Hello Prupru ! Thanks for answering us at Gangeekstyle !
First, can you introduce yourself please ?
Hi, er… Where should I begin… My real name is Cédric, but everybody knows me under the pseudo Prupru on many forums. I’m 33, from Normandy originally but I’ve settled in Alsace for more than ten years now and I must admit I feel quite well here. Videogames aside, I have a passion for drawing, comic strips, mangas, movies, etc. – I’m sort of accomplished geek^^
When did you start collecting videogames ? Before talking about collection, I’d like to tell you about my gaming history. Videogames and I share a genuine love story. I started with Alex Kidd in Miracle World on Sega Master System, I was just 7 or 8 years old, and it really triggered something in me as I still play it today! The gameplay was so rich I had the impression Super Mario Bros. didn’t go far enough in comparison.
Later I switched to the Super NES, then the Sega Saturn, the Nintendo 64, etc. At that time, collecting wasn’t on my mind, just gaming. Collecting really started about a decade ago (during the Nintendo Gamecube era), when I started going to flea markets. Thanks to these, I managed to discover or rediscover systems like the NES or this good old Super NES I had to sell in the past. When you start collecting, you tend to buy anything: carts, CIB games, portable or home consoles ; any brand is OK (Sega, Sony, Atari, and of course Nintendo). Time goes on, you grow more mature and you focus on what you prefer, or rather what defines you in a way. In my case, it was the Super NES and I think it’s visible^^
Today your pseudo is familiar to many people thanks to your highly wanted SNES full set. Why did you choose this system and not another ?
Although I didn’t play many SNES games at the time, I must admit there was such a wide range of games that it was undoubtedly the system-to-have in the first part of the nineties. Indeed we can see it now through its popularity among new “gamers-collectors”. It also witnessed the launching of huge franchises that still exist today, enabled talented developers to be discovered, etc. To put it in a nutshell, years have passed but the Super NES still remains in the heart of old gamers, what a seal of quality! This explains why I naturally focused on this system.
I have many memories on the two first Donkey Kong Country (the third one was released late in Europe, I was already on the next generation), the Earthworm Jim games, the Street Fighter games (especially SFII Turbo) for example. Well, I repeat what I said above but I didn’t play many games at the time ; I didn’t play Super Metroid or Zelda 3 just to mention these two ! Yeah, I know it’s a shame^^ But trust me when I tell you I did some catch-up and I find pleasure in discovering games people don’t know much about, which are real treasures only the Super NES could provide.
How do you personally define a full set ?
Everybody has its very own definition of a full set. For example, some people only buy such or such version, or just buy a particular series, excluding everything else. As for me, we could talk about a minimum/minimalist full set with all the titles released on the PAL territories with a tendency for FAH versions when they exist (remember I’m French!). To this, I added some other editions like the Nintendo Classics, the Disney Classics with their blue boxes, and any alternate covers, bundles and special editions. All these make more than 600 games.
But to come back on the strict full set, I wanted to start a « genuine » SNES PAL one a few months ago, but I quickly gave up considering what I had to go through to reach my goal, especially when I realized the amount of money at stake… When you see a simple Scandinavian Secret of Mana, CIB/VGC, is worth some 400€ today, you tend to reconsider your position. So I put aside this eccentric idea and contented myself with what I already have, which is quite a good collection^^
How long did it take you to gather all the items in your collection ?
It’s hard to say because firstly I should take into account the moment when I really focused on this system, and secondly I haven’t finished yet! But we’ll come back to that later. One thing is sure, it takes years.
Could you tell us more ? How many SNES games were released in Europe ? How many exclusive games were released outside France ?
Well if you just consider the different titles, you can count 530 PAL games. But if you take everything into account (re-releases, localizations, bundles, etc.), the number goes far over 1,800 SNES PAL games, among the ones I’ve already listed, and there must be others without any doubt! Let’s take F-Zero (one of the launching titles in Europe) as an example: there are 3 different versions just for FAH editions. Considering it’s the same thing for other localizations, that makes a lot of F-Zero versions! And it’s the same story for the other games that were launched with the system. But most of the time, other games just have one version, or at most a first edition and a re-edition. We also have useless re-releases with a new logo on the box. To make it short, it’s difficult to sort everything out when you’re not in it for good.^^
Concerning exclusive games, nearly every country has its share :
– Scandinavia : there was just the obscure X-Zone, a first-person shooter requiring the Nintendo Scope. It’s definitely not good.
– Spain : it’s a bit better (concerning quantity, not quality) with Cool World, Sonic Blastman, Syvalion and Whirlo. All these games are worth more than 100€ today.
– Germany : ACME Factory Animation, Beethoven, Brawl Brothers : Rival Turf!2, California Games II, Daze Before Christmas, King of Dragons, Knights of the Round, Operation Logic Bomb, The Terminator, TKO Super Championship Boxing and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego. Here again, some highly wanted titles like the 2 Capcom beat’em all games or Rival Turf’s sequel.
– Australia : Space Invaders and Super Chase H.Q. The first one can still be found quite easily but it’s far more difficult for the second one.
– U.K. : All-American Championship Football, Boxing Legends of the Ring, David Crane’s Amazing Tennis, Desert Fighter, Dungeon Master, Family Dog, James Pond Crazy Sports, Power Rangers : The Fighting Edition, Power Rangers : The Movie, Side Pocket, Super Adventure Island II, Super Conflict, Super International Cricket, The Ren & Stimpy Show Veediots, Thomas The Tank Engine & Friends, Time Slip, Time Trax, Toys and Wayne’s World. There are more exclusive games here but quantity isn’t quality.
