Here's some balm for your soul on this Thursday morning: there's a museum in Japan that aims to reunite people with the Famicom games that they once owned (via Kotaku).
Did you ever scribble your name down on an old game cartridge or box, only to sell it later on? You might just find it at the Named Cassette Museum in Tokyo (Famicom cartridges are known as cassettes in Japan). Opened in 2015 and run by Junji Seki, the museum displays all sorts of Famicom games where owners have scrawled their names on the cartridges all with the aim of one day, hopefully, returning to their owners. What a lovely little idea.
The museum currently has 920 cassettes and cartridges ranging from Famicom, N64, Game Boy, and every retro Nintendo console inbetween. There are even some NES cartridges from across the pond.
The idea of writing on a cartridge might make us retro collectors wince a little bit, but Seki sees the sentimental value in using the pen on the cartridge. Some of the things he's picked up over the years include prices and photos, and these little additions can add more of a story to the game, such as when it was sold or bought (via a mirai-idea.jp interview).
If you happen to spot your game in the museum, the magic doesn't stop there. Seki will deliver the cartridge to you personally, you can buy it back for whatever price you want, and you will need to share your story on how you parted with the cartridge, what you did with it, etc. with him so he can document the story on the museum website.
It's such a fantastic idea and we might be praying that somehow, something we've parted with has ended up all the way to Tokyo. We also just want to see the cartridges and feel the nostalgia in person.
The museum recently had an exhibition at the Flyhigh Cade in Tokyo in November/December 2022, but you can check out more details of this wonderful endeavour on the museum's official website, by following them on Twitter, or by following Seki on Instagram.
Do you remember selling your old games? Would you like to see a museum like this? Let us know in the comments.
[source bonusstage.net, via mirai-idea.jp, mirai-idea.jp, kotaku.com]
Oh, the uh... rarest and most expensive one belongs to me. 😑
Actually I got Yokai Watch 3 Tempura 3DS from Tokopedia with previous owner Masato (written in Hiragana on its cartridge) from Japan, two years ago.
I was damn so lucky to get Yokai Watch 3 even the Japanese version.
That is nice, all my SNES/Mega Drive cartridges have a green square of nail polish on the back of them as my cousins used to borrow them all the time and argue that they weren't mine when I wanted them back.
Could be abused and hopefully it won't be (ideally at all, realistically not too much) but still, what a cool idea!
This is a great idea! Very wholesome.
They wouldn't have my super rare cartridge would they? I forget the name, but do know it was worth over a million. Would certainly be nice to be reunited with it...
This is fantastic!
When I was young my house was broken into and my NES plus all of my games were stolen. I wish someone would reunite me with all of my old lost cartridges. My golden Zelda cartridge is out there somewhere!!
In cases where a black marker pen is used, that can easily come off with IPA!
Now with Pokémon Snap (Japan), not much can be done when the user writes their name on the label to put your name on. 😞
Some of my Japanese N64 games have traces of their previous Japanese owners. I've never really thought about finding out their actual names. Might take some photos later.
My Super Mario Kart cartridge also had a buch of nonsense written on it. Thankfully I could erase most (if not all) of it. That's at my sister's place right now.
My Advance Wars: Dual Strike is perhaps the weirdest case. When I bought it from a second hand store, it had a love letter written to the former owner by his girlfriend. For some weird reason I decided to honor that relationship and didn't throw away the letter, though I'm guessing they broke up simply because the game ended up in a store and then in my collection.
On a similar note, my copy of Banjo-Kazooie also has the back label peeled off and in its place there's a carving of a couple's names.
Here are some photos
Japanese Pokémon Stadium: https://i.imgur.com/rS1XSKC.jpeg
Pokémon Snap: https://i.imgur.com/DJlgMyz.jpeg
Doubutsu no Mori/Animal Crossing 64: https://i.imgur.com/fT69w8x.jpeg
Banjo-Kazooie's back: https://i.imgur.com/Cz2JZo5.jpeg
Love Letter found in AWDS (in Spanish): https://i.imgur.com/KJ26swC.jpeg
This is a neat idea - many of the Famicom cartridges I saw jumbled up in wagon sales at different used game shops around Osaka had kid's names written on them. Years after those traded-in games wound up in shops' 200 yen bins, the original owner may have started feeling sentimental or regret.
It's often not the games themselves we are nostalgic for, it's the memory of playing and enjoying those games in our younger days with friends and family that we miss.
Any chance they can open branches of this museum in the West as well?
Nothing on any of my Japanese games, but a Howard somewhere in the US is missing his Tecmo Super Bowl.
I live in Brazil and have owned a few (still do) SNES cartridges with Japanese names written on them just like that. Seems like it's a thing about Japan mostly.
Would be really cool if some Game Boy Cameras ended up here. I have one and it has pictures of the previous owner(s) that I refuse to delete since it’s such a cool way of the past communicating with the present (or some other existential bull LOL), so someone getting reunited with Game Boy Camera photos of who they used to be would be so special in my eyes.
Had a young woman sell me a bunch of SNES stuff years back. I of course own a SNES but I kept her console too as she completely painted the casing in a abstract mural.
Honestly I love this soooo much. I wish I still had my original N64 carts and their plastic bags and cases and controllers etc… I was one of those who kept everything pristine so this museum wouldn’t help me one bit… still it’s so cool to see!!
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