- General Definitions
- Online Guide and Collector Lists
- Pricing Philosophy
- Rating Philosophy
- Boxes and Manuals
- PAL vs. NTSC
- Section Editors
What we've attempted to do is make a guide that is not only easy to use, but
informative for the collector. Each title is listed with pertinent information
as well as some notes of interest. The price values and scarcity ratings listed
here are to be used just as a GUIDELINE, this is NOT "the Bible". Many titles
listed here are more readily available (or scarcer) in some areas than they are
in others, and most likely will be found for HIGHER prices on online auctions
such as eBay. This listing represents the combined efforts of many of the
hobby's top collectors and dealers.
PLAY RATINGS: A plus sign (+) at the end of an entry indicates this is a
“centerpiece” game, within the tops in playability. It means we really dig it.
Negative signs (-) mean we don’t.
AKA: Sometimes beneath a title you will see “aka”, which we include if the title
is known as something else either overseas or in a clone of some sort. For
example, the SNK title “Super Sidekicks” for the Neo-Geo is aka “Tokuten Oh” in
Japan. This is useful if you’re not interested in label variations or clones.
DESCRIPTION: Beneath that primary information is the information we’ve gathered about the
title that we feel might be interesting: Designer and developer names, copyright
info, release dates, coin-op associations, box and instruction booklet
anomalies, catalog numbers and any other juicy tid-bits we’ve discovered about
the game in our years of research. Within this section are several sub-sections:
GENRE/STYLE: We've done our best to categorize games similarlly so that you
can find others from the approximate same school of gaming. Also helpful if
there is little other information for a title other than the primary stuff - at
least you know what kind of game it is.
PUBLICATIONS: Lists awards, advertisements, and/or special notoriety given to
that game by various publications.
EASTER EGGS: Glitches, hidden secrets, or otherwise undocumented features of
a game. We didn’t include every invincibility code and stage select out there,
but if something’s hidden in the game somewhere and we think it's worth seeing,
we’ll show you how to get at it.
SANTULLI SLANT: this is my own, often ignorant personal take on the game, the
genre, or anything else relevant (or not). Also lists ratings for graphic
quality [Gr], sound quality [So], gameplay [Ga], and overall [Ov]. There’s no
method to the madness of the games chosen, comments just sprung up as I was
playing and/or writing about them. Hope you enjoy ‘em.
LANDMARK: Marks games of significance, either for that system or for video
gaming in general. You won’t see this in EVERY section, we’re just introducing
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- If you do not have a Retrogaming Roundtable user ID/Password, register
- Log in to the Retrogaming Roundtable here:
- Head to the main search page here:
- Search for games you own, want, or have for trade/sale.
- On the search results page, check off games you own, want, or have for
trade/sale and click the "Update Lists" button when you're done.
- To view your lists, click the link to your personal lists on the
"Database Custom" List page.
- To switch between your owned, wanted, and trade lists, click the links
at the top of any of those pages.
- To remove games from your list, check off games and click the "Remove"
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If you’ve been collecting for awhile, inevitably you’ve run into a situation
where you want to buy a game from someone and they tell you to “make them an
offer”. Here’s the toughest part of the game: you don’t want to offer too low
and insult the seller... and you don’t want to offer too high and screw
yourself. OUR prices are on the low side, such that you are guaranteed not to
insult anyone with our offer. They also assume the cartridge is “loose”, without
a box or manual (exceptions are noted within these pages). How much MORE you
want to offer is up to the condition of the game, whether it has come with its
original manual and/or box, and your personal trading style.
The dollar value is the suggested, "between collectors" purchase price. We’ve
dollar-rated items up to $999, anything higher than that is really a seller’s
call, or what we’ll call “name your own price”. You may also see a $0 which
means we couldn’t price it due to insufficient data (very common among
prototypes, for example). Also see the section below for a bit more about dollar
values and scarcity ratings. Dollar values apply to either loose or complete
games, as noted in the dollar field online or at the top of the list in the
Please note that Digital Press is an UNBIASED organization. We have no reason to make
a title’s value or scarcity appear higher or lower since we are not dealers, but
rather penniless collectors.
