Metal Slug Artist Recalls When Neo Geo Was So Popular "People Would Commit Crimes To Get It" 1
Image: Damien McFerran / Time Extension

Once upon a time, SNK's Neo Geo was the absolute pinnacle of gaming luxury.

Here was a home console capable of playing actual arcade games; no wonder so many kids desired one. However, its high cost (not to mention the fact that each game was hundreds of dollars) meant that it remained a niche proposition in a world dominated by the SNES and Genesis / Mega Drive.

It should come as no great shock to learn that the Neo Geo became a sought-after item back in the 1990s, but former Irem and Nazca artist Akio has just revealed a story which illustrates how far people were willing to go to get their hands on one.

"In SNK's heyday, if you advertised your car with a giant Neo Geo sticker, you could earn 5,000 yen per sticker," Akio explains on Twitter. "At that time, I was still very loyal to the company, so I put up three large stickers and received 15,000 yen, but that same night, my car was broken into and the keyhole was smashed, which was a terrible disaster. Since my car was a minivan, I guess they thought it was a sales vehicle loaded with SNK games."

Akio then adds a lengthy story about a "gang of thieves called the XX Alliance" who used to terrorise his neighbourhood before apologising for allowing his mind to wander. "I've digressed, but this was a story about the time when SNK's Neo Geo game was so popular that people would even commit crimes to get it."

Akio is currently working alongside several other industry veterans on Black Finger Jet, a new Metal Slug style run-and-gun game.