Almost Famous!

The title will make sense later.

Last weekend I traveled solo to the Barrie Game Exchange as this will likely be the last big convention before next fall.  That’s a huge drought, but it gives me time to save up some money to buy more games.

After being at so many of these shows, you start to recognize the same people (both dealers and customers) which is both good and bad.  You know the dealers who are willing to haggle, and those that expect to receive no less than top dollar Ebay sold listing prices for their wares.  The other customers is kind of fun as you get to catch up on how their personal collections are coming along.  Watching the people new to the hobby is kind of fun, but I have to bite my tongue and not tell them that this is almost the WORST time to get into collecting games… prices are crazy high!  I saw one guy trying to sell his good condition Little Sampson for $1700.  Good luck with the sale!  Another dude was selling a boxed copy of Phantasy Star IV on the Genesis for $150… it’s a great game, but not worth that much!  However who made me the expert; the price of games literally seems to fluctuate daily.  For example, you’ll remember I traded for the Snow Brothers for the NES a few weeks ago, and already the price guide is telling me it is going for an additional $70!  As I say, it is the wrong time to start collecting retro games, and pity those of us schmucks who are already in too deep!

Anyways, lets check out my loot from the Barrie Game Exchange:

That’s right… Greg Norman’s Golf Power is now mine… no big deal… no really it is no big deal!  Just another crappy sports game that I didn’t have.  In fact this is what I was looking for… any of the 30 remaining games that are not on my wish list.  The other 12 NES titles pretty much out of reach… for now.

These next two games are titles that I’ve passed over for the last six years, but have no idea why.  I’ve never played them before, but the price wasn’t usually too bad.  For whatever reason I decided that today was the day to pick them up.  Of course I didn’t pay sticker price, but I have to say that in order to keep my marriage intact.

These three games were not purchased at the show, but were picked up in the early years when I was still trying to define what exactly it was I going to start collecting.  Back then I bought everything that was cheap, but as my goal is to have a complete North American NES collection (minus Stadium Events) these games don’t really count.  They are unofficial and therefore have no business in my stash of games.  None of them are particularly valuable.  In fact I think the Adventures of Dizzy goes for a mere $19 in good condition (which my copy is not).  I’ll be lucky to get $10 for it.  Captain Comic is what I’ll probably get the most for listing it at $18 and taking $14.  Quattro Sports is pretty useless and isn’t worth really anything.  The only other games I have for sale are most of my PS2 and XBOX 360 games.  I’m keeping a few for the memories, but most of them have got to go immediately!

Okay, onto the big news.  I’m kind of a big deal now thanks to the Retro Game Bros..  They saw a slightly below average looking dude and decided to include a few seconds of me in one of their awesome YouTube videos.  It took place a few weeks ago at the Durham Video Game Swap, and I think this makes me a star!  They have about five or six videos that they’ve made and they are actually really well done.  I met their video editor/videographer a few times and he seems to be a really friendly guy… more importantly he does a fantastic job creating their videos!  Also, you know how some people just have it on camera… Matt and Evan are quite the personality and I recommend checking them out at retrogamebros.com

That’s all for now, so until next time….

Nintendo Joe

SEGA Corner:  There hasn’t been a lot of news on this recently because honestly there isn’t much I need for my small SEGA collection.  The few remaining games I need are the first Mickey Mouse game, Quack Shot, Gaires, and Air Diver on the Genesis.  As far as the Sega Master System is concerned I only need Fantasy Zone and Psycho Fox.  Thanks to the Sega Dude and a few lucky pickups I have managed to score the rest of the games that I have nostalgia for.

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New Sheriff in Town!

That’s right folks, I’ve traded all my SNES, N64, Game Cube, and Wii to beef up my NES collection and as a result have been able to pick up some fairly heavy hitters in the last few days.  All in all, I sold my collection for close to $4000CAN, and over time reinvested it into NES titles.

