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Thread: 2015 - the peak of Nintendo collecting?

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    Default 2015 - the peak of Nintendo collecting?

    Alright, It is the new year, time to look at the state of collecting. I just wrote up an article regarding a new development that could be the beginning of the end of the Nintendo collecting bubble - mass produced bootlegs. The bootlegs of games like Hagane and Earthbound can be purchased in bulk at a fraction of the price of the real thing. Notably, these bootlegs are pretty easy to spot, since the carts have fake screws. The complicating factor is that it is trivial for someone to buy a bunch of these, throw the PCB in a real cart and print off a new label, and there, you have a pretty convincing copy. I discuss all this and its implications in the article!

    Of course, this thread can be a bit more broad than that. For NES collecting, I think it will be hitting the upper limit of people who grew up in that key 1985-1992 time period that reach the point of having a combination of access to disposable income and nostalgia for their childhood. The SNES will not be far behind, with that key period being 1991 to 1996 (notably the rise in SNES prices started in 2011 - exactly 20 years after the SNES came out). With the rise of bootlegs that look fairly convincing, plus growing acceptance of flash carts and emulation boxes, I do not anticipate that the market for uncommon, but hardly Stadium Events-level rare games will continue to grow.
    <Evan_G> i keep my games in an inaccessable crate where i can't play them

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    Quote Originally Posted by badinsults View Post
    The complicating factor is that it is trivial for someone to buy a bunch of these, throw the PCB in a real cart and print off a new label, and there, you have a pretty convincing copy.
    In before the usual suspects charge in like a herd of Kool-Aid men with cries of "That's not possible, you can't fool us!"




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    well the long and short of it is I hope its the peak. because I could use some cheap games to add to my collection and I would prefer them to be legit.
    theres no reason a SMB/DH cart should cost more than a buck or two

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    Quote Originally Posted by JSoup View Post
    In before the usual suspects charge in like a herd of Kool-Aid men with cries of "That's not possible, you can't fool us!"
    Just get it VGA graded, then it's guaranteed to be legit.

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    Nice article. Collecting for mainstream systems is only going to become more and more like how collecting MVS has been since the 90s, unfortunately, where you just have to accept the reality of opening up every game you buy to confirm that it's legit and occasionally having to return a bootleg and/or file a PayPal claim. Or like with GBA games, I don't care how convincing the outside looks, I always check the board for the Nintendo logo whenever I get a new one (although GBA is nice in that you can see the logo without actually opening a cart up).

    As for NES, I've been getting the feeling for a while that we're on the cusp of a downturn. I just get a general sense that the collecting scene at large is losing interest, with a lot of gamers regarding it as "too old" to be worth caring about or playing. Heck, even with myself, I've barely bought any NES games in years (though part of that is less access and higher prices compared to 10+ years ago), and I've also barely been playing NES games in recent years. Maybe my own nostalgia has died down a little too. Whatever the case, I don't see a downturn doing much for the expensive rarities, but it'd be nice to see a drop in prices on the common stuff that has garnered higher prices purely because of demand and people's desire to play them. I expect this nostalgia bell curve to play out with every system, but it seems that a lot of collectors are resistant to accepting the pattern, even though the proof is right there with pre-NES systems already. Maybe it's a little cynical of me, but I think a lot of people are convinced that retro game prices will only go up and up and up forever because they hate the idea of the games they already own losing value (even more so if the values drop below what they paid for them).

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    Rare Atari games and rare games on other pre-Nintendo systems are still pretty high, and I've noticed Atari games seem to be higher then a few years back, on some titles. But generally u can get a nice Atari collection for $3 a game. NES will prolly hit that mark at some point for its cheaper titles.

    But there is something to say about Nintendo still being relevant, and kids who are into the Wii U still have an interest in classic Nintendo. Kids who grew up on N64 and GameCube will still want to collect for SNES and NES. Nobody is playing a new Atari system these days. And when u play newer Nintendo games they're always full of throwbacks to yesteryear. Splatoon has the zappers, for example, older characters like Kid Icarus are showing up in Smash Bros. Space Invaders and Missile Command have not been relevant franchises in decades.

