Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spartan X 2 and Why I Hate the Other Omocha Souko

I made the 45 minute trek out to the other Omocha Souko this morning. As I`ve mentioned in previous posts the location near my house will be closing at the end of the month. They are having a huge sale and I was kind of curious if the other one way out in the suburbs might also have been putting their Famicom stuff on sale.

Unfortunately they weren`t. I didn`t want to walk away empty handed after such a long bike ride though so I had a look at their glass case Famicom stuff - the really good stuff.

I noticed that they had a copy of Spartan X 2 for 1500 yen in there. Spartan X 2 is a somewhat rare game that sells for about twice that at Mandarake and it is one I needed for my collection. I agonized over the decision for a while and then decided to buy it. I told the guy behind the counter I wanted something from the glass case, pointed at the cart and he rang it up for me. I love doing that. Makes me feel like a real big shot to be buying stuff out of the glass case rather than off the racks or (even worse) out of the junk bin.

Now I should mention that due to the game`s relative rarity I`m not all that familiar with what it looks like. When I got it home though I realized I had made a horrible mistake.

When I took the plastic wrapping off of it I noticed this:
Pretty strong distinction in the coloring there, isn`t it?

To explain: that rectangular part that is vibrantly colored was covered by the price tag when I bought it. The extraordinarily faded part was not. The bastards, for whatever reason, kept an incredibly sun faded copy of Spartan X 2 in their glass case.

Because I wasn`t too familiar with what the game was supposed to look like and because I couldn`t see the contrast between the sun faded part and the part under the price tag, I didn`t realize this in time.

Normally I`m not all that picky about cart condition, but this time I kind of am. The thrill of my glass case purchase has been ruined! Plus egregious sun-fading like this really ruins the appeal of the cart, especially when you can see the contrast between the two bits like that.

The ironic thing is that, looking at my previous post on that very store last year I realize that at that time they also had a copy of Spartan X 2 for 1500 yen which I mentioned being tempted to buy in that post. I even took a picture of the same glass case they got it out of and you can see the copy of Spartan X 2 in there. Only the copy they had back then wasn`t sun faded! Curses, if only I had bought it back then!

Caveat emptor as they say....


  1. Really sorry to read up about the sun damage. Specially since it was hidden when you bought it.

    I find this is often the case with many of the ChameleonClubs here too. They put the games under fluorescent lights for years and then just one part is badly faded - NeoGeo carts are some of the worst. :(

  2. Can you take it back for a refund?

  3. Hollo - thanks. I didn`t know that flourescents could do that too, but now that you mention it that makes sense. Real bummer eh?

    Zen Lunatic - I probably could but won`t. Its a 45 minute bike ride out there one-way, which would mean almost a two-hour round trip for a 1500 yen refund. I think I`ll just chalk this up to the cost of collecting!

  4. I'm visiting Fukuoka for the next couple of weeks. I went to the Kaizuka Omocha Souko yesterday. If I were looking for the Shingu and/or Meinohama locations, what are the directions to them?


  5. Hi Ted,

    The Shingu location is located way out in the east of town. I always go by bicycle so I don`t know how to get there by public transit, but there is a bus out there that leaves from downtown (not sure what number). There is a map to the store here:

    The map to the Maebaru location (its actually a bit futher west than Meinohama) is here:

    I`ve only been to that one once as it is pretty far west (I live in the east, near the Kaizuka location). Probably there is a bus but I`m not sure which number.

    Sorry this isn`t too helpful but by all means I recommend checking them out. Well, actually the Shingu one is where I got this copy of Spartan X 2 so I`m not too pleased with it right now but you might find something good there!

  6. Just to let you know the one out in Maebaru closed down last year. I live out in the west of Fukuoka and made quite a disappointing trip there in December when I first arrived.

    I don't know why they never updated the website to tell people it's closed!

    I wonder if the Shingu one will end up closing down too. Although it's too far for me to easily travel to anyway.

