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Ethical Question: Suikoden II & Emulation
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Vincent Chase

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 6:08 pm    Post subject: Ethical Question: Suikoden II & Emulation Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The Piracy Thread is a good reference point and has parallelism with my argument.

First of all, I'm very nervous about posting this topic. I know the rules and the TOS about piracy and how it's not stood for, but I think I have a pretty interesting issue here. I encourage all of you to view this with an open mind, as this issue that I'm raising I know crosses a few barriers.

Though this post could go into that thread, I am starting a fresh one, because that thread is old and people have already stated opinions. This is in its own thread because I want some new opinions about it.

Alright, we all know that emulation is bad. Perhaps less bad than outright piracy, because most emulators only have older games that aren't available anymore. Still, it's a bad thing. However, in a recent Private Message session with someone, an issue was brought up that was pretty interesting from an ethical standpoint.

Naturally, I will pose some rhetorical questions first.

1) How much did you pay for Suikoden/Suikoden II

2) Did you get it on eBay?

Now, as I said earlier, emulation is bad because it's essentially stealing, but suppose this: Let's just say that someone may have a chance to play, for the first time ever, an emulated Suikoden II on XBOX, and no, it's not me. I know that several red flags are going up as some people read this, but at least hear me out. Yeah, emulating Suikoden II (or Suikoden) is a bad thing because it takes money from Konami, but then think that Konami isn't likely going to be making any more original PSX copies of these games in the future, until the upcoming PSP re-release. If you buy it on eBay (which I gather is 'the place' to find these games and probably the only place you can find it), you aren't helping Konami, you're just giving some guy/girl the money, and it's usually the original price of the game with $100 added on, so you're really just being screwed.

So, even though Emulation = Piracy, is it in this case (and a few others) acceptable, since it is no longer possible to get an original copy of Suikoden II for its original price, and getting it on eBay means putting money into some third party's pocket?

Here's an eBay search for Suikoden II. Prices are like 134.99, 189.99 and 203.50, so it's damn expensive, and the developer isn't getting any of it. As I already mentioned, you probably can't get originals from Konami anymore, and there is an upcoming PSP re-release. Sure, you can go out and buy a PSP for $299 cdn (you, not me, I'm a student) and wait for the games, but buying a system for two games is illogical. And so, I maintain my stance that although piracy, emulation of Suikoden and Suikoden II, though it may not be 'right', is certainly a grey area in the whole piracy debate, because buying the game off eBay doesn't help Konami financially, and you can't get a fresh one off of them. While emulation may be stealing, in the case of the first two Suikoden games, I just think it's a decent way to save money.

~THI~
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

My first experience with Suikoden II was through playing a pirated copy. However, I enjoyed it so much that I decided to not beat the pirated copy and I bought it a few months later. I think that pirating SII is actually very deserving. If Konami really cared about us pirating it, they'd rerelease it here like they have in Japan. To pay 100- 200 for a game is ridiculous, no matter how good. Companies that don't resupply us customers with their products that have a VERY high demand, deserve to be pirated if you ask me.
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Zaj I mean Mike

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Hey you may be able to taper with the clock and finaly beat Clives quest. But before you rip it off wait to see if you can get the PSP version. If its a game like from Nes or maybe even Snes I dont mind but wait a while for this one.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

1) I payed $70 for Suikoden and Suikoden II together.
2) Not ebay. I got them from a friend of mine who was selling off all his ps games.

Yeah. The price of that game on ebay is ridiculous, and it will only get higher now that Rhapsodia and Suikoden 5 are going to attract new Suikoden players. I think Konami is just asking for piracy if they don't put out a greatest hits version sometime. Most people won't want to pay $100 for a copy off ebay or buy a PSP just to play that game. If a person already has a PSP or plans on buying one soon, then that person should just shell out the money for the 2 game collection, but otherwise I don't think they should have to buy a PSP or a ps copy off ebay for tons of cash.

I never knew how emulation was even considered that bad (for older games i mean). These are games that the companies are not producing anymore, thus not making a profit for. The only people losing money are people that try to sell their old games.
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Vincent Chase

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Himuro says:
Quote:
My first experience with Suikoden II was through playing a pirated copy. However, I enjoyed it so much that I decided to not beat the pirated copy and I bought it a few months later. I think that pirating SII is actually very deserving. If Konami really cared about us pirating it, they'd rerelease it here like they have in Japan. To pay 100- 200 for a game is ridiculous, no matter how good. Companies that don't resupply us customers with their products that have a VERY high demand, deserve to be pirated if you ask me.