– France and co. (FAH to sum up) : Aero The Acro-Bat 2, the four Dragon Ball Z games, Hyper V-Ball, Sailormoon, Super Dany and Super Widget. A few titles are slowly getting some popularity outside France and there’s an impact on the prices. It’s been a long time since you could buy a CIB Super Widget for 20€. Now it’s 200€ minimum!
– The Italians didn’t have any exclusive games. They just got an alternate localized title for Mickey Mania, i.e. Topolino Mania.
Then we mustn’t forget that exclusive is just a word. Even if those games were exclusive to such or such country, they could still be distributed as such in another country or in the best case with a small translated manual in addition to the official one. In fact, you can easily find the Dragon Ball Z games in Spain for instance. Besides, you have to make the difference with false exclusive games, like Legend which was released everywhere in spite of its unique serial code (UKV). Other games fall in the same category. So we can’t decently list them as genuine exclusive games.
What are the hardest items to find today in your opinion ?
The market has saturated, it’s more and more difficult to get some titles today. I mean CIB of course. Collections are well-fed and offer naturally decreases. Then some titles are harder to find than others. One game can be very common in a given localization and very rare in another. If we take the example of Soul Blazer, it’s a common item in German version, far less in French version, and a bloody-hellish thing to put a hand on in Scandinavia! So, you can only rely on a title itself.
To make a short list, you could take some exclusive games mentioned above and add Spawn, Ninjawarriors, Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel, Final Fight 2 (Spanish version with a Super Famicom cover), Hungry Dinosaurs, Joe & Mac 3, Lethal Enforcers, the famous Zelda Gold Pack or the Batman Forever pack. The list would be too long to be complete.
Then we could also list small cheaper games like Whizz, FAH Nintendo Classics Donkey Kong Country 2 and 3 editions, FAH Winter Gold, Frantic Flea, NBA Hang Time, and a game I didn’t own for so long: FAH Kevin Keegan’s Player Manager. It took me 4 years to put a hand on it and within a couple of months half a dozen items appeared.
What is your favorite item ? The one you’re the most proud of ?
It’s hard to make a choice but if I had to choose one, it would be Contra III on Super Comboy. It’s the perfect mix between a legendary game and an outstanding box. It’s indeed the game which made me love the system, up to the point of having the Korean full set as an objective. Easy to say but difficult to achieve because even if that represents only some 30 games or so, finding all of them is quite a problem.
How do you explain the inflation on videogames, especially on the SNES system ?
It just sums up in one sentence: “nostalgia is priceless.” Today many collectors are in their thirties, have a job hence the money to satisfy their passion, live a second childhood and play the games which had an impact on them. That’s why you don’t count when you love, and I know a lot about that! Of course there are also new collectors, following the trend, who get into classic gaming to discover what sort of games existed in the past. The Super NES was the favorite system in its time and it’s one of the most wanted today. So there’s nothing strange if the prices get higher and higher now.
Inflation wasn’t really part of the game at the time when I completed my own full set. Of course there were already expensive titles but that wasn’t common. But I truly feel the difference because I have to pay far more if I want to upgrade a game’s condition today. It even tends to depress me for some of them… But I deal with it.
Have you ever been tempted to sell everything once you completed your full set ?
To be honest, I thought about it even before completing my full set. One day or another, you get tired of it for no special reason, you think you could invest that money somewhere else – yeah don’t get lured it represents a lot of money ! – but in what ? And then you think about the time spent to reach such a collection and you don’t want to end it like that. It’s a real heritage now and I’m proud of it. But of course there are difficult times, other priorities, no one is safe from selling everything. I just hope I can postpone that moment as long as possible.
Have you really fulfilled your quest, or do you still have items to find or upgrade ?
It’s not over for sure! Today I want to upgrade nearly everything and with time, God knows how demanding I’ve become, hence really hard to please. But I hang on it.^^ For instance, there’s a couple of games I’d like to have in another language, like an English version instead of a German one, etc. Apart from that, I still lack some nice packs, point-of-sale promotions (which are harder to find), and other Super Comboy games to come close to my ideal collection. So I still have a lot to do.^^
What are your next objectives regarding your collection ? A new project perhaps ? Completing the Korean full set and getting the few things mentioned above put aside, I no longer have future “big” objectives. In another field but still linked to collection, I’m still looking for people ready to help me create an exclusively-SNES-dedicated website. I have the contents, the ideas, but as I’m crap in computer science, well I can’t go further. That would be a mean for me to pay my own tribute to the system and to share it with the rest of the world. So if there’s somebody out there who’s reading this and has the skills to make it come true, please contact me!
Do you spend a lot of time in playing videogames ? If yes, on what systems ?
I still spend some time but not as much as before because of work obviously. I play rather on today’s systems (especially 3DS) but once in a while I enjoy playing old games with friends. It’s a good way to put a new light on some games and to have good surprises from time to time.
What do you think about today’s the classic/vintage gaming phenomenon ?
I think it’s fashionable. Indeed developers understood it perfectly considering the quantity of remakes already released or scheduled. That’s enough to be convinced. This setback naturally leads to classic gaming and it just accentuates the phenomenon. Besides, it’s not just videogames which are touched. We can also observe this in cinema, fashion, decoration, car industry, etc. Anyway, the past makes us what we are so I guess it’s natural for people to get back to it.
Well, that’s about it I think. See ya, guys!
Thanks for taking the time to answer all these questions, and also for all your photos.
Translated by ledenezvert.
GGS a la classe internationale maintenant 😀
Awesome, Prouprou !