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Author Topic: How I got my first Mega Drive (worth 200+ words)
wildbird51-
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Post How I got my first Mega Drive (worth 200+ words)
on: October 23, 2012, 11:17
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I was born in the Soviet Union and that was the worst place in the whole universe to be a gamer. You want to know why? After the Soviet Union collapsed we've seen the first consoles, a cheap Atari 2600 ripoff and a cheap bootleg NES from China that came with 1 in 100 game cartridge. I wasn't into video games, because I kinda hated the simplicity these 2 systems had to offer. I've already seen Terminator 2 and knew after the arcade scene, that there was something out there, something better that 99 versions of pong.

When The Iron Curtain ceased to exist a lot of people turned themselves into entrepreneurs and started traveling the world to buy some shit for a few bucks and then sell 'em in Russia for a fortune. A standard PC costed something like 5000$ - I don't want to get into details, but a lof of people made some serious cash reselling faxes, message machines, cell phones etc., but nobody was selling prestige consoles, because Sega Genesis costed something like 200$ in the US and with all the expenses it would've costed something like 2000$, a pricy gift for a kid and we all know that the US currency at that time was hard as a rock. The resellers would travel to China and buy NES clones to sell them in Russia for a 100$, a fair price for that time, because nothing was around and we are talking 1991-1992.

My dad was a real high roller. He graduated the best university in the state and was immediately hired by the prestige company that exported diamonds. Yeah, he was a high roller, but having money doesn't mean that you can buy something. The stores were empty and even the 1st wave of soviet millionaires had to eat and drive the worst. A few smart cats from Chemical Bank figured out that a lof of US citizens live and work in Russia, but have no choice when it comes to buying clothes, food and entertainment. These guys opened a chain of super markets called OLBI Diplomat. All the good stuff was in there, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, this awesome ice cream from Arkansas, Dr. Pepper and Sega! There was a clever catch to keep the outsiders (russians) on the street - the only valid currency was a goold old Benjamin Franklin and it was very hard to get USD in Russia way back in 1992. OLBI imported Sega straight from Japan and figured the local price policy in a New York minute. A brand new Mega Drive costed something around 1100$, a game costed something like 125$ and there were only a few titles (all in japanese).

I still remember the 1st time I've ever witnessed a 16-bit console. I'm something like 6 years old and my dad pushes a cart full of food and shit. I walk to the corner where a yankee was playing Sonic The Hedgehog. I was like "I gotta get me one of these!" and this american dude replied with the worst russian dialect I ever heard: "no offense kid, but you russians are never getting your hands on a genesis like this, you're too lame and too broke to own a console like this" ... what a dick! My dad heard the conversation and just picked one of the boxes from the shelf with a Mega Drive inside, then he picked a few games that seemed to be okay for a kid: Beast Warriors (aka Beast Wrestler), Alisia Dragoon, I Love Donald Duck: Georgia Ou no Hihou (aka QuackShot) and Bare Knuckle 2 (aka Street of Rage 2).

We got home, my dad hooked all the cables, turned it on and I was mindblown the very same moment. It was just a dream, that really came true. Nobody had this thing. Even now I talk to people and they say that the first Genesis or SNES was bought in 1994 or 1995, way after the time I got mine. Sometimes my uncle would come by just to play Bare Knuckle 2 all night long. It was crazy, nobody at my school believed me, that was a real bummer, you know. My dad was against any visitors, because he had a serious collection of antiques and he would've been really nervous if something got broken by any accident. I liked Sonic and Donald was okay, but the most played game was Alisia Dragoon. I was beating it over and over, with all difficulty settings. It was like a routine: I rush home from school, finish my homework and start playing Alisia Dragoon. It's a very challenging game, so you have to be very good at it to beat it. You guys should know, that most import games came with manuals in full color with art and shit, I was happy just to have these manuals, forget about games, the manuals were gold!

I was an A+ student, very good at sports, read a lot of books and by the time I was 8 years old my parents figured that the only game I played for 2 years was Alisia Dragoon and there must've been a way to reward my A+ efforts. Nothing really changed since 1992 and video games were hard to find, because OLBI went bankrupt and amazon.com was not discovered yet. My dad called the russian embassy in Tokyo and asked if they could send a few popular Mega Drive titles. They did send a huge box stuffed with games: Ninja Turtles, Shinobi, X-Men and Street Fighter II (hundreds of hours of gameplay, *sigh* Chun Li).

By the time most of my friends got their hands on a bootleg Genesis, I got my first Saturn. My parents went to Cyprus for a New Year celebration and it was a 5* hotel, a cocktail party with booze and the hotel manager was like: "Okay kids, now you don't bother your drunk parents and go check out the tree!" and there it was, my first Sega Saturn (japanese as usual). The hotel owners forgot to mention, that they bought more systems than games and that, my friends, leads us to a serious fist fight for Panzer Dragoon Zwei. Yeah, I kicked some serious german and french ass to get my hands on this classic. I still remember my parents walking into our room somewhere around 4AM and I'd be sitting there and dropping my jaw every time something cool happens. They thought that it was a rental thing, but no, it was a real present.

