I first came across this CD during my usual scouring for the keyword of “Namco” on Yahoo! Japan Auctions. I saw this disc here, that didn’t seem to have a proper name attached, but I was able to closely zoom in on the screenshot and saw the catalog number: VICL-40191.
What caught my eye was the price, an equivalent of a “Buy it now!” for some 500 USD. I scoffed.
Some time later, a second auction showed up, and I believe it ended up going for something in the 150 USD area, and I assumed that though the price of this was inflated enough, it could be a rare disc – and it’s now some 26 years since it’s release. I can’t see Namco making a large print run for this, nor can I see them ever re-releasing it. It’s esoteric at it’s core, soundtracks to ancient (by modern standards) electro-mechanical games.
After the auction ended, I came across some mp3’s of the release floating around, and it was certainly something unique. A couple weeks later, the same 500 USD auction changed its price.
Needless to say, I’m a bit of a sucker for new and unopened CDs. I had the honor of unwrapping numerous late 90’s Wonder Spirits discs that were unopened for over 20 years, and though this guaranteed a nice rush as well as an untouched booklet and obi, I cannot in good conscience spend 2400 USD on this disc.
So, turns out a very well-known online shop was selling it used for only 135 USD. I think I’ll take that!
Usually, when I preserve a CD, I’ll rip it to .bin/.cue for Redump first, throw the .cue into foobar2000 and listen to it while I’m ripping and tagging the FLAC version, or editing scans. I was pleasantly surprised! Some of the sounds here I can almost recognize some flavors of Namco musicians I know and have heard before, or certain synth/soundchip tones I know and love from their catalog. There’s also some “soundtracks” here that nearly impossible to listen to more than once, due to aggravating repetition.
Have I played a single one of these games? No. Am I even interested in them? Not wildly. However, as a dedicated 90’s Namco preservationist, this is a Namco release from the 90’s, and it needs to be preserved.
There’s also a 78-page booklet, that will come later, I’m afraid, will take some time, and I need to take a sharp knife to it and really get in there. 🙂
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[…] the process of dumping, releasing and scanning the Namco Elemecha Encyclopedia, there was something of an elephant in the room regarding punch-list items left before this thing […]