It’s a rainy, dreary Saturday here in Ireland today. I figured I would spend my morning setting up a video capture rig and begin transferring some of my prized video cassettes and Laserdiscs to digital format for safe keeping. I dug out a box that holds my small, but perfectly formed collection of cassettes and began filing through to select what to record first. A petite cardboard slipcase was snuggled in between a couple of Gamest DoDonpachi cassettes, I reached in and dug it out to reveal some glorious artwork by Masamune Shirow. What I had retrieved was a promotional cassette tape for Lords of Thunder (Japanese title: Winds of Thunder/ウィンズ オブ サンダー ). With a runtime of just 7 minutes, I figured this would be an ideal cassette to capture first and so I popped in the tape, hit record and settled in to watch this short video.
The photos I have taken specifically for this article are possibly historic. For it is possibly the first time ever that these 4 (not so) little Laserdiscs have ever been photographed together. As a group. As a full set.
It has taken me just over 2 years to complete this small set of Laserdiscs. The first title, Darius Gaiden, I acquired merely by stumbling upon it from a ‘typical online research’ session (definition: entering a search term and an hour later realising you have about 90 browser tabs open as you delve further and further to the outer boundaries of the vacuous Internet).
“I became curious as to whether other Darius titles had appeared on Laserdisc or other formats. My obsession started right there and has not waned.”
Initially I thought Darius Gaiden would be the easiest of the four to acquire. It is certainly, in my opinion, the most desirable of the four titles as it is the only disc to feature a live action Darius movie. I believe I have been proven wrong. At the time of writing, I have not seen this title appear for sale on Laserdisc since. A VHS release appeared for sale once but that is it. In fact the only photos I can find of it are photos I have posted online myself! In my opinion I believe Darius Gaiden to be the most difficult of the four titles to track down.