Original Post

Hi all,

I want to know what’s the general opinion of the people from the Virtual Boy Community regarding the dumping of extremely rare games and prototypes, specially from those who own the original carts and/or prototypes, and making them publicly available.

Overall, my opinion is that there wouldn’t be any problem in making those ROMs available for the general public, since with a flash cart it would allow people to play more games in their VB hardware, and the original carts wouldn’t lose their value (see Space Squash, it’s dumped and it still goes for a good amount of money at auction pages). But that’s my opinion, I’d like to read the rest of you and what you think about it. :question:

33 Replies

it is very naughty and should not be done. πŸ˜‰

  • This reply was modified 13 years, 7 months ago by KJ4860.

Well flash carts aren’t really anything new, so it’s not like with the flashboy coming out that everything changes. It still comes down to whether the owners want to dump their games and release the ROMs. Of course most people that don’t own the rare games want the dumps of the ROMs released so they can play them… but once someone pays a huge price to get their hands on the cart, they can then play it all they want, and they don’t want to devalue their cart that they paid a lot for. If you don’t think it’s going to devalue the original, you’re crazy. It’s well known that undumped/non-publicly available games sell for more than publicly available ones.

About Space Squash, Insmouse, and Virtual Fishing, IIRC they were one of the later games to be dumped, and they did go down in price… I don’t remember what Insmouse and Virtual Fishing used to go for, but IIRC Space Squash was going for around $300 before getting released (and that was even before accurate emulation and before there were many flash/EPROM carts). For other examples, look at a lot of the Dreamcast protos… Half Life, Propeller Arena, etc. They’re available for download and the originals are practically worthless (but before Prop Arena was released a friend of mine sold his for ~$1500).

I’m not saying that dumping and releasing the carts is a bad thing (I think sharing with everyone is cool actually)… I’m just saying the value of the originals will go down, and you’ll have a hard time finding someone with an original to let you dump the cart to release it to the public. I’ve said it everytime someone comes here to try to talk people into releasing the ROMs… go buy the games, dump them, and release them. Nobody has done it yet because everyone wants free ROMs for free. Very few people are willing to spend $2000+ to then devalue the games to probably less than $1000. Of course prototypes are worth even more than that and harder to get a hold of, so I really don’t see those getting dumped and released soon.


i dont feel that the VB community is large enough to the point that dumping the games would make a big splash. yet when the flashboy is released, it will be easily (i guess) obtainable, lessening the amount of $ needed to play a dump of say Virtual Bowling. this, in turn, MAY depreciate the value, but i doubt it will be significant.

i sold my original VB collection in 2003 for a little over 400$. my collection was far more vast than it will ever be again. looking at the rate prices are going up and down on ebay, if i sold the same collection today, it would probably go for times and a half that much, yet all of the games i owned are dumped and had been dumped back then as well. the market is changing rapidly, therefore prices go up and down rapidly in my eyes. ex: Panzer Dragoon Saga was obtainable for around 100-200$ about 3-4 years ago. now its considerably more rare to win it for less than 200$ at auction. yet this game has been dumped since not long after the saturns end. the economy and interest in certain games is pretty unpredictable..

I know nothing is going to change with the appearance of the FlashBoy, and I’m not trying to get people to dump and release the ROMs, I just want to know mainly the opinions of the owners of these extremely rare games (since the ones who don’t own them is simple: “dump them for me to play” πŸ˜€ ). In fact, I’m of the opinion that even if the FlashBoy is finally available, we won’t get more ROMs publicly available.

To share those ROMs, it’s not as easy as “buy the game, dump the game, share the ROM”. Apart from willing to do so (or don’t mind dumping, which is my case), you have to have the knowledge, and I don’t have it. At the moment, what I know how to do is “buy the game, play the game”, and this will probably be forever due to lack of time. So, in the short term, the “buy-play” is the most practical thing to do with those games I don’t own, since pretending me to do the wiring and soldering of a cartridge dumper is as pretending my hamster to build and install a computer. πŸ˜€

Oh, and although I don’t think the value of commercial games such as Gundam, VBowling, VLab and Space Invaders would be seriously affected if their ROMs appeared (yeah, I might be crazy… πŸ˜› ) I have to agree with DogP that if prototypes were made available to the public, they would lose all their value. In the end, a prototype is a flash cart with the prototype code in it (…I want to play Zero Racers… πŸ˜€ )

$ is the root of all evil

In $, are € and Β£ included? 😎 Now being serious KJ4860, I wouldn’t mind sharing the games although the cost me A HUGE LOT of money, but you have to respect the decission of others who invested their money in their games and don’t want to share. It’s understandable. Life is life (and as I read elsewhere, don’t take it too seriously, you won’t come out alive of it… 😎 )

fine, ill begin making my own Zero Racers lol

I’m not sure if this is what you were going for, but yeah… the homebrew scene is cool… if you can’t buy the game, make it! It takes a lot of effort, but if it’s fun I don’t really consider it work.

