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Featured Member September 2023: TDIRunner


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Editorials Team · Posted

Thanks @TDIRunner, some great stuff here!


What's your username/profile pic from?
I picked my username almost 12 years ago when I was still a runner and I owned a VW with a TDI engine which I absolutely loved.  I can’t run anymore due to a knee issue, and I no longer own that TDI, so my username doesn’t really fit me anymore.  But I decided to just stick with it since I’ve been using it on multiple forums for over a decade, and people just know me by that name now.  My profile pic is from the Japanese cover of Ico which is one of my favorite games, and my absolute favorite cover art from any game. 

What do you drive now? Do you like it?
Nothing fancy at the moment.  My daily driver is just a 2003 Honda Accord.  Despite being 20 years old, it only has 90k miles.  I also have a 2007 Dodge Ram 1500 that I use for towing and hauling.  It’s a somewhat unusual truck.  Even though it’s a high optioned Big Horn model with 4x4 and a V8 engine, it still has a manual transmission, which was extremely rare for its time.  My wife drives a Chrysler Town & Country minivan which is also our primary family transport.  She and I both love the minivan as a family hauler.  I personally don’t care for crossovers since I find them unpractical.

What's your best marathon time?
I only managed to run one marathon before my knee issues took me out of running.  I ran my first and last marathon in 3 hours and 38 minutes.  At that point in my life, I was happy with the time, but I would have loved to run a Boston qualifying time, which back then would have needed to be 28 minutes faster.  Even though I never got to run another, I was always really happy that I did it and it’s something I’ll never forget.

What do you do nowadays to stay in shape?
I’ve switched from running to biking and, fortunately, I live in a county that has hundreds of miles of interconnected bike trails.  I’m not a fan of biking on roads and I find the bike trails really relaxing.  Unfortunately, I don’t get out and bike nearly as often as I would like.  From my experience, I need to bike about twice as far as I would run to get a similar workout and that ends up being pretty time consuming and my kids practices and other after school activities take up most of my free time.

How did you originally come across VGS/NintendoAge?
The first video game forum I ever joined was TheCoverProject which I still consider my home when it comes to video game forums.  Unfortunately, that site has gotten smaller in recent years and there is much less general video game discussion there now.  I started to look for other sites that had more traffic and discussion and I eventually joined NintendoAge.  I was very active there for a number of years until it closed down, and I moved to VGS within the first week of the site starting.  I’ve been relatively active at VGS since the start and while I still spend time at TheCoverProject, I probably spend most of my online time here at VGS. 

What are your top 5 game consoles and their top 5 games each?
My absolute favorite console is the PS1 which should come as no surprise for anyone who knows me.  I was still in grade school when the PS1 came out.  I got it as a Christmas present along with Crash Bandicoot and the original Tomb Raider.  The PS1 was the first console where I purchased a brand new game with my own money (2Extreme).  It’s wasn’t the greatest game in the world, but I still think it’s a fun game to this day.  The PS1 is the only system I actively collect for and I currently own over 800 games (including imports and variants), of which over 700 are unique US titles.  My top 5 PS1 games are:

  • Tomb Raider
  • Crash Bandicoot 2
  • Resident Evil 2
  • Vandal Hearts
  • Metal Gear Solid

 My second favorite console would probably be the SNES.  It was another console I received for Christmas and it was a huge surprise since my brother and I didn’t expect it at all.  We didn’t own many games during the SNES era, so I played the few games I owned a ton.  My top 5 SNES games are:

  • Super Metroid
  • Super Mario World
  • Yoshi’s Island
  • Donkey Kong Country
  • Turtles in Time

 My third favorite console would probably be the NES.  While the Atari 2600 was technically my first console, the NES was the first console that really got me into gaming.  The NES wasn’t a Christmas present.  My parents just sort of bought one out of the blue.  We were very late to the NES party.  Nearly everyone I knew had one before us, but I was still lucky to have it at all.  Throughout the entire life of the NES, we only owned 4 games, but we were allowed to rent games all the time.  My top 5 NES games are:

  • Super Mario Bros. 2 (US version and my all-time favorite game)
  • Super Mario Bros. 3
  • Super Mario Bros.
  • Rad Racer
  • TMNT II: The Arcade Game

