a lot heavier than they look.
Moving to the right again, I get to the first table of old systems. There’s a ZX81 on the left. These more or less introduced home computing here in the UK so I had to have one. It’s got the 16K expansion pack (yes it only came with 1K originally) but the snag with these systems is that apart from a rare handful of later models they don’t display correctly on a colour TV being dark grey on a black background. I could mod it to fix this but I’m thinking I’d rather keep it original and connect it to a small B&W TV instead. The trick is finding one.
A Vectrex is on the right with an Amstrad CPC464 + monitor & external disk drive in front. The little white box on top of the disk drive is a floppy emulator from http://lotharek.pl which I just got a couple of days back. This is a great piece of kit and very highly recommended if you have loads of old machines. Underneath, those other systems you may just be able to make out a Philips Videopac G7000 (aka the Odyssey II) + an Intellivision.
Going to the back of the room, there are a couple more bookcases with an old 70’s Pong machine on the left, an Atari 7800 in the middle + a PS2 and Dreamcast just about in sight on the right. The games underneath are mostly what came with each system when I picked it up and of course some Origin games and a couple of other additions. I’m tending to mod each system and/or pick up flash carts rather than collect original titles as I’ve more than enough games as it is just collecting for the PC.
In front of those bookcases is an overcrowded bench table with an Amiga 1200, Atari 800XL, BBC Master, Commodore 128, ZX Spectrum +2 and a Toshiba MSX. All of these have flash carts/drives of some description. You can just about make out some of the pile of transformers underneath powering this lot.
In the corner is my trusty 25 inch CRT TV which I must have had for 15 years now. It only has one SCART socket so all these systems are going through a confusing array of switched connections on either side. I think I had 20 systems going into this one TV at the last count. This does have the bonus of meaning I can easily syphon off the sound from the last SCART connection into some decent stereo speakers.
Underneath there is a Saturn, a Megadrive II + Mega CD, a SNES, a NES + an N64. All of those have flash carts of one sort or another except the Saturn which uses an action replay + a modded CD drive instead.
Next door to that is an unsightly pile with half of the hifi that I got for my 16th birthday which is now acting as an oversized cassette deck for some of the computers. It’s sat on a Philips CDI, with a 3DO on top and a CD32 on top of that. These are all systems that are classed as failures in their day but I’ve had quite a bit of fun with every one of them, especially the 3DO which has some great games despite it’s reputation.
Next to that is another Pong machine, a pile of extra controllers and others odds and ends like a C64 lightpen + some datasettes.
Next is the older gaming magazines. There may be a few more PC Zones than 18 months back but this is much as it was other than a load of Amstrad CPC magazines sat on the top which came with the 464.
The final bookcase has a stack of Intellivision games, my Kryoflux + drives, the helmet from Crusader No Regret, a VFX1 and most importantly an empty shelf with some room to expand.
One of the Bioforge standup’s that I’ve shown in the past is on the back wall in addition to this foam backed advert for Gettysburg which I picked up at the same time. The Origin link here is that Gettysburg was tested by the Origin QA team. I’ve still not played the game itself but I had to stick this up somewhere. The poster is signed “Coming soon, Sid Meier”
Other than a Wii downstairs and a load of gaming t-shirts, that is pretty much everything gaming related in this place. I’m still managing to confine it to one floor and keep the rest of the house relatively normal but these 2 rooms are clearly running out of space. I can squeeze in a little more and I’d definitely like to get hold of a turbo duo + a Gamecube next year, maybe an Atari ST or a Dragon 32. What I’d really love is some sort of Apple II but they barely made it over to the UK and cost a fortune. And an FM Towns would be nice…
If you wonder how I find the time to play all of these systems, the short answer is that I don’t. They each get occasional use at best and some are still largely untouched. The same goes for the games but as far as I’m concerned it’s a hell of a lot more fun than having the equivalent amount of money in the bank and they are there waiting when I get the urge to dig out some retro classic.