The SAMURAI SHODOWN series first started in 1993, and even after nearly 27 years, there exist people who are as serious about the game now as when it first came out. At Famitsu.com, in order to celebrate the launch of the PS4 and Switch versions of the SAMURAI SHODOWN NEOGEO COLLECTION, we decided to sit down and talk with the series’ biggest fans to hear their stories. In total there are three editions of The Hotblooded SamSho Scrolls, which each one acting as a gateway into understanding the passion these individuals have for SAMURAI SHODOWN.
Our last edition focuses on user who goes by the name NESTS 52. Since coming into contact with SAMURAI SHODOWN at the age of nine, he has amassed over 1,700 pieces of SNK memorabilia. We sit with him today to talk about the many valuable items he’s collected over his now 20-year streak.
Became an SNK fan at 9 years old when his brother bought him SAMURAI SHODOWN. Now, after over 20 years of chasing after NEOGEO fandom, he has amassed over 1,700 pieces of SNK memorabilia.
First off, we’d like you to take a look at these photos.
So, what did you think? NESTS 52’s home has been shaped into a sort of dream house he’s had since a child and has surrounded himself with gaming cabinets, figures, as well as precious goods. For someone like myself who writes for the gaming industry and at one point wanted to purchase my own gaming cabinet, I can’t tell you how jealous I am of his collection. So, let’s find out why he went to such lengths to amass such a collection and how valuable it would be appraised for today!
――When did you start collecting SNK merchandise? Also, at what point did you start investing seriously into your collection?
NESTS 52Well, actually I think I first started when I was 9 years old. One day, my older brother bought both a NEOGEO and SAMURAI SHODOWN and I was blown away by the sound and graphics because at that time, all my family had in terms of home consoles was an NES. It was really an earth-shattering event for me. From there on in, I found myself getting sucked in deeper and deeper into the world of NEOGEO.
I have to say the closure of SNK in 2001 greatly impacted how seriously I began collecting. For a moment I was really worried about the state of things, but I wanted to do my best and support them as a fan, so when the company came back I began to ramp up by collecting even harder than before.
――So you’ve amassed over 1,700 items in your collection, but do you have any from when you first started collecting?
NESTS 52Sure do. SAMURAI SHODOWN III. I bought this by saving up my allowance. Took a while since back then I was only given hundreds of yen at a time.
――I saw on Twitter that you have an actual NEOGEO arcade cabinet. How did you get your hands on that?
NESTS 52I hit up a couple appliance stores, but since the cabinets are so old and out of stock, I had no choice but to buy one on Yahoo! Auctions Japan.
――Out of all the valuable items you’ve collected, which item strikes you as the most rare in your possession?
NESTS 52Long ago, SNK hosted a KOF-themed end-of-year party. On the bus headed to the venue, they held a “KOF Cult (as in crazed fans) Quiz”, which I ended up winning! For my reward, I was given a special “Platinum Pair Seat Invitation”, and to me that is pretty darn rare. There was one other person who received one that night, and since it features a drawing of Ash done by Nona* which I’m pretty sure isn’t featured anywhere else, I think it may be the rarest thing I own.
※Nona: Illustrator for KOF 2001 and KOF 2002. Art direction leader for KOF XII.
――Then, can you tell us which items are your favorite?
NESTS 52Out of all the SNK goods I have, I’m really fond of the KOF 2002UM FULL COMPLETE SET, which was previously sold randomly piece-by-piece (think gacha) or you could buy the full set on their website. For SAMURAI SHODOWN items I’d have to say it’s the famed FUGUDOKU katana which went on sale to celebrate the newest SAMURAI SHODOWN game.
――Those both sound like very valuable items. Can you tell us the reason why you chose them?
