The SMS in Spain
Flamenco, siesta...and SMS
The Sega Master System came to Spain maybe in 1988, the year I bought it. In my city there was only one place where you could buy games and accesories for the SMS, it was a large chain of stores ("El Corte Inglés") all over Spain, and I´m sure it was that way in the rest of Spain. The NES and its games were available at two or three more stores, so there wasn´t very much difference.
The good thing I remember about that store (which today is even stronger) is they had lots of SMS games and all the accesories (I should have bought at that time the 3D glasses or Phantasy Star...), and they had new games every week, even they could get you the games you were looking for.

The prices of the games amaze me today, they were about 5000 or 6000 pts. (I think about $30/35). It´s strange buying Double Dragon in 1988 for 5490pts and last month buying an extra copy for 800 pts.! In its early days, I think the SMS console was sold a lot more than the NES (Spain is wise), I remember going to buy some games and seeing lots of people looking at SMS games and buying them. Also, there were TVs with demos of SMS games, and not NES.

We didn't get any of those nice UK magazines with SMS coverage only, but most of the computer magazines from 1988-1991 used to have some reviews and ads. In around 1992, lots of new console magazines appeared, some with general coverage (NES, SMS, Game Boy, etc...) and others with Sega only (Genesis, Game Gear and SMS) or Nintendo only coverage.

Now I talk to some people about the strange fact that I´m collecting 8 bit games, and most of them say they have or had a SMS, not a NES. After, in 1990 or so, the NES boom came, and everybody had it, so SMS games buyers were less and less. Some stores started selling videogames, cheaper than the first store I spoke about, and I remember that in one of them there was a "special edition" of SMS chewing gums! Yes, they were normal chewing gums but came with a SMS cover or screenshot sticker. There were also points inside, and with maybe 1000 or 2000 you could win a SMS. The girl selling games at that store was very nice, and besides allowing me to try the games before buying them for hours and hours, she gave me hundreds of those chewing gums. It was too many years ago...people is not so friendly nowadays :(

Some years after, I disconnected from the videogame scene. Now in the twenty first century, there´s obviously no way to get new SMS games, you have to try at flea markets and get them second-hand at videogame shops. It´s a bit hard to find them, becouse everybody now is interested in last-generation games. I know here in Zaragoza 4 places where I can get SMS games, some cheap (well, not so cheap, the cheapest is 800 pts, about $4, and usually the most expensive 1500 pts, about $8), and there´s not much stuff out there, although sometimes you can find interesting things, like Wonder Boy in Monster World very cheap or some of the latter Euro-only games very cheap too.  Almost nobody here purchases SMS games, but the ones who do it can be catalogued in two kinds:
1 People that can't afford getting one of the latest consoles, like the Playstation 2 or the Dreamcast, and get an SMS game to play with their old console. They play during two or three days, and forget about it. I hate these people, since I'm sure there are lots of hard to find and interesting games collecting dust in the depths of their wardrobe, while they could sell or give them to collectors or interested gamers.
2 People that had an SMS in their childhood, and playing and collecting all those games again brings back so much memories from the past, people that are not really interested in modern games of today and still prefer the good old 8 bit games, and people that love to collect games from the past in their original shape.

There are not very much people of the second kind here in my fact I think I'm the only one! But I know there are some fellow SMS collectors in other cities of Spain.

Now, in year 2001, we are facing a hard situation for the 8 bit market in Spain, or at least here in my city. I've noticed that less and less places still carry SMS games. Now I only know a single videogame shop that still has a bunch of them, and our crappy flea market. Prices are dropping and dropping, but it's almost impossible to find a single interesting game. Will it be definitive, or videogame shops and second hand stores will bring some SMS games to their stock? I don't know, but I'm afraid it will become harder and harder to find our loved games. Sad but true, my city is facing the real death of the SMS, and I'm happy to have started collecting again in 1998, when there were so much places to get games, a wide variety of them, and at nice prices. And I'm also happy for having found almost everything (and then some more) I wanted to get for the SMS, so this drought doesn't surprise me, since I was somehow expecting it.

Good bye SMS, Spain doesn't forget you!

-Thöja Enwizz, 1999 and 2001.
Back from the really old versions of The Ela Fountain, when it was even called meSMerizeS, returns my subjective but fairly objective story of the SMS in my country, Spain. Slightly revisited, it´s back online for you all to enjoy (?), and remember that this is just my point of view, so if you´re Spanish and have something to add or say, you just have to let me know and it will be added here. Guess what would be cool? To have people from all around the world sending their points of view, opinions and the story of the SMS in their countries, and create here a little archive focused on the topic. What do you think?