One Person's Trash

It's time to shed some of the clutter from the past 20 years: video game boxes.
June 28, 2010
I've been a longtime observer at I'm not sure what first brought me here, but it was probably to look up some TMNT commercial or some such. I've been stuck in the 80s and 90s longer than I care to admit, so this site is a great way for me to stay there. The articles are great too. I've always wanted to submit one, but never knew what my subject could be until now.

In the past two years, I've moved from Dallas to Austin to Los Angeles. As you can guess by my state of perpetual childhood, I have a hard time getting rid of some space wasting junk, which doesn't bode well for the packing and hauling portion of relocating. After this last move, I knew it was time to get rid of the biggest space takers: my old PC game boxes.

Video games have always been my favorite form of entertainment. I'm very competitive, and I don't like losing, so what better way to compete than against a computer? It doesn't spew insults at you (with a few exceptions), and it feels awesome to conquer a cold, calculating machine.


There have only been a handful of gaming systems in my house. With the exception of the PS2 and most recently the Wii, my NES and Atari are the most modern platforms I have. Computer games are where it's at for me. Being a huge Star Wars and Indiana Jones nerd, my main interests have been in the LucasArts line of games. And as with most of my Star Wars "junk," I've been unable to throw anything away that carries the Star Wars name.

Priceless in its own way.

Yet here we are. I found out during my most recent move that everything I own in the world can fit into 26 boxes. Three of those boxes contain video game packaging. It's time for them to go away. But first, a proper send off. I'll use RetroJunk to archive the box art and share my feelings about the boxes I'm tossing off.

Not in my house.

To be fair to the boxes, I'll list them in order of newest to oldest.

#21. Republic Commando, 2005

Holy cow, look at what I used to spend on games. I guess I just couldn't wait the two months or whatever for the price to come down. I fully remember sitting at work and watching the trailer for this game at least once a day. And honestly, it's a lot of fun. I've probably played this the most of all the games listed here. 2005 though. Hardly retro. I probably won't miss the box much, or the reminder that I once had $50 to blow on games. Trash.

#20. Battlefront, 2004

Geez, again with the 50 bucks. I'm pretty sure I saw a free copy of this game the other day at the thrift store where I get my socks. Oh well. A lot of fun to play.. more so than the sequel, in my opinion. My favorite maps are Cloud City and Bespin Platforms. And Rhen Var Citadel. Blah blah nerdy blah. Trash.

#19. Knights of the Old Republic II, 2004

I've started this game twice and have yet to finish it. Compared to the others, I almost regret this purchase. I'm sure I paid MSRP when it was released. Trash.

#18. Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb, 2003

This game is a lot of fun. Great fun. I remember upgrading my video card just to be able to play it. Some goon over at IGN gave it a substandard review which I only skimmed, but he did mention that the whip usage was pretty much worthless. Bunk!
*Surrounded by 4+ bad guys? Right-click to swirl that whip around and make them step back.
*Some thug is coming at you with a (gun, knife, sword)? Left-click and snatch it away.
*You've got a certain distance between you and an enemy (not too far away, but also not too close. Like 15 feet thereabouts. You'll have to eyeball it, but it'll be second nature after awhile)? Whip his neck, bring him in, and uppercut him! Alright, trash, whatever.

#17. Knights of the Old Republic, 2003

It took me something like 25 hours to finish this game, but at least I accomplished something. Trash.

#16. Secret Weapons Over Normandy, 2003

Look at the retro fun of this box. It's the only one from the Secret Weapons series that I've played. Gameplay is a lot like the Rogue Squadron series, but better. I can't explain it right now. Check it out for yourself. I'm sure it's free on some website. You just won't be able to get the box for it. No one can have it. Trash.

#15. Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, 2003

This was a sequel to a very awesome game in the Dark Forces series that I'll get to later. It's my 3rd least favorite out of all of them. The fact that I get two lightsabers or a double bladed lightsaber doesn't make up for the poor character development. I play games to escape my regular life. If I don't like the life I've escaped into, what's the point? Trash.

