I’ve prattled on and on about various games, mostly Sega and Capcom it seems…but I do love to collect them, and at times I’ve been fortunate enough to get some signed. Some people aren’t too bothered by getting things signed or don’t see a value in it (queuing ages for a quick handshake and a scribble? Ridiculous!), but I’ve always been happy to meet people who’ve worked on various things I like, have a quick chat thanking them for their work and taking the time to meet fans and walking away with something a bit special in the process. While this mostly comes down to films and comic books, on a few rare occassions I’ve been able to get some games scribbled on. There isn’t quite so much opportunity to meet people who have worked on games here in the UK, so when there is a chance it’s always really quite something for me. So what’s currently in my collection? Excuse the not so great quality pictures!
Resident Evil, signed by Bill Sienkiewicz
This one stands out in my collection, not just because it’s the only Sega game I’ve got signed, but for the fact that the person in question didn’t actually work on the game…Bill Sienkiewicz actually provided the cover art for the first Resident Evil game, and I love the lost art of video game covers, so I had to get this one signed. I asked him about the design and he said that he was somewhat disappointed that people rarely get to see the full piece he did for the cover due to the nature of video game boxes. I found that pretty interesting, as one of the reasons for me taking the Saturn version was because it featured more of his art! Also of note is that while most people tend to sign in standard pen, Bill Sienkiewicz loves to sign in corrective fluid pens, which I really like!
Fallout 3, signed by Malcolm McDowell
McDowell’s autograph on this one is slightly hard to make out due to the pen used, but I’m still happy with it. McDowell played John Henry Eden, the President of the United States…a role he didn’t actually remember playing. “Fallout 3? I wasn’t in Fallout 3…” he said as I handed it to him. Awkward moment of “erm…you were…” followed by faint recollection and pleasantly signing it.
Mass Effect Trilogy, signed by Ali Hillis and Courtenay Taylor
Signed by Liara and Jack, I’m really happy I was able to get the full series signed, even if it’s slightly odd for two reasons…firstly, Jack wasn’t in the first game, but I’d already handed over the first game and pen had been placed before I realised, so I just let it happen. Still nice! Also, the third game isn’t actually the game, it’s the box containing extras from the Collector’s Edition, and stands out from the other two. I actually only got the CE for the third game thanks to a bit of a cock up from HMV…but nevertheless, still happy to have these in my collection as is.
Arkham Origins artbook, signed by Troy Baker and Roger Craig Smith
Another tale of a collector’s edition dictating what I get signed, I remember picking up my CE of Arkham Origins from the post office the day I was heading up to get it signed. The game itself was housed in a really, really cheap crappy MetalPak (the poor man’s Steelbook), so I thought “sod it, I’ll get the art book signed”. Annoyingly, the game also came with a set of card dossiers on the game’s villains, a wanted poster and an assassination contract for Batman, with spaces for signatures on said contract. It was all housed in a folder marked “Do Not Open Until Story Complete”, despite it not actually spoiling anything at all, and I stupidly followed that. Hopefully I can rectify it in the future.
Assassin’s Creed II, signed by Roger Craig Smith
At the same signing for Arkham Origins, people were able to get one more item signed – I would have loved to have got either Resident Evil Revelations or RE5 signed since I’m a big fan of the series (in case that wasn’t evident already), but they were both in storage at the time, so I went with ACII. There’s not a lot to say about this one, if only because I spent so much time talking to Troy Baker and had to hurry along so as not to hold up the queue like others before me had.
The Last Of Us and Bioshock Infinite, signed by Troy Baker
So here are the games I managed to get Troy Baker to sign in addition to the Arkham Origins art book. As I said, people were only supposed to be allowed one extra item, but I really loved both of these games and thought I’d take a chance with trying to get both done. It definitely paid off, and I think the fact that I was polite and not trying to kick up a stink with anyone there helped. I spent more time talking to Troy Baker as he was first up in the signing, and I’d actually been going through a period of depression around the tie of the signing, so I wanted to tell him how much it meant to me being able to meet him and tell him how these games had helped and to thank him for being a part of it. The guy was absolutely wonderful about it all, thanked me for coming and saying that, that it meant a lot to him too and wished me all the best for my health. Being cast in every game definitely didn’t affect his kindness.
The Oddworld series, signed by Lorne Lanning
I managed to get these signed at a convention where Lorne Lanning, aka Mr. Oddworld was talking about the series and showing off New ‘N’ Tasty for the first time. I’d brought the games on the off chance there might be an opportunity to get them signed, and it turns out I wasn’t the only one…thankfully, once the session was over, someone politely asked if he would be up for doing some signing, and in a super nice guy move, he quickly asked the building management and security if there was a room it could be done in. This is a man who appreciates his fans, not only holding an impromptu signing session by stating everyone who wanted a signature would get one. I remember really wanting to ask if there was a possibility of seeing some cancelled titles resurrected, like The Brutal Ballad Of Fangus Klot. Unfortunately, when I did see him, a combination of him being so disarmingly nice, worry over holding people up and anxiety over making an idiot out of myself ensured I made an idiot out of myself and barely spoke. Still though, I got the signatures and a slightly embarrassing memory out of it all! I do intend to replace the PS1 cases in the future, as the one for Abe’s Oddysee is such a condition that you can’t really see the signature, hence why the cover is out of the case here.
Metal Gear Solid 3 – Subsistence, signed by Hideo Kojima and Yoji Shinkawa
Now onto the crowning jewel of the signed collection! I managed to get this at a signing at Uniqlo, to celebrate the release of their Metal Gear Solid line of shirts. I only found out about the signing thanks to an online advert tucked away to the side of an article the afternoon before, but thankfully I had the day free, and got up before first light to try and get there in time. I’d taken this and my copy of The Twin Snakes in the hopes of getting both signed, but the security guards told us it was one item only. After some small debate, I ended up going with Subsistence and haven’t regretted it. It was also a heavily controlled signing, with security ready to pounce on anyone who deviated from the “no posed photos, quick handshake and thanks, move on”, which led to an interesting moment when I tried to get a good photo of Yoji signing and a security guard nearly rugby tackled me…thankfully though, Yoji saw what was happening and actually just laughed about it, and I escaped having my body pummelled and armed with a lovely signed game and two shirts to boot.
So there we are, my small but much loved signed game collection. Hopefully in times to come I can add to it, and I would love to get not only voice actors and creators, but also people who did the box art for earlier games as I did with the first Resident Evil. Only time will tell though!