Friday, February 24, 2012

Superplay lot - DDP Professional Series 1, 2 and 3, DDP Gamest Vol. 39, R-Type GSV, Psyvariar Doujin and Dragon Blaze Doujin

Last year, there was an auction lot of superplay VHS's that sold on Yahoo Japan Auctions for about 75,000 Yen, which at the time was a bit over 800 dollars. The lot contained all of the HDK Factory releases, a number of CKDF Doujin releases and all three DDP Professional tapes, which I had been looking for for about five years.

The DDP Professional series takes up where DDP Gamest Vol. 39 VHS leaves off, with ZBL-NAI recording a better C-S run than that VHS and releasing it himself as "DDP Professional Vol. 1: Dodonpachi Part 2" It came in just a slipcase with a printed manilla folder with an insert that looks to chronicle his passage through that run. There's no fancy title screens or intro, just a capture of him wrecking DDP with slightly wavery footage. I have seen two seperate recordings of this and both tapes had the waveryness - I think it was just some sync issue and hell,it was his first effort. It bettered the C-S score by over 100 million on the Gamest VHS and started the Professional series.

The third volume is of DDP DOJ BL, with first a B-Type ship 2-All and then the A-Type 2-All as well. I have yet to watch the whole run, but it's not a perfect run by any means - there are a few places with a dropped chain and a few deaths, but it make for good watching, even taking into account the later Nakano DVD of HFD's near-perfect runs through the game.

It's the second volume that I really wanted, one I lusted after and searched for damn near everywhere. It's a run through of Dodonpachi Campaign Edition, or DDP Blue Label, a special version of DDP that was playable at an early Cave Matsuri and given to the winner of a DDP scoring contest on the Saturn when that port came out. It's a legendary game, and served as the prototype for DOJ with an early hyper mechanic. There are enemies added in to make it much more hectic and the first loop is much more difficult, with way harder bullet patterns. After the contest, ZBL-NAI was given a copy and the other copy was supposedly said to be held by Cave, but they have already gone on record saying it doesn't exist and that they have lost the code for the game, making NAI's copy the only one known to exist.

This VHS is a 2-All run through of the game by SOF-WTN and is just facinating to watch, moreso that its the most rare Cave pcb of them all. I had watched a rough uploaded copy of two actual runs - one not so good one and then the one here on this tape, but the footage is pretty grainy and pixelated. It does provide a good look at the game, but I needed to find the original - I wasn't satisfied with the low-res footage.

I do tend to get obsessive about things and started looking for this VHS about five years ago, watching YAJ auctions like crazy, trying to find one for sale. Only one came up that I saw, in a massive lot described earlier and I couldn't possibly pay the nearly 1K it would take to have bought the lot and have it shipped from Japan.

Fast forward to last week. I finally decide to put up a WTB post on shmups for this VHS series and in a day's time, sven666 from the forums gets back to me with a short list of VHS's he has for sale and in the lot are all three DDP Professional tapes. Witht their original paperwork. Holy shit.

I flipped and emailed immediately, we worked out a deal for five tapes and just yesterday, they showed up. We had agreed on a price for the three DDP Professional Series, the R-Type VHS and a Psyvariar Doujin and he threw in the DDP Gamest Vol. 39 and a VHS which he didn't know what it was that turned out to be a Dragon Blaze doujin release, a Psykio game I have been meaning to check out.

I hunted around work for a VCR, even tearing apart an old cabint in a dusty corner of a conference room to find one, to no avail. I did find a Super 8mm player, which I may try and snag, just cause its ridiculous. Sven had mentioned that the footage should be fine, but he probably hadn't watched it for at least five years, so he didn't really know what condition they would be in. I was very eager to find out to say the least.

Time went SLOW but when I got home, I started checking out each tape one by one, ending with DDP Professional 2 and lo and behold, the footage and condition of the tape is perfect. It's awesome. The picture is crystal clear and sound is perfect. I am super stoked! It's amazing to have such a great condition tape of such a rare game, offering an uncompromised look at its gameplay.

BIG Thanks to sven666 for letting go of such a rare series for another collector. This was my holy grail of VHS tapes and I got them all, in mint shape in one shot. Unreal.


Chevalier C. said...

The 2-All by WTN is no longer on Youtube :( Any way to get it back ?

drboom said...

Oh man - bummer! I'm not sure who had it originally posted, but I imagine its on nicovideo as well. There's a tutorial on Shmups on how to sign up and whatnot.