And yeah, I don’t expect that Virtual Bowling and stuff would drop to less than any of the publicly available games, but I’d expect Virtual Lab and Space Invaders to drop below $200 and SD Gundam and Virtual Bowling to drop to around $300-$400. And like you said, the VB community is small, which is why it WOULD make a big splash. If there’s 5 people crazy enough to buy a game to play it, and then the ROM gets released and it can be played for free, then there’s only 2 people that want it, and they probably only want it add to their collection. With a system like the NES, there’s many more collectors, so there’s probably more crazy people willing to spend crazy amounts of money.

I don’t know anything about Panzer Dragoon Saga, but $200 for a rare commercially released game doesn’t sound very far out of line. The problem is the Japanese VB games that sell for ~$400 (VL and SI), and the ones that sell for ~$800-$1000 (SDG and VBowl). Who would pay that kind of money when they could buy a flash cart for much less and burn the game to it whenever they want to play. I guess I don’t really see why rare games would be any different than prototypes anyway… prototypes are just really rare games with a production number of only a few. Games are meant to be games… it’s not like art where an original probably wouldn’t be affected by people making printed copies.

palacios25: I assume you’re still looking for SDG and VBowl? If someone emailed you the ROM files and sent you a flash cart, would you still be willing to pay the same amount even though you already have the ROM, so all you’re getting is a physical cart to store somewhere? I know I wouldn’t, and I think most people would feel the same way… there’d be less demand for the game, so the prices would drop. Of course there’d still be a demand… it’s not like I wouldn’t take the game if someone was gonna give it to me, but getting the game is much less rewarding than if I’ve never played it before and there’s no other way to play the game.

I don’t mean to sound like I don’t want the ROMs released, because it doesn’t really matter to me… I’m just saying that it’s well known to most collectors that when dumps get publicly released that the value of the originals goes down, so finding someone to dump their expensive games to devalue them isn’t easy.


i just dont understand why its any different for VB. People dump and release roms of ER games on a bunch of other systems. Those games have been fetching the same prices forever.

But what games for other systems fetch $1000? And what’s the last time a new dump has been released where a previously undumped commercial game had been selling for that much?


hmm…true. its not common but something like Metal Slug for neo geo aes fetches 1000+ even though it is very easily obtainable.

DogP, apart from playing Virtual Boy games, I like collecting them. Of course, I admit I wouldn’t pay so much for the games if I had the ROMs and a flash cart, but I would still pay a few hundreds for them even having the flash cart, which is for what they usually go at eBay and such. Of course, I know this wouldn’t be the general situation, since people download for free mobile games worth 5 euro, so if they don’t want to pay 5 euro for a game, imagine 500 euro.

Although I’m always talking from my point of view of what I would do, I have to admit that you are right, DogP, that my point of view is that of a person who likes collecting virtual boy, who would like to have all the original games available for the system even if the ROMs were publicly available, and who wouldn’t mind sharing the ROMs with the community even after having paid a huge amount for the original cartridges. But it’s very true that I might be the only person to have this point of view regarding the “willing to spend VS availability of ROMs”… πŸ™

Sorry that I said a lot of this already in an other thread!

The games don’t lose their value! These prices are not paid because the buyer wants to play the game … he wants to have the original one!
Why do people pay such a lot of money for a VB Display System? If they want to play they would buy a normal VB. A Romdump has nothing todo with collecting. People who just want to play are no potential buyers!
Don’t trust me? I am not a VB collector but I know a lot about collecting Commodore stuff! Look how much people pay for the original “The Great Giana Sisters” game for the C64 or Amiga. You get the files everywhere on the net but the prices still go higher and higher!
Let’s talk about the golden C64. It’s a normal C64 with a golden spraypaint. It is in no way better than a normal C64. An emulator is even better because you could just download from the internet. This does not effect the price! It is still rising!
What about Mona Lisa? Do you think the price will drop just because thousands of copys are made and hangig in everybodys livingroom? NO! Collector prices are not effected by this! If you want the original one you have to pay the price.
I only buy cheap modules and these prices will drop as soon as the flashboy is on the market. People like me are no potential buyers of the rare items so these prices are not effected!

It’s not about dropping prices! The owners paid such a lot of money that they don’t want us to play these games for free!

10 points to gryffindor :thumpup:

uh, don’t compare games with hardware or paitings, that doesn’t work. πŸ˜€

anyway, if we want to find out if rom releases affect game prices, we should have an eye on ebay and make a chart of prices paid before and after a (potential) rom release. but keep in mind that prices very naturally. for example the $1800 which were paid for gundam in ~2001 are now down to like the half(?). without any rom released.