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I was going to hang onto my good SNES titles, but with the release and purchase of the SNES Classic it wasn’t worth it to me to hang on to these artifacts.  While I would much prefer to have the real thing, I simply cannot afford to collect for everything Nintendo and can now focus my collection solely on my NES.  Here’s what I managed to score the other day:

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Nothing big here… I just didn’t have them and they were fairly cheap.

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Still not the greatest thing since sliced bread… but we are getting there.

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Now we’re talking!  What’s interesting here is that I could have traded for Pro Sport Hockey with the Retro Game Bros. for what’s now a great trade value at $120… but I stupidly held off… I thought to myself, why would anyone pay $120 for a lousy hockey sports game?!  Yes, unfortunately for me, the game has gone up in value by about 25% during these past few months and I ended up having to trade a few more items.

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Holy smokes… are you kidding me?!  The Snow Brothers saga is finally over with this latest trade.. and trading in bulk, the guy game me a great deal.  Duck Tales 2 is also very cool… and a really good/fun game to play, but what’s more is that I can finally say that I have completed my NES Capcom collection!  There was a California Raisins game by Capcom that was never officially released, so I suppose one could make the argument that my Capcom collection isn’t complete until I get one of the prototypes, but I’m calling it on this one.  This is a huge milestone in my collection.

The two games that I didn’t pick up unfortunately were Bubble Bobble 2, and Nobunaga’s Ambition 2.  The price was right, but the label wasn’t 100% perfect, and when it comes to these valued games, I’m unwilling to compromise.  Actually that isn’t all together true… 99% of my collection is fairly mint…. and I actually mean it, unlike those people on Kijiji who claim to know what “mint” means, and you drive all the way over to their place only to find out the cart has cracks or the label has tears!  That really bugs me!  The remaining 1% isn’t mint, but it’s something dumb like small marks or slight damage damage to the back half of the cartridge which can easily be replaced.

The magic number is down to 46 remaining titles to acquire… of course some of them like Little Sampson/Flintstones 2/Panic Restaurant/Bonk are going to command the big bucks.  If I’m ever going to get these games, I’ll either have to get an absolutely amazing deal, or save up for years.  I’m hoping for the former!

Until next time,

Nintendo Joe

SEGA Corner:  Nothing to report on this end, but head over to the Sega Dude’s page as he has had some great new acquisitions!

Durham Game Convention 2018

Last Sunday April 8th, I went to the Durham Game Convention in Oshawa Ontario.  My dealer, Flavio said he had 1/3 of a table left over if I wanted to sell on it.  I’ve decided that it isn’t worth keeping the good SNES games that I kept from the previous sale last fall.  The reason is quite simply that every single game I kept is already on the unmodified SNES Classic… so great games like Super Metroid (my favourite), Secret of Mana, and my beloved boxed/complete Super Mario RPG were put up for sale.

A few days before the show, the Sega Dude put me in touch with a Kijiji post where the guy was selling a copy of Zombie Nation on the NES for $450… way over priced!  I politely said to the guy that if the game isn’t selling (it won’t) that I would be willing to pay him $300 for it (retail this game should sell for around $380), to which I received no reply.  No big deal… I wasn’t really expecting him to bite at my offer.  However, at the game swap, another dealer was selling the same game in mostly great condition for $350.  I told the guy that if I did well in selling at my table, then I would make him the same offer… $300 if it didn’t sell by the end of the show.

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Behold, it didn’t sell, and I told the dude that I did well at my table, and that the offer still stood if he was interested.  It’s now officially my most expensive NES game as Dragon Fighter has really dropped in price since I picked it up… a fact my wife loves reminding me about!  Now I said that this copy of Zombie nation was in “mostly great condition”… the label is mint, and the front half of the cartridge is really good.  However the back half of the cart looks like someone put out a cigarette on it?!  It’s easy to fix, but come on… couldn’t they have put the cigarette out on their tongue like a real man?

This one dude dropped $400 at my table throughout the day and easily bought up 40% of what I was selling.  After all was said and done I sold a total of $600 in games.  I’m not sure how much I “made” as I can’t remember how much I paid for most of it… but I know I made quite a bit.