  7. Well, that sucks! For some strange reason, I'd much prefer a game's box to be crumpled and torn or a cart's label scuffed up, etc., than for any of the above to be sun-faded :(

    I can understand you not knowing it was sun-faded, though -- with the price tag still attached to it, it probably just looked like it was one of those rather "subdued" labels/logos.

    BTW, I don't suppose you still have the price tag? If you do, one solution would be to reattach it. Not a perfect solution, of course, but a possibility nonetheless.

  8. Thanks for the information. I'm mosly looking for PC engine stuff (a super cdrom drive to replace my broken one), but think that quest will be coming to an end.

  9. Mike - No way, really? That sucks!! I only went out to the one in Maebaru once about 2 years ago but have been planning to go out for another trip because they had a lot of really good stuff at reasonable prices out there. Damn! Actually I am really glad that you told me as it would have been way more disappointing if I had made the 2-hour bike ride out there to find the store boarded up.

    That is true about their website too, their main page still says that the Fukuoka Honten in Kaizuka (which is closing in 9 days) has newly opened and they are actively purchasing stock.

    The one in Shingu will probably stay open, I know that they are moving all of the remaining inventory from the Kaizuka one to Shingu after they close and all the signs in the store tell people to go to the Shingu location.

  10. Bryan - Yes, I feel the exact same way. I don`t know why but sun fading, at least if it is extreme like this, is just the worst kind of damage a cart can have. I would way rather the cart be scratched or dirty or something than it have sun damage.

  11. Ted - The Omocha Souko in Shingu does have a pretty large selection of PC Engine HU cards. Their prices aren`t the cheapest, but the selection is quite good.

    And if you head out there you can also visit a Book Off that is about a 10 minute walk from Shingu Omocha Souko (just head east down the same highway Omocha Souko is on and you will see it on the left). I know that they have a PC Engine CD Rom drive (the little white one) for only 500 yen in one of their junk bins. Unfortunately it probably doesnt work if it is in the junk bin, but they had a few PC Engine things out there so it might be worth a trip for you!

  12. Ted - just to correct the last comment it is a `Hard Off` and not a `Book Off` that has the PC Engine stuff.

    It will be a bit confusing because there is also a Book Off in the nieghborhood, but it doesnt have PC ENgine stuff. Go to the Hard Off.

    1. Sean - Thanks again for the information. Worse case I'm eyeballing several ebay auctions right now that is $12-14 for shipping to Fukuoka instead of the $85 to the states. I had been looking at the hard off (what a name) website, but did not think any were in the area. Other than these stores and Mandarake, these seem to be the only real options(?)

  13. There is one other shop you might try. It is actually the only retro game store I haven't visited yet because it is way down in Dazaifu, but it looks very similar to Omocha Souko and might be worth a visit. It is called Manga Souko, there is a map and store info (in Japanese) here:

    The Hard Off that I was talking about is this one here:

    This one here, which is also in the suburbs east of town, I have been to a few times and has a retro game junk section that sometimes has good stuff in it (not all the time though, timing is everything with these places):

    1. It took me a bit, but I managed to make it to Shingu on Wed. Picked up that junk PC Engine drive you had mentioned and found the terrible Battle Ace Supergrafx game for 300 yen. Again thank you for the information, I would not have found out about most of those locations with out it.

  14. Oh noo, sorry man, that would enrage me too! :( Sun damage is the enemy of so many hobbies. That's one reason I got rid of my SNES and Amiga, actually - both were horrible yellow :( Could you take the game back and show them it's damaged?

  15. Yeah, sun damage when it is this bad sucks.

    I never did take this one back, but I`ve gotten a couple extra copies of this game since so I now have a non-sun faded copy. In fact I also have a CIB copy of it now.

  16. sorry to hear that. is it a good game?

  17. Not bad, but I kind of prefer the first one.