 My fourth favorite console is probably the Switch.  There have been so many amazing games released for this console it will be hard to pick my favorites.  This console is also special to me because it’s the first console that my sons have played, and I’m watching them create the same kind of memories with their first games that I created with the NES.  Super Mario Odyssey was the first game that my son and I played together and beat with each of us completing some parts of each world.  That’s a memory I will keep forever.  My top 5 Switch games are:

  • Tears of the Kingdom
  • Breath of the Wild
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  • Mario Odyssey
  • Link’s Awakening

 My fifth favorite console is probably the PS4.  It’s one of my larger collection of games and the variety of games available is absolutely huge.  I’ve also really enjoyed getting into PSVR.  My top 5 favorite PS4 games are:

  • Shadow of the Colossus
  • Dirt 4
  • Mud Runner
  • Horizon Zero Dawn
  • The Last Guardian

I will also list my top 5 favorite PSVR games:

  • Job Simulator
  • Super Hot
  • Until Dawn: Rush of Blood
  • FarPoint
  • Fruit Ninja (yes it’s a super simple game, but it is crazy awesome fun in short bursts)

How do you store all those PS1 games?
Everything currently fits on one of those Atlantic Oskar media shelves, except for the PS1 long boxes which go on the same shelf as my PS2 games.  The shelf is getting close to being full, and unfortunately, I don’t have any plans for what I will do when I run out of room.  I guess that’s a problem for future me.



What were the 4 NES games you had as a kid?
Unsurprisingly, all 4 of the NES games I owned were all part of my top 5 NES games. 

  • Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt (which came with the system)
  • Rad Racer (which my Dad bought within a week of getting the NES)
  • Super Mario Bros. 2
  • Super Mario Bros. 3

Those 4 carts are the same carts that are in my collection today.  I’ve been fortunate enough to never need to sell any of my games.  All games that I owned as a kid, are still in my possession today (same for SNES).

Are you more of a collector or a gamer?
I really enjoy collecting, but if I had to pick one, I would pick gamer.  I’ve often given consideration to selling my collection, but I know that if I sell, I would only sell the games that I have other means of playing, such as my cartridge games that I can play through an Everdrive, or my disc based games that I can play with an SD reader.  I have absolutely no intention of selling any of my consoles for a long time.  I believe it would be easier to give up the collecting than the playing. 

What upcoming game are you most excited for?
I hate to say that I’m more excited for remakes than new games, but as I get older, I have less interest in new games.  So something like the Thousand Year Door and Tomb Raider Trilogy remakes get me really excited.  But as far as new games go, I’m really looking forward to Super Mario Wonder.  To this day, I still prefer 2D Mario over 3D, so I’m way more interested in Wonder compared to any future Odyssey sequel.

What game would you be playing if you weren't answering questions right now?
Tears of the Kingdom.  I’m around 140 hours into the game.  I’ve completed 148 shrines and all 120 lightroots.  I’ve finished the 4 main temples and I’ve maxed out my battery.  I have the majority of the armor sets and nearly all of them are upgraded to at least level 2.  I haven’t counted how many quests I’ve completed, but it’s a lot.  Just last night, I made the decision that I’m ready to take a break.  Sometime this week, I plan to head towards Hyrule Castle and see if I can complete the game.  Once I do that, I will take a break, but I plan to eventually return to the game and 100% it.  That’s the same thing I did with BOTW.  I played it for around 100 hours until I was ready to take a break.  After beating the game, I didn’t play it again for about 2 years.  After those 2 years I got the bug to go back and I completed everything I missed the first time around including finding all korok seeds and getting the 100% completion on the map.  After my break from TOTK, I might play some more racing sim games since I recently purchased a Logitech racing wheel and stand.

How many Koroks have you found?
As of last night, only 316.  But I found all 900 in Breath of the Wild.  I have not used a guide for any of the 316 that I’ve found in TOTK.  In BOTW, I was able to get to around the 400 mark before I started to use a guide to find the rest.  I was actually surprised how much I enjoyed hunting for the rest.  It was actually kind of relaxing.  I plan to do the same in TOTK, but I know it will be the last thing I do with the game. 

Where do you live, and do you like it?
I live in the St. Louis area, but on the Illinois side of the river.  My job is based in Missouri, but I work from home and I’ve been working out of my home office since March of 2020.  I prefer working from home, and I hope it stays that way for the rest of my career.  I enjoy where I live.  The town I live in is very small and the cost of living is relatively reasonable.  We don’t have much in the way of restaurants, stores, or activities, but we are never more than a 10 minute drive from the places that have everything we would want.  We hope to one day move to a much more remote area away from the cities, but we don’t have any plans for that until both of our kids are out of the house and out of college. 