Pictured above is what was left of my SNES collection… while there was a lot of interest at the show, only one of my boxed games (Diddy Kong Racing) sold. There were also manuals and maps to Zelda, Mario All Stars, and Super Mario World.  As soon as I got home, I listed these remaining games on Kijiji, and in literally under a minute of posting, I had a response from a guy with an offer.  It was a bit low, but hey man I get it.  We agreed on a price and he picked up the whole lot for $400.  A really good deal for both him and I… I know I didn’t pay much for these pictured games, so I’m really happy with the sale.  I could have gotten more if I sold it piece by piece, but then I would have had to have all these people over to my house, put my dog in the back room so he doesn’t eat the customers, etc..

I’ve now got a bit of coin to spend around the retro gaming community.  Of course I’m looking to get the most for the least (who isn’t) and I figure I’ll do quite well at the Barrie Game Exchange this May 6th!

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The above games were my other pickups at the Durham Game Swap.  Nothing special, but I didn’t have them, and I negotiated a fantastic price for them!

EGLX Gaming Expo 2018

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Your probably wondering what that sexy little guy is on my wrist.  Well let me tell you… it is a wrist band that gained one access to the EGLX Gaming Expo last Sunday.  In addition, it’s attractiveness also allows it to act as a lady magnet!  I couldn’t keep them away!  Back off I’m married!  Anyways, my buddy the Sega Dude and our dealer (Flavio) invited me to come to the EGLX Gaming Expo in Toronto to sell the scraps of what I have left over in my non-NES collection.  For a few weeks now I had put up the lot on an ad on Kijiji, but only got one response which led to no where.  Usually this means one thing… my prices are too high.  I thought they were fair as they were under what both my puregaming.org app and prichcharting.com said they were worth… but alas, something is only really worth what someone else is willing to pay for it.  Anyways I basically brought my loot with the same Kijiji price tags attached and managed to sell a few things.  To be specific, I sold an N64 console, a Game Cube console, and a copy of Baten Kaitos.  I was happy to be rid of these items as I had never played the Game Cube, and the N64 is just a garbage system.  Unfortunately I was stuck with my copy of Chiki Chiki Boys for the Genesis, and my extra copy of Kickmaster for the NES that I have.

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Now before we go any further, I did have an issue.  You see, one of the other vendors brought his girlfriend/wife dressed in some sexy cosplay outfit that I’m unfamiliar with.  I’m told her name is Chainsaw Lollipop (as pictured above)?   Honestly, she was very attractive and totally pulled it off… a great sales gimmick!  Unfortunately she wasn’t utilized properly.  You see, her boyfriend was all over her and couldn’t keep his hands off her  body the entire time.  This removes the element that the nerdy customers might actually have a chance at female contact, and thus be willing to shell out monstrous amounts of cash for the junky trinkets they were selling.  My suggestion to this couple is that the dude should stay home and let his cosplay girlfriend work her magic alone!

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I did manage to pick up these two titles… though obviously nothing to write home about, they were previously absent from my collection.

All in all I’m glad I went, though I would have been very disappointed had I paid the $35 admission fee to get in.  If your into competitions, then I suppose it may have been a really good time, but if not, then you basically are paying that cover fee to do some shopping for miscellaneous items.  However Flavio got us in for free so it was a good time.

SEGA Corner Special!

As there is no Nintendo news, this week is dedicated to SEGA Corner… which is kind of a nice change of pace as I haven’t had anything to report in this department for a while.

I was scanning through some retro Sears catalogues and came across some very interesting ads that I thought I would share.  Now these ads are from 1986 – 1989… and from what I can tell, Sears Canada didn’t sell anything Nintendo??!!  Apparently it was only Sega.  Well fortunately these ads have the best that the Sega Master System had to offer.  What I’m most surprised by are the prices… wow did our parents ever pay a lot for our video games!  $100 for Phantasy Star?!  Yes it was THE game to have, but honestly that cost in 1989 prices seems very steep.  In todays dollars that would equate to over $200.  I love you mom and dad!

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… and there you have it.  Wow were games ever expensive!  It makes me feel grateful that I don’t own a time machine to buy up all these old games back in the day… the games are literally twice as up to five times as expensive today as they were then if you take into account inflation.  There were no deals to be had!

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This is an ad from Scientific American in 1975,  Wow… $80 way back then for a bloody calculator!  Outrageous considering that would be $275 dollars in todays prices after inflation.  And for what… a stupid calculator that we now all have a better version of on our cell phones as a free app?!   Man technology was expensive back in the day.  How did we ever land on the moon?!

Until next time,

Nintendo Joe

 

 

 

The Past is Not Forgotten

I was reading over some of my old blog posts the other day and came across the one where I wrote about the time I was ripped off by some dude named Alexander Ali.  I’m not really one to let things go (I still want to meet up with my childhood bully someday and demand my money back from the bastard!).  Anyways it didn’t take very long to find this dude’s address as I had taken a picture of the envelope I sent him with the games in it.  I decided it’s been almost 5 years… perhaps I should send him another note!  Here is what I wrote:

March 2nd, 2018

Dear Alexander Ali,

Hey man, how’s it going?! It’s been a while since we last talked… five years in fact! How are you enjoying the four Pokémon games I sent you? I value them at about $100. Even though it’s been half a decade since we last talked, I still haven’t forgotten about the “package” you were supposed to send me in trade that included Mega Man X, and Mega Man 5. Though as I’m sure you know, the Canadian postal service can be slow…. maybe your package is still in transition/lost?!

Anyways I just wanted to let you know that even though it’s been so long, I haven’t forgotten about our deal. I’m still waiting for you to honor it.

Feel free to follow me at www.mynintendodimension.com

Anxiously awaiting your package!

 

Nintendo Joe

P.S. Included is a picture of the envelope and cartridges I sent you five years ago. Enjoy!

 

Unfortunately when I told my wife about this letter she wasn’t as thrilled about the idea as I was.  She thought I was out of my mind and that the guy could take it as a threat and go to the police.  Personally I don’t see any threats in the letter… just that I hadn’t forgotten how he had wronged me.  Is it a crime to remember things?!  Anyways I won’t send it because I’ll honour her wishes… but I still think it is kind of funny.

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In other news after I went to the doctor to get some cancer scraped off my face (one of the nice things about being a fair-skinned redhead) I went to a pawnshop nearby and found this game.  It’s in good shape, but it does have a sticker on the left side of the label which will be difficult to remove.  Normally I would try Goo-b-Gone, but as the label is white, if the liquid gets near the edge, it can soak in underneath and ruin it.  I’ll have to think carefully about this one.

Anyways, I’m off to try and settle down a bit.

Nintendo Joe

Earn up to $1,500!!

I earned nearly $1,500 the other day just from doing some general research!  Basically I totalled how much the remaining NES games would cost me on pricecharting.com and compared it to the prices listed on the iPhone app puregaming.org.  It turns out that price charting list my remaining games at $1,500 cheaper than the app!  My wife will be so pleased at what I have earned for her!  The grand total for all the remaining NES games is still at a hefty $8,878.  However when you break it down into twenty four easy payments of $370, this baby will be complete in two years!  That’s if I pay retail (I won’t)… so the savings just keep adding up, and our mortgage will be payed off in no time!

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This game was actually sold to me by a follower of this blog.  Apparently he was helping a friend sell his games for very reasonable prices.  Unfortunately this was the only game out of the bunch that I needed for my collection.  It’s actually a really bad game… at least I’m fan.  I think the graphics are cheap, and the game play involves a lot of staring at the same screen over and over again… not my cup of tea, but to each their own.

