Bad Labels Make the Thrifty Heart Grow Fonder…

The other day while I was out of town visiting friends, I decided to pop into a hock shop.  They actually had a pretty good selection of retro games, but much of what they had available I have acquired already.  My collection of cartridges for handheld consoles is minimal at best, so I’m always keeping my eyes peeled for Game Boy, Game Boy Colour or Game Boy Advance games.  The first one I saw that caught my eye was The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages for $19, which I put aside immediately (go here to see the trials and tribulations we endured to resuscitate the cartridge back to working order.)

Also in their inventory were two bad label games: Final Fantasy Legend III, and a GBC game that was simply labelled “Lufia”.  Both games were priced at $10.  The amount I care about a game’s esthetic on a given day really depends on a) how much I know and love the franchise (i.e. I like my Zelda games in excellent condition), b) my mood that day, and c) how good the price is as a result of the label damage.  In this case, I was quite happy to see a significant discount applied because of the label condition of both of these games: the label for Final Fantasy Legend III was pretty disgusting, and the Lufia game’s label was gone entirely.  Although pretty cheap, the Lufia game felt like a bit of a gamble.  I had only ever heard of the SNES Lufia games and lucked out getting them both mostly complete for a great deal a few months ago.  I haven’t done much research into that game series at all, and I actually had no idea that other Lufia games existed.  I normally don’t buy games I know nothing about, but the guy I was dealing with at the shop told me that it was in the same series of games as the SNES Lufia games and not some offshoot like the Final Fantasy Legend/Adventure games are from the main Final Fantasy series by Square(Enix)soft.  Although his words were reassuring, I couldn’t help but think about unknowingly picking up a travesty along the lines of something like Bubsy 3D.  It, for example, was a horrendous jump in the wrong direction from its predecessors for the Sega Genesis.  Despite all my conflicting thoughts and not even knowing the title of the game, I decided to get it.  Here are the games as they appeared in the store (they are some of the ugliest games I’ve ever bought, besides from my torn-label EarthBound):


After getting home and popping the Lufia game into the console, it turned out that it’s called Lufia: The Legend Returns.  I’ve been doing some reading about it and have come across mostly good reviews of the game.  I’m grateful to have a Game Boy Player that hooks up to my GameCube, which will allow me to play these GBC games on my television rather than on the handheld system.  I am happy to have probably made a good purchase with this one!


I should also mention that when I tested out the Lufia cartridge, the music was absolutely captivating.  I don’t know what it is about those old RPGs, but if the intro screen music has me entranced, I’m even more excited now than I was before to play that game series!  I haven’t talked much of my love for video game music and how it can make or break my gaming experience, but here’s a link to the title music if you’re interested.  It sounds totally epic and quest-y, which are my two favourite things in an RPG!

Does anyone have any recommendations for RPGs (action or otherwise) on the Game Boy Colour/Game Boy Advance systems?  I’d love to discover some new games, and it’ll be helpful for my research before the next swap next month.

Hope you’re all well, and thanks for reading!


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5 Responses to Bad Labels Make the Thrifty Heart Grow Fonder…

  1. The Game Boy player add-on for the GameCube was one of the greatest things Nintendo ever released – being able to play Link’s Awakening and others on the big screen was awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

    • hungrygoriya says:

      I did play Link’s Awakening recently, but I only have the Game Boy version so I had to use my Super Game Boy… the false colour palette made it lovely from the standard black and white. I can’t begin to imagine the beauty of the GBC version of that game on the Game Boy Player!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Mr. Panda says:

    Awesome! I’ve heard great things about the Lufia games, though I’ve only played the GBA one.

    For GBC RPGs, I recommend Magi-Nation, which is this obscure western card-based monster RPG title that never caught on. The game was pretty fun though. Power Quest is also a fairly obscure fighting game RPG with robots. It’s very interesting, though nobody has heard of it. Quest for Camelot (yes the game based on the movie) is also a surprisingly fun RPG, especially for a licensed game.

    On GBA, I would recommend Riviera: The Promised Land. It’s a very cute RPG with some strategy and dating sim elements. It was one of the last games I played on the handheld, but it was worth it. If you’ve ever played Tales games, a port of the original Tales of Phantasia is also on the GBA. Similarly, Summon Night: Swordcraft Story (and its sequel) were both underrated games that played like a mix of the Tales action RPG systems and crafting swords. Fun stuff! Finally, these aren’t RPGs, but the Klonoa games that came out on GBA are some of my favorite platformers on the system, period. I think I enjoyed them more than the console iterations of Klonoa. The GBA ones focus more on block puzzle platforming which led to some ingenious gameplay. Hope you like or find any of these games, and let me know what you think if you ever encounter any of them!

    Liked by 1 person

    • hungrygoriya says:

      Wow, thank you so much for such a long list of things to research and consider. It’s half the fun before going to a swap meet! I will definitely keep you posted on my findings!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mr. Panda says:

        Of course! I’ve played a bunch more games on both systems, but I figured I should give you some of my more obscure favorites. Good luck finding games!


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