There's been more bad news for SNES game archivist and emulator maker Byuu, who earlier this week we reported had lost $10k of game cartridges in the post.
Byuu's parcel had been en route to him in the US from a collector in Germany, but after arriving on US soil was misplaced by the US Postal Service (USPS).
Today, Byuu finally received confirmation from USPS of the package's disappearance - along with a fragment of ripped packaging. A note from USPS speaks of "damage by normal machine processing at our facility" - but there's nothing of the parcel left save for its address label.
Writing on Reddit, a furious Byuu had reached the logical location the $10k package of vintage games "was stolen".
After weeks of waiting and no response from USPS' customer service, it was the worst possible news - and the generic excuse slip clearly angered him.
"They shipped me the motherf***ing box label and nothing else, claiming the machine ate it. BULLS***," he wrote. "If the label came off, it'd belong to the box right next to it without a label.
"The USPS employees in Jersey City just stole a $10k package of games. This is felony theft. Please spread this as far and wide as you can. I'll be contacting all the press I can as well.
"I'm also looking for a good lawyer. I've set up a Patreon page. If anyone is able to help me with replacing this donor's games, I would be very grateful. I also have a Paypal account if you'd prefer, and you can PM me for that. Thank you!"
This evening, I spoke with Byuu. He was calmer but no less upset - and just as adamant about what has happened.
Could there have been any issue with the package, as USPS claimed? The slip suggests the recipient hadn't packaged their parcel properly.
"I have spoken with the sender and he advised that the Deutