The Coop

The first video game you bought with your own money...

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I've been thinking about the past a bit lately. Looking back on who I've known, what I've done, what I still want to do from some of those moments... things like that. Among those thoughts came something of an oddity; a little idea that kind of got me strolling through smaller bits and pieces of those gone-by times. Namely, what was the first game that I can remember buying with my own money?

Now, I'd owned systems before the point in this little tale. The Atari 2600 and the Atari XEGS were where I spent my earlier years in console gaming. But the games I got for them were always bought for me from places like Toys R Us, Sears and whatnot. Even anything I bought with Christmas or birthday money, was still gotten with money that I'd been given by my parents. I was just a brief middle-man stopping point, which made it so that it was really them still buying something for me. Which means, to the best of my knowledge, the first game I bought with money I'd earned on my own was After Burner II on the SEGA Genesis.

I remember I had to work that day, and my mom wanted to go to a Target store that was near where I worked (as in, pretty much right across the street). We left early enough so that I could go with her before I had to get to work, which meant walking to that Target in the warm mid-morning Phoenix sun. While she picked up some things that she wanted, I spent my time in the video game area, browsing through the Genesis section that was less than organized. I swear, it was like they'd only get one or two copies of a game in and then they'd just put them wherever... which meant digging though each row to see all that they had in stock.

Anyway, it was there that I found After Burner II hanging on one of those long metal pegs that were always used to display the Genesis games via their plastic hang tabs. I'd just gotten my second paycheck a couple of days earlier (the first had to go toward helping pay some bills) and, with me being a fan of the arcade original, I was all for getting to play the game at home. So, I picked it up, tracked down my mom elsewhere in the store, and paid for it after she'd gone through the checkout line. We walked over to the store where I worked and grabbed a quick bite to eat at one of those little food wagons that would set up at the far end of the parking lot. We talked, ate and commented on how we wished the car was working again.

It wasn't long before the time came for me to get to my job. I handed my bag to my mom, she walked home with my game and her own goodies, and I spent the next seven hours waiting to play what I'd bought. It was worth the wait, though. It's not the best port of After Burner II out there, but for the time, it was fast, fun and close enough. God knows I put enough hours into it before I finally beat it for the first time.

So... what was the first game you guys and gals bought with the money you'd earned for yourself? Feel free to share :-)

Edited by The Coop

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Time and fate are nothing but experiments in cruelty via temporal snuff fetish and they should be incinerated from the mind as soon as the will permits. The past, present and future can New Jack Swing on my aged, shriveled nuts.

To contribute something more directly on-topic if less deeply profound - the earliest thing I remember buying was the Super Nintendo from the Sevierville K-Mart that is only just now closing for good. I was 8 years old, had somehow saved up enough money with some contribution from my parents to obtain it and walked out with what has proven to be the greatest investment I've ever made for myself. I think somewhere along the way we lost a $20 bill inside the store, but I never heard anything about that afterwards. I still have that Super Nintendo today and its influence on my life cannot be understated.

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Good topic. Funny thing, I didn't have a job or otherwise work to earn money when I was too young. Buying games with such money would've left a nice memory. By the time I was getting any kind of paychecks was early 2000s and I only had an aging, non-gaming PC so.. I quite possibly bought/registered some awesome, obscure PC game from the dark ages between shareware and indie games. I think Helherron is a strong contender. wow, I didn't know it has been updated recently!

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It was either Rygar or Karate Champ for NES. I remember saving up my allowance, $5 per week, so that when I had enough we could go to Toys R Us and I'd pick out a game. Rygar was awesome. However, some of my purchases made this way were not so awesome. Like Deadly Towers. Or the Adventures of Bayou Billy.

But, I'll say this - after buying those with my own money, I was determined to beat them. To date I've beaten Rygar probably 20 times. Deadly Towers... once. Bayou Billy... once.

Agreed, great topic.

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I was in high school when I got my first job, but my dad was always the provider of video games so up until that point I just came to him with requests. I'm not sure which came first, the PlayStation or the N64, but a friend of mine had me try FF7 on his PS and I rented a N64 with Pod Racer and Mario 64. I quickly realized that 3D graphics and camera controls were a sin and a perversion of video games, so I just quit. Few years later, near the end of the PS2 era, games caught my attention again. The first video game I ever bought with my own money was KotOR. Fell in love with it, bought KotOR II, a PS2 and Dragon Quest VIII. Good games. Then last week I bought Sekiro. Haven't played it yet. The end.

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First game I bought with my own money was probably Super Metroid.

From an ebay auction for a SNES and 16 games. This cost me $100, which I got from allowance from doing a lot of chores for people up and down the street. My family was quite poor, so $100 was a big deal. 

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I've been wracking my brain trying to remember...

I think it was Legendary Wings for the NES. Picked it up at the local flea market in Raleigh. I want to say it was about $4 or so; I must have been 8 or 9. Had never heard of it, only got it because the label art was interesting and I wanted something new. I really enjoyed it!

But I must say, my most memorable game pickup was around that time at Rose's (or was it Roses?). My mom said I could get a new game as long as it didn't cost too much. I didn't really recognize any on the peg hangers (how times have changed), but there was this one that caught my eye - Bionic Commando. I don't know that I had ever heard of it; might have read about it in Nintendo Power or some other gaming mag. But I did recognize the publisher logo: CAPCOM. I knew them from Mega Man, the first game I ever rented and played in my own home. 

In the following weeks I was addicted to Bionic Commando. I even faked being sick to stay home from school and church. My parents found out, though, because one Sunday I put on my routine, I got stuck in one of the areas...the one with the barrier at the beginning and I think you need the rocket launcher to get through. The internet being about 10-11 years away, I called the Nintendo Game Counselors - a few times that morning - and then when the phone bill came in they saw calls on that day to Redmond, WA. The only disciplinary action I can recall is some stern words and maybe a threat to lose NES privileges if I did it again. 

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7 hours ago, JohnStacy said:

From an ebay auction for a SNES and 16 games. This cost me $100, which I got from allowance from doing a lot of chores for people up and down the street. My family was quite poor, so $100 was a big deal. 

That's pretty good. I got my first copy of Super Metroid in a lot with Super Mario RPG and Mischief Makers from somewhere in 2001 for like $70 I think. Was 18 years ago this month and now those games and Spring are permanently entwined to me.

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It was a very good deal. I only bought 2 more games since then for that console.

I sold it to one of my wife's friends this last summer. Wanted her kids to be able to play what she had growing up. So now it is being put to good use.

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I grew up with the MSX home computer. I think one of the first games I bought with my own money (allowance money, likely) was probably some Eurosoft port from another platform, something like Maze Master or something similarly affordable. But hey, I was like 14 or so and money was scarce :)

If you're talking brand new games I bought with my own earned money, it was probably Metal Gear: Solid Snake for the MSX2 that I bought first. It was like 100 Dutch guilders (about 50 euro; we didn't have Euros back then!) and I bought it from this company that would send these newspaper-like folders every 2-3 months with software for many different platforms (mostly PCs and home computers) that they imported from Japan. Wasn't sure what to expect when the advert said 'Korean version', but it turned out to be a perfectly playable Korean rip on a non-official (read: not Konami branded) cartridge with a Quarth (another Konami game) label underneath. It also came in a box half the size of the official one with a color manual all in Korean - completely different from the official Japanese one. Still, it had all the right chips inside, including the SCC chip, and it played perfectly.

These days, that Korean version is quite the rare item I think. Sadly the cartridge has died after I messed with it to put a switch in it so I could use the SCC with *ahem* less official Konami games, but the box and manual are still something I proudly own to this day, well over 25 years later.

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Actually, I started working only this year and so my first game was... Some games for my Switch, I guess :)

Yeah, this story doesn't go deep in the past :D

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That was Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon for me. I had some gift card money on Amazon, so I was able to grab that, along with a 3DS. :D It's one of my favorite series of all time, and I hope that more in the series comes out!

More recently, I just bought my copy of Pokemon Ultra Sun and am really enjoying it! 

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There's probably some argument to be made how my first game purchase wasn't actually with my own money but when I was around 14 years old our house had just gotten a computer and I was spending a rather pathetic amount of time playing on Segasoft's long forgotten multiplayer gaming site Heat.net.  The thing about this site was that they payed you in their virtual currency called "degrees" while you played games with other people.  The other thing about this site is that for a $50 annual membership you could spend your degrees on full retail games at first from the Segasoft store and then later from a store called Chips and Bits and shipping could also be covered by this virtual currency if you had enough to tack on.  However due to some extremely poor business planning on SegaSoft's part it was VERY easy to pay $50 for the membership then walk off with $100+ worth of games/hardware/accessories over the course of the year depending on how much you played.  ...and I had a bad Quake 2 CTF addiction.

