Every now and then, whenever I feel like it, I'll publically respond to your mail here. If you don't mind being considered for public ridiculing.. er.. responding, then mention so in the mail. Thanks!

RarityList: Wizards & Warriors IV

Subject: NES Rarity List  v 5.0

I found a newer rarity list than what you have right now. 
Here is the link to the newer list.


Thanks for mentioning it. I've seen the new rarity list (with dollar prices for games tacked on by Patrick Menning) on a bunch of sites, but i've never put it on my own for one reason: Mike Etler didn't have anything to do with it. He found out about it a few weeks ago and was more than a little annoyed: "I was going to email the person to ask him to remove it from the page but I didn't do it. The prices are wacked. Tengen Tetris for - what, $25 or something [actually $20] or something absurd like that. And others were a little high. And I didn't know I didn't sell games.

"I think the guy that did it emailed it to me a little over a year ago and I told him that it sucked. Now, if he wants to track auction prices and put that in, I'd be very supportive."

So there you go. Still, it's not like I agree with everything that's on Etler's own list, so if you find the list with prices useful, then by all means go ahead and use it.

I'd stop making games myself after Ikari III

To: tsr@atarihq.com
Subject: SNK

I was just curious, what ever happened to the game company SNK?  Did 
they change names, get bought out, or just bite the dust?


SNK (aka. Shin Nihon Kikaku) pretty much quit the licensee business in 1991, when they created their Neo Geo console for arcade and home use. You may have heard about it a lot lately with the recent spate of emulators and ROMs for it. SNK just recently released a newer 64-bit Neo Geo technology which you can read all about if you want.

Although I have to admit that it sucks a little: SNK seemed to have started all over with the Neo Geo, leaving all their previous games like the Ikari series behind. And lord knows how long rumors of a Crystalis sequel on the Neo Geo format have been lying around... still, the very last SNK-made NES games were really pretty good and I wonder what would have happened if they didn't decide to console it out on their own.

The allure of Baby Mario is beyond me

Subject: Misc. Rants and poor grammer

I remember reading about some of the things that you mention on your
webpage, such as the computer system that played nintendo games. We had an
all nintendo rental store in my home town during the late eighties to the
mid 90's and I recall that the first owner had purchased a game for the NES
called "Mario Baby" from Japan. I Worked at the store for a while when I was
older, before I went to college but the original owner took that game and a
few others like it when he sold the store and moved on, before I worked
there. Obviously Mario Baby was a Pirated game, but I wonder if you have
ever heard of it? He also had some of the multicarts too, but I never actull
saw thoose myself. (he also had a bunch of color dreams games and I can
testify as to how bad they really were, oddly enough, he left thoose with
the guy who bought the store) [...]

This actually isn't the first time I've heard of Baby Mario - in fact, another random dude sent me another long email swearing upon his copy of Bionic Commando that he also had a nearby video store with the weirdo infantile-hero pirate. From here I'm pretty sure that it's some other game with some Mario-ish graphics shoehorned in, but it's difficult to say without seeing the game itself, and I haven't even been able to piece together a good description from the dudes I've heard from. Anyone know what's up with all of us?

I've already got enough luncheon meat here, dammit

I've just recently started to get some spam mail, from bots that look through web pages for email addresses they can send cool stuff to. I've found out quite a lot about travel reservations, ways of increasing my income quickly via the Internet and one or two sexual stimulants, but the most interesting one i've gotten so far was this, apparantly triggered by me mentioning "Japan" on the front page:

From: worldlib@danbury-ct.com
Subject: Slavery in Japan 

My name is Kevin Mara,  and I recently spent 5 years in a
Japanese prison.  While I was there, I saw and heard a
lot of evidence that Japan is actually exporting many of
the products it produces in its 300 odd prisons.  This
undermines our free world labor force, and is a serious 
violation of practically every free trade law ever written.
What is most despicable, is the way they treat the prisoners
that are bringing them enormous profits every year.  They are
obssesed with secrecy and will go to great lengths to
intimadate and persecute anyone that they even suspect
might come forward to talk about it,  I know from first hand
experiance.  I have also come to realize that this system of
corruption is the main cause for the wide spread human rights
abuses that Amnesty International,  Human Rights watch,
and several other well known organizations have been
steadily reporting to no avail.  The reason their system goes
beyond just punishment and into slavery is the system of prisoner
payments that the Japanese Ministry of Justice has implemented
to increase their profits.  It is a system of gradually increasing pay
that gets set back to the begining everytime a guard can find
an excuse, no matter how small, to punish.  As a result, 
punishments are excessive and rarely have merit.  To combat this
injustice, and to bring about reform, I have created an organization 
called World Liberty  http//www.danbury-ct.com/~worldlib
If there is anything you can do to help, I would love to hear from you.

Best regards,
Kevin Mara

Doing the research, we find that Mara was originally busted in 1993 for going on a jolly trip to Japan and trying to bring 25 pounds of pot with him. He served his time - then sued the government for about a million bucks with all kinds of complaints about how he was treated (he was apparantly expecting prison to be a lot like the one in The Andy Griffith Show).

And he wants me to feel sorry for him?

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