#14. Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, 2002

This is one of my favorites out of the whole list and certainly my favorite out of the Dark Forces series, which is why the above mentioned successor is so disappointing. I remember buying this game before I had the memory to even play it. Just look at that simple cover art. And a Teen rating? Finally. My favorite cheats are the one that lets you sever body parts and the one that lets you spawn whomever in front of you. I'd spawn a dozen Reborn at once and take them out to relieve stress. However, the box's fate shall be the same as the others. Trash.

#13. Star Wars Starfighter, 2002

I almost forgot I had this. This game was actually pretty fun. Not as arcadey as the Rogue Squadron series but not as in depth or detailed as the X-Wing series. If I recall, I believe this game's story was more engaging than The Phantom Menace. I think I shall play it again, but not before throwing the box away. Trash.

#12. Battle for Naboo, 2001

I'm so thankful the price sticker didn't last as long as the box did. The game wasn't awful, but it certainly doesn't stand out. Gameplay is exactly like the Rogue Squadron games. The graphics were poor. Playing this game seemed like a chore now that I think about it. Trash.

#11. X-Wing Alliance, 1999

This game is so much fun to play, I can't stand it. Look up any YouTube gameplay vid for this game and tell me it doesn't look like a pant-load of fun. This was the last game in the X-Wing series and I could not have been happier with it. You start out as neutral in the galactic war, but eventually are pretty much forced to side with the Alliance. I thought the graphics during gameplay and for the cutscenes were really well done. The multiplayer mode was pretty rad too, as I recall. I can't remember if I had seen an ad for this game or just saw it appear in the store, but I know I crapped when I first saw the box. Ah well. Trash.

#10. Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine, 1999

Just look at that cover. If this game were made into a movie, it would be 10 times better than Crystal Skull. The graphics and gameplay aren't as good as Emperor's Tomb, but moving to 3D was a huge step for the Indy game franchise. You fight Communists in this one instead of Nazis. Who knows what they'll think of next?

Mother of God, no.

Anyway, trash.

#9. Rogue Squadron, 1999

A good year for LucasArts, it seems. Rogue Squadron is the first game in a good series. I first played this game on Playstation at a friend's house and was keen to buy it after that. If I recall, I only threw 8 tantrums trying to beat this game versus the 27 I threw playing its sequel. Trash.

#8. X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter, 1997

We could have honestly done without this game. The biggest draw is the multiplayer aspect, which was perfected in X-Wing Alliance. I don't think I played this game longer than an hour. The back of the box says there's a single player storyline, but I don't recall it. Must not have been memorable. Trash.

#7. Outlaws, 1997

This was a rather big deal for me. This was the first LucasArts game I bought that was not part of the Indy or Star Wars franchises. The game is a tad flawed mechanics-wise, but solid regarding story. Awesomely so. It's a revenge/rescue game. The character's father and later wife are killed before gameplay even commences. The wife's name is Anna. I was in love with an Anna at the time so that made it all the more intense. The cover art is awesome and the screen shots on the back are what eventually sold me. Even so: trash.

#6. Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, 1997

I bought this game two or three years after it came out, which explains the box art. The original shows Kyle Katarn in a saber lock with Jerec. Here we have a first person duel with Darth Vader. I don't recall that level from the game, especially considering Darth Vader died a year prior to the events in Dark Forces II (Nerd Alert Level 80). Whatever, they gotta sell games. They even bundled this with Mysteries of the Sith. I felt that both games were next to worthless. The cutscenes were horribly acted. However.. the actress that played Jan Ors wasn't ugly at all. And it's 3D with a 3rd person perspective option. And you get a lightsaber. And force powers. Still, it's all but eclipsed by the awesomeness of Jedi Outcast. Trash.

