Found a few more old gaming things stashed away, so putting them in the museum. This first one is another Nintendo Power brochure, GP-SNS-USA-1, most likely included with my Super Nintendo. From the blue shoulder bag I found a receipt for when my mother originally purchased the system on October 4, 1992, so this brochure must be from that period.
The strange thing is that I already scanned another Nintendo brochure with the code GP-SNS-USA-1. How did Nintendo classify their posters? Maybe this code only applies to brochures that features the term “Super Power”.
Lastly, I found this brochure inside my old Game Boy box along with some other miscellaneous things that I stuffed in there. Due to its location in the pile, I do not believe it came with the Game Boy.
Here’s another Sega game (actually, two games) that has garnered interest from a potential buyer, the combo cartridge Astro Warrior/Pit Pot.
Unfortunately, I have no recollection at all of how I acquired this game, though I do know that it was prior to moving to the US. There is evidence of this inside the game case, where curiously I wrote the name of a Hong Kong classmate. At the same time, I wrote my own initials on the cartridge itself. Man, what a strange kid.
This version of the cartridge appears to be an all-English version, perhaps intended for the UK market. That sort of makes sense, considering that when I bought this cartridge Hong Kong was still a British colony. Looking at scans of the game available online (e.g. SMS Power!, Sega Retro, first page of Google), it would seem that this might be the first scan of the English-only version. If so, I’m happy to be able to contribute.
Another interesting feature of the game is the typeface used on the back of the box as well as the instruction manual. Perhaps due to the game being an English-only release, the font is different from every other Sega game that I have. The spacing between letters seems a bit off, too. If I didn’t know better, I might surmise that this was a bootleg game.
For the actual games themselves, I do remember spending quite a lot of time with them. Both games start off easy at first, then ramp up the difficulty quickly. In Astro Warrior, as can be seen in the demonstration video below, if you die in the later stages your ship reverts to the slowest and most basic version, making it nearly impossible to avoid the fast-moving enemies in the later stages (well, that plus my skills have seriously eroded in old age). In Pit Pot, the practice level is super easy (again, video below), but later stages require a level of patience and note-taking that I never had as a kid. I don’t think I even beat the beginner level. But now, as an adult, I’m actually curious to see how far I’d get in the game, so that’s something to look forward to in the coming days.
Lastly, some interesting tidbits from my experience playing these games as a kid: in Astro Warrior, there was a way to get the two “Asistor” ships at the beginning of the level by shooting really fast. I accidentally discovered this when using the rapid-fire unit. Even so, it was pretty hard to do, and I couldn’t always get it. A quick Google search today reveals that this is a known trick. In Pit Pot, some of the rooms are arranged in the shape of Chinese (or Kanji) characters, offering a hint of what to do next. This can be seen in the video thumbnail below, where the character “up” is shown. That’s how I knew which way to go. 😉
As always, I hope you’ve enjoyed this museum post.
As mentioned in the previous post, I am preparing the game Hang On for a potential sale. Here is its museum post.
This is the oldest Master System game that I have (I talked about it a little bit in my Sega nostalgia post from a few years back). Interestingly, it’s also probably my least-played game, at least physically. When we moved to the US, the PAL Sega that I brought with me didn’t work with the NTSC standard here, so we got a local NTSC system. This system had Hang On built-in, which made it unnecessary to insert the card into the system to play.
Gameplay-wise, I’d say this game has aged pretty well. The graphics and sound obviously don’t compare with the ultra-realistic games of today, but I find that this is now where the game’s appeal is. The graphics are simple and fire the imagination, with an example being the first photo on the back of the box of the nighttime city scene: the background, just a bunch of black rectangles with yellow and red dots on them, evoke images of a city bustling with activity (in all these years I never tried to identify which, but looking at it now could it be that the Tokyo Tower appears fifth from the left?!). The engine sound, especially at top speed, is hypnotic, and there’s a rhythmic effect from passing other motorcycles. As a 31-year old game in 2017, Hang On’s value is no longer in being “realistic” or “3-D”, but in being a simple diversion, something to zone out in every so often.
For this museum post, I scanned the manual from the original game (printed in Japan), the manual from the built-in game (printed in Hong Kong), and the 1986 Game Catalog that I think came with the game (the catalog looks to be a USA version while the game itself appears to be a UK version, but I have no memory of this catalog showing up anywhere else). It’s interesting to see the differences between the manual versions: the original has a blank page behind the cover, the built-in has actual content; the original is black and blue, the built-in is only blue; the original has glossy paper, the built-in has matte.
Lastly, the video at the bottom was made with Kega Fusion. I tried to use original hardware, but my video capture device stopped working, and just as well; plugging the card into the SMS, I would have had no way of knowing whether the system read it or failed to read it and loaded the built-in game instead. 🙂 As always, I hope you’ve enjoyed this museum post.
Hang On Manual, printed in Japan (PDF, 18.7 MB)
Hang On Manual, printed in Hong Kong (PDF, 13.9 MB)
Sega 1986 Game Catalog, printed in Taiwan (PDF, 33.0 MB)
Here’s the first museum post in a few days, an instruction sheet for a mini-4WD model kit from Marui, the Turbo Optima Hyper Jr. Racer. The model kit was probably available from the mid to late 80s.
I don’t recall ever owning the Turbo Optima. Even the photo from Google doesn’t ring any bells. The only Marui 4WD that I remember having was the Alien Mid 4, which I kept until 2010. Perhaps this instruction sheet was a gift from a friend. It was folded into quarters and fit perfectly in the instructions slot of one of my Sega games, Hang On. In the past I’ve mentioned never letting go of my Sega games, but this has finally changed, hence the removal of the instructions from the game.
As a result, there may be more Sega museum posts in the coming days. For now, please enjoy this one.