That's good, because I would buy the game on eBay if I liked it enough playing it pirated. I hope my friend will at least do the same thing. And again true on the price. To some people $200 is nothing, but to alot of people (and I'm sure alot of people here) that is alot of money to pay for a game.

Zaj I mean Mike says:
Quote:
Hey you may be able to taper with the clock and finaly beat Clives quest. But before you rip it off wait to see if you can get the PSP version. If its a game like from Nes or maybe even Snes I dont mind but wait a while for this one.


Well, even if I could mess with the clock, I still probably wouldn't. While I endorse emulation in this case, I always try to beat a game without cheating. Of course, some games like Goldeneye and Grand Theft Auto are more fun with cheats on, so it's really another blurry issue.

And why should I wait for a few years? Sure, the NES and SNES games are older, but the PSX is still a dated system and if anything, nowadays gets only old Final Fantasy games. Even if Konami still had a whole warehouse full of Suikoden II, they aren't doing anything for us there. I'm a student who lives from loan to loan, so I can't really afford to throw money around, especially for a game that I can get for free with no ethical dilemmas.

And PSP? Just too expensive. I know a few people who have them, but have to say that I've never seen someone just playing it on the bus, in lecture, in the library. It doesn't have me impressed enough so far to buy it.
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Filipe

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I am happy to say that I picked up my copy of Suikoden 2 from EB games, for about sixty dollars brand new. I found it really odd, not to mention it completely blew my mind that something this rare, and hard to find would still be on the rack for a few days. Anyways after thinking it over for all of two milliseconds, I picked it up, took it home, and immediately began playing it. I ended up playing that game for over six hours that night, not having any idea what to do really, considering that I had never played a Suikoden game before. However, I learned rather quickly, and I have been hooked on the series ever since.

I am not opposed to playing something on emulation, especially if I have no way of finding it otherwise, without spending a rediculous amount of money. I can only really hope for remakes for the PSP for several of the old psx rpgs, that I never got the oppertunity to buy on my own time. Games like, Xenogears, the original Grandia, among other games of course. It's not really all that big of a deal, but I would really love to have some of these games for myself, without having to pay a rediculous amount of money. If it was something more affordable, I wouldnt be opposed to buying them over Ebay otherwise.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Man, I must be like, the only guy who got Suikoden II (And of course a PAL Suikoden II) in Ebay, for £40.. Poor Australian person who sold me it..

On the other hand, finding a PAL copy of Suikoden I is a totally different matter, at least you have your American copies floating around from time to time.

I'd actually consider emulation (of games not in production) if it wern't for the fact I can NOT get emulators to work on my PC. I tried legally playing my PS1 copy of FFVII (I repeat, legal if you own the game in question, like I do) on the PC because I know there's stuff that can do it, but no show.

Here's hoping for a psp release.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Ah, this subject. I am very frusterated about this. I went on ebay and purchased Suikoden II from a seller for $60.00 and I thought the price was steep, but I dealt with the price. However, I found that at a certain point of the game, the game freezes and doesn't allow me to continue. This is very annoying because I payed good money for a game I couldn't even finish.

I say that pirating the game is bad unless you actually have payed for the game already. There wouldn't be anything wrong with that would there? I don't really know how emulation works, so I can't really have an informed opinion.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I got my copy of Suikoden Two for around 20 dollars.

I didn't get it at ebay. I got it at a local pawn shop. It works extremely well for getting it from there because other games that I got from there did not really work.

I really don't care about the pirating of this game. Like you have said before Konami is not really getting anymore money off of it untill they release the PSP version.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Well I got my copy of Suikoden II from Bali in Indonesia, which has a huge amount of burnt games for sale basically everywhere. Usually if someone I know is going to Bali I'll ask them to pick up some games for me. Now if anyoone here has ever bought games from Bali they'll know that often enough the games just stop working after while, and only two of the maybe twenty games I got from Bali still work, Suikoden II and Suikoden III (Not released where I live).

If Konami aren't making money off this game anymore, why put money in some other guy's pocket? Anyway I was still missing Suikoden 1 and I was not going to pay whatever price they're asking for it on eBay, so I obtained it in a slightly less legal way.