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    Reselling has moved on towards the N64 and GameCube.
    (like, why the hell is Melee a $60 game? Wasn't it the best-selling GC game? Unless because it's a disc game, a lot of people that didn't take of the game well broke theirs)

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    Going only by game shop prices, it does seem to be trending down. Anything above NES seems recession-proof

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    Quote Originally Posted by SparTonberry View Post
    Reselling has moved on towards the N64 and GameCube.
    (like, why the hell is Melee a $60 game? Wasn't it the best-selling GC game? Unless because it's a disc game, a lot of people that didn't take of the game well broke theirs)
    Yes it's a $60 game....used. Still sealed you are looking at $150-$250. I'm so glad I kept 97% of all my Gamecube games sealed although it helps that I never really played my Gamecube or plugged it in more than once. Going forward I think that Gamecube games will increase in value. There's a chance N64 games could as well but I think the majority of them have already reached their peak.

    As for Nes and Snes games, complete in box versions of the rarer games will probably continue to go up in price and the same thing can be said with the first few versions of complete in box Gameboy games. Most people like myself still won't pay a premium for them but there are certainly others willing to drop 4 and 5 digits on games they feel are worth it to them.
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    Sealed prices are kind of irrelevant to the general status of retro game prices. Of course sealed games are going to come at a premium for products that have been off store shelves for well over a decade. Few people are inclined to buy a product and then not even use it (nor pass it on to someone who would), so it's only natural that the vast majority of copies of a game will eventually be opened. It's not a bad way to make a profit on a game, if you pick something that'll still have demand down the road (big-name first party Nintendo titles are obvious), but then you have to ask yourself is it really worth holding on to a sealed game for a decade or more just to make a hundred bucks or what have you (not even accounting for inflation). Considering the multitude of better ways to invest, the answer is obvious. Of course, if you want to own a game just for collector's purposes or if you had intent to open and play eventually, then it makes more sense to hold on to a sealed game and possibly sell if you notice prices going high. Personally, I like to open just about everything when I first get it, even if I won't be seriously playing for a long time. I like to give a game a brief try, make sure I didn't get a defective product (I think I still did with my copy of Jet Force Gemini unfortunately, but I guess I didn't play it long enough when I first bought it for that to be made apparent), and eliminate having to waste time later on tracking down a used copy if I decide that the sealed copy has become too valuable to justify opening.

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    Kirby (Level 13) Tanooki's Avatar
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    Peak? Doubt it, but you never know. By the way nice find on aliexpress.com I've known about the newish 64 bit game card (N64 boots) on there which are more than your under $30 SNES copies, but given 3 of the 4 are for games over $100 I can see the temptation value growing as they come farther down off the $60-70 range they're at now against a game upwards of $300+ (Sculptors Cut, Bomberman 2nd Attack and Worms -- the pointless one being Harvest Moon.) I get why you say it's tempting seeing the $400 Aerofighters for $25 and change. I owned that one back when I got it for $10 complete other than the box and lost it to unemployment a decade ago. The random enemy placement each time makes it fun, not $200 nor $400+ fun at all. It's tempting almost to buy it just to see the quality of the board and workmanship if anything. I see Contra 3 up there too, falls into the Harvest Moon realm I spoke of, stupid boot for $30 or legit game for $30-40...not with the sliver of maybe savings.

    JSoup, not me. I bought a convincing GBA game in the middle of 2015 from the UK and it ended up being a masterfully high quality bootleg (Alien Hominid.) The sticker other than 2 bits of small print being a little thinner (you couldn't tell from a picture) you'd swear it was real. Only opening up to clean it you discover the wrong stuff as it even had the right (c) nintendo bit visible above the pins code and all which was freaky. If someone can pop off a GBA game that well, NES and SNES should be a snap. People using faux clamshells with no-screws and snaps are just lazy corner cutters.