If you watch Hong Kong movies from the 80s and 90s, any that show scenes of the harbor will likely include a vessel from HYF, and maybe even one of the distinctive vehicular ones. Like the Star Ferry, HYF was one of the icons of Victoria Harbor, but unlike the Star Ferry, it served more of a functional purpose than a tourist one. When Hong Kong ceased to require its function any longer, the ferry service ended.
As always, I hope you’ve enjoyed this museum post.
As mentioned in this previous post, I’ve scanned a few other model-train materials in these past few months – this guide to model railroading that came with my first train set is one of them.
I was already fascinated with model trains themselves, and this guide just added to it. For a time it was my preferred bedtime reading, dreaming about all the possibilities before I even fell asleep. As can be seen in the PDF, I checked off the items I owned. In that regard, it’s kind of a nice historical record.
Since there’s no date in the guide that I can see, I can only surmise that it was published in the late 80s or early 90s.
Life-Like Basics for Beginners – A Guide to Model Railroading, 7th edition (PDF, 27.4 MB)
I finally finished digitizing everything from the blue shoulder bag. Last week, maybe Friday night, I became angry that doing all this was taking so long, and I went on a scanning rampage to get it all in. As I’ve mentioned before, I usually scan and post one thing at a time, but I didn’t want to wait any longer. As a result, I’ve pretty much lost all momentum for posting more items from the bag. I was more interested in posting the video-game-related material anyway, which I’ve done.
So, here’s an instant reference card from the June 1992 issue of PC World magazine, for Windows 3.1. Looking at the card, I’m reminded of the file manager in Windows 3.1 which I had forgotten about. There are also quite a few shortcuts that still work in current versions of Windows, and others that are probably gone forever.
While Windows 3.1 was nice, I think my favorite windows from that time was 3.0. It was my first version of Windows, and I’ll always remember the big splash screen that took up the entire monitor, versus the little box from Windows 3.1. If I recall correctly, it took only five 1.2-megabyte floppies to install Windows 3.0. Compare that to a multi-gigabyte ISO for Windows 10, twenty-five years later. I’m still traumatized from using and supporting Windows 10 at my last job.
I put the rest of the items from the blue bag that might be worthy of posting in the museum in a queue, and may or may not post them in the coming days. For now, please enjoy this instant reference card from PC World 1992.
Last Friday we had the page from Computer Currents, and today we have a page from MicroTimes. It is so strange that I ripped out single pages from both of these magazines, with no apparent reason. Even stranger is that I kept them in the blue bag for a couple of decades or more.
Page 31 is is an ad for a computer that sold printers. Maybe I was looking to upgrade to a fancy laser printer. Page 32 is an ad from a mom & pop, white-box, brown-box, OEM, clone, whatever-term-you-want-to-use computer store that was so prevalent back then. I’ll take the 486DX-50 with local bus, please!
I first visited the museum in 2007, when I went to Hong Kong by myself. In later years, I took JC there as well. It’s really a fascinating glimpse into Hong Kong’s past and gives a nice outline of Hong Kong’s story (pun somewhat intended as the permanent exhibit at the museum is called “Hong Kong Story”). Who knew that I had a booklet from there all this time?
The details are murky now, but I am 100% certain that my father gave me this booklet. He either brought it over to me here in the United States, or I saw it at his house or office and picked it up with interest, and he gave it to me. There was a boarding pass stub tucked between the back cover and last page from one of the summers when I returned to Hong Kong as a teenager, so it’s probably the latter.
Being a PhD of history, my father liked to keep these types of old things (and being the son of a history buff, I suppose I do, too). At the time he gave me the booklet, it was already over a decade old. Now, it is 35 years old, and has spent at least the past 20 years inside that blue shoulder bag that was also given to me by my father. Amazingly, both the booklet and bag still smell like him, even though he himself has been gone for over 20 years.
In my current state of mid-life crisis, I am embracing minimalism to “lighten my load”, so to speak. For most people, it’s probably normal to own a lot of stuff, and after a few decades on this Earth it’s not uncommon to have roomfuls of things collected throughout the years. When my father died and we had to go back and claim his things at the university, there was an entire storeroom of books and papers. But I wonder if he, like me, ever looked at all those things that he saved and kept in his closet and on his bookshelves. What do we hope to gain by saving all this stuff? Will we take it with us when we leave, or will everything just get shoved into a broom closet/storeroom? It doesn’t make sense to keep things we will never use or even look at, but we still do it.
So that’s probably why I’m scanning all this stuff and putting it out here. At least here, someone from the internet might stumble upon it and look at it with fascination like I did that one day in my dad’s room. Life keeps moving forward in many different directions, and one little spark of interest could change the course of someone’s life, even if that spark comes from the past. No, we shouldn’t live there, but sometimes it’s nice to pay a visit.
As always, I hope you’ve enjoyed this trip down memory lane.
Introduction to Hong Kong Museum of History (PDF, 18.8 MB)
In this previous post about a game list that Sega sent to me in Hong Kong, I mentioned an envelope with a blue Sega logo that I thought I had misplaced. Well, it turns out that I kept all my Sega envelopes in the blue shoulder bag. So now, here it is, the first ever piece of correspondence I received from Sega, postmarked September 1, 1988.
What’s really special about this envelope is that the Sega logo on the upper left is embossed. Later envelopes, even as early as November 29, 1988 (postmark of the second envelope I received), had a flat logo. After a while, even the flat logo was replaced with an ink stamp. In total, there were 21 Sega envelopes in the blue bag (and not including Sega Visions envelopes), which gives you an idea of how much I used to bug Sega with my requests!
The embossing is visible in the full-envelope scan, but I’ve included a 600 DPI scan of just the logo as well. Enjoy!