A Classic Tale of Pokemon: How I got my Charizard Card (1999)

The year was 1999, I was 11 years old and Pokemon was sweeping the nation. I had seen the game a few years back, but it was not big at my school at the time. However, when it reached my school, it was an uncontrollable beast.

The first 6 months were gold, hundreds of kids would gather around trading cards. Nobody would walk around or play basketball, just stand there huddling together like that creepy scene from "I am Legend".

I made my way from rags to riches trading doubles my cousin had given me. Using around 30 common cards, I traded my way up and found ways to aquire better cards. I bought and sold rares, such as Red Cheek Pikachu and Misprints, using my lunch money.

After many months, I had a binder full of uncommons, rares and foils. I kept it safe, for I knew if it ever left my sight kids would steal from it. The school soon realized the theft problem this game was causing and it would what would eventually lead to the downfall of Pokemon.

One time I heard a loud commotion going on in a crowd, I went over to inspect and it was a kid that had a Charizard, and he was trading it! He kept saying, "I want Pikachu's! Lots of Pikachus!" I couldn't believe what I was hearing, a freaking PIKACHU for a Charizard??? Well I only had about 2 crappy Pikachu's, so I was out of luck. So the guy ended up trading it to some lucky kid for like 6 different common Pikachu's.

But I would soon acquire a Charizard of my own...

I had a Blastoise, which was considered the second best card. Word must have got out and a messenger kid approached me early in the morning before school. He brought word that his friend, a Master Pokemon Trainer, deeply wanted a Blastoise and that he would trade almost anything to have one...even a Charizard.

"Take me to your leader." I replied. He lead me to a certain spot and told me to wait and the guy would meet with me soon. Out of the fog appeared a young man dressed in black, he said to me, "I hear you are in possession of a Blastoise?"

We sat crossed legged on the sidewalk, near a patch of grass, completely alone, with the messenger kid standing guard by our side. We looked at each other's cards. He held the Charizard in his hand, staring down at it for what seemed to be eternity. The messenger whispered, "Do it, man."

My heart was racing, I felt that he was going to back out, so I offered more cards with the Blastoise. The messenger kid said, "Hey, you like Kadabra, right? Give him a Kadabra too!" I quickly got it out, and let him hold both cards, to show him I was trustworthy.

He handed over his Charizard, as the fog opened up and the sun rays glistened upon its fiery breath, alas, the card of the Gods was now mine. We shook hands and went our separate ways...on our separate journies...into the great world of...

A few days later Pokemon was banned from our school.

So how did you get your rarest card? Let me know in the comments.


My Mario Kart Sidewalk Chalk Drawings

I drew these in 2010 with $2 chalk from Walmart, on a pathway people jog/bike on, to make it look like Mario characters where racing down it. I would have done more but I ran out of chalk. They measure about 5x5 feet.

I had to rush Yoshi at the end because some tweakers started bothering me and hitting rocks with sticks like golf balls over the drawing. Also someone skid through Mario's face before I could get my camera, so I had to fix it.

I got many compliments, mostly people just yelled "MARIO!!!!!1!11" as they rode by. But everyone seemed to be stumped on who Yoshi was.


Metal Gear NA/JP Game List

This is a list of MGS box art I made of both NA and JP games.

Most games in the series released on Xbox and PC were not released in Japan, while Japan instead released Premium Packages that were not available in the North America. You can see the cover art variations between the two regional releases.

Metal Gear Series - North America
Metal Gear Series - Japan

A Look at Solid Snake Through Time

The earliest known image of Snake, drawn sometime around 1987 for Metal Gear for NES, taking place around 1995 in game time.

Snake's appearance in Metal Gear 2, for NES, taking place in 1999, Zanzibar Land.
Solid Snake as he appears in Metal Gear Solid for PlayStation, taking place in 2005 during the Shadow Moses incident.
Snake and Meryl as they appear in the Policenauts pilot disk for the 3DO game system in 1995, possibly taking place sometime after defeating Liquid and saving Meryl, 2005 game time.
Concept Art of Solid Snake from Metal Gear Solid 2 for PlayStation 2, taking place sometime before or duing 2007.

Concept Art of Plisken (Snake) in Metal Gear Solid 2, taking place in 2009 at the Big Shell.
Concept Art of Solid Snake from Metal Gear Solid 4, before his rapid aging began, somewhere between 2010 and 2014 game time.