Who do you live with?
I live with my wife of 11 years and our two boys age 9 and 7.  My wife is a pre-school teacher and she teaches at the same school that both of our boys go to.  This is pretty awesome since she brings the kids with her when she goes to work, and brings them home at the end of the day.  My oldest is on two soccer teams (one rec and the other select).  He is also in Boy Scouts, on the school chess team, and plans to play Basketball this winter.  My younger son also plays soccer on a select team and is in Boy Scouts.  We are still figuring out what other activities he will be interested in when he gets older.  Both of my kids are WAY busier than I ever was at their ages.  Fortunately, they still have enough free time for some gaming.  They are both into Roblox, Minecraft and Pokemon.  Those are all game series that I know little to nothing about, but I’ve actually learned a lot about those games due to my kid’s interests.  Although I will never pay any of those game myself.

Boy Scouts! You ever do Pinewood Derby?
Yes, every year.  My oldest son is in a Den that always has fast cars each year.  He has always finished 2nd or 3rd in his Den.  My youngest son managed to win his Den last year and ended up taking 1st for the entire Pack.  We took him to Districts where he managed to finish 2nd in his age group, but he didn’t even make top 10 overall.  Districts has some extremely fast cars last year.

What's the secret for a fast Pinewood Derby car?

  • Try to hit the maximum allowed weight (usually 5 oz)
  • Try to keep the majority of the weight near the rear axle)
  • Polish the axles and add graphite
  • And the number one most important secret is having good luck

There is obviously more to it, but we don’t get into it much more than that.  Some of the Dads and kids at Districts really get into it and invest a lot of money, but that just isn’t for us. 

What do you do for a living?
I’m an accountant, and I’ve been in this type of work for about 18 years.  I’ve had several different jobs, and I’ve worked in just about every different level of accounting with cost accounting being the most complicated.  If I’m being honest, I’ve never found the work to be very interesting or fulfilling, but the job security has been good, and I’ve never been without work.  I’m also fortunate in that my current job is probably the best I’ve ever had and, assuming things don’t change, I can see myself working with this employer for the rest of my career.

If you changed careers, what would you want to do?
Professional organizer.  I’ve actually done this type of work when I was in college.  It’s the only work I’ve ever done where I was thinking about it during m free time and actually looking forward to going to work the next day.  I never pursued it as a career as I felt to it was just too risky in terms of job security.

What other hobbies do you have?
Carpentry and auto repair.  I almost included these two things as possible careers I would enjoy, but I have a feeling I wouldn’t enjoy these hobbies if I had to do them every day as a job.  However, I enjoy both of these hobbies as something to do for fun.  I enjoy wood working and have made some of the furniture around our house including all of the A/V furniture for my gaming room.  I also make something every year for my wife’s school charity auction (usually benches or tables). 







I also enjoy working on cars.  I typically perform all of the maintenance and repairs on our own vehicles and sometimes help family or friends with their repairs.  I have some future plans to expand both of these hobbies into a workshop.  I’ve been in the market to purchase a small building somewhere close to my home where I could keep my wood working tools, and possible a project car or two.  I would love to find an older ‘80s or ‘90s European sports cars to work on and use as a fun weekend car.  Working with these hobbies out of my current garage is difficult because it’s only a two car garage, and I insist on being able to keep two vehicles in it, which means all of my wood working tools have to be put away when not in use, and I have no room for a project car.

You ever play that Atari Jaguar?
Sometimes.  I probably enjoy the Jaguar more than the average person.  Since I have big hands, I find the controller comfortable.  I also happen to own the Jaguar GameDrive, which is a flash cart for the Jaguar.  My favorite Jaguar games are Power Drive Rally and Flip Out.  I consider both of those games to be hidden gems because they are a lot of fun, and I never hear anyone talk about them when the Jaguar is discussed.  While I have it, I pretty much never us the Jaguar CD attachment.  

What's your favorite thing in your collection?
That’s very difficult to say, and depending on the day, I might answer it differently, but one item that comes to mind is my complete in box copy of Super Metroid that I paid $2 for. I bought it from a neighbor kid who was also in my class.  He didn’t want the game anymore and he was more than happy to get $2 since that was basically the going rate at the time.  I still have that copy in my collection to this day.  Outside of that, my favorite items would anything from my childhood that I was fortunate enough to keep all of this time.  If I were ever to get out of gaming completely, those childhood items would be the only things that would never go.

