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Dreamcast Collectors Unite! Exploring your collections - Part 1


We put out the call to our fellow Dreamcast collectors, and my word, didn't we get a response! We've had such a quantity of replies, it's going to warrant several articles to cover you all - great for us, as there's more glorious Dreamcast goodies to gaze at!

So join us, as we delve into the games rooms of our first set of featured Dreamcast fans. There's a wide range of differing approaches to this collecting lark, and we have a selection of those on offer today. Without further ramblings from me, let's meet our first 4 collectors - say hello to Tristan, Mike, James and Stephen!

Tristan


Hello fellow Dreamer! Tell us a little about yourself! 

Hello! I’m Tristan (@Infiniteque) from Cleveland, OH and I run gaming and Esports events in the city that are free and open to everyone. I’ve been a huge fan and collector of the Dreamcast since it was released and it remains my favourite console. I love sharing my collection with others so they can experience games they may not have had the chance to play before! 
You obviously have a love for the Dreamcast; when did that start? 
  
So, I remember going to the mall arcade with a buddy of mine and we happened to walk by a game store's display where they had a Dreamcast playing Sonic Adventure. I remember being absolutely stunned and stopped in my tracks, not expecting to see it, and was blown away by the high-res screen and graphics. As I think back, they must have had it connected via VGA because more than anything, I just remember how sharp the visuals were! 
  
I didn't get my own until I set off for college when my younger sister got me a Dreamcast as a going-away gift! Who could ask for anything better? 
  
So your current collection – can you give a brief description of what you have, what you collect (i.e. games only, games and console variants etc.) and what your 'end goal' is, if you have one? 
  
Within my collection, I have a wide variety of original Dreamcast titles, arcade ports, and lots of peripheral-based games. Over time, I began to focus on those games that required special peripherals (arcade sticks, dance mats, fishing rod controller, light guns, etc) to get the full experience of, and my end goal is to find and acquire all of those games! 
Why did you start collecting for the console, and if you still are, what makes you continue? 

I started to collect Dreamcast stuff mostly because of the fact that I could not believe how amazing so many of the games were! Game after game, I was in absolute awe of the library every time I saw something new in a magazine or in-person. It got to a point where I thought to myself “Alright, I’m just going to get everything I can for this console!” Currently, I don’t consider myself to still be collecting technically, but I do not pass up opportunities when I come by them! 
  
Where do you get new additions to your collection? Are you still able to find them 'in the wild' or is it online only now? 
  
Interestingly enough, it’s a mix of both when it comes to buying offline and online! Of course, online is best but every so often I will wander into a used game store and stumble upon something. 
  
What's the favourite part of your collection, and why? 
  
Within my collection, nothing beats setting up and playing Virtual-On: Oratorio Tangram with others on two Dreamcasts, VS Link Cable, two sets of Twin Sticks, and both connected to monitors via VGA. That’s my absolute favourite for sure! When introducing new players to this game and playing it this way, seeing the joy on their faces is the best.
Also, sidenote; shout-outs to all the Phantasy Star Online fans! PSO was probably the single greatest gaming experience I've had in my life!
  
We all love bargains, any in particular stand out for you whilst amassing your collection? 
  
Buying a brand new Dreamcast for less than $100 long after they were not available in stores tops that list! But another moment that stands out is finding a someone online that was selling brand new EU Dreamcast controllers for a very low price. Needless to say, I bought four of the blue Dreamcast logo controllers! 
  
We also know Retro costs sometimes – what's the most you've ever spent on a single item for the collection? 
  
The most I’ve spent on one single item for my collection goes to the Twin Stick controller for sure. I think my first one cost close to $200... 
Any weird or particularly rare parts of the collection you want to highlight? 
  
I think the three rarest things I have might be the SNK Neo Geo Pocket Color/Dreamcast link cable, the Dreamcast VS link cable, and the Dreamcast VGA adaptors! Finding the official SEGA brand stuff is both difficult and costly! 
  
Is there one particular 'holy grail' that you're still after for the collection? 
  
Most definitely. Cosmic Smash, you will join my collection soon! Other than that, I’d also really like to get the official Dreamcast broadband adapter!


