Some of you know I collect Infocom games for most C= platforms. I don't bother with pre-C64 or the Plus/4 or anything like that. My original key focus was Amiga, as those titles are quite hard to find (and usually play the best in 80 columns and occasionally hold small, beautiful surprises).
But I also collect titles for the C128 because it does just fine with 80 columns, too. These can be as hard to find as Amiga titles, which makes hunting for both platforms a lot of fun. Every now and then I'll throw in the towel and get the C64/128 combo, which really just means C64 mode.
In any case, one title in particular has been on my radar for a few years as it is extremely hard to find in general for any Commodore platform. The title in question is the satirical game created by Douglas Adams: Bureaucracy.
When people think of Douglas Adams and games they always leap to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and rightly so. It was one of the best selling Infocom titles of all-time - potentially second place to the original Zork - mainly due to the rabid fanbase behind his books and other media.
Bureaucracy entered the market in 1987, and there are actually two different revisions of it. While selling fairly well for the times, it only logged less than 30,000 units sold from 1987-1989, and how many of those are Amiga, or C128, or DOS, etc. are not known to me. I think it's fair to assume the numbers are quite small. I've done a fair bit of research on this topic, which I hope to share some day to help illuminate this darkening corner of gaming history that was never saved to disk and only logged on paper (and in many cases with typewriters and #2 pencils!).
When a Bureaucracy title shows up for any Commodore platform, it is usually an auction. And while I try, I'm not an expert ninja Ebay sniper. Someone always seems to go "all in" and crush me by a dollar or something like that.
But this time the game appeared as a "Buy It Now" and I happened to be in the right place and the right time (probably thanks to being in Spain where I was awake when most in the USA were asleep). I always seem to get my ass handed to me in the wee hours when folks on the east coast are waking up and I'm still dreaming...
Look at this, you guys. Just look. First ever Infocom title I've ever owned that still has the original shrinkwrap on it. The creases in the plastic are even slightly brown after all these 30+ years.
Heart a' flutter, it's amazing.
And within a matter of days of this amazing pickup, another title came onto the market. And for some reason (well, I know the reason but I'm not going to share it at this time) this title wasn't on many other peoples Watch Lists: an A to A- "never opened" copy of Trinity for C128! No plastic wrap, so it was indeed opened, and only 2 photos provided on the listing: the front and back.
So it was a gamble on my part to trust the seller that all of the original "feelies" were intact and there was no damage.
I won the auction - I kid you not - for only $36. And, to my surprise, the box is near-mint and the contents indeed had never been used.
How do I know it's likely never been used? Look at the golden Sun Dial (the piece usually missing or broken in most Trinity sets). This one has never even been popped out of the original card.
I should show you guys my entire Infocom collection at some point. It's not 100% complete on purpose. I have no intention of buying games I never intend to play, and that includes games that are ranked "Advanced" which is just another word for impossible. But for the ones I do want to play, I'm nearly done. Of course if I ever see another shrink-wrapped copy out there of a different title I value, I'll replace what I have and release my current copy back to the wild. So, the hunt will never really ever be over, you know?
Like, I don't think I've even ever shown my C128 Science Fiction set before, have I? It came in its own special sleeve that holds 3 titles (all 100% complete and seemingly stored in a box for 30 years, too).
I'll continue this topic another day; I love it so!