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There is a scarcity value commonly appears next to the dollar value, and it
represents a scale of 1 through 10 with 1 being the most common and 10 being the
most rare. The following is the legend to use when viewing these rarity ratings.
- R0: Titles listed with a rarity of zero are simply games that were never released
or require more research on our side. You’ll see this listed on ALL “Rumor Mill” entries.
- R1: These are the items you can find or BUY anywhere. When you find a bunch of games, these WILL be in the pile.
- R2: You can find these titles just about anywhere, too, but they’re slightly less common, perhaps in certain areas.
- R3: You’ll find these items through the proper channels (other collectors!), not as common “on the street”, but fairly common on the internet.
- R4: Things get a little harder here, as a title
rated as such could have a lower production run, or other factors that pull it
out of the common bin, but nowhere near rare. You can start calling titles from
- R5: The hunt begins.
Five are the kinds of item you have to look for, but definitely always in reach.
R6: If you see a six or greater, at least one of us
had a problem finding the title. You call this VERY UNCOMMON if you so desire,
or BORDERLINE RARE.
- R7: RARE. A true collectible! Sevens and up represent the “hardest” 25% of the games listed in this Guide.
- R8: We consider these the items you’ll never find by chance (except in those legendary lucky finds!). There are a few eights in this Guide that we haven’t gotten our grubby little hands on... yet.
- R9: The centerpiece of a collection make up the nines. If you ever hope to BUY one of these, prepare to write out a big check.
- R10: Not only is this the centerpiece of a collection, but a ten also means you could be holding a one-of-a-kind (certainly one of no more than a dozen or so) there - kind of like owning a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle, or Issue #1 of DC’s Action Comics.
We include the scarcity ratings to address the need for a rating system
across platforms. What we found out through many letters, e-mails and other
excellent feedback was that prices provide a good baseline but were not
addressing how difficult a cartridge might be to “find”. So we’ve done both for
you. The scarcity rating provides a very simple one to ten system (a longtime DP
tradition). “1” is the common doorstop. “10” is the item your friends want to
Note that a "2" for the Atari 2600 should be just as easy or hard to find as
a "2" on the Neo-Geo system. It's all relative across systems, not within them.
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Our prices and scarcity ratings are often based on a “loose game” system,
unless otherwise noted. Completists LOVE boxes and will pay even more for
“sealed” games (although I personally don’t get that... live life, enjoy your
stuff!). You can expect to pay as much as twice our listed price or as little as
nothing extra if the box and manual are included in your deal. Our observations
have been that the more rare the cartridge is, the more relevant the price of
the box. Example: no one is gonna pay extra for a Madden ’92 box, but the box
for 32X Darxide could easily raise the price six-fold!
A few of the systems in this guide assume the box and manual ARE included
simply because it was more practical and easier to keep these boxes than destroy
them! In the post-Nintendo era, this is much more common than before. Our dollar
values may apply to either loose or complete games, as noted in the dollar field
online or at the top of the list in the printed books.
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Prototypes are defined here as games that are either unreleased commercially
or in their pre-production form. Unreleased games, like Sega 32X “Sonic
Crackers”, were only available as prototypes. There are no boxes or instruction
manuals for these games. In the case of pre-production games, we’re talking
about cartridges that somehow got out of the programming lab prior to the game’s
retail release (this was very commonly done to distribute review copies to
magazines as well) and into a collector's hands. There may be screens or sounds
missing from pre-production copies that distinguish them from the final product.
You will notice the general rule here is that true prototypes are valuable
commodities. By rule of thumb, prototypes have a scarcity rating of 10, since
there would be very few authentic prototypes available for any given game. These
things were in the hands of game reviewers or never commercially released. If
the game was never released, the prototype is even more valuable! We've found
over the years that it is a seller's market in these cases, and in many
instances you can call your own price. Chances are there's someone out there
willing to pay it. DP has attempted to keep track of many rare games (like the
one-of-a-kind Combat Two by Atari for the VCS). You will almost always see a 10
next to these finds, which we believe should be considered the centerpieces of
So how can you tell a prototype from a copy? As mentioned earlier, it's very
difficult. Some programming labs like Atari had their own labels and circuit
boards, but others simply used plain casings and generic boards. CD prototypes
are nearly impossible to distinguish real from fraud (unless you know the
history of the CD).