NESTS 52I chose the KOF 2002UM FULL COMPLETE SET because, out of all the KOF games out there, I really adore the NESTS saga (which is KOF 99 to 2001), and KOF 2002UM is a compilation of those games. The gameplay is so polished, and though there are many people who are playing it even today, they unfortunately didn’t make many goods for it. Also, each character has acrylic stands (the ones done in classic NEOGEO sprites are to die for!) and so for me personally I love it.
In SAMURAI SHODOWN, the character HAOHMARU used his famed katana the FUGUDOKU from the very beginning of the series, and so when I heard they were actually going to sell one, I thought to myself, “A true SNK fan would buy this even in the face of a Haoh Sho Ko Ken explosion!”. But, its steep price required some timing and courage before I could make the plunge. (Currently I have it pre-ordered and it should arrive in September, so I apologize but I don’t have a photo of it yet…Sorry!)
――I’m sure with each item you have, there is an equally important memory attached to them. With one stands out to you the most?
NESTS 52Well, for most of the NEOGEO game cartridges, they go for absolutely insane prices on the open market. But one time a couple years back, I noticed a mint copy of FATAL FURY SPECIAL that went unnoticed in my buddy’s game store warehouse. The stars must have aligned that day because he ended up selling it to me for just 1,000 yen. To have an actual never-before-opened NEOGEO game is insanely rare, and so I have it on display.
――With all these items that you’ve collected over the years, is there still anything that you wish to have?
NESTS 52I don’t know if this would qualify as SNK “goods” but during the 90’s, SNK used to sponsor TEAM SHINSUKE when they raced at the Suzuka 8 Hours. They had this motorbike with the NEOGEO logo on it and I would be lying if I said I didn’t want it badly. There’s pretty much no way I’ll get my hands on it, though. Pretty sure it’s long gone by now.
――Yeah, seems it’d be tough to get that one, heh. Alright, well are there any goods that you wish SNK would make?
NESTS 52Well, it would be cool for a game cabinet maker like ARCADE1UP, who specializes in making shorter replicas of classic gaming cabinets, to make an SNK one. (Preferably SC-19 or NEO-19.)
There’s already the NEOGEO mini and the NEOGEO Arcade Stick Pro out on the market, so it’d be great if they could have cross compatibility with those devices since then you could play a huge range of different NEOGEO games.
Series of classic arcade cabinets reproduced at a 3/4th scale. Taito has been selling Space Invaders, Pac Man, and other classics for retail use.
――Since the SAMURAI SHODOWN NEOGEO COLLECTION went on sale recently, let’s have a SamSho themed question. Which is your favorite game and who is your favorite character?
NESTS 52Out of the entire SamSho series, I have to say SAMURAI SHODOWN II is my favorite. Sometimes after elementary school got out, I would go with friends to our local book store and play SAMURAI SHODOWN II which was placed outside. Other days we would go over my friend’s house and play on his NEOGEO. It was really a blast back then I have many great memories. Even today, whenever I play SAMURAI SHODOWN II, I often look back on the fun times I had with my friends and the silly things we said and did. Of course I love the new SAMURAI SHODOWN as well as SAMURAI SHODOWN V SPECIAL, but SAMURAI SHODOWN II shares a special place in my heart.
For characters I would have to say in every installment HAOHMARU takes the cake. His Heavy Slash is earth shattering and I adore how they made him in the newest game. I can really put the pressure on my friend with him so the game is really fun.
――Heavy Slashes are what SamSho is all about! Thank you so much for showing off your amazing collection!
The SAMURAI SHODOWN NEOGEO COLLECTION goes on sale for the PS4 and Nintendo Switch this summer for Europe and the US.
The collection contains six titles previously sold on the NEOGEO, as well as a never-before-released version of SAMURAI SHODOWN V SPECIAL, bringing the collection to a total of seven playable titles! Additionally, each game has online battle modes, and its museum mode boasts tons of music tracks and illustrations! It will be available for download for PS4 and the Nintendo Switch July 28th, 2020ーwith the physical version coming this summer!
Digital version available now!
Hotblooded SamSho Scrolls
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