I’ve had the damnedest time holding onto anything Turbografx-16 related, until just recently. I stupidly traded away my original TG16 setup back in the mid ’90s to a local game store (I had the original CDROM unit and a stack of games, too – only one I kept was Splatterhouse, for obvious reasons). Then I got a Duo and started rebuilding my collection, only to lose it during the event I came to call The Great Crash. If you’ve read Memoirs of a Virtual Caveman, you know what that was all about.
Again, I managed to hold on to Splatterhouse, only by way of sending it to my friend Mike for safekeeping. He sent it back to me after things settled down. Then, around 2011, I got a PC Engine Duo-R and began rebuilding my collection yet again… only to sell it after the prices of Turbo and PC Engine games started to skyrocket around 2016, like an idiot. Even Splatterhouse went that time.
After that, I wrote off ever owning anything Turbo-related ever again. The prices were now simply too high for me to afford.
Then the Turbografx-16 Mini was announced. I debated on getting one after seeing that despite a lot of great games were being included, there were no Namco games, which meant no Splatterhouse. Of course, shortly before it was originally intended to be released, the bombshell dropped that some Namco games were going to be added, including Splatterhouse, which just sealed the deal for me. I immediately went to Amazon and slammed the pre-order button.
Then Covid happened, and the Mini was indefinitely delayed. ARGH. Luckily Amazon Japan eventually started selling them, so I cancelled my U.S. pre-order and just bought one outright from Amazon Japan. Finally I had a Turbografx-16 again, even if it was a mini console with no way to play actual HuCard or CDROM games on it, and several of my favorite games were missing. But still! So many great shooters, Supergrafx games, an Arcade Card game, Akumajo Dracula X: Chi no Rondo, multiple Gradius games… and of course, Splatterhouse. I was happy.
However, as time went on, I found myself missing the games I liked that had been left off in favor of some rather questionable choices, like Moto Roader and Appare! Gateball. Where was The Legendary Axe? The Legendary Axe II? Gate of Thunder? Even Keith Courage in Alpha Zones, the pack-in game when the Turbo was released in the U.S. back in 1989, was missing.
But given the stupid prices that the original console and games command now, I ultimately decided to be content that I had some kind of Turbo console again.
Fast forward to a little over a week ago.
A friend of mine on Instagram was selling off an original Turbografx-16 console, with everything needed to connect it. The price was too high for me to afford, but I sent a half-joking message to him saying that if I had what he was asking for it, I’d be all over that deal. To my complete surprise, he countered with a price that was extraordinarily reasonable for what he was asking.
Needless to say, I jumped at the offer. He packed it up and sent it off shortly thereafter. At the same time, I saw that someone else I knew on Instagram was selling a couple of loose HuCards on Mercari, and after making a reasonable offer on them, he agreed and I was able to get a couple new games for my new Turbo. Both packages arrived this past Friday – I got them right after I slipped on some mud in the driveway and took a header that left me with a bruised left knee and aching legs. Ouch.
My new Turbo certainly helped ease the pain somewhat. I even found a couple of sports games packed in with the Turbo, so my library was already off to a good start. I had picked up a copy of Splatterhouse from a friend of mine on Facebook a couple years back, just to have it in my collection, so of course that immediately got pulled out.
I had to play through it. Would you expect any less from me?
So what next? Stone Age Gamer is selling Turbo Everdrives (and they’re about to start their Black Friday sales), so that’s on the list of things to pick up. One of those will give me access to the entire TG16/PCE HuCard library, so I won’t have to worry about paying insane prices just to get a decent collection again… although I would like to have physical copies of Ninja Spirit, The Legendary Axe II and Pac-Land (yes, Pac-Land) again, just because. And if I ever find them at a decent price, I will pick them up.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m feeling the need to go kill stuff with an axe… a legendary axe, as it were.