Anyway, it's been almost 20 years, since I started playing video games. Even now I beat Alisia Dragoon once in a while. Oh, yeah, I do have a life, a kid, a career, a lot of hobbies and just one vice - collecting video games.

Mogul by day, gamer by night. Moscow/Russia gang.

LuzZelenia
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Post Re: How I got my first Mega Drive (worth 200+ words)
on: October 25, 2012, 20:58
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That's a great story, your parents went through such effort to get you those games. That kid was a real jerk, how old was he? No matter how old he was, he should know better than to talk like that to a little boy but it did get your father to buy you that genesis so I guess it was worth it xD did your father yell at the kid?

wildbird51-
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Post Re: How I got my first Mega Drive (worth 200+ words)
on: October 25, 2012, 21:58
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Quote from LuzZelenia on October 25, 2012, 20:58
That's a great story, your parents went through such effort to get you those games. That kid was a real jerk, how old was he? No matter how old he was, he should know better than to talk like that to a little boy but it did get your father to buy you that genesis so I guess it was worth it xD did your father yell at the kid?

No, it was a silent scene. The kid was 20+ yrs old, so not a kid really. I am very grateful to my folks for getting me those things, it made my childhood much brighter.

Mogul by day, gamer by night. Moscow/Russia gang.

Jmeon4eva
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Post Re: How I got my first Mega Drive (worth 200+ words)
on: November 17, 2012, 08:51
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Good story man, i remember when i got mine, being born in 91, i didn't get the console till bout 95-97, when the model 2's were going for dirt cheap. My family's poor as well, hell my dad had to quit college and get a 40+ hour job just to feed me and my mom. So when i got a console it was a big deal, (only received 3 consoles in lifetime. Anyway, my dad had gotten me the Sega gen model 2, cheaper than Saturn, and ps1 and anything else "current". He decided to hide it in the parent's room under the bad.

At that age i loved to find stuff lol, and i was sneaking a look under their bed while he slept, he worked nights, mom worked days. And as i was looking i found it, i still remember being SOOOOOOOO happy finding that, and i had to go show dad, (i know right?), so i'm holding it, and i wake him up, and as soon as he sees it, he get's pissed, (was supposed to be a Christmas gift), he grabbed it from me and gave me a lame duck excuse, "nah, that's for you're cousin, now let me go put this back." So slightly disappointed i went back to my room. What i didn't know was this, it was for me, and he was so pissed he almost put it back, like he was putting his jacket on to take it back, close. Luckily for me he didn't and i had my first console, which i played into the ground. Then i moved on to an original playstation in like 2001, and a xbox in 02, then a 360 in 06-07, which did not red ring until last year, (great for a version that had a 80% failure rate, by the date on the console)

"Take my love, take my land, take me where i cannot stand, I don't care I'm still free, you can't take the sky from me."

wildbird51-
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Post Re: How I got my first Mega Drive (worth 200+ words)
on: December 3, 2012, 08:46
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Great story.

Mogul by day, gamer by night. Moscow/Russia gang.

Jmeon4eva
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Post Re: How I got my first Mega Drive (worth 200+ words)
on: December 3, 2012, 12:37
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Yup, not like your story though. Sadly i have other things on my list above getting another genesis, like getting my jeep working.

"Take my love, take my land, take me where i cannot stand, I don't care I'm still free, you can't take the sky from me."

InnovaX5
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Post Re: How I got my first Mega Drive (worth 200+ words)
on: December 3, 2012, 12:47
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Awesome story Wild. Amazing how video games themselves are blind to borders and language barriers. We all have the same passion and love for them no matter what language we speak or where we live it seems.

Jmeon4eva
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Post Re: How I got my first Mega Drive (worth 200+ words)
on: December 3, 2012, 14:52
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Lol, actually, if you think about it, since Sega and Microsoft collaborated on the dreamcast, Sega's last console, and alot of same features, like controller design went to the original Xbox, the 360, is a descendant of the MD/GEN.

"Take my love, take my land, take me where i cannot stand, I don't care I'm still free, you can't take the sky from me."

InnovaX5
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Post Re: How I got my first Mega Drive (worth 200+ words)
on: December 3, 2012, 15:11
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Yeah, Microsoft just wanted Sega to use Windows CE as its main OS. The Windows / Microsoft logos on the DC were pure marketing purposes only, stating the system was compatible with Windows CE. The only thing Microsoft did with Sega was develop the OS used in some games. So no, the Xbox is not even a half brother to any Sega console.

wildbird51-
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Post Re: How I got my first Mega Drive (worth 200+ words)
on: December 6, 2012, 23:58
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Quote from Jmeon4eva on December 3, 2012, 12:37
Yup, not like your story though. Sadly i have other things on my list above getting another genesis, like getting my jeep working.

I have a Wrangler and it drives me nuts! How come they can't make it work like in the 80s? A few years ago I had a pre-owned Rubicon Unlimited and it worked like a swiss knife, but the new model just sucks.

Mogul by day, gamer by night. Moscow/Russia gang.

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