If it’s a cartridge, the best way to tell is to "open 'er up" and have a
look. If you see a chip or cirtuit board with the game company name printed on
it, it's probably not a copy. You may get some carts that seem to have two chips
inside - that is, in all likelihood, a true prototype as well. EPROM’s generally
weigh a bit more, too, but again, that’s pretty hard to distinguish at a garage
sale. EPROMs are distinguishable from ROMs in that they have a tiny clear
“window” at the top of the chip. The truth is, it's easier to tell if you have a
copy than if you have a prototype, so most people just sit in limbo, never
really knowing which they own. If you find yourself in this predicament, write
to us or e-mail us, send us pictures of the internals and we'll try to help you
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What may have at one time been considered to be a one-off or sporadic
production of NEW games for these vintage systems has now become a major
initiative by a number of talented game designers. As such, homebrew games have
been given their own sub-section within each game system’s listing. We’re
absolutely delighted that every year a number of quality new titles appear on
several of our favorite classic consoles. The people who do this stuff deserve
an enormous amount of respect. They’re not only keeping these systems alive, but
they’re turning out games that rival the best in these systems’ libraries.
Please give them a big hand. They can hear you.
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DP Headquarters, based in the U.S., chooses to look at “import” games as
anything NOT developed in the U.S. We use NTSC (National Television Standards
Committee) televisions and consoles, so everything developed here works just
great on our home sets. However, most games manufactured and sold in the UK,
Germany, Australia, etc. were developed in PAL (Phase Alternating Lines) format.
This means that to compensate for the difference in resolution and
frames-per-second (PAL televisions display more lines than our crummy North
American sets), you will need a television with a vertical hold adjustment to
see. Without this, the screen will roll, flash, or behave in otherwise nasty
ways to prevent you from actually playing the game. Bastages!
When we distinguish these, it’s often because the title is ONLY available in
PAL format by the listed manufacturer. We haven’t listed EVERYTHING available in
PAL here, though our online listings are continually narrowing that gap.
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A common practice among bootleggers and other miscreants (i.e. friends of Joe
Santulli) is the copying of CD’s, ROMs and EPROM programs onto new media. In so
doing, the balance of supply and demand is unfairly tilted. After much debate,
we now suggest you consider your bootleg games WORTHLESS in terms of monetary
value. Many of these “worthless” titles will be the prizes of our collections
because we love to play them, but for trade and future investment potential,
don’t expect anything back. The reason for this is quite simple, really. Anyone
with the knowledge and access can copy an original PlaySation NBA Live ’98 (a
game used as a doorstop in nine out of ten fine dining establishments) OR
Dragonball Z GT (allegedly only 5000 made) with the same amount of time and
skill. Also, if you think about other hobbies and their approach to "replicas",
you'll see the validity. A replica of a 1952 Mickey Mantle card is basically
worthless. Likewise, even the rarest game in all the land should be considered
just a game - not a collectible - in terms of cartridge collecting. Copied carts
usually have no label or a hand printed label, but are otherwise identical to
their commercial master.
We've been asked by several dealers to take a firm stand against individuals
copying games, but we're still split on the issue. While the staff of DP would
never condone illegal practices, there are plenty of examples where the copying
is perfectly legal. For example, I know of a “bootlegger” who's contacted a
developer of Atari 2600 games and received the "OK" to copy their games - as
long as it's for the long dead Atari 2600. In another case, an entire system's
(Vectrex) library has been made public domain by the owner of the code. As a
result, many "multi-carts" have cropped up in recent years.
So what's our stance? If you can get a BOOTLEG of a game that you would never
normally even see in a lifetime, why not purchase it? Make sure you always make
it clear when purchasing a copy that you're not getting yourself into anything
illegal, and ask the producer to stamp, sticker, or otherwise indelibly mark the
copy as such. This way, if you decide to trade or sell the cart again in the
future, the next customer will be likewise protected. I have personally never
dealt with a bootlegger that was in it for the money (as these copies come
incredibly cheap). Remember, though - what you're getting isn't "collectible" at
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A tremendous amount of work has been put into the DP Guides, both online and
in print format.