Old Snake, as he appears in Metal Gear Solid 4, after his rapid aging, in 2014.

Recent, Rare &Collectible Games you can Get your Hands On

Mass Effect (Limited Collector's Edition)
$450+ NIB
Fallout 3 (Survival Edition)
$550 NIB
Bioshock (Limited Edition)
$600+ NIB
Demon's Souls (Deluxe Edition)
$90 CIB
$200 NIB
Tales of Vesperia (Special Edition)
$150 CIB
$300 NIB
Little Big Planet (Recalled Edition)
$80 CIB
$300 NIB
Marvel Vs Capcom 2
$45 CIB
$275+ NIB
$80 NIB
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (Special Edition)
$150 NIB
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII (Limited Foil Edition)
$75+ NIB
Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence (Limited Edition)
$65 CIB
$150 NIB
Portable Island: Tenohira Resort
$40 CIB
$120+ NIB
Final Fantasy XII (Collectors Edition)
$125 NIB
Metal Gear Solid: Digital Graphic Novel
$35 CIB
$100 NIB
$130 NIB
Phantasy Star Online: Episode I & II
$60 CIB
$200 NIB
Wario Ware: Touched!
$75+ NIB
Pikmin 2
Game and Watch Collection 1 & 2
$40-70 NIB
Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes
$40 CIB
$100 NIB
Mega Man 9 Press Kit
$300+ NIB

10 Favorite Game Songs & Remixes

Chrono Cross Scars of Time
Wonderfully orchestrated song written by Yasunori Mitsuda.
Mega Man 2 - Dr. Wily Huants Flash Man
An awesome one to rock out to whether you're a Mega Man fan or not.
Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions - Weapon Mode
One of the catchiest MGS beats. It has a flute sound that reminds me of the main theme.
Guild Wars - Ashford Abbey
This entire song was digitally composed by Jeremy Soule, who did the GW soundtrack.
Chrono Trigger - Enter the Frog
A floaty sounding techno remix from one of the best RPG's.
Castlevania II - Bloody Tears - Kenichi Matsubara
One of the coolest sounding Castlevania songs to be covered.
World of Warcraft - Enchanted Forest
It's the first song in the beginning. It sounds so mystical, one of the best songs in WoW.
Team Fortress 2 - Rocket Jump Waltz
A funny ska sounding song that fits perfectly with the game.
Final Fantasy Mystic Quest - Battle
Best battle music in a game, other than FF7 "Those Who Fight".
Super Mario 8bit Eighties Remix
First time I heard this song was in the game Flash Flash Revolution. It's an odd remix.

Give a reply with some of your favorite video game music!


Waking Up in Beds in RGP's

It seems that in every RPG I play, I always start out waking up in my bed.

Zelda: A Link to the Past
Ocarina of Time
Dragon Quest V
Dragon Quest VI
Chrono Trigger
Breath of Fire

DDR Cobalt Flux Review

I picked up one of these pads at a small shop in San Francisco for $150, after doing some research online for the best DDR pad.

These pads cost around $320 new, on the official site. There are no mechanical parts, just plywood, polycarbonate plastic and galvanized steel. Each arrow on the pad is metal underneath. When you step on it, it bends the metal down about a millimeter and it makes contact with another metal sheet, causing a button press.

It's very durable and heavy, and won't move around very much on the carpet. There are grip pads on the bottom for if you are playing on a hard floor. It comes with a control box that can connect to PC, PS2, XBOX and Wii. The only mechanical part is the control box, which you can get on eBay for around $30. It comes with the pad if you buy it new.

If the pad gets wet, it doesn't matter, you can unscrew it and clean it really easy. The control box is not built in, that way if it is ever damaged, you can replace it without replacing the whole pad.

Some people don't like the pad because it is perfectly flat on top and your feet can get lost if you can't feel which arrow you are standing on. But if you are used to playing, you should have no problem with it.

I was very skeptical when getting this pad, but now that I've used it, I wouldn't play on anything else. I'm currently using it to play StepMania on the PC. All you have to do is map the arrows, which is pretty easy. You can find every DDR mix and songs for download on the web, as well as other free user created songs.

Pick one up if you like DDR!

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