    Right now the reality of it is, any game over $30 for a handheld, and probably $50 for an 8/16bit console game branded for Nintendo as Aussie put it, is now on MVS territory -- anything and everything is suspect. We all know which parties are to blame for it from both the supplier and consumer end of it and the mentalities behind both parties doing so. They both circle jerked things high enough now that even for those decently well off or so will find the prices become unpalatable. Perhaps not as a one off or so unless we're talking $500+ carts, but when you start adding things up and you want like 10-20 games, some honest rares, and other bogus hype fake rares like your SNES turtles in time and so on and you look at your running tab it starts to look insane doing it when there are cheaper evenly viable substitutions to play (everdrive like stuff, emulator boxes, or even PCs/Android with emulators and ROMs.)

    I've seen this topic come up more and more and the collector herd seems to be thinning a bit towards the niche die hards, and the player types are asking more about other options. It always circles back to why should I pay 3 figures for that stupid game when I could pay the same or less for a flash cart and put a crap load of 2-3-4 price figure carts on it and get the same effect on original hardware. It's a fair question too. These questions weren't really raised more than a year or two ago because it wasn't so off the handle. Those who did question were already likely pirates or leaning that way from other interests so ROMS were always more attractive on their computers/tablets. Now you see more cart buyers (non-CIB, and especially not sealed) going screw this, keeping their favorites (or those with special chips that won't work like SNES stuff), and offloading the others and getting a kit. It's sad (and not) that it's driving more people away from legitimate old game ownership into other options as I think anyone should be able to get a pre-2010 price on something to experiment and enjoy but that's done, at least until the camels back is truly broken. But by then it will fall back to those who cared all along or braved through it, and the rest will move onto the next public driven hype interest to bury it too. Pick a decade there's always a few things that go up and then back down again.

    Fact is I don't even much care anymore and I'm over getting hot about it like I'd do a year plus ago. It's just not worth it and I stopped even online buying the NES/SNES stuff 2 1/2 years ago now, and I've had a rare few pick ups locally in all that time. It's better not to get sick over this garbage or even speculate about it anymore as speculation fed the problem and the seller picked up on and that rolled with it. Find something else in gaming to enjoy that's not being exploited or find another interest yet that isn't old games (or even games.) If things fall back to reality and you still care, come back, if not, you broke free. That's pretty much how I sit on it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arkanoid_Katamari View Post
    Rare Atari games and rare games on other pre-Nintendo systems are still pretty high, and I've noticed Atari games seem to be higher then a few years back, on some titles. But generally u can get a nice Atari collection for $3 a game. NES will prolly hit that mark at some point for its cheaper titles.

    But there is something to say about Nintendo still being relevant, and kids who are into the Wii U still have an interest in classic Nintendo. Kids who grew up on N64 and GameCube will still want to collect for SNES and NES. Nobody is playing a new Atari system these days. And when u play newer Nintendo games they're always full of throwbacks to yesteryear. Splatoon has the zappers, for example, older characters like Kid Icarus are showing up in Smash Bros. Space Invaders and Missile Command have not been relevant franchises in decades.
    Without a doubt that is true, although I think you overestimate the desire of kids who grew up in the Gamecube era to want to collect games that were made before they were born. There will always be a market for Nintendo's biggest franchise games. Games like the Mario Bros games and Mega Man will always hold a premium, because everyone knows that they are good. It is like how there is always going to be a market for the music of the Beatles. The eventual downturn is going to hit games that are only expensive because of their relative rarity. Things like Panic Restaurant. Nobody who is getting their fill of classic games via the Virtual Console is hankering to get a title like that at several hundred dollars. I mean, I doubt it will ever be a $20 title again, but I doubt that it will remain a $300-$400 game. To keep with the 60s music analogies, these kind of games will be like the Yardbirds - a relatively popular band at the time with a mixed bag of a catalogue that is really only of interest to a select few people who grew up in the era and are nostalgic, or hardcore music nerds. I mean, I am a huge music nerd (I own hundreds of CDs), and I can't say I would go out of my way to get a Yardbirds album, because half the stuff they did was pretty crap. Panic Restaurant is like that.

