Yesterday we ran an article on David Garrett who claims he worked for SNK. Originally I had planned on writing the followup article covering the second half of his story. Though after recent developments, I thought it best to take a look at the other side.
As with all stories there are always two sides. After David posted his story, some questions, comments, and accusations were posed. We at Substance TV always want to be fair and unbiased with our coverage of these stories. As a long time member of the Neo Geo community, I want to make sure the truth comes out. Not only to satisfy our curiosity, but for the betterment of the community. While his story certainly sounds believable, there have been claims from other members of the Neo Geo community to the contrary. There are those who believe the story, others who say he’s a fraud and a phony, and still more with questions.
This story is developing minute to minute and we are closely following it to make sure you have the most up to date information. Please keep this in mind as I can guarantee you the truth behind all of this will soon be revealed. If you haven’t read the original article, take a minute to do so. Otherwise this may be a bit confusing to you.
Questions, Questions, and More Questions:
If you’ll remember a few months back, a story was ran both here and many major gaming websites about a copy of Aero Fighters 3 selling for a whopping $30,000. Where the game came from was never fully revealed. Though the buyers had enough proof of the cart’s authenticity to feel comfortable laying down that kind of cash. David claims in his story he was in fact the source of the infamous Aero Fighter 3 cart.
This, along with other claims David made, brought up questions concerning the legitimacy of his story. Some were of the curious nature while others were asked out of doubt. I’ve combed through the thread and picked out the questions I felt were most pertinent and interesting.
“You keep calling SNK a “young” company. It was founded in 1978. It developed arcade games for over a decade before the Neo (here’s the list at KLOV). Why did they need a bunch of green employees to develop hardware in the US?”
- Aria, neo-geo.com forum moderator
“Yet another opportunity to give us the 1st hint of proof that your story isn’t a complete farce: I propose that you show pictures of your stock of 12 pack AES cases for games that were actually released. Not commons that can be readily purchased by anyone for $10/each in bulk (which btw, aren’t even in factory cases but in some unofficial mass shipping box), something of merit to prove your claims of having purchased cases of each new AES release. I suggest providing these pictures within this week + weekend, not weeks from now.”
- Shawn, owner of neo-geo.com
“Where was SNK headquartered? Where was Video System headquartered? I see that Video System had a US office set up for distribution, but all the development would have taken place in Japan. You say that “people from all over SNK would attend these meetings”. What was your job title again? I’m a little confused how someone at a US office, handling US arcade hardware, would be so heavily into software decisions in Japan. You seem to know an awful lot about a third party developer. How did that come about? How many samples were employees allowed to take during your time at SNK USA?”
- Aria, neo-geo.com forum moderator
There are those who believe what David had to say. Whether it was the pictures, physical proof, or the story itself, they feel he is who he says he is. Below are some of the comments by those individuals.
“The smoking gun was that 4 layered Fatal fury insert. That right there absolutely proves the source is legit. In all seriousness, it looks like I was right when I predicted that the source would only have a bunch of printed SNK shit that is most likely fabricated. And that box full of SSII jap versions is a real convincing… way to show us a pic of the most common jp aes game ever.”
- Colorado Rockie, neo-geo.com forum member
“Guys…David is not going to come on here and answer for every single little question that everyone has. The guy just wrote a freakin’ term paper for God’s sake. Give him a little time, and I’m sure he will reply to a few key questions here and there. But not all. Surely he does not give a flying fuck what color the carpet was in the tech room at SNK. Let’s stick to the questions that matter.”
- SuperGun, neo-geo.com forum member
“I personally have conducted business with David and not only is he professional, but he takes care of his customers. I think the majority of you forget why you fell in love with SNK/NG in the first place. He’s a hint, it’s really not all this drama and petty bickering. Do anyone you “elites” even play the games you own anymore? The man makes the BEST MVS converter and the 161-in-1 home cart is amazing quality. So what, if some of those SS2 carts were SACed, I honestly don’t care. Stop throwing daggers at the man. This posting was very informative on the process a 3rd party goes through soup to nuts and the thought of a 12/16 slot MVS PCB/proto is amazing.”
- shaung, neo-geo.com forum member
There are also those who don’t believe David’s story. In fact there was a previous forum posting detailing what some see as proof of fraud and deception on the part of David. Below are some of the comments by those individuals.
“My only qualm with what he’s shown (i like that ff cover btw) is anyone here who has a brain and can use a soldering iron can make that “test board” with ease.”
- Seta, neo-geo.com forum member
“Seriously? You expect us to believe that as a gamer you can’t recall what office(s) you were employed at with SNK? You claimed to have been employed with SNK from age 25 to 30+. Most would consider this a period of adulthood and your employment during this age range as a career. A most memorable and proud time in your life, was it not?”
- Shawn, owner of neo-geo.com
As I said before, this story is still rapidly developing and we are waiting to hear back from David about these questions. I can tell you some of the top brass at the neo-geo.com forums have information that will reveal the truth behind this entire situation in the days to come. For the time being we’ll let you make up your own mind.
UPDATE: A confirmed ex-employee of SNK has brought to light some interesting information that brings Mr. Garrett’s claims into serious question.
The Neo Geo was designed in Japan. At no time have I ever heard of any of the chips for it being designed in the USA. Mr. Fukatsu also designed games which we sold which would be the ancestors of the Neo Geo as the circuit and design were conceptually identical with some changes.
- Tony, confirmed ex-employee of SNK
Brian is the Managing Director here at Substance TV. He is the host of Substance TV, Game Grief, and co-host of Substance TV LIVE. A graphic designer by trade, his other love of 15 years is the bass guitar. Though he shares his love with his family as well. Luckily he has a wife who supports his video game game addiction, and his two amazing children. You can find him on Google + or via his Twitter @fortressfruit.