Golvellius – Valley of Doom

Golvellius - Sega Master System

Something reminded me of this game recently, so here it is. Just some things I want to remember the next time it comes up.

I don’t remember where or when I got this game. Looking at the date and the box spine, it looks like I got it in Hong Kong (American games didn’t have the catalog number on the spine), but I don’t really remember playing this game there. It may have been a gift, a game I did not pick myself. In my head there are some images of my bedroom and the shelf where I kept my Sega stuff, in the last place where we lived in in Hong Kong before moving to the USA (as with Kung Fu Kid), and that’s it. The deepest and only memories of actually playing the game are in that little SF apartment I grew up in, the one with the blue carpet. I spent a lot of time playing it, so much so that even my mother noticed the game. She thought that it had really good music, particularly the title screen and opening sequence. My personal favorite was the password-input screen. After I learned of the sound test, I recorded the entire soundtrack on cassette and listened to it before bed. I think that gold-colored Fisher radio is still in my mother’s house.

Golvellius - Sega Master System

Catalog number 7017

There were many screens to explore, and a sense of adventure and accomplishment (i.e. “wow! cool!”) when I finally made it to a new locale and the scenery changed. The enemies changed color depending on how strong they were. There was a healer named “Randar”, who is apparently a mascot for Compile, the company that made this game. Later, when I saw Randar in Space Megaforce, I got a pretty big kick out of it. I don’t see any images on Google, so maybe next time I play it I’ll do a screen-cap.

The game had a password feature so you could pick up where you left off, but it was a pain writing down the password. There were a lot of letters, and sometimes I confused one letter for another. Looking at it now, I don’t see how I could have, but I definitely wrote down some passwords that ended up not working (see very bottom of post).

Golvellius - Sega Master System

One time, I encountered a bug that corrupted how my gold displayed on the screen. Instead of a number, it showed a bunch of random symbols. It seemed that I had accidentally stumbled upon infinite gold! I went on a purchasing spree, buying up all the different boots and armor that I couldn’t afford before. That made the game a lot easier. The infinite money even lasted after a password save. In combination with the Helpful Hints sheet linked at the bottom of this post, it was no longer a question of if I would beat the game.

Golvellius - Sega Master System

Before saying goodbye to all my childhood treasures, I tried to digitize as much as I could, which is why I can post photos now. Among those treasures were some of the papers on which I wrote down Golvellius passwords. I think I’ll try out some of these passwords to see if I can’t find the infinite gold password.

The rapid-fire unit worked pretty good in this game. Before I got rich, I would stand in a safe corner somewhere, use something to physically hold down the controller button, and then go do something else while enemies continuously respawned and ran into my sword. It still took a long time to make money this way, though. The rapid-fire unit was more effective during regular fighting, shortening the time it took to kill enemies.

Golvellius - Sega Master System

The last time I ran my copy of Golvellius – July 12, 2017

In July 2017, Golvellius sold for the measly sum of $3.25. I guess no one values your childhood memories more than yourself. That summer, I pretty much sold the entire collection in preparation for moving back to Hong Kong. On one hand, it doesn’t seem to make sense to have so many childhood things around at age 40. On the other, there’s no rule that says you can’t. In recent years, there’s been an increase in the popularity of retro gaming. I sometimes look at Instagram or Twitter feeds of Sega collections and yell out loud in anguish. But could I have kept my games? I don’t have a house, I haven’t had a job longer than a year in seven years, and I keep moving back and forth between Hong Kong and the USA. It’s hard. When I did have the games, I never looked at them. It’s only after they’ve been gone have I really immersed myself in them, reading the manuals, admiring the box scans, and actually playing the games. Bottom line: if I really wanted, I could have traded pride in exchange for storage at my mother’s house.

So this is it for now, a nice little collection of photos and thoughts around Golvellius, Valley of Doom. I’ll post the rest of the photo gallery below, including an original recording of the final dungeon and ending (with the corrupted gold), and will update if I think of anything else. As always, thanks for being along for the ride.