    Complete and sealed collecting is a different beast altogether. I'd say that sealed gaming is pretty niche, and I doubt that there are ever going to be a lot of people into that. The ones that are, are obviously willing to throw a lot of money. I'd say that boxes and manual collecting is far trickier, as it is much easier to make a fake box and manual than a cart. Yes, for the truly uncommon games, complete copies of the game are going to go for a lot of money. I think you will see a disconnect in the market. I'm willing to bet if you looked at Atari 2600 games, the prices for boxed games has continued to go up, while cart-only prices has stayed relatively stable during the past 10 years.

    Like any bubble economy, there are lots of people who will deny that the Nintendo classic collectors market will stagnate. There are people who thought the dot-com bubble would never burst, or that housing prices would continue going up at double digit per annum growth rates before the 2008 crash happened. When people are all-in on an investment, it is a psychological defence to justify your choice. I personally think that treating video games as an investment is foolish. Once prices stop going up, and I guarantee that is inevitable, these people are going to get hit hard. This is capitalism 101, prices only increase when there is sustained growth. There is a finite amount of people who are nostalgic for these systems.
    <Evan_G> i keep my games in an inaccessable crate where i can't play them

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    I like owning real games, so though I have a flash cart I'm only planning to put games I actually own or semi-own (like VC).
    I think many fans would say it's reasonable to pirate the exorbitant-priced otherwise-unavailable stuff (I'd say anything at least $100 loose with no legit digital release qualifies as fair game)

    Like really... who owns Magical Pop'n? Marvelous? They gonna care whether or not I paid $150 (or whatever stupid price it is) to a reseller for an obscure used 20 year old game almost nobody's heard of? (of course if they did release it, I'd still support it)

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    Quote Originally Posted by SparTonberry View Post
    I like owning real games, so though I have a flash cart I'm only planning to put games I actually own or semi-own (like VC).
    I think many fans would say it's reasonable to pirate the exorbitant-priced otherwise-unavailable stuff (I'd say anything at least $100 loose with no legit digital release qualifies as fair game)

    Like really... who owns Magical Pop'n? Marvelous? They gonna care whether or not I paid $150 (or whatever stupid price it is) to a reseller for an obscure used 20 year old game almost nobody's heard of? (of course if they did release it, I'd still support it)
    I have Marvelous complete in box. I bought it a long time ago, though, for, like, $20. I don't blame you for using a flash cart, though. It's not like the original companies are making any money off of it, so as long as people support legitimate reźreleases, there's no harm.

    I do think, like all things, there will be a leveling off of sorts, but not a crash down to earth. Collecting hobbies always tend to maintain a level of competition to keep prices higher than they would be for a practical use market. There's also a large new base of young people who identify with this hobby that they've grown up with, which will likely prevent any massive crash when the trendy collectors get bored and move on.

    Off topic, but I'm surprised there aren't more Intellivision collectors in the classic sector. It's a comparatively small library with little of major cost. NES games will likely stay higher than a lot of older consoles due to their continued cultural relevance and more modern-style gameplay.

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    I get that. I've got an interest in Trip World, you know what that costs but I found a trade/cash deal for one I'm in the process on now, but would I ever pay $200+ for that game, not a chance. There's pirates of it for like $30-40 on ebay though, again fits this topic well and for the same reasons. There's others too, Magical Chase the TG16 nightmare got a JP only GBC port and that is like $150 for the cart alone and well up more with paper and it got the treatment too. An interesting one I didn't bring up before, check out that aliexpress.com site badinsults there brought up, type in 'little samson' see how many come up, most of them look spot on to the original and they just want $20~ for that one. Given the amount of people peddling it, I think it's selling fairly decently in general and given the $900-1000 price tag on a non-bootleg of it that's no surprise at all why it's so desirable. It does play into the argument he made of stuff like this perhaps helping to accelerate the drop off the cliff eventually.