From a legal point of view though: I'm not sure the Piracy/Copyright Laws in Australia (funny that) but I do for the USA, it's easy enough to obtain SI and SII (and III and IV for that matter) via torrents however it's not legal despite the fact that Konami are not making money off it, unless they release it as Public Domain.

The question is: if it's no longer released in your country (SI and SII) or never was (SIII) is it illeagal to not give the money to Konami, if your answer is no than go ahead, if it's yes why not obtain a copy via torrent and then send Konami whatever the original price of the game was then everyone's a winner.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 11:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Ethical Question: Suikoden II & Emulation Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The Hot Ice wrote:
As I already mentioned, you probably can't get originals from Konami anymore, and there is an upcoming PSP re-release. Sure, you can go out and buy a PSP for $299 cdn (you, not me, I'm a student) and wait for the games, but buying a system for two games is illogical.


Buying a console for two games is a totally reasonable thing to do. I bought an N64 for Ogre Battle 64 (later picked up Zelda: Ocarina of Time). How many people bought a Playstation for Final Fantasy VII? How many people bought a Gamecube for Metroid Prime, or will buy a Gamecube for Zelda: Twilight Princess? How many people bought a Nintendo DS for Nintendogs?

The problem, of course, is that the Suikoden I and II release has not been announced for North American release, to my knowledge, which means that even if you do buy a PSP, you're not going to be able to play the games.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2005 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

well, i first played the I and II on the emulator but since bought I and II(with the crappy ass strategy guide)

I got one for like nothing on Ebay but II was like 60 something...well worth it.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2005 3:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

1) How much did you pay for Suikoden/Suikoden II? I don't remember exactly; I think between 40 and 50 dollars for my first copy, which was purchased new from a shop. When it eventually began to get scarred up, I went and bought a second, used copy from the game store for about $20 dollars, I believe.

2) Did you get it on eBay? Nope, I always checked the local shops first because it's very rare to find used games on sale for $100 plus there, unlike on e-bay. More limited market with stock that needs to move + less niche users willing to pay = lower prices...but rarer copies.

I do stand against pirating Suikoden II if the rerelease hits American shores. I'm sorry, but there is no good ethical reason to pirate it if it is readily available and you really must own it. I mean, if you needed a school book and couldn't afford it, would you:

a) save up and pay for it
b) buy a used copy
c) steal someone else's book

Of course, a school book has an advantage in that it doesn't require a new piece of software to use, but a portable game system isn't so expensive that, even on a student buget, it's not impossible to save for. (If you're willing to work for it, likely, mind you. I could earn $299 US doing a minimum wage, barely full time (40 hours) job within one and a half weeks. Even part time (arbitrarily - 20 hours), I could earn it in 2 and a half weeks - hardly forever. (Of course, there are likely other bills to be paid, but I'm just pointing out it isn't an impossible amount of money to come by.) Even by saving $20 dollars a week for a month, I could afford it in about 15 weeks - only three months, which is not long at all.

And I don't think it's ridiculous to buy a system for a limited amount of games. I personally decide whether or not one is worth my hard earned money by how many games on it I a) like and b) would realistically be able to get my grubby mitts on and play. Of course, price and other features factor in, but games is probably the first or second biggest concern for me.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2005 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

1)Suiko I = $34.99 Suiko II = $16.99 Both in good condition with original cases and instructions.

2) Nope and nope. Bought Suiko I in the used PSX section of my local game shop. Suiko II was sold at my local video store. Yeah, I scored big on that one.

As far as the whole emulation thing, I'm not entirely certain, but I think that it's perfectly legal to own an emulated copy of a game for over 24 hours if you either own a physical copy of the game, or (I think) if the copyright of the game wears off. For example, you can legally emulate Pong and other games from the Atari and (i think) early NES era, because the 20(-ish) year limitation on those games are wearing off. Or, let's say that I have a copy of...Xenogears. This copy doesn't work anymore for any given reason, or I've lost my PSX memory card. I can legaly own an emulated copy of the game.

And while you bring up a valid point, I agree with Sophita that it's a big no-no if it hits your country on the PSP and you do this illegally.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2005 3:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I see no harm in emulating Suikoden 2 as no profits will be heading torwards Konami now that it has ceased production. The only people losing out on the money are the dorkfaces on eBay selling copies for $100+.

Also, that whole 24 hour rule reguarding roms: It's bullcrap. That was just made up. Nintendo themselves have said that it's illegal to have a rom in your posession during any period of time.
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