Golvellius Manual (PDF, 39.5 MB)
Golvellius Helpful Hints (PDF, 2.4 MB)
Text from eBay listing (TXT, 1.6 KB)

Further reading:
Golvellius at Sega Retro
Golvellius at SMS Power!
Golvellius Shrine at RPGClassics


Golvellius - Sega Master System

Golvellius - Sega Master System

Golvellius - Sega Master System

Golvellius - Sega Master System

Golvellius - Sega Master System

I was a paranoid kid.

Golvellius - Sega Master System

Golvellius - Sega Master System

In addition to the blue bag, I used a couple of binders to store my game materials – one of them was a Trapper Keeper:

Golvellius - Sega Master System

Golvellius - Sega Master System

Golvellius - Sega Master System

Golvellius - Sega Master System

Golvellius - Sega Master System

Golvellius - Sega Master System

Golvellius - Sega Master System

Golvellius - Sega Master System

Golvellius - Sega Master System

Golvellius - Sega Master System

And the passwords featured in the above photos, all of them tested while writing this post, the first time in decades I entered a password into the game:

4FGU 2CTP X83B ZATD MPHO JT4D REWW S6FE
NSH7 C2CP EZHK 3GCP 4QW6 KZW4 BU8S KNZE
8ZV2 OAX8 V7OZ 7YR8 CZAD 4A38 V2YB 4P78
G6BZ YA6Z ZUSV 37SZ X4C4 WP4A 7ERA V8FM
NC6S NVPA K6YM CS4D EA78 UYFE FZJR 6DVE - gold glitch!
RDYT EH38 R7E4 YN5W P2ZH 4BX8 R2VQ DNTH
CCBC OA7W B3OQ GHRU L2CD PPSA HDSZ DWG7 - doesn't work - handwriting 😅
V8JY KYWG LE83 SHAF XUL5 CPLL GWFV 583X
8655 YB4A MU57 YM63 UP62 BK2Q UQKP TZRQ
PCTK OCZW N7QU WMEH TBVX DTCH MBZJ 4G7W
RE53 BQY3 GB2F UJK3 KE62 JOY3 GP62 EAJR

Sega CD Boot Up Ver. 2.00

The thing I remember about the Model 2 Sega CD is seeing it at a middle-school friend’s house. Since I already had the original, I wasn’t too impressed or interested in the second model. The flip drive lid was definitely not as cool as the slide-out tray of my model 1. My friend played Sewer Shark and Tomcat Alley and I couldn’t understand how he had so much fun. FMV games were not my thing.

Recently I chanced upon the Model 2 BIOS. Like I will sometimes do with version 1.10, I left 2.00 running while I did other things. The tune is catchy in its own way, and I think I can see the humor or intent of the person behind the animation sequence.

Further Reading:
Sega CD on Wikipedia/Sega Retro
Sewer Shark on Wikipedia/Sega Retro
Tomcat Alley on Wikipedia/Sega Retro

A Sega Dream

Sega Master System with Hang On Card

June 14, 2017 – Recording Hang On before selling

I had a funny dream the other day. In the dream, I was getting ready to play a game on my Sega Master System, but when I was about to plug in the controller I remembered that I had already sold my Rapid Fire Unit and wouldn’t be able to use auto-fire in the game. The funny thing is how I remembered in the dream that in real life I had already sold the Rapid Fire Unit, but not the console itself.

Sega Rapid Fire Unit

Sega Rapid Fire Unit – bought prior to 1989, sold on July 16, 2017

At this point I don’t think I have anything related to the Sega, not even a memento, or a trinket. It’s hard to keep track of it all. It would have been nice to keep a single item, maybe something like my first game, Hang On, but it seems I was too obsessed with moving forward. 2017 really was a whirlwind of life-resetting, but now I’m learning that it doesn’t happen instantly like pressing reset on the Sega.

I effectively had my Sega for over three quarters of my life. As I’ve mentioned before, there was a transition from PAL to NTSC, but otherwise in my mind it was the same system. Damn, it’s hard getting over losing something you had for that long, even though for a long time now you haven’t actually used that thing. It’s the same story for a lot of the other things I sold, donated, or trashed in 2017. Why is it so hard? Was there anything I could have done, last year or in the past, that would make it easier?