Mike

Hello fellow Dreamer! Tell us a little about yourself!
Hey! I’m Mike I’m 50% of RetroSesh - A YouTube and Twitch content creator and brand. We focus mainly on retro stuff, but sometimes stray into the modern era!
You obviously have a love for the Dreamcast; when did that start?
I fondly remember trading in my Playstation and getting my first Dreamcast. The VMU screen and amazing Sonic Adventure graphics won me over instantly!
So your current collection – can you give a brief description of what you have, what you collect (i.e. games only, games and console variants etc.) and what your 'end goal' is, if you have one?
At the moment I have a PAL Dreamcast (stock, boxed) and an NTSC one with a PAL powerboard in it. I have some boxed peripherals (VMU, controller and keyboard), but I wouldn’t find myself trying to track down variants or anything too hardcore! I have a healthy bunch of games and will only buy them if they’re complete! I’d like to carry on growing my collection, it’s pretty much the only console I’d say I actively collect for.
Why did you start collecting for the console, and if you still are, what makes you continue?
The Dreamcast is my favourite console and growing up I had a very few games. Just the mainstream ones. Now I’ve started collecting I’m finding all sorts of gems hidden in the library!
Where do you get new additions to your collection? Are you still able to find them 'in the wild' or is it online only now?
Very much eBay. BUT if I find myself at a car boot sale or an expo, I’ll make a beeline for them!
What's the favourite part of your collection, and why?
My favourite part of my collection is definitely gazing upon the games with a certain sense of pride. That being said booting the Dreamcast up and hearing those unique groans and whirrs coming from the console cannot be beaten!
We all love bargains, any in particular stand out for you whilst amassing your collection?
Bit of a weird one. I LOVE Tokyo Highway Challenge and many years ago I asked an ex girlfriend for the rather rare sequel for my birthday. That means I got Tokyo Highway Challenge 2 for free right!?
We also know Retro costs sometimes – what's the most you've ever spent on a single item for the collection?
The most I’ve spent on a Dreamcast game is £70 and that was for Skies of Arcadia. I’m rubbish at it, but at least I have it in the collection now!
Any weird or particularly rare parts of the collection you want to highlight?
I would say the game that I never heard being talked about is Time Stalkers. I absolutely love it! And no one ever talks about it! It’s always overshadowed by Zelda or Final Fantasy when really it’s an awesome combination of the two!
Is there one particular 'holy grail' that you're still after for the collection?
Cannon Spike or Evil Twin would be VERY nice! I hear they’re good games too which is always a bonus!


James

Hello fellow Dreamer! Tell us a little about yourself!

Hello! My name is James and I’m a retro game collector, gamer and all round Dreamcast fan! Oh and I make YouTube videos and run a little website called ItsMuchMore.
You obviously have a love for the Dreamcast; when did that start?

Good question! I would say the beginning, but it was slightly before that. As a Mega Drive owner, I skipped the Mega CD and the Sega Saturn so spent time renting games from Blockbuster; however it happened to be a trip to Debenhams of all places, where I first saw the Sega Dreamcast. This was displayed in a kiosk in the Electronics Boutique stand, and wow, it was Ready 2 Rumble boxing that me and the brother went head to head on.

So your current collection – can you give a brief description of what you have, what you collect (i.e. games only, games and console variants etc.) and what your 'end goal' is, if you have one?

I have a nice (but nowhere near complete) collection of PAL Dreamcast games, and I do like to pick up as many of the online Dreamcast games as I can. The reason behind this, is that many of the online titles are being restored. This was great back in the day and it’s good to see people experiencing the Dreamcast online for the first time. The end goal would be to get the full PAL set.
 Oh I have a nice Dreamcast kiosk as well - the one from Electronics Boutique which sparked my love for the Dreamcast many years ago!
Why did you start collecting for the console, and if you still are, what makes you continue?

Just liked the blue cases and they just look so nice on the shelf! I’m still collecting and it won’t be for many years yet before I’ve completed the set.

Where do you get new additions to your collection? Are you still able to find them 'in the wild' or is it online only now?

Facebook Groups, EBay Bundles and CEX vouchers mainly. However, it used to be car boots - but if you’re not there early enough, or have a seller friend to allow you to walk around before it opens, there doesn't tend to be much left to pick from. 

What's the favourite part of your collection, and why?

Oooh good question! I would of said my boxed Dreamcast US Broadband Adaptor - however, it’s gotta be my PAL mini kiosk as it’s got some amazing memories and just feels like an arcade machine when playing games like Virtua Tennis and Marvel vs Capcom.

We all love bargains, any in particular stand out for you whilst amassing your collection?

Yep - paid £165 for a Dreamcast bundle which included so many games, boxed NTSC games, console and also the Dreamcast Broadband Adaptor.
We also know Retro costs sometimes – what's the most you've ever spent on a single item for the collection?

I tend not to over spend on a single item as I tend to buy bundles. However I did purchase train tickets from Nottingham to London, to then travel to a CEX in the middle of nowhere, as on the website it said Racing Simulation 2: Monaco Grand Prix Online was there for £12. But when I arrived, have a guess what version of the game was there. *Cough*. So spent a lot of money on a game and never got it.

Any weird or particularly rare parts of the collection you want to highlight?

I have a Sega Dreamcast towel, think this relates to Virtua Tennis however a weird part of my collection is a letter from Sega Europe when I asked them if I could be a playable character in The House of the Dead 2. Yep James. Who knows it could be because of me.
Is there one particular 'holy grail' that you're still after for the collection?

Gotta be the Fred Durst signed Dreamcast.... just kidding. Really want the Dreamcast Karaoke machine, had one previously but it broke so looking to get a nice minty one.