The team here is the best we could ever hope to assemble. If
you know your collectors, then you know this is like a “dream team” of
collectors. I’d like to
acknowledge a few of the folks who have made a major contribution to the amazing
database of information you see here:
Mat's parents innocuously bought him a Commodore 64 in 1984; twenty years later he's still using the damn thing! Aside from using that time to accumulate a huge collection, he also has a particular bent for cartridges, which is probably why he's so well suited for heading up the Commodore sections here at Digital Press. Aside from tinkering with computers, he also has a soft spot for those also-ran systems the Atari 7800, Vectrex and Neo Geo Pocket.
In addition to being a crazed individual when it comes to all things
TurboGrafx-16 and PC-Engine, Larry has a soft spot for the PC-FX, LaserActive,
SuperGrafx and Neo-Geo Pocket (of which he can lay claim to having nearly
complete collections of). When he isn’t hoarding games, he uses his geekly
powers and normally dormant 3rd eye to keep the web pages of Digital Press
humming for all to enjoy.
Adrienne “Achika” Barr has been in the hobby since she received her first
Nintendo at the age of 5. Since then she has been assimilating every system and
game that crosses her path. In 2001 Adrienne opened her website,
www.vidgame.net, a nice companion to Digital Press in its cross-era coverage of
gaming history. Meanwhile, she has been studying photography though the past few
years the hobby of video gaming has been invading her photography world. It’s
all good to us.
Gaming since the age of 3, and collecting since the age of 7, Kevin is no stranger to the world of video games. His first memories were of playing his parent's atari 2600, which he ultimately broke from overuse. From there it was on to the 7800 and NES, and the rest is history. A huge fan of the Mario Brothers, shootem-ups, and fighting games, he is a rabid collector, aiming for whatever systems he can get his hands on. This desire to have a catalogue of games is what led him to cover the obscure Memorex Vis console, which prior was difficult to find any information on. In his off, non-game time, Kevin likes to watch wrestling, sleep, tell really bad jokes, and quoting entire simpsons episodes.
Sylvain de Chantal
You’d never know that the 7th Edition of the Collector’s Guide was Sylvain’s
first foray into this territory, and there’s a good reason for that. “SlyDC” has
been the maintainer of many classic gaming system FAQ’s for a number of years.
As such, he was the natural choice to lead many of the newer sections you’ll see
in recent books, including the Microvision, “Pong” systems, R-Zone and Mattel
Aquarius portions of our Guides.
Frank Cifaldi is a 20-year resident of Las Vegas, which makes him a regular at
the annual Classic Gaming Expo at the Plaza Hotel. Frank considers himself a
"digital archaeologist," and has been studying the NES since sometime around
mid-1999, in correlation with his termination of a two-year relationship.
Luckily for us, he's stayed single ever since, and in less than three years has
helped uncover new information on the seemy underbelly of Nintendo-dom, adding a
ton of previously-unknown third world info and unreleased prototypes to our
Nintendo section. Frank owns and maintains TheRedEye.net, a personal shrine to
the queerest of the queer in the world of NES games.
Jason teethed on Pong machines, grew up on Atari and C64, and found his calling on a Turbo-Grafx. It's no wonder why he's a walking encyclopedia of gaming knowledge today. His drug of choice is the Sony PlayStation, which helped him earn Sony's "Biggest PlayStation Fan" award, as well as a co-editor spot on the DP Guide's PSX section. He owns the entire US PSX library (1270+ games), and is currently hunting down every last demo, variant, and 32-Bit obscurity Sony can throw at him. When he's not lurking around the DP message boards, you can find him at his own web-site (http://www.game-rave.com).
A new face in the staff: A German collector who loves the "obscure" stuff
with a special focus on European systems and games. As nobody else wanted to do
it, he gladly overtook the Arcadia 2001 section from Ward in 2004. Works
together with a friend on a bibliography about video games and is writing his
thesis about "computer- and video games in the GDR from 1980 -1989".
The multi-talented Mr. Giarrusso started out around here as a mop-boy, cleaning
out the corporate latrines on the 2nd floor. He has since changed hats and
career paths many times while with Digital Press, doing extensive writing,
artwork, forum administration, and since issue #49 of the bi-monthly publication
is also the editor-in-chief! Sure, this is all a great step down from mop-boy,
but Dave seems happy and this way no one really gets hurt. A brilliant, creative
mind that we simply could not do without.