I don’t know the answer, though perhaps part of it is that maybe it’s not supposed to be easy. I do know that putting up these museum posts helps, so I will try to keep doing them. I’m also glad for the manual scans I made last year, and also the random videos and sounds I’ve recorded over the years. Little bits and pieces of the Sega are still with me. It’s the best I can do given my life’s circumstances, and I don’t think anyone could ask for more than that.

As always, I hope you enjoy this museum post.


Box - The Sega Base System

The Sega Base System (NTSC) – bought 1989, sold on August 2, 2017

Box - The Sega Base System

Box - The Sega Base System

Box - The Sega Base System

Box - The Sega Base System

Box - The Sega Base System

Inner Box - The Sega Base System

Inner Box - The Sega Base System

The Sega Base System with built-in Hang On game

July 25, 2017 – Prior to listing, testing the Sega with its built-in Hang On game

Set - The Sega Base System

Goodbye old friend

Set - The Sega Base System

Game Boy Micro Special 20th Anniversary Edition

Game Boy Micro Special 20th Anniversary Edition

Continuing from this post about things I’ve let go, recently I’ve been thinking about my Game Boy Micro.

This portable console was one of my favorite devices. I already had a Game Boy Advance, but it wasn’t back-lit and somewhat bulky. The Game Boy Micro changed all that, with a beautiful screen and small form factor. The Super Mario 20th Anniversary design looked cool and felt great, considering the plastic bodies of regular Game Boy Micros. One of my favorite memories is binging on Advance Wars during a Christmas trip to Hong Kong in 2006.

So, why sell it last year along with all my other stuff? At the time, we were planning on moving back to Hong Kong, and space was limited. Add to that the fact that I hardly ever used the Game Boy Micro anymore, and the answer seemed clear. Looking back now, however, maybe it wasn’t so clear. One of the reasons I stopped using it was that my eyesight got worse and it was no longer comfortable looking at the screen. The difference was magnified when compared with my PSP, which also has a GBA emulator. Another reason was I didn’t really play GBA games anymore.

What bothers me about it now is that there were some things we brought back to Hong Kong that we haven’t used at all, like a Google Chromecast. I could have left the Chromecast and kept the GBM. I mean, it was so small, how much weight would it have added? Also, since I’ve bought reading glasses here, I no longer have an issue with seeing small things in front of my face. When I use my glasses before bed to look at my devices, I am reminded of my Game Boy Micro. Lastly, now that we have free time and are no longer focused on getting rid of all our things so we can move, I’ve found myself playing a lot of older games – games that would be awesome to play on original hardware.

Of course, hindsight is 20/20, and I know that the decision to sell the GBM was the right one at the time. Like losing anything in life, it takes time to get over. The reality is that very few people have the space to keep every single thing they’ve ever acquired – a fact that I’ve been coming to terms with this past year. I will be happy to see these photos in the future when I’m randomly reviewing my website.

Game Boy Micro Special 20th Anniversary Edition – bought April 18, 2006 from Circuit City Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, California. Sold September 5, 2017 via eBay.

Game Boy Micro Special 20th Anniversary Edition

Game Boy Micro Special 20th Anniversary Edition

Game Boy Micro Special 20th Anniversary Edition

Game Boy Micro Special 20th Anniversary Edition

Game Boy Micro Special 20th Anniversary Edition

Game Boy Micro Special 20th Anniversary Edition

Game Boy Micro Special 20th Anniversary Edition

Game Boy Micro Special 20th Anniversary Edition

Game Boy Micro Special 20th Anniversary Edition

Game Boy Micro Special 20th Anniversary Edition

Game Boy Micro Special 20th Anniversary Edition

There Are Times

MGH Disk 1 of 2, Street Fighter 2 Turbo for the Super Famicom

MGH Disk 1 of 2, Street Fighter 2 Turbo for the Super Famicom

There are times when I am reminded of something I once had, and I feel sad.

There are times when looking at something triggers a memory of an object I once had, an object that I purposefully disowned. I ask myself whether it was really necessary. I wanted to be an adult, to stand on my own two feet, to not become attached to material possessions. Even had I not desired so, I would not have the physical space to hold all my seemingly precious objects that I only think about and cherish when an associated memory brings them back into the forefront.