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This is a game that I’ve been looking for for a while.  It doesn’t turn up that often, and when it does it sells for over $40.  However I knew the guy and offered him my extra copy of North vs. South as a straight up trade.  In the end, he did better than I did in the trade, but I was okay with that as it saved me from selling the game on Kijiji.  You’ll notice that the label is a little damaged in the top right corner.  This was a bit of an oversight, but alas it is a sports game that I’ll never play… plus I’ll tuck it neatly into a universal game case where it will never see the light of day again.  That or until my wife gets mad at me and sells my collection.

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These next three games were partially traded for at the video game swap in Guelph ON.  In return this vendor took my Mario Party 7 for the Game Cube, and Radiant Dawn for the Wii which I picked up a couple of years ago at a yard sale for $4.  I was hoping that he would also take my extra Kickmaster, but unfortunately he already had a copy for sale.  So I had to pony up a small sum of cash to make the trade fair.  I’ve never seen Ghost Lion before so I was excited to see this.

As usual, I get a little stupid when I go to these game swaps, and this one in Guelph was no exception.  I had asked about the Terra Cresta game, but the dealer accidentally pulled out the wrong game… Prince of Persia which I already own.  However I was caught up in all the excitement and didn’t notice.  Fortunately I took the dealers card which had his cell phone number on it and texted him if he would swap the games through the mail.  He was a very honest chap, and express posted Terra Cresta to me right away.  In turn, I posted him the Prince of Persia game back so all was settled.  It actually cost me more to ship the game that I would have thought, but it was only 35 cents extra to express post it.  Unfortunately this guy is a private dealer and doesn’t have a website or social media for me to plug, however if you ever run across Brodie’s Gaming 101, he’s an honest dude!

Well the good news is (at least for collectors) is that it seems as though the price of retro video games has peaked, and is on a slow downward trend.  For example, the most expensive copy of Snow Brothers for was $350…granted this was at a retail store and I would never have paid that ridiculous amount, the $188 the game lists for on pricecharting.com feels a lot better… and is hopefully a sign of things to come. In fact, with only three exceptions did puregaming.org list the remaining games at a buck or two more than pricecharting.com.. I love my games, but damn, even at the updated values some of them are expensive!

Nintendo Joe

Nintendo Quest NES Collection Budget

Remember a while ago (three years to be exact) that movie called Nintendo Quest that was a documentary on a guy (Jay Bartlett) who challenged himself to getting all 678 North American released NES games in 30 days?!  There are some spoilers here so stop reading if you intend on watching it.  I thought that it was a pretty good film if you are into game collecting and I met Jay at a game swap in Waterloo ON,.IMG_1167

I do however have a few issues with the film:

  1. They never mentioned what Jay’s budget for all the games was, however I’ve done some calculations and figure that he spent around $15,000 – $18,000… give or take3 a few bucks.  I’ll explain my calculations more on this at the end of this entry.
  2. They rarely mentioned how much Jay paid for each game which would have been nice to see how much of a deal he received as well as a better estimate on what we the common people should be paying for these games.  This is especially bothersome as he went into some stores and claimed to have received some really good deals.  One of the stores he went to in Toronto that he said gave him the best prices was A&C Games on Spadina Ave..  I know first hand that this store has ridiculous prices… five years ago, they wanted to charge me $15 for an Atari version of E.T.  The guys said that was because E.T. is rated the worst game to ever be released on every console to date.  The game was and still worth $1 or less.  What really burns me is that even the Game Chasers who have a Youtube show went into this store and received good deals just because they featured the store on the show.  So unless you are filming a movie/show and are willing to give free media recognition, stay away from A&C Games unless you want to get ripped off.  A&C Games sucks!
  3. Jay had some friends who GAVE him some really rare and expensive games like Stadium Events, Panic Restaurant, Cowboy Kid, etc.  While very generous of them, these options aren’t available to most of us collectors so and I felt a little cheated… and jealous!
  4. Jay never mentioned his girlfriend once in the entire film.  It would have been more realistic to see him arguing with her about how much money he was spending/waisting on games when he could have been paying down the mortgage.

Onto how I calculated the amount Jay I think spent on the entire North American NES library.