Like palacios said… if he had the ROMs and a cart, he wouldn’t pay as much for the games. This is my point… I’m not saying they’re going to become worthless, just worth less than they currently are because there won’t be as much of a reward of getting the game. And I already said that art is totally different than games… and comparing hardware doesn’t make sense because obviously that’s solely a collecting piece (nobody buys a golden C64 to play). These games become solely a collecting piece if the ROMs are released, compared to being something to collect, but also a way for people to play the games.

And once again, to make any comparison you have to find a similar situation… I’m not saying that games that are publicly downloadable can’t sell for much (I believe Video Life for 2600 is downloadable, and they’re worth a TON, along with some crazy AES stuff), what I’m saying is that making them publicly downloadable will decrease their value because then it just becomes a collectable piece of plastic. Go over to http://www.digitpress.com/forum and do a search on releasing ROMs and you’ll see what I’m talking about… and there’s a lot of hardcore collectors over there and they agree that releasing ROMs decreases the value. Look at some of the stuff http://www.lostlevels.org has released… they even say that they spend lots of money to find the stuff and then release it and devalue their own carts, but they’re about getting the games out for people to play (which is cool, but they’re in the minority of collectors willing to do that).

If you guys are so sure it won’t devalue the carts, go buy the games, dump/release them, then try to sell them again. If you’re right, you’ll have lost no money and gotten the ROMs. If you’re smart you’ll dump the games, sell the games, then release the ROMs (and screw the people who bought them from you).


that last paragraph is a very good idea. lets all put $ togethere, buy the rares, dump n sell to some sucker ;P

no but really, im at a loss of words now and i still feel like games are meant to be played, so let us !

Who pays more than $1.000,- to play a game? It’s all about having a rare item!

Only very few games for the C64 are not yett available. A friend of mine got an extremely rare A Bee C’s modul for the C64. I did not only get the dump. He made me a perfect copy of this modul. I only have to print me a nice label! I got it, it works but I still would pay the same price to get an original one!!! I can play this (stupid) game but it is a fake. It is not the real one!

I realy like this thread:
and this sentence:
“The saddest thing of all is that I wouldn’t mind spending the 1,300 euro again, if this would allow me to finish my Virtual Boy game collection.”
Do you realy think he would not like to finish his collection just because there is a dump of the moduls to download?

Let’s talk about Commodore again. In the last few years there was a real Commodore hype. More and more people bought the computer of there childhood. More people with a Commodore -> more people who might start a real collection -> more collectors -> higher prices for rare items.

I think this thread is very useless because it is not going to change anything. I just think that the prices are just a bad excuse for not helping the community.
The VB community is very small but if there are more games to play for a small price, probably more people will buy a VB. And maybe some of them will start a collection?! Get the point?

Even the owners should be glad to have a flashboy and romdumps of all their games. They could play the game without touching the rare moduls. Prices drop the more an item is used.

To all the collectors:
If it is only all about the price and you only bought the games for playing. You know that the Flashboy is comming. Why don’t you make dumps of all your games, sell these games, make a lot of money and still be able to play all of them?
Why not? Because it is not all about the money and you did not buy the games because you just want to play them. You have a collection and you want the real stuff! That is not going to change!

Why shouldn’t I compare these collector items with hardware?
Why is a game in original box more expansive? Has this anything todo with software?
Wario Land is a realy good game and people would pay more if it would be rare just because it is a great game and they want to play it! But noone pays such a lot of money for the games we talk about because they are so great games. In this case it’s all about the hardware!

You want to get a good price for your rare item?
1. Keep it in perfect condition! Don’t use it! Don’t even touch the box!
2. Try to motivate more people to collect VB stuff.

As I’ve said many times, there is a value attached to the collectability of the game, and there’s a value attached to being able to play the game (complete games add to the collectability). When the dumps and means to play it are available, the collectability (and possibly convenience) becomes the only value in the game. THEN you can compare games to hardware, because then that’s all the cart is. There’s also value attached to being able to being in the elite group of collectors who own the game, which would be even more valuable when they’re the only ones who can play the game.

And I didn’t say palacios wouldn’t want to finish his collection, I just stated what he said that he wouldn’t be willing to pay as much to get them (which is my whole point). I’m not saying that the price can’t go up if there are more collectors interested in the VB, I just said that releasing the ROMs will drop the price vs. not releasing them. With more collectors and the ROMs staying unreleased, the price would be even more. I guarantee that none of those games are good enough to bring more collectors to the VB. And the collectors paid big bucks for the carts, so they’re free to do whatever they want… but I really don’t think they “owe” us in the community anything.

And I’d be willing to pay $1000 for just a ROM dump of Zero Racers… I’m crazy about VB games and that’s one that I’d LOVE to have.

But you’re right… this thread is pointless because collectors will do what they want, and I don’t even think many of the collectors come to these boards.



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