It’s story time, so settle in.
I was incredibly late to the library of the PS2. So late, I got my first PS2 in 2009, and only a handful of months before I got my PS3. Because of this, I was quickly overwhelmed with choices of games I wanted to play.
I’ve always loved horror movies and, by proxy, horror games. I am a sucker for atmosphere, and there is something uniquely unsettling about playing a horror game; you are responsible for navigating through those environments and hazards. It is not a passive experience.
I love that.
Somewhere along the way I learned about a game called Rule of Rose. It was published by Atlus, known for their relatively small batches of Japanese games. Because of this, Rule of Rose is widely considered the most hard to come by (read: expensive) PS2 game of all time.
I had always kept my eyes out for a copy, but the only ones I ever saw were going for over $200 online.
That’s a lot of money for any game, but especially one from two console generations past.
But I always thought about it. I always wanted to play it. I always wanted to have a copy.
I’ve been an avid reader of Game Informer for many years. At some point during that time, Game Informer (henceforth: GI) began doing video content by way of Replay (weekly episodes of their editors playing older games), and Super Replay (periodic complete playthroughs of older games). I am a huge fan of their video content in general, and Super Replay in particular.
One of their biggest Super Replays was called OverBlood. It was an old survival horror title and it was…something. Raz Karcy and his robot sidekick Pipo stole the GI community’s collective hearts, and a Facebook group was created: I Watched The Entire OverBlood Super Replay. Over the years the group grew, and now its members total upwards of 3,000 people.
It’s an incredible community.
I’ve been fortunate to have made some truly wonderful friends from that group. I’ve been a member for years. We are a diverse group of folks with a passion for Game Informer (and video games in general) in common.
I’ve always considered myself lucky to be a part of the group.
There are friends I’ve made through OverBlood (how we refer to the group) who are among my closest friends. I’ve met people I not only game online with, but connect with over topics both gaming related and non.
Towards the end of last month, I asked the group a question: I was wondering if anyone either wanted to sell their copy of Rule of Rose, or knew of anyone who might have one to sell. Over the years, I’d mentioned how I’d wanted to play Rule of Rose so badly, but that I could never find a reasonable copy.
And then something unbelievable happened.
My friend Brad (the very same one who was my sensei through Dark Souls 3) took it upon himself to rally the members of OverBlood to do something for me that I not only never expected, but was truly humbled by: he and several other members raised the money to buy me my own copy of Rule of Rose.
Just typing that honestly chokes me up. The fact that a group of people who I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting in reality would do such a thing (I pause here because I’m literally crying), would raise a ridiculous amount of money just so I could have a game I’d always wanted, left me speechless.
I still feel speechless.
It’s difficult to explain how moved I am while I am speechless.
As soon as I saw the fundraiser, I felt both honored and guilty; I didn’t want people parting with their money for me. People said some ridiculously kind things about me. Things I certainly don’t deserve.
They raised the money in less than a day.
I’m shaking my head over here because half the time, I feel like no one likes me. I try so hard to be a good friend, a good support, but I am far from perfect. I fail often. But I keep trying.
I just never, ever, expected anything like this.
I am so incredibly fortunate.
I am so incredibly thankful.
I am so incredibly humbled.
In the mail yesterday was a puffy envelope. Inside, was my very own copy of Rule of Rose.
It’s hard to explain how I feel when I look at it. I see so much more than a video game I’ve wanted for so long.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a dream come true to have it at last. But it’s the way I wound up with it that will stick with me forever.
To those members of OverBlood who made this happen: your kindness overwhelms me. That you would go out of your way to do something so generous is remarkable. And I will never, ever, forget it.
And to all the people who said such kind things about me, I strive to live up to those words.
I’m so fortunate. I am so grateful.
Thank you, OverBlood, for giving me a place to be, and for being so kind.
I’m going to play the heck out of Rule of Rose. And it’s all because of you.