Random retro discoveries

Or “It’s astonishing what you can randomly find in a secondhand CD store that you didn’t even think would be open at this time of night”…

I swear I wasn’t going retro shopping… because I wasn’t. But I just had an odd reminder of how it’s always worth looking in the nooks and crannies for retro gaming gold.

But as I say, I wasn’t even looking (strictly speaking) in this case. I was just out and about doing a little night photography for some phone reviews I’m doing, because tech journalists work weird hours. As I’m wandering around pondering noise levels in photos, I notice that one of my local secondhand CD stores was still open. At 8:00pm. On a Tuesday night. Odd, I thought, but hey, I was nearby, and there’s a few things I still prefer to have in a digital physical format, thanks to our odd/stupid copyright laws, so I ducked in for a quick browse.

That’s when I spotted a Famicom on a shelf. Not what I went in for, not what I was expecting to see. But there it was. Slightly grubby, but a console of interest to me, because I’ve never owned one, and I do rather like the classic Japanese Famicom design. Much moreso than the rather dull NES variants, that’s for sure.


There’s just something about that design that appeals to me. I’m sure I’m not alone in that.


The other problem was that it had no RF cable, no power supply… and no price.

So while I didn’t go in with the intent of retro game shopping, I had to take a photo and then ask.

I mean, you would, wouldn’t you?

The nice lady behind the counter didn’t know, so she went and got her husband, who I got to chatting to. It had been his, it turns out, and it had been in storage “for decades” according to him, which was why he didn’t have the power supply or cables any more.

He also couldn’t guarantee it would work, but we did have an interesting chat about modding consoles for differing RF standards, which was equally unexpected.

Unfortunately for my ambitions, he couldn’t guarantee it would work, and he wanted “to make his money back on it”, which meant he was asking $50 for it.

That’s way too rich by my reckoning for a Famicom with missing parts and no guarantee of functionality, so that’s where I left it. Maybe somebody else will give it a go, but not me.

Still, it was a pleasant find, and a nice enough chat about all things retrogaming that I wasn’t expecting to have tonight. Someday I’ll pick up a working Famicom — but not today.

Retro recollections are just random musings on retro subjects, usually whatever I’m playing at the moment.

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