Roloff “Deleto” de Jeu
Our overseas correspondent worked closely with Marco Kerstens (listed below) to
overhaul the Atari “import” section once again. Though he doesn’t like the term
“import”, he’s just going to have to live with it. :) Collectively, they’ve
added hundreds of new titles to that section and opened our eyes to the
still-booming world of PAL and Euro titles that never seem to stop coming. You
can thankk Roloff for psychOpedia, too—he’s been on a personal mission to print
it for several years now.
Simply put, “big daddy” John Hardie and Sean Kelly are my partners in this
project. Besides always keeping me in check, these boys lend inspiration and
creativity to this Guide. John is one of the most ANAL people I know, and that’s
a very good thing when it comes to putting together a reference guide. He’s
taken all of the Atari sections and given them yet another face-lift (the Atari
XE section was completely re-written for the classic edition). Without John,
there would probably be no DP Guide.
Another new face for this edition, James emerged from a long-term lurking habit
brandishing a PAL Mega Drive gamelist. When not scouring North-East England's
car-boot sales and charity shops for gaming goodies, James prefers to spend his
Keir has been hopelessly addicted to Commodore games since he got his first
VIC-20 back in 1981. His collection now includes over 25 game consoles and
classic computers. Keir is also webmaster for several small websites including
The Ultimate Wizard Website (http://www.geocities.com/svipdaag/vidgames/wizard/).
Sean always offers more than I can take, but what I take A LOT from him on is
his work on the DP CD-ROM, which was originally produced back in 1997. Don’t ask
him when the next one is coming out, but know that the CD has been growing on
our hard drives, so… someday. Sean is the voice of reason in many of Digital
Press’ projects, and there is no more diligent editor on this staff.
My “other” friend from the Netherlands, Marco has one of the (if not the)
greatest Atari 2600 collections on the planet. While many of us can claim to
have a great US collection, Marco’s got that PLUS an incredible library of PAL
and other “non-US” titles. He also happens to be a great guy, and has been a
major contributor to the Atari 2600 import section.
Dieter is the webmaster of the Classic Consoles Center
(http://www.dieterkoenig.at/ccc/). Dieter took on the task of creating
Collector’s Guide-quality sections for two rather obscure systems, especially to
those of us in North America, the Creativision and the Interton VC4000. A
brilliant first effort, this.
Andrew Krieg has been collecting video games for over 20 years. Today his
collection consists of over 30 systems and 2200 games. In 1993 Andrew started to
catalog his collections, and to make concise ASCII collection lists available on
the web. He was the first to offer lists for the Atari 8-bit computers, Virtual
Boy, Super Nintendo, Sega Pico, and others. His cataloging efforts (which are
available at http://my.execpc.com/~krieg/VidGames.htm) are what led him to cross
paths with the Digital Press crew and the Rarity List Database project.
Like everyone else who worked on this guide, Dan "Yoshi-M" Mahlendorf has been
addicted to video games from a young age. He cut his teeth on a Coleco Telstar
Arcade when he was but a lad. While he has played and owned many of the classic
game consoles, Dan has focused on the more modern systems (the 90's!) for his
collection for its historical impact on today's world of gaming. His
contributions to the gaming scene can be read in his N64 reviews on
www.world-of-nintendo.com, game repair articles for Good Deal Games, and an
online arcade showcasing work from independent game creators called This Old
Home Arcade (now defunct with the demise of Xoom.com).
A gamer who tends to gravitate towards the obscure, Kevin "K3V" Manne heads-up our NUON section and is the man behind the NUON fan site
www.nuon-dome.com. Kevin is also a long time fan of the Atari Jaguar platform, and played host to the 1998 stop of the annual JagFest gathering. He has done playtesting on multiple Jaguar and NUON game projects (including the unreleased Bust-A-Move 4 on NUON, Protector and Mad Bodies for the Jag, and Soccer Kid and Urban Yeti on the GBA), and he has had design work featured in Manci Games magazine, designed Songbird Productions manuals and created cover/disc artwork for the Jaguar Extremist Pack series.