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    Trip World for GB costs as much as buying a Japanese or EU 3DS and downloading the game (and at least that can later be used to play other games too). (really got to wonder why they didn't release it in NA, too. Just because it wasn't originally released here doesn't seem like a big reason anymore.)
    I wonder if that was the logic Nintendo was thinking when they made EarthBound a Wii U VC exclusive, though. :P

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    Quote Originally Posted by SparTonberry View Post
    I like owning real games, so though I have a flash cart I'm only planning to put games I actually own or semi-own (like VC).
    I think many fans would say it's reasonable to pirate the exorbitant-priced otherwise-unavailable stuff (I'd say anything at least $100 loose with no legit digital release qualifies as fair game)

    Like really... who owns Magical Pop'n? Marvelous? They gonna care whether or not I paid $150 (or whatever stupid price it is) to a reseller for an obscure used 20 year old game almost nobody's heard of? (of course if they did release it, I'd still support it)
    I'm sort of the same way, but as time goes on, having the physical game means less and less to me. I'm always on the hair trigger for just selling them all or most of them. They just sit and collect dust, due to emulation and all the flash carts I own. We're WELL beyond the point of NES and even SNES kids "rediscovering their youth."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg2600 View Post
    I'm sort of the same way, but as time goes on, having the physical game means less and less to me. I'm always on the hair trigger for just selling them all or most of them. They just sit and collect dust, due to emulation and all the flash carts I own. We're WELL beyond the point of NES and even SNES kids "rediscovering their youth."
    Agreed on all that more or less. I couldn't just sell it all, but I did sell much of the stuff worth $100+ I didn't own retail growing up as I didn't see the point as it just sat and those who read here know what I bought Dec 2014 and spring of 2015 with those nice over valued hype driven NES/SNES games. They value they provided me on what I got for them will always exceed what they were worth just lightly if ever being used on a shelf. There is that up side to people making games cost a ridiculous amount and the fear causing them to creep higher worrying if they'll go higher. I'm fence sitting as it is now on the 2015 micro sd newer version of the ez flash iv, though I did see krikzz seems to be on the way into releasing a gba everdrive so I may wait.

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    Quote Originally Posted by badinsults View Post
    Alright, It is the new year, time to look at the state of collecting. I just wrote up an article regarding a new development that could be the beginning of the end of the Nintendo ollecting bubble - mass produced bootlegs. The bootlegs of games like Hagane and Earthbound can be purchased in bulk at a fraction of the price of the real thing.
    Nice article about bootlegs. Normally I don't worry about purchasing a bootleg too much because I buy complete games and not carts.I feel a little safer that way, but who knows. And I've often wondered if I did buy a fake and didn't know it, would it make any difference? I'm not a seller, so it's later value is really unimportant. If it functions properly, I'd probably be living in blissful ignorance, having already moved on to the next acquisition.

    Curiously, I did some checking around on Ebay, Etsy, ect. yesterday and found many of my games were being reproduced and are readily available.



    I'm ruined!, I screamed and hurled myself out the window. Then quickly remembered that I live on the first floor. So I dusted myself off and started studying what games people thought were valuable enough to forge. First thing I noticed is that there were few Gameboy, Gameboy Color and GBA games being reproduced. This sorta shocked me because as Gameboy collector myself, I know how difficult they are to find (complete anyway) and some rival in price with any games for any other other systems. I guess the easiest way to get a reproduction Gameboy game is to simply try to buy a legitimate cart.

    I couldn't believe I was seeing reproductions for Japanese SG-1000 games. I didn't think anyone but me collected for that system. They even had a repro of Guzzler! Man, I spent years searching for that game. They had a bunch of titles that only came out on Sega My Cards in Japan, but they couldn't reproduce the Hu-Cards and put the games on carts. Yuck!