What kind of phone do you use?
I bought my first smart phone when my wife and I got married and got a phone plan together.  We each got an iPhone 4 which was right about the time the iPhone 5 came out.  She loved her phone and I hated it.  I switched over to Samsung Galaxy afterwards, and I’ve been a Galaxy user ever since.  My wife has stuck with Apple and to this day we like to give each other a hard time about our phone choices.  I’m looking forward to her next iPhone being able to use the same chargers that I’m currently using, and yes, I will take full advantage of giving her shit about Apple switching to USB-C.  With that said, I’m no fan boy, and honestly don’t care what others use as long as the phone that I’m using isn’t junk.

Favorite movie/book/album/soda/TV show?
My favorite movie is The Fifth Element.  I’ve always enjoyed that movie since it first came out and I rewatch it almost every year.  Some of my other favorites are Silver Streak, North by Northwest, Fargo and Von Ryan’s Express.  I don’t read that much, but when I was younger, I was a huge Michael Crichton fan and read just about everything he wrote.  My favorites were easily Jurassic Park and The Lost World.  I don’t really have a favorite band, but if I had to select one, it would probably be Tool, and while I enjoy all of their albums (including the newest), I think it’s pretty easy to say that Ænima is my favorite.  When I listen to music, I pretty much only listen to Spotify with a 15 hour playlist of songs that are almost exclusively ‘80s and ‘90s music.  I don’t watch any current TV shows, but I enjoy occasionally going back to watch older shows I used to watch.  Some of my favorites are Futurama, 30 Rock, Parks & Rec, The Office, Reno 911, and Prison Break.  I’ve watched all of those seasons from start to finish multiple times.  However, I still need to catch up on the new Futurama and Reno episodes.  I also enjoy Seinfeld, but I’ve never binged it, nor plan to.

Bonus game collection photos:






Portable Consoles


Arcade 1Up


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Editorials Team · Posted

Previous sages:
June 2022: Estil
July 2022: RH

August 2022: Brickman
September 2022: Code Monkey
October 2022: OptOut
November 2022: Lynda Monica
December 2022: a3quit4s
January 2023: Mr. Wunderful
February 2023: G-Type
March 2023:  Link
April 2023: Tabonga
May 2023: Renmauzo
June 2023: Sumez
July 2023: DarkTone
August 2023: Fox

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Wow dude you must be rich!  I'd LOVE to have the "problem" of running out of shelf space for the PS1 games (I hope you were able to get most of the retro games while they were still mostly cheap and affordable)!

I wish...I wish...I wish that I was rich...cuz rich people can build better collections than poor people...

Edited by Estil
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21 hours ago, Estil said:

Wow dude you must be rich!  I'd LOVE to have the "problem" of running out of shelf space for the PS1 games (I hope you were able to get most of the retro games while they were still mostly cheap and affordable)!

I wish...I wish...I wish that I was rich...cuz rich people can build better collections than poor people...

Definitely not rich.  We live below our means and I try to limit how much I spend each month on video games.  And that limit includes both new and retro.  A large part of my collection was purchased before things got really crazy.  I buy much less now because everything is so expensive.  So when I talk about running out of room, it's really not that much of an issue because I know it will be a while before those empty shelves will get completely filled up.  As I get older, I get less enjoyment out of the hunt itself.  If I was rich, I would just buy everything quickly and just have the full set complete.  

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3 hours ago, TDIRunner said:

Definitely not rich.  We live below our means and I try to limit how much I spend each month on video games.  And that limit includes both new and retro.  A large part of my collection was purchased before things got really crazy.  I buy much less now because everything is so expensive.  So when I talk about running out of room, it's really not that much of an issue because I know it will be a while before those empty shelves will get completely filled up.  As I get older, I get less enjoyment out of the hunt itself.  If I was rich, I would just buy everything quickly and just have the full set complete.  

Same with my collections (yes, that's plural as I have several collecting hobbies like baseball cards, coins, reference books, UK media guides/Cats Pauses, and most recently stamps) and I hope that's not true for me, the part about getting less enjoyment out of the hunt as I get older.  And I suppose the fact that I had to build my collections they way I did with only disability or before that, very modest jobs over time makes it all the more rewarding and yeah, we wouldn't want it to be too easy ("buy everything quickly" either, right?

Still seeing these collections does make me quite jelly I'm NGL...


Edited by Estil
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