The Adventure Island games are some that I have adored onward from my youngest years on this earth. My first of the series was Adventure Island II, a game I played incessantly after my sister received it as a Christmas gift in 1991 when it came out. My younger self loved the dinosaurs and kindly gave them all the most wonderful names: Daphne, Reddy, Bluey, and Terry. These in-game friends joined me on all my adventures through caves, forests, and even up into the clouds. The fondness I feel for that game to this day puts it up in my top 10 games of all time, hands down, no question.
When I got a credit card and started perusing eBay in my late teens, one of the first games I bought after Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island was the original Adventure Island game for the NES. I knew a friend growing up that owned it and I remember loving it. However, after receiving the game in the mail and popping it into Old Faithful, I can honestly say the experience was lackluster. Compared to the second game in the series, the animation was different, there were no dinosaurs, and the music was extremely repetitive. Sure, it had all of the game’s basics: same characters, hammers, skateboards, etc., but its successor was far better.
Fast forward to a few months ago. I had glanced quickly at a Twitch stream over my boyfriend’s shoulder, and someone was playing what I thought to be a mod or hack of Adventure Island II. Everything looked and sounded the same, but then a new dinosaur appeared: the green rolling dino! And then suddenly the player was running around with boomerangs and had the ability to duck. When the guy game overed, I was floored when I noticed that there was an Adventure Island 3! I’m not sure why I never thought to check into other series installments before that moment, but I was immediately smitten. When my boyfriend went to make a snack, I sat down and watched Adventure Island 3 for a while. I soon after took to the internet to see what the pricing was like, and good Lord, was it expensive: $85 plus shipping! I had a moment of weakness when it made its way into my eBay cart, but I removed it a short time later. I couldn’t spend over $100 on a game, even if it was something I knew I’d love. Good things come to those who wait.
Recently, a seller posted an ad for Adventure Island II and 3 (not sure why Hudson Soft dropped the Roman numerals, but okay…) and he wanted $75 for Adventure Island 3 on its own. After attempting to negotiate a better price unsuccessfully, I wanted to see the condition of the cartridge because the guy was claiming it to be “mint”. Boy, was he right! There is barely a scratch on the thing and it looks like it could’ve come straight out of the factory. I did open it up to make sure it was a legitimate copy and it all checked out just fine. Here is a photo of my three Adventure Island games. I have Adventure Island II complete with its box and manual, but I only have the cartridges for the other two games. Also, I excluded my copy of Super Adventure Island because it’s a different beast altogether!
I am happy to not only have discovered a game that panders to all the things I loved about Adventure Island II, but to also now own it and have the ability to play it through as much as I like. It turns out it’s really hard, but that’s a challenge I’m willing to take up!
In other good news, it’s swap day tomorrow! We have upwards of 10 hours in the car over the course of the day, but it’ll be well worth it for the last out of town swap of the year. So far, I’m hoping to track down the usual SNES culprits: Robotrek, Secret of Evermore, and Breath of Fire II. I’m also on the lookout for Skies of Arcadia (Legends?) as well as a copy of Final Fantasy II if the price is right (it never is.) I’ve got a little price research on the go for this evening, and then it’ll be off to sleep! We have to be up at the crack of dawn tomorrow. Send us all of your good luck vibes for some good discoveries!
Thanks for reading, as usual! Hope you’re all enjoying the weekend!