Collector approaches achievement of 100-percent completion.

It’s sometimes easy to forget what an overachiever the original Game Boy was. Sure, its black-and-white (or black-and-green) display didn’t feel high-tech even at its release in 1989, but it was the first full-fledged portable video game system, and it was popular enough to remain Nintendo’s flagship handheld for nine years until the company introduced its successor, the Game Boy Color.

A system doesn’t get to enjoy that kind of longevity without a robust lineup of memorable and charming titles, and Japanese retro gamer and Twitter user @marumi_1985 has made it his quest to assemble a complete collection of every Game Boy game. So how’s he coming along?

Pretty awesomely.

@marumi_1985 recently tweeted a status-update photo on his project, which currently contains 1,236 Game Boy games. Since the scope of his ambition is a complete set of every title for the system commercially released in Japan (i.e. excluding not-for-sale promotional cartridges), by his calculations his collection is 99.36-percent finished, with just eight more games to go for 100-percent completion.

Among the many rare and obscure titles he’s tracked down are Marmalade Boy, Cross Hunter, The Bell Tolls for the Frog, and Tale of Clothes Changing. So what’s still missing?

R-Type DX
Wizardry II
Wizardry III
The Black Onyx
Deja Vu 1 & 2
Little Magic
Earth Liberation Army Zas

Three of those, RPGs Wizardry II, Wizardry III, and The Black Onyx, didn’t come out until 2001, which was the same year the Game Boy’s hardware grandson, the Game Boy Advance, was released, so in all likelihood their cartridges were produced in extremely limited quantities.

Despite the size of the collection, @marumi_1985 says it hasn’t been as expensive as some people assume. “There are a lot of Game Boy games that are surprisingly cheap,” he says.

Of course, with the system’s heyday being several decades in the past, it’s not like you can just pop into any electronics or furniture store and buy a Game Boy display case of this size. Instead, @marumi_1985 hit up his local home center for the lumber and other materials he needed to design and build the shelves himself, naturally leaving space for an array of Game Boy hardware to play the games on, plus a decorative plate bearing the line’s logo. Japan being a country where earthquakes commonly occur, he also made sure to include adequate bracing, and the shelves have held strong against any shaking that’s occurred since they were installed.

Finding the elusive eight left on @marumi_1985’s list probably won’t be easy or cheap. A used copy of Earth Liberation Army Zas currently on Amazon, for example, has a price of 292,339 yen (US$2,825). Still, @marumi_1985 calls his collection “a mountain of treasures filled with the memories of my childhood,” and here’s hoping he gets to the peak soon.

Sources: Twitter/@marumi_1985 via Otakomu, Amazon
Images: Twitter/@marumi_1985
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where all this talk of Game Boy games is making him want a remake of Mercenary Force.