Tonight I randomly decided to look at one of the manuals from the SNES mini, the one for SF2 Turbo, and I thought of the generic Capcom stick at my mother’s house and how it no longer has an SNES to connect to, and how even if I did I no longer have the game copier or the floppy disks to load the game from. Those are painful thoughts for me. From the time I acquired those possessions to last year when I disowned them, I knew that if I ever had any desire at all to experience the originals, I could. But now, no matter what, regardless of whether I go back to my old room, it’s impossible.

It’s like with my dead cousins, there’s no way back to those times, and no way forward to reminisce about those times. It’s all only inside my head, and maybe my heart, and that’s the reality of life and its fleeting nature.

Super Punch Out!!

Super Punch Out!! SNES Box

Photo of box copied from ocreload.com

I don’t want to forget Super Punch Out, so I am writing this down. I remember getting this game my senior year of high school, from Toys”R”Us in San Francisco. It was the one in that little mall thing on Brannan Street. In my mind there is a glimpse of the box, and a sunny day. That’s all I remember.

Senior year of high school seemed to be a good time for SNES games. I also remember getting Star Trek Starfleet Academy from the game store in Stonestown, I think after school, near the end of the school year. It was so cool putting the game in the SNES and flying starships. I probably haven’t played the game once since then.

Back to Super Punch Out though. Later, after I played it for a while, I copied it with my game copier and then either traded it in at Electronics Boutique or Software ETC or some other store, or I sold it on the internet via Usenet. If I dig through the old files from the 486, I might be able to find a post or list. It’s crazy how we used to just exchange personal contact information so easily on the internet, even sending checks or cash in the mail. Those were innocent times.

Well, I dug around my files but couldn’t find anything that might definitively explain what happened to the game. This is the first time in over 3 months that I’ve posted something here, and the first time in who knows how long that I’ve actually written something. I may or may not explain the hiatus, but for now it’s good to be back. See you later.

Video Games & Computer Entertainment, October 1992 Issue

Video Games & Computer Entertainment Magazine - October 1992

For tonight’s museum post, we have the October 1992 issue of Video Games & Computer Entertainment.

This is the final magazine scan that will appear on this website in the foreseeable future. After my most recent scan (amazingly, back in May), I started getting busy with unloading more of my things, and finally starting to use eBay for selling. Almost two months later, I’ve sold off my Sega Genesis and its last remaining games and accessories (including my Sega CD), all Super-Nintendo-related things (including the actual console), and a large number of previously untouchable Sega Master System games. Because this was the last magazine from my childhood collection, I kept putting off the scan, but now it’s finally done.

I had saved this magazine for last because it was the one in the best condition, a special collector’s edition featuring a hologram on the cover that came in an envelope. None of the other issues I received came in an envelope, and many of them arrived in bad shape as a result. Sadly, because our scanner is so old, I was unable to do justice to the quality of the magazine. Many of the pages have the vertical lines that I’ve mentioned in previous scans. I tried to eliminate the most egregious ones, but the scanner is on its last legs and no longer produces clean scans, no matter how many times I retry.

But just as well. It’s been many months since I’ve started digitally archiving my magazines, and even more months since I started throwing away all my old things. The finish line is finally in sight. My mind is a jumble of nostalgic thoughts, bittersweet memories, and excitement for the future. When I started this post, I wanted to write a bunch of stuff, but I can’t seem to focus, so I’ll save it for another day. As always, I hope you’ll enjoy this museum post, and thank you for being a part of the process.

Video Games & Computer Entertainment, October 1992 (PDF, 190 MB)

Update 7-20-17: after reviewing the PDF last night I found that pages 47 and 48 seemed to have been moved to page 53. I don’t know if that was an error on my part or the publisher’s, but it has been corrected.


Bonus photos:

VG&CE October 1992 Issue Envelope

Magazine came in this envelope, from “H.M., Inc.” – short for Hustler Magazine?

Video Games & Computer Entertainment, October 1992 Hologram Cover

Hologram with original colors

Video Games & Computer Entertainment, October 1992 Hologram Cover

Hologram at different angle, was the Super Sonic color intentional or accidental?