Firstly, at the end of the 30 days, he was short 25 games and it said he had 9% of his budget left.  I calculated the market value of how much each game cost in todays prices, and that came to roughly $3,140.  Figuring that the price of games back in 2014 when the movie was filmed were considerably lower, I can estimate that the missing games would have cost him somewhere in the neighbourhood of $2,200.  If this was represented 9% of Jays total budget, then he started with around $24, 444 .  However, we must keep in mind that he bought in bulk and therefore received a discount, and the store owners saw an opportunity to advertise their store on Jay’s movie, and thus gave him a much lower price then any of us would ever get… like at A&C Games.  With this in mind, and considering he received some of the most expensive games for free, I think it is safe to say that Jay spent somewhere between $15,000 – $18,000 on completing his NES collection.

I’m envious, jealous, and all that of Jay Bartlett for it really felt like he had a lot of fun on his quest.  Congratulations on completing such an awesome collection… now go pay off that mortgage!

Nintendo Joe

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Racy?!

I ordered a couple of NES games from JJgames.com, which is odd as normally I think they charge too much… at least 20% over market value on rare games plus now they charge shipping to Canada, which is only $2.25 but it used to be free.  Anyways I found these two games that for some reason were undervalued… not by much, but enough that it was worth a few clicks and two weeks later they showed up in my mail box.

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The first game that caught my attention was the final chapter of the NES Ninja Gaiden series.  This game isn’t really rare, and should sell for around $70, but even at game swaps it is rare to see it for under $80CAN which is why I haven’t picked it up yet.  However on jjgames.com it was going for $56US which worked out pretty fair in the exchange.  I hear this is one of the better Ninja Gaiden games as it isn’t as notoriously difficult as the first two chapters.

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The second game I picked up was one with a bit of a racy label.  I don’t think Native Americans/Canadians would be too happy with this depiction of their culture.  It is kind of stereotyping them and I don’t think this type of picture would fly in todays age of political correctness.  I’ve seen this game on sale before at swap meets, but the label has never been in that great shape, and I’m a stickler for good labels.  The game usually sells for around $60CAN (with the suspect label), but jjgames.com had it on sale for $46US and again after the exchange it was worth picking it up.

So you never know what you might find.  As I say, 90% of the time jjgames.com charges too much, but every now and then it is worth having a look as there just might be some games at the right prices!

Nintendo Joe

So Sqoon?!

Well this is a surprise post because for once I feel I actually have something to say!  My needs list was incomplete as I was missing both Sqoon, and Solomons Key on the NES.  I thought these two titles were European only games, but apparently I was incorrect.  Solomon won’t set me back much as it is only a $15 dollar game, but Sqoon is a bit more pricy at over $100.

While I never did well in math class, I’ve calculated that the average game I need is going to cost me around $151 a piece.  This includes Little Sampson and all the other very expensive games, but it’s a bit discouraging as it seems like a huge amount of money to spend on something I’ll hardly play.  I just love collecting though… I still need to get the remaining 8 or so G! Transformers I’m missing so I can put that one to bed.

I’ve attached a list of the games I need along with the going rate for what they go for on puregaming.org.  As you can see at the bottom, the very expensive games make up the vast majority of the money I will need to spend.  Unless I get a stellar deal, there is no way I’m paying that much for a single NES game unless it was the absolute last one I needed in my collection.

Needed NES list

Just a few other observations.  While the unveiling of Samus at the end of Metroid on the NES is no news, for some reason I found it funny this week that they needed to put her in a bikini?!  So under all that awesome armour, there’s this woman in her underwear?!  It doesn’t really make sense, but at the same time didn’t really bother me when I was a teenager.

I also saw the last level of Life Force for the NES being played.  After you defeat the final boss, you then have to fly around all these protruding pipes, and some of them are very tight squeezes!  The guy who recorded the ending died an additional three times after vanquishing that demonic beast!  It felt like a real kick in the pants… something that I would have done if I were a game designer, but then again I’m not a very nice person.

Until next time!

Nintendo Joe