Saturday, January 18, 2014

Famicom Rarity Find! Battle Formula!

I did a little retro game shopping at an actual store yesterday and made an amazing discovery:  Battle Formula!  And cheap!

I have been on a quest to find this game for years now.  I have only come close on two occasions.  The first time was a couple of years ago when I visited the Mandarake in Kitakyushu, which had a copy in their glass case for I think 12,000 yen or so if I remember.  I couldn`t afford it so passed, but oh how I wanted it.

The second time was about 3 months ago when I bit on a copy on Yahoo Auctions.  The copy in question was pretty beat up, with a bit of damage on the front and a completely messed up back.  I dropped out when the bidding got up to about 8,000 yen or so, I don`t know how much it ended up going for.

There are a few reasons I have wanted this game so bad.  First, it is one that I need for my full Famicom set.  Second, look at that cover art - it is totally awesome.  Third, it is a pretty cool game.

So when I found it there - a copy in perfect condition no less - for a mind blowing 3000 yen (about 30$) tears of joy came to my eyes:
I don`t know why they were selling it so cheap, the game is easily worth 5 times that.  I think this was just another case of me lucking into a really cheap find - the first time this has happened since good old Omocha Souko closed down almost 2 years ago. 

I think Battle Formula might be the hardest regular game in the Famicom catalogue to find if you exclude all the limited edition, gold version, not-sold-in-stores rarities.  There is only one copy of it on Ebay, compared to three copies of Recca and about a billion copies of Gimmick!  On Yahoo Auctions there is also only one copy, going for 15,000 yen.  So I am super happy to be able to cross this off my want list without having to take a bank loan or anything.

I am however left with the problem of not having a suitable display case or anything for this beauty, which I think is now the highlight of my Famicom collection.  My apartment is so crowded I just can`t do my carts justice display-wise.

I think I need to get some sort of special case to keep it in that will properly reflect the high regard I hold this baby in.  I am currently leaning towards something along the lines of this:

I would need to hire 4 full time Ark-bearers with this option though, not to mention the cost of supplying them with the proper outfits and accoutrements.  This is a bit out of my price range now, so my copy of Battle Formula will temporarily be stored in a box on a shelf until I figure out what to do with it. 

Anyway, I`m so happy about this!  My goal of collecting all the Famicom carts has passed another milestone!


  1. This is an odd case, It has no real popularity with American collectors, because it was released here under the name Super Spy Hunter. And while it's an uncommon game, it's not particularly expensive or in demand either.

  2. That is interesting. Actually there seems to be some Japanese sellers taking advantage of that low price in the US, there is a loose copy of the NES Super Spy Hunter on Yahoo Auction right now for 6500 yen (about $65 US):

  3. I think I'll buy Super Spy Hunter on eBay sometime just for that. Also - congrats on the great find! I hope to see you finish the collection. Do you have all the Gundam games?

  4. Thanks! I`m not sure if I have all of the Gundam games, I have a LOT of them though! I lost my checklist a while ago so I`ve just been guessing which ones I need until I get a day to re-sort everything, I figure I still need about 250 carts or so to finish the set!

  5. So, have you played Battle Formula? I mean, if you're going to get the game, might as well play it. From what I've seen of it, it looks pretty darn cool. A lot of stuff there you wouldn't expect to see on an NES/Famicom, but then again it's Sunsoft during their golden era, so would you expect any less?

  6. I have tried it once and I will be trying it many more times :) I agree, Sunsoft during its golden era put out some of the best games on the Famicom!

  7. Oh, neat - I just learned about this game from an old episode of Game Center CX where they visit a guy who apparently has every Famicom cartridge. He shows off Battle Formula as his favorite game and says that not many people know about it.

    I didn't know it got released in the states as Super Spy Hunter. I guess that's one of the few times where I feel a bit luckier to have this hobby and be in the U.S. ;)

  8. Yeah, in Japan it is an extreme rarity compared to the NES version!

  9. Shoping in Cambodia no have Battle Formula game