Neo Geo AES collecting is serious business. While even the arcade-only MVS counterparts can fetch upwards of $200, AES cartridges can easily have value in the thousands, due to the fact they originally retailed for hundreds of dollars and consequently weren’t frequently purchased. One of the rarest games for the platform is King of Fighters 2000. While the Japanese version is fairly plentiful, the English version is said to have had only 100 cartridges ever printed. As such, bootlegs for the game are rampant, far outnumbering the amount of legitimate copies — which can easily fetch upwards of $8,000-10,000. To curtail this, NGF-USA created a free authentication program where prospective owners can FedEx their copy to be personally inspected, authenticated and numbered by the NeoGeoFreak/NGF-USA founders, Chris Ray and Dion Dakis.
That wasn’t enough for Neo Geo fanatic 8man, however, who felt nervous enough about temporarily parting ways with his cartridge that he decided to buy a plane ticket in Florida and board a flight to Las Vegas to get his copy verified in person. Luckily, the cartridge turned out to be the real deal and was authenticated via a holographic numbered sticker with stamps and a certificate of authentication. Talk about being thorough.
If it seems like overkill to authenticate a video game, we’re talking about one of the largest collectors who has gone so far as to build a replica Metal Slug fountain in his backyard.
And you thought you were dedicated.