Within a few months I had the 50000 degrees and a few thousand more to cover the shipping for a little game called Vigilance which was a 3rd person shooter with an absolutely insane multiplayer deathmatch and was at the time the most hyped game coming from Segasoft. The day i received that game in the mail was unforgettable.  

...and with Vigilance and Quake 2 taking most of my waking life I was eventually able to walk off with 3 cheap Sega Saturn games, 2 launch games for the Sega Dreamcast and a rumble pack all before the year membership was up, and that was AFTER the switch from 1000 degrees=$1 to 5000 degrees=$1. Before that I was planning to cover the launch of the Dreamcast with what I had earned through playing. 

So yea, cheers to the late Heat.net which made all of that possible and it's terrible business model which led to it's fast demise.

 

 

 

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Edited by Garpocalypse

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I used to rent a NES or SNES with one game for a week ((I remember Mario 3, World and Yoshi's Island and the Donkey Kong Country series very fondly) for a long time before I actually owned a console. I was lucky that my dad and brother are also into games, because they bought quite some games for the PC (I think the first time they bought something together was the original Command & Conquer). I think the first time I really bought something for myself was Pokémon Red, after I got my brother's Gameboy. And I think at about the age of 14, I bought a SNES of off ebay with about 7 games on it, which I played waaaaay too much :P And now my game collection is way too large :<

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The first video game I ever bought with my own pocket money was the Game Boy version of Dr. Mario.  I had already gotten the system the Christmas before and seeing all the games on display in a brochure in the box, I felt keen to get whatever games really drew my attention to it.  It was a wise choice too - the entire family ended up competing as to who would get good and beat level 20 at the Hi speed setting first! :)

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First game I bought was what came with the Sega Game Gear I purchased at the end of Summer ‘92, after saving all of my babysitting money. At that time, the game gear was being sold with Sonic (obviously) and Columns, the Sega equivalent of Tetris and the game that spawned years of puzzle love. 

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37 minutes ago, Aurora said:

First game I bought was what came with the Sega Game Gear I purchased at the end of Summer ‘92, after saving all of my babysitting money. At that time, the game gear was being sold with Sonic (obviously) and Columns, the Sega equivalent of Tetris and the game that spawned years of puzzle love. 

Talk about coming out of the woodwork. It's been ages since I last saw a post from you, Aurora. How've you been?

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Mine was Dragon Warrior when I was about 5. It was 'birthday money' but still it was my money. Beaten it so many times I couldn't tell you how many, and I always tried to pit myself against the game in ways it wasn't intended, like trying to get the Erdrick's Sword/Armor at level 7. Lots of dying and retrying... like, lots. But I eventually got Sleep to work against that damned Axe Knight in Haukness for more than a few turns to Hurt him to death, then praying I could exit the town without a random encounter. Fun times.

Soon after that, it was Battletoads. My siblings, both older and younger, always handed me the controller for the 3rd (Blue Racecart) level because no one knew the patterns and underlying mechanics of the game like I did. I was always really good at recognizing and understanding mechanics of games and utilizing them well. Perhaps that's why I do tech support for a living, heh.

Edited by Sumie

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Mine was Unreal 2 for PC when I was 16. My dad used to bought games for me, so I didn't need to buy other games really. The console of my childhood is a NES that I still have, but can't use anymore because the power supply got lost. Then my older brother bought a PC, so I started to play exclusively on PC

But speaking about games that I've bought with my own pocket money (earned from working), my first console was a Xbox One S with Forza Horizon 3, in 2017.

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My memory is a bit shaky on this, but I think it's Dino Park Tycoon. This would have been in like, 4th or 5th grade? It was paper route money and I had to have the computer teacher actually order it because it was hard to find outside of school catalogs. 

My first big purchase was Pokemon Stadium. I had to convince my brother to pool our allowances together for about a month in advance to afford it, but it worked out!

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17 hours ago, MindWanderer said:

Technically Super Mario Bros., because that's what came with the NES.  Cost me $87 worth of recycled aluminum cans, after tax.

$87 of recycled cans!? That's a story that deserves respect!

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