Stephen

Hello fellow Dreamer! Tell us a little about yourself!

I guess the most relevant thing about me is that I used to work at Sega for the better part of a decade, as a video game producer. While my time there started shortly after the company transitioned to a 3rd party (after the demise of the Dreamcast), I've been fortunate enough to work on games featuring some of Sega's biggest franchises, including Shinobi and Sonic the Hedgehog. When the Dreamcast first came out, though, I was actually working at a PlayStation magazine called PSM. Yet, despite that, I was extremely excited about Sega's console and eagerly awaited its launch. When it finally arrived in Japan, I made sure to be there so I could pick up one of the first ones, along with the three launch games, VF3tb, Pen Pen Triicleon and, of course, Godzilla Generations. Shortly after, I worked with a co-worker to launch our own Dreamcast-focused, fansite called "Dreamcast Life" and used it to share all the images and videos we managed to gather during our business trips to Japan and Tokyo Game Show, as well as Sega's New Challenge Conferences. We prided ourselves in sharing a lot of those assets with other fansites around the world. 

In the months ahead, my Dreamcast interest continued to grow and grow, and I was able to use that interest and excitement to land some related work, such as the official strategy guide for VF3tb in the United States, which I personally wrote and took all the screenshots for.  I also took on the pet project of putting together an FAQ for the Godzila Generations VMS game, which still exists at GameFAQS.com (available here).

You obviously have a love for the Dreamcast; when did that start?

It kind of began when the Dreamcast rumours first kicked in. I knew it was going to be something special and I consistently looked up any news I could find about the system and games. Being able to fly to Japan and be part of the launch was such an exciting event for me.

Eventually, though, with most of my work time focused on the PlayStation platform and then my eventual departure to get back into game development, I started to drift away a bit from the console. It wasn't until I started work at Sega, several years later, that a renewed interest and love for the console began. I spent a lot of time talking with co-workers about it and reminiscing about all the great games. I would often spend weekends playing the Dreamcast. However, at that point, I still wasn't too focused on trying to collect for it again.

It was only after I left Sega that I started thinking about trying to build out my collection and have continued to do that over the past few years.

So your current collection – can you give a brief description of what you have, what you collect (i.e. games only, games and console variants etc.) and what your 'end goal' is, if you have one?

I am a big retro game fan, in general, so the Dreamcast is just part of that focus. That's probably why I don't have a huge collection or tons of consoles, etc. My collection tends to focus on the genres I mainly love, which are fighting games, racing games, and horror. I'm adding to it, but somewhat slowly given the prices of games these days and my need to collect for other consoles, as well, including the Saturn.
Why did you start collecting for the console, and if you still are, what makes you continue?

While my collecting has certainly taken some time off over the past decade or so, my initial interest started when the console first launched in Japan. Over the past 2-3 years, my interest in retro game collecting has grown considerably, so I've been trying to catch up and collect the games that I truly want to place or have in the collection.

Where do you get new additions to your collection? Are you still able to find them 'in the wild' or is it online only now?

At this point, I almost exclusively look online for deals. I tend to wait until I can find a fair price before I jump at purchasing any games. Sometimes, co-workers will sell stuff and I'll get some good deals from them, but that is not that often.

What's the favourite part of your collection, and why?

I don't really have a favourite part of the collection... I think I just really appreciate the variety of games and the fact that Sega wasn't afraid to try out new things on the console, So many amazing franchises launched on that system. If I had to choose one aspect, it would probably be the good number of "sample" games that I got from Sega that are still sealed.
We all love bargains, any in particular stand out for you whilst amassing your collection?

While not the most amazing deal, I did manage to get a sealed copy of Bomberman Online for $5 about a year ago at a local yard sale. As I live in California, though, good deals like that are very hard to come by.

We also know Retro costs sometimes – what's the most you've ever spent on a single item for the collection?

Since my video game interests span a lot of consoles, I try to focus on getting good deals and not spending a lot of money on any particular game or console. I think patience is my strong suit, but it does mean that the collection tends to grow slower than I would like. In relation to the Dreamcast, I think the most I actually spent was on parts to fully mod the consoles, which runs several hundreds of dollars. Game-wise, my most expensive games were given to me by Sega.
Any weird or particularly rare parts of the collection you want to highlight?

Since I worked at Sega, I have a fair number of pre-release Dreamcast discs burned for testing, as well as quite a few sealed, "sample" games that represent the first pressings of the Japanese games. You don't come across many of those these days.

Is there one particular 'holy grail' that you're still after for the collection?

With a renewed interest in fighting games, the one I would really like to add to the collection is Project Justice. And for some strange reason, I would love the Sakura Wars Dreamcast console.


We'd like to thank our first 4 featured collectors for taking the time to answer the questions we set, and for letting us take a peak at their collections!

Think you have a collection you'd like to share with us? Spot any gems in the collections above? Feel free to comment below or catch us on our twitter feed, and we'd love to hear from any other collectors out there as well!

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