Russ Perry Jr.
Once called "ubiquitous" in the pages of Tips & Tricks, Russ Perry Jr's name
should be familiar to anyone who's paid attention in the videogaming hobby -- as
a prolific letter-writer during the heady videogame fanzine era, as a long-time
collector of anything and everything but especially the obscure, as current
editor of the 2600 Connection and occasional staff writer for Digital Press, as
moderator of Stellalist (a mailing list dedicated to programming the Atari
2600), as member of the team that produced the Stella Gets A New Brain game
compilation and occasional proof-reader for other videogame related projects,
and as the only person to have their own directory on the Digital Press CD.
Don got hooked on video games back in the 70’s after playing Pong and
Anti-Aircraft at a Shakey’s Pizza. His first Atari 2600 arrived in 1980 and
since then it’s been a non-stop ride hunting and collecting games. His interests
in collecting have been centered on Atari but include all classic systems of the
80’s and many of the systems from the 90’s. He met John Hardie in 1986 and they
got each other going in collecting Atari 8-bit hardware and software. During
that time of looking for Atari 8-bit stuff they cleared away a pile of now rare
and uncommon 2600 titles and Don made the comment “You know John, we’ll probably
be collecting this 2600 stuff one of these days.” On top of collecting stuff for
classic systems of the 80’s Don is also a devoted fan of Sega’s Saturn and
Dreamcast systems and the NEC TurboGrafx-16. Since the 80’s it’s been a
continuing quest of searching through filthy warehouses, driving hundreds of
miles on the rumor of old games being around and flying across the country to
attend trade shows and collectors meets.
Kristine has been a gamer since the tender age of six when her parents brought
home an Odyssey system (that's the first one, not an Odyssey2...yes, she's THAT
old.). She has owned practically every video game system at same point in time
(except for the Adventurevision and the Xbox), and will continue to do so until
the day she either dies or ends up homeless, whichever comes first. Her current
projects include collecting every PlayStation game ever released, moderating the
Digital Press video game forum, and trying to prevent her head from exploding.
Christian Scott is a long time game collector and hand-held fanatic. Christian
is best known for founding and hosting the New England Classic Game Collectors
meets, which take place 3 times a year at his home in Boston. Christian has been
a vocal contributor to RGVC, Digital Press and AtariAge for many years and
actively collects for every platform under the sun. Christian welcomes any
contributions and suggestions for his handheld section and can be reached at
Scott plays many roles here. Besides the upkeep to the book, Atari catalog and
Atari label variation sections, he’s put together a whale of an “easter egg”
compendium, which you’ll find in the pages of the Collector’s Guide and website.
Adam stepped up to completely overhaul the Astrocade section of the Collector’s
Guide in 2002. He is a die-hard, and you may know his work at Orphaned Computers
& Game Systems (www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Server/2990/) or Bally Alley
(www.classicgaming.com/ballyalley/), and if you don’t, you owe it to yourself to
go check them out.
Dave Warmington is your classic video gaming idiot. His first memories come from
the near-flawless arcade ports the Atari 5200 had to offer. From there, came the
NES, and it was all downhill from there for Dave as he dove into gaming
addiction. A certified Nintendo junkie, he cannot escape the gaming goodness
Nintendo has dropped on us over the past two decades. His regular ritualistic
sacrifices to his NES system have helped move him towards his ultimate goal:
owning every Nintendo-made cart. Ever. Dave spends his day sitting on his ass,
maintaining the SNES section and throwing in his overly psychopathic comments to
the NES and Genesis sections.
Taking up the PlayStation list mantle where Kristine Roper left off, Steve is now steaming ahead with pinning down all the variants and with his co-editor, bring the 1200+ game catalog near completion. Playing games for as long as he can remember, Steve migrated his way from a 2600 through most every console release up to the present. However for reasons unknown, he's started to collect the biggest library for a US system and made the very sane decision to go after all of
There are literally hundreds of people who have helped out over the years, from
error-correcting tweaks to screen shot and scan contributions, to dedicating
entire text to certain game entries. Without a community of gamers who actually
CARE about the games of yesteryear, there would not BE a Digital Press. To all
of you, thanks again - and trust that you'll be properly credited in the books
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