Remarkable Auctions: Another Mixed Bag

Bill Loguidice's picture

ZorkmidZorkmidI'm back from vacation and again have a big remarkable auctions catch up post. This time I look at recently closed auctions for The Elder Scrolls: Arena - Deluxe Edition (PC DOS), Stack-Up (NES), Ultima (Apple II), The Witness (Apple II), and Zork Trilogy (Amiga):

The Elder Scrolls: Arena - Deluxe Edition (PC DOS), 1994, Bethesda Softworks -- Sold for $449.44 plus shipping and handling. This one took a lot of people by surprise. While The Elder Scrolls is still a very popular series, and in fact Skyrim is one of the most anticipated upcoming holiday releases, there was nothing particularly noteworthy about this particular example of Arena, other than the possible fact that this Deluxe Edition appears to have factory 3.5" disks instead of the CD, though of course this auction includes the CD as well. Even with that unusual caveat, $450+ is a LOT of money for something that is typically considered relatively common. I personally don't own any boxed variation of Arena.

Stack-Up (NES), 1985, Nintendo -- Sold for $316.00 plus shipping and handling. This one always sells for a pretty penny, but not quite that pretty. While this is not quite as remarkable as Arena's final sale price, I still think this is around $100 over its usual value. Stack-Up of course is one of only two games released in North America for use with Nintendo's infamous Robotic Operating Buddy, better known as R.O.B. A combination of easy-to-lose plastic pieces, relatively short production run, and internal Famicom cartridge adapter make Stack-Up one of the NES's rarest and most sought after North American titles complete in box, and certainly this latest sale price reflects that. To get around the rarity thing, I personally procured the Famicom version of the game, which is both easier and cheaper to find complete.

Ultima (Apple II), 1980, California Pacific -- Sold for $709.00 plus shipping and handling. While the 1986 Origin re-release and update of Ultima I sells for between $50 - $100 usually (and the Sierra port for the Atari 8-bit from 1983 even more), the original California Pacific version is obviously worth the most, and of course is simply "Ultima" because there were no other games in the series at the time. Being in a baggie and from 1980 alone would have meant this would have sold for quite a bit, let alone being the first true entry in a legendary series. I only own the 1986 Origin remake of this game, boxed, for the Apple II.

The Witness (Apple II), 1983, Infocom -- Sold for $100.00 plus shipping and handling. This is perhaps the least remarkable of this posting's remarkable auctions, but it still sold for a higher-than-usual price; I estimate somewhere around $25 above its usual value. At the same time, this particular example of The Witness is in very good shape overall and is the original, non-grey box version, though there's no telling what revision the actual software is based on the listing. I personally own the standard boxed version for the TI-99/4a, which contains the same feelies, just not in the original sleeve.

Zork Trilogy (Amiga), 1986, Infocom -- Sold for $230.00 plus shipping and handling. Again, there must be something in the eBay water of late, because this one sold for almost $100 above its usual value. While the Zork Trilogy is just a compilation of Infocom's best selling series, it's the only version of the Zork games that has a feelie, a Zorkmid coin, which is where its value is derived. I do not personally own Zork Trilogy, just the original versions of the games.

Comments

clok1966
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I have the arena one(deluxe).

I have the arena one(deluxe). Always been a huge fan of that series, have all the game (and boxes still). I think the only thing special was (to correct you from above) included both floppies and CD, a hint manual and a Mouspad. I think (long time ago) it was about teh time CD's where kinda turning into the "standard' and floppies where "special" while I dont think they cost sqwat.. Im sure including 8 floppies cost more than 1 cd... well at that time maybe not.. but adding both was probebly a big deal then.

Bill Loguidice
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Arena Deluxe
clok1966 wrote:

I have the arena one(deluxe). Always been a huge fan of that series, have all the game (and boxes still). I think the only thing special was (to correct you from above) included both floppies and CD, a hint manual and a Mouspad. I think (long time ago) it was about teh time CD's where kinda turning into the "standard' and floppies where "special" while I dont think they cost sqwat.. Im sure including 8 floppies cost more than 1 cd... well at that time maybe not.. but adding both was probebly a big deal then.

To clarify, I meant special about this example of the "Deluxe" version to make it sell for so much. In other words, what made this particular Deluxe version sell for so much more than other Deluxe versions...

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clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
Ah yes.. What sets that

Ah yes.. What sets that Deluxe version off from the other deluxe versions that have sold. Maybe as you mentioned Skyrim soon to be release has peaked interest. I know when I was buying/selling (well never selling) comics when a movie came out or a Spinoff, or even a Re-imaging came out the old books gains some value for a short time, or if the new was succesfull, a longer time. Take the WALKING DEAD tv show on AMC.. its a fairly succesfull indy comic, but the show has rose the value on the early comic book issues considerbly..

As for Arena I seem to remeber I bought the DELUXE version as it was the same price as the regular... I think as this stuff ages people are looking for the the OLD board games, collectbles of the past in new places.. I mean you really gotta admit $450 for somthing as Common as that game is pretty ... unreal. But the past has shown the most throw away thing may jus tbe the best hting in the world to grab.. people dont tend to keep stuff like that.. magazines, toy figurines that are the "junk" ones.

And I think it came with both CD and floppies, I know I have both and I sure dont remeber buying both, but memory plays tricks.. I would have to open mine to be sure. I'm probebly wrong, I wonder why he would include that too? I see that he mentions it too (lack of CD's).. so again, why does he include it? maybe that threw some bidders off, thinking it was some rare "both" version? $450.. yep, seems way out of wack to me.

Shawn Delahunty
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Your thoughts on actual price?

Hey Bill + Clok,

After reading this, I remembered that I still have a new, in-box, sealed version of "Elder Scrolls Arena" on my shelf. This is the 3.5" floppy version. I bought the thing out of a bargain bin about 5 years ago, stuck it on the shelf, and basically forgot about it--my goal was to play it "someday".

What is a reasonable eBay auction price for this, in your experience? From your comments, I realize that $400 is crazy, but I might sell the thing if I can get a decent amount for it. (I bought it after picking up Morrowind on sale out of the same bin.)

Thanks,

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Bill Loguidice
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ES: Arena

It seems like "Deluxe" is the big seller. For the complete floppy disk version (non-Deluxe), you might get around $50 or so, max.

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clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
deluxe
Bill Loguidice wrote:

It seems like "Deluxe" is the big seller. For the complete floppy disk version (non-Deluxe), you might get around $50 or so, max.

Bill is the expert on that so I would guess he is correct. I almost doubt we will see another DELUXE version go for $450 anytime soon. I would really like to know How rare it is. I just know it isnt that rare, or my gut tells me that since I have it (maybe thats the problem right there, i own one, it cant be rare). I know I was a very early adopter of CD for PC's, my first one cost like $300 (and it was half off at a store closing it doors) it was quite different then todays. It fit where they fit nowdays, but it was on rails, so the WHOLE cd slide out like a drawer, it had a top like a Portable cd player you opened, put your CD in, then slid it back in. When I got it there were almost NO CD PC stuff. Buy the time I used it alot (a year or more later) I had upgraded to a CD-RW by Plextor (scsi) that cost $2000.. ya I know.. What the heck was I thinking) CD blanks cost $10 each and 1 of ever 5 was a coaster.. I still ahve all those CD's I burned back then. Full of .. um... "demo's" I wonder if any of them work.. I have to 50 CD towers i been moving from place to place for close to 20 years that I havent looked at in 10 + years.

Ok i had to dig.. WIKI is fun sometimes.. I see MATT has a mentionon the wiki page even :)

"Game historian Matt Barton concludes that, in any case, "the game set a new standard for this type of CRPG, and demonstrated just how much room was left for innovation."

as to why its worth something..
"Arena was originally released on CD-ROM and 3.5" floppy disk. The CD-ROM edition is the more advanced, featuring enhanced speech for some characters and CGI video sequences.
In late 1994, Arena was re-released in a special "Deluxe Edition" package, containing the CD-ROM patched to the latest version, a mousepad with the map of Tamriel printed on it, and the "Codex Scientia"; an in-depth hint book.
The version that was released as freeware by Bethesda Softworks in 2004 is the 3.5" floppy disk version, not the CD-ROM edition.
In 2005, the CD-ROM version was released on a limited edition re-issue for PC. This version included DOSBox, which would install automatically onto the computer, so the user would have no compatibility issues. The cover was in the same style of Morrowind.
"

So know i know why i have a Deluxe version with floppies and CD rom.. I must have bought it 2X.. I dug my box out and I have 2 manuals too.. so I must have purchased it 2X and put them all in one box.. I suspect sinceit had the mousepad and such I just kept it all in that box.. And that does explain some why the later version which was most likley a less sold version is worth somthing I guess.

Vintage-Computer (not verified)
Ultima

I've got the original Ultima in my collection but, sadly, without the baggie or cover art.

I chatted with the seller of this one before he posted and guestimated a few hundred tops. Shows what I know! :)

BTW, some of that sellers other stuff is on The Vintage Computer and Gaming Marketplace although I don't think anything there is quite as valuable...

Erik

Bill Loguidice
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Auctions
Vintage-Computer wrote:

I've got the original Ultima in my collection but, sadly, without the baggie or cover art.

I chatted with the seller of this one before he posted and guestimated a few hundred tops. Shows what I know! :)

BTW, some of that sellers other stuff is on The Vintage Computer and Gaming Marketplace although I don't think anything there is quite as valuable...

Erik

I believe you're referring to Bryan Hamlin, and I won a bunch of those on your site, actually: Echanted Scepters, Captain Goodnight, Drol, Law of the West, Labyrinth, and Air Heart. Unfortunately, Bryan did something very lame and didn't inform me, changing the auction descriptions to read:
"On Aug. 31, 2011 17:35:40, the following description has been added:

EVERYTHING WAS BOUGHT OUT!!!!

Sorry to anyone who had bid or set their sights on any of my items. I had a very interested person meet me at a fair price and he even paid upfront. That said I did tell him I would sell everything and that includes everything even the listed items with bids. Things on ebay are not being touched, they are not apart of the deal. My Apologizes."

So I'm certainly quite angry about that. It still shows me as winning those items, but there are no items for me to pay for.

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Vintage-Computer (not verified)
Auctions

Sorry about that Bill. I wasn't aware that he'd done that. Very, very lame. :(

E

Shawn Delahunty
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Joined: 08/01/2011
Thanks

Thanks gents. It's about what I figured--not nearly enough for me to think about parting with it. To borrow a phrase from Michael Douglas' character in Romancing The Stone: "I ain't cheap, but I can be had."

Have to open the box at some point and copy the diskettes data to backup CD at some point I suppose...

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