Gran Turismo 2 Reference Manual

Gran Turismo 2 Reference Manual

Here’s the first museum post in a while, the reference manual from Gran Turismo 2 for the Sony PlayStation. The game itself is circa 1999, but this manual is from the re-release “Greatest Hits” version. I probably got it in 2002. Prior to that I played a bootleg version from Hong Kong.

In these past couple of weeks, I have sold off or donated a lot of my old video games. Something that used to be inconceivable, I have now parted with all of my Sega Genesis things. The Sega Genesis, the Sega CD, the last few games and accessories: all gone. All the SNES games are gone. A quarter of the Master System games are gone. Now, it’s Sony PlayStation’s turn.

This will be one of very few PlayStation items that I scan. I’ve been scanning a bunch of Sega manuals and it is quite taxing and time-consuming going through and rotating and cropping each page. Only the truly sentimental items will be scanned at this point.

Reading this booklet was the first time I ever learned anything about cars. I remember reading it late at night and learning the driving techniques, then applying them in the game the next day. Some even worked in the real world, though I won’t say which. 😉

It’s really nice to get such an in-depth source of information from a video game. Something like this would be few and far between today. Hopefully whoever ends up buying the game will enjoy it as much as I did. As always, I hope you’ve enjoyed this museum post.

Gran Turismo 2 Reference Manual (PDF, 102 MB)

Kaneko Video Glove (1991)

This final post for tonight is a museum post of the Kaneko Video Glove, a promotional item for the game Air Buster for the Sega Genesis, circa 1991.

I still somewhat remember the circumstances behind how I chose this game. Through some sort of special occasion like acing a test or some other achievement, I earned myself a game purchase. All I had to do was pick one. There was a conversation with a classmate (the prank call guy) where he strongly advocated for this game, and I listened to him. It turned out to be a pretty good buy, as Air Buster is a very enjoyable game (minus the load times, which was probably the first time I ever had to wait for a console game to load).

The game came with a coupon redeemable for this glove, which may seem like a gimmick in retrospect, but at the time it definitely increased enjoyment not only in Air Buster but other games as well. I felt like a professional gamer getting ready to go to work or a pilot preparing to save the world. For a 10-year-old kid, it was real.

Now, it’s another item from childhood to say goodbye to. From what I’ve seen on the internet, this item is a rare and collectible piece of gaming history so I’ll be putting it on eBay for someone else to treasure. Of course, since I’ve already worn the glove (and actually, it still fits), it probably won’t fetch much. Still, it’s probably better than chucking it in the trash.

A last bit of interest: the ads of the time showed the glove as being right-handed, with a Kaneko logo on the back. The actual glove is left-handed, and the Kaneko logo is on the tightening strap.

As always, I hope you’ve enjoyed this trip down memory lane.

Kaneko Video Glove

Kaneko Video Glove

Kaneko Video Glove

Kaneko Video Glove - Shipping Envelope

Kaneko Video Glove - Letter

Champ Mouse for Super Nintendo, User’s Manual

The last item from the Game Boy box for tonight is this user’s manual for a 3rd party SNES mouse from Champ. As I’ve mentioned before, I had a game copier in the 90s which meant I had a copy of Mario Paint, but no mouse. I saw one of these at Electronics Boutique or Software Etc. and picked it up. The mouse came with a mousepad that I used with my PC for a very long time. As for the game itself, I did end up making a few creations in Mario Paint, some of which I recorded on tape. Maybe one day I’ll post them here.

Googling the mouse now, it seems that it was rather obscure. “SNES Champ mouse” reveals no immediate results, though “SNES third party mouse” does show a single photo from a Nintendo forum. Considering it’s rarity, it might have fetched a nice price on eBay, but sadly I tossed it in the trash back in 2012 (during the moving phase).

That’s all for now. I’ll see if I can find a photo of the actual mouse also. Enjoy!

Champ 3rd Party Mouse for Super Nintendo - User's Manual

Champ 3rd Party Mouse for Super Nintendo - User's Manual

Champ Mouse for SNES

Champ mouse prior to disposal