Saturday, October 17, 2015

The 'Tumbleweed Portable Club' (of lonely WonderSwan owners) has another member

Remember this recent post, the focal point of which was a snapshot of a tiny, cube-shaped box that was topped by a copy of Mr. Driller: Drill Spirits?

Well, the photos that follow detail the contents of that surprisingly small package.

No, your eyes aren't deceiving you. I finally got off my lazy butt and bought a WonderSwan. Specifically, a translucent black WonderSwan Color.

That may have elicited a groan from some of you. After all, anyone who knows anything about the WonderSwan knows that the SwanCrystal is by far the best of the three WonderSwan systems that were sold in Japan in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

The thing is, I didn't go out of my way to buy this WonderSwan Color. You see, it was just one part of a nicely appointed eBay auction that also included a number of WonderSwan games.

In fact, one of those games--the one seen below--was responsible for bringing my attention to the eBay auction in question.

That would be the WonderSwan port of Human Entertainment's Clock Tower--or Clock Tower for WonderSwan, as I believe it's officially known.

For whatever reason, I got a bug up my butt about this horrific point-and-click game a month or so ago, and while searching eBay for a copy of it I came across a tantalizingly cheap auction that included a black WonderSwan Color, Clock Tower, a visual novel called Terrors (not pictured here) and three other WonderSwan games.

Which ones, you ask? Well, here's one of them:

Although this WonderSwan Color "remake" of Final Fantasy IV isn't all that different from Final Fantasy IV Advance for the GBA--the latter was released in 2005, while the former was released in 2002--I've long wanted to own a copy of it because I'm such a huge fan of this particular Squaresoft game.

The other two games included in the eBay auction I ended up winning are Final Fantasy titles, too. Specifically, the WonderSwan Color re-imaginings of the first and second Final Fantasy adventures. (These remakes later served as the backbones of 2002's Final Fantasy Origins for PlayStation and 2004's Final Fantasy 1 & II: Dawn of Souls for GBA.)

The photo above showcases the back of the first Final Fantasy remake's box. That illustration covering its top half is pretty slick, don't you think?

I didn't snap any shots of the front of that game's box because, well, it's not all that exciting. The same is true of the box that houses the WonderSwan Color version of Final Fantasy II.

Still, you can ogle both covers in the image above--especially if you click and zoom in on it. 

Last, but far from least, is this photo of the translucent black WonderSwan Color I first described in the opening lines of this post. 

Something you probably can't tell from this snapshot: how small this system is. Seriously, it's about the size of my wallet--which came as quite a shock to me. 

Also a pretty big shock was the dimness of the system's screen. I had been warned about this, of course, but it's been so long since I spent time with a handheld that doesn't have a backlit screen that I almost forgot how annoying that kind of thing can be.

Oh, well, I got used to it back when I spent a ton of time with an actual GameBoy (these days I mostly play that system's titles through emulation--even though I have a couple of OG GameBoy systems and a ton of games), I'm sure I'll get used to it again.

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