How rare are the Xak games?

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By wyrdwad

Paladin (792)

wyrdwad's picture

24-09-2018, 11:42

I agree with Grauw -- floppy disks are often cited as wearing out, but I've really found that to be the exception rather than the rule. Generally, if you try to load a disk and it gives you an error, it's not because the disk is worn out or destroyed, but because the platter inside is dirty or moldy -- and as I've found numerous times, dirty or moldy disk platters CAN be cleaned. It's a lot riskier than cleaning dirty cartridge pins, since you're unlikely to totally destroy a cartridge while cleaning it (but can certainly destroy a disk during cleaning if you're too reckless)... however, if you're careful, you can clean the dirt and mold off of the disk platter, and it'll work good as new again.

As for the rarity of the Xak games, I've found that in general, disk games tend to sell for a lot cheaper than cartridge games, even complete-in-box. The Xak titles are no exception -- I recently managed to snag Xak I complete-in-box in pretty much perfect condition, and Xak II almost complete-in-box (it's missing a booklet) in decent condition, and got them for $50 American apiece, which isn't bad at all. A friend of mine picked up Fray complete-in-box for me recently, too, in BEEP Akihabara for less than $30 American because the box had some sun-fading on the back.

And those are actually pretty expensive prices, honestly -- in my experience, disk games in general sell for much less than that. I think the only reason the Xak games seem to always go for even that much is because they're popular titles.

Compare that with trying to buy copies of the Metal Gear games, though, or Aleste, or Golvellius, or Space Manbow, or Yuurei-kun/Mr. Ghost, or really almost any cartridge game that's even remotely rare or desirable, and it seems like an absolute steal. Wink

-Tom

By Elrinth

Resident (54)

Elrinth's picture

24-09-2018, 18:08

I have a XAK game which won't read the floppies, I forgot which one it is. But I think it's 1 or 2.
Only like 1 of the floppy games I've bought have actually worked.

By wyrdwad

Paladin (792)

wyrdwad's picture

24-09-2018, 18:14

Elrinth wrote:

I have a XAK game which won't read the floppies, I forgot which one it is. But I think it's 1 or 2.
Only like 1 of the floppy games I've bought have actually worked.

Try moving the metal guard aside and looking at the disk platter of one of the games that doesn't work under a bright light. You can use your thumbnail to spin the platter using the notch on the silver circle on the back on the disk. Be sure to look at both sides of the platter, too.

I'm willing to bet you'll see splotches -- and probably a fair number of them, if the disk won't read at all. And if so, that's dirt and/or mold. With the right combination of slightly soapy water, rubbing alcohol, Q-tips, and a VERY GENTLE TOUCH, you can likely clean those disks and finally read them in your MSX.

-Tom

By Grauw

Ascended (8516)

Grauw's picture

24-09-2018, 21:10

Maybe it also helps that I’ve always stored my disks in a dry place out of sunlight Smile. And apparently the previous owners of the games I’ve bought second hand have as well.

By wyrdwad

Paladin (792)

wyrdwad's picture

24-09-2018, 23:50

Yeah, I'd say about 70-80% of the games I've bought second-hand have been fine as well, but it is always kind of a crap-shoot. There's actually one eBay seller who's blacklisted me because I bought Fray complete-in-box from him (this was before getting my current sun-faded copy, which is honestly in pretty good shape aside from the sun-fading on the back of the box) -- and the version I bought had a thin layer of grime all over the box, absolutely REEKED of cigarette smoke, the disk labels had more or less fallen off, and the disks were SO moldy inside that I refused to even put them in my MSX for fear of dirtying my drive heads and contaminating other disks. He'd claimed in the auction that the condition was good, and the disks were tested and working, but I sincerely doubted that I'd be able to get these disks to play, so I just processed a return and sent it back to him. And he wasn't happy about this, so I'm no longer able to buy from him, apparently. Wink

Sucks, though, because this was a seller who often puts some really rare and interesting MSX stuff on eBay. And I wasn't about to stop buying from him because of one bad purchase; I was completely satisfied returning the item to him, and figured that would be the end of any problem, since I've bought from him probably a dozen times before that without incident. I guess he just didn't quite share my outlook! Heheh.

-Tom

By gdx

Prophet (3091)

gdx's picture

25-09-2018, 00:31

I’ve always stored my disks in a dry place out of sunlight but I noticed that even if no error occurs in reading, some disks of same game have a few bytes that are different when I make a DSK and compare it. I notice the same thing on ROMs saved on floppy disk from other people's and even from me. I think you'd have bad surprises if you had time to play all your games until the end. After all these years 1/4 of my discs work more or less badly according to the used drive. It's worse for games on tape.

By wyrdwad

Paladin (792)

wyrdwad's picture

25-09-2018, 01:37

gdx wrote:

I’ve always stored my disks in a dry place out of sunlight but I noticed that even if no error occurs in reading, some disks of same game have a few bytes that are different when I make a DSK and compare it. I notice the same thing on ROMs saved on floppy disk from other people's and even from me. I think you'd have bad surprises if you had time to play all your games until the end. After all these years 1/4 of my discs work more or less badly according to the used drive. It's worse for games on tape.

Maybe I'm just lucky, then, but I actually do play games on official disks from the '80s pretty regularly, and I've had very few problems. In fact, it's only recently that I've had any problems at all that weren't attributable to dirt or mold, and only on one disk (Akin disk 2), which freezes every time it tries to load one particular area.

Cassettes, though? I've definitely had plenty of issues with those!

-Tom

By Akiguchi

Hero (608)

Akiguchi's picture

25-09-2018, 13:54

Xak games are not very rare, so their prices are not that high. I guess they sold pretty well back in the day. On the other hand there are lots of valuable disk games to be bought; maybe not as much as cartridges, but there really are. On the top of my head I would list: Golvellius 2, Randar 3, Puyo Puyo, Youma Kourin, Firehawk, Psycho World, Final Fantasy, Illusion City, Ultima 1 & 2, Undeadline, Feedback, War of the Dead 2 and many many more valuable disk games. And from my experience, most of the original disk games still work without problems.

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