    I'm also pretty sure someone could get complete legitimate copies of Accelebrid, The Legend of Bishin Zoku, Gun Hazard and Syvalion shipped to their house from Japan for less than the cost of the repro. I imagine the same thing for Gundam Endless Duel, Asterisk and Jelly Boy too. Don't make much sense really.

    I noticed I would see Bomberman 3 & 4, but not 5. The first Go! Go! Ackman, but not the rest of the series. Same with Parodius. And none of the Goemon games? Wow.

    Baltron on the famicom is dirt cheap too, but it IS my favorite shoot-em up. You can turn around and fly backwards whenever you want to in that game. I wish all shoot-em ups were like that.

    I only saw one CD game being reproduced. Strange, because I imagine burning discs is the cheapest form of reproduction of all!
    The ones that actually impressed me most were the Sega Genesis reproductions, because they often included a case and manual.

    Quote Originally Posted by badinsults View Post
    Notably, these bootlegs are pretty easy to spot, since the carts have fake screws. The complicating factor is that it is trivial for someone to buy a bunch of these, throw the PCB in a real cart and print off a new label, and there, you have a pretty convincing copy.
    You know I might not be able to spot fake PCB's, but as a man who has Goo Goned his share of old price stickers off, I feel extremely confident I could distinguish between a just stuck on label and one that's been on for 20 yrs!

    So after the initial excitment died down, I put my games back away and then noticed something...



    Ohh - My God! I'm buying them too! You see, personally I don't mind reproductions games at all as long as no one is passing them off as originals. Especially in order to screw anyone who doesn't want a reproduction. I buy translated reproductions and unlicenced games and there are those who frown on that. But I'm a collector and I want to own physical things. Digital things be damned! Video game prices go up and down, but I don't see reproductions having much to do with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by SparTonberry View Post
    Like really... who owns Magical Pop'n? Marvelous? They gonna care whether or not I paid $150 (or whatever stupid price it is) to a reseller for an obscure used 20 year old game almost nobody's heard of? (of course if they did release it, I'd still support it)
    I have Magical Pop'n and never heard of Marvelous until now. Checked Ebay and saw complete copies for $30. After researching the language barrier for the game, I opted to buy a translated repro instead. Thanks for mentioning the game. It looks worth owning. That's what I love about collecting, somebody always knows of a game you never heard of before.

    Quote Originally Posted by SparTonberry View Post
    Trip World for GB costs as much as buying a Japanese or EU 3DS and downloading the game (and at least that can later be used to play other games too)


    What! If I have a Japanese 3DS, I can get Trip World? Hey, you don't suppose it comes with a better looking box than the one I have? Mine is a bit squished and kinda plain looking. The idiots put all the color on the back!


    Quote Originally Posted by Greg2600 View Post
    I'm sort of the same way, but as time goes on, having the physical game means less and less to me. I'm always on the hair trigger for just selling them all or most of them. They just sit and collect dust, due to emulation and all the flash carts I own. We're WELL beyond the point of NES and even SNES kids "rediscovering their youth."
    I have a book collection sitting around collecting dust that I will probably never read again. But I have noticed whenever I have guests come to my house, they invariably look at my books and from them, form an opinion about me. They do the same when they see my game collection. It's who I am.

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    I know Sapphire is one you really have to watch out for. That game has been bootlegged to hell and back (and it probably goes without saying that the fakes are complete copies, not loose discs).

    I have Marvelous too. :P Still not a very expensive game, though. It's been one of my Super Famicom favorites for a good decade now, but practically nobody in the West knows about it. I'm sure a big part of that is because the fan patch only came out relatively recently, and hardly anybody wanted to give it a shot in Japanese since it is pretty text heavy. But yeah, a great gem from Nintendo. Takes a lot of inspiration from ALttP but is more like 99% puzzles and 1% combat. Call me crazy, but I actually like it more than ALttP.

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