#5. The Curse of Monkey Island, 1997

Another non-Indy/Star Wars game. I bought this one way after it came out. I had waited so long that they gave away the first two Monkey Island games with this one. I cheated my way through those two so I could get to The Curse of Monkey Island. The game is fun and often hilarious. Definitely worth whatever I paid for it.
Notice on the back cover that Elaine Marley is depicted in 3D in the upper right-hand corner. That's from Escape from Monkey Island. I think there was a playable demo in there somewhere. Trash.

#4. TIE Fighter/Defender of the Empire, 1994

I felt guilty buying this game. The TIE Fighter cover shows five different TIEs ganging up on an X-Wing. The DOE cover has SIX TIEs against an A-Wing. But I couldn't resist. As part of a series I loved so much, it had to be included. I couldn't quite stomach flying for the Empire at first, but the game designers really helped put the right spin on it to convince the player that they are the ones fighting the good fight against the treacherous Rebellion. Either way, it was a lot of fun. It took place immediately after the Battle of Hoth and ended before the events of Return of the Jedi, I think. This fits perfectly in the X-Wing trilogy, as does X-Wing Alliance. That's probably why X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter didn't sit too well with me. My heart is full. Trash.

#3. Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, 1992

I'm going a little out of order here. This one came out before some of the others, but I didn't buy and play it until much later. Great puzzles. Great audio. Great game. If I recall, I don't think I had to cheat once to beat it. Also, I know the girl on the cover bears no resemblance to the girl on the back cover of Infernal Machine, but they're both Sophia Hapgood. I can't remember, but I think she actually helps you in Fate of Atlantis whereas in Infernal Machine she gums things up. I need to play this again. The box is trash, though.

#2. X-Wing, 1993

This is it. Possibly my all time favorite video game. I remember seeing this for the first time at a sleepover at my friend Adam's house. He let me play it, but I was awful at it. It was fun to just watch them play. The graphics were amazing for that time. It sounded perfect. I talked it up to my parents so much that they eventually bought it for me. It was one of the few times they bought something for me when it wasn't my birthday or Christmas. I stunk at it too. I could never make it beyond mission 4 in Tour of Duty 1. Even though I was stuck, I still bought the expansion packs Imperial Pursuit and B-Wing when they came out. For Christmas, I got a new joystick and the X-Wing Hint Book thinking that would help. The joystick didn't change anything but the hint book sure did. The more I advanced, the better I got. After awhile I felt like Rainman if he was a starfighter pilot.

The X-Wing Collector's CD-ROM came out a few years later. Of course I had to get it. Notice the changes in the box art. They added a lot of detail on the X-Wings and even replaced a TIE Fighter with a TIE Interceptor. While we're at it, notice how much more evenly matched this battle is compared to the TIE Fighter box. Three on three (we can safely assume that the explosion represents a recently departed TIE). Anyway, the CD version includes the Imperial Pursuit and B-Wing expansion packs. I must have had money to burn if I was buying every game twice. Still worth it.

#1. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, 1989

I almost have tears in my eyes. This was my first computer game ever. I played this game before I saw the movie (which came out the same year) but I didn't beat it until much later. I had the hint book for this one as well. It was darn near impossible without it. LucasArts doesn't do this anymore, but it was very easy to die in this game. Now, with games like Monkey Island and even Fate of Atlantis, it's tough to get irreversibly stuck in a puzzle or on a level. But Last Crusade was difficult, especially for a 4th grader. I remember studying the back of the box for clues before referencing the hint book. The screen grab from the lower left helped me get the hook off the skeleton so I could use it in the plug so I could whip it so I could drain the water from that one room so I could exit the manhole so I could get the wine bottle so I could use it on the grate for one reason or another. I might play this one today. All I need is a computer with a 3.5'' floppy drive and 640K of RAM.

Ok, I'm going to renege. I'm keeping this one and X-Wing. Don't judge me.
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