You know those strange video game moments that you can’t explain? You know how there are some you can never forget? I had one of those when I was a sophomore or junior in high school. Granted of course being a geek it could all be me and some people will say I’m a sad person for having such a memory. I of course respond with a screw you and I know you are but what am I? As you can tell from the title this is about Baseball Stars for the NES.
Look at that hyper realistic artwork!
Some time in the winter months in Vermilion, OH I was staying the night at a friend’s house in VOL. Being standard teenagers in the early nineties we did the normal thing, went down to the store to see if there was a movie or video game to rent. We went to the “Little Store” which was a hole in the wall convenience store in that area of town. They had a couple of racks of movies and video games. That night we rented “Baseball Stars” and took it back to his house. We were playing it for a couple of hours slowly building up our team.
This is where we need to take a minute and understand the gameplay. While this was a normal baseball game for the most part it had (at the time) a revolutionary system for trading, buying, and selling players. You start out with the low-end team and work through the world series. I don’t remember how many games were playing through for the series, but according to Wikipedia the max was 25. So the understanding was that if you played through the series with enough wins – you would earn enough money to upgrade your team. This in turn made the game a bit easier since you would buy players that matched the level in the game you were at. Assuming you owned the game after a few months of game play you could probably max out your main team.
I would say we were 4-5 games into the series and then tragedy struck. I don’t remember how, but the NES was knocked off the TV during the middle of a game and the cartridge came loose. We had spent a couple hours so far in the game and watched what seemed to be tragedy as the NES blinked its red light off an on. It was mocking us in that way of saying “You have wasted more of the last two hours than you thought you did – have a nice life.”
We got up and tried to salvage whatever happened. We fixed the NES and re-inserted the cartridge. Luckily this game performed auto-saves and had up to the last game we finished. Something else strange happened. The saved game was glitched. It wasn’t glitched in the sense we couldn’t go on – it was one of those times where the game glitches in your favor. When we went to buy the players we did before the game fell over – we noticed something. We had millions of dollars in the game (why the heck can’t my atm card glitch this way). This was literally months of work done because the game fell over and corrupted the save at just the right spot. There is absolutely no way we could have repeated this.
Of course we were excited, and we immediately purchased every single over the top player that you normally could never afford. Our team was maxed. We went on through how many more games and won the season undefeated. The NES gods smiled down on us in that one perfect moment. Sadly I have never been able to play that game again. I am next to positive I have a copy in my vintage games collection – but I’m sure if I put the game in one of my NES’s I would try to bump and beat the console just right to try to replicate that glitch. Unfortunately I know that can never happen, and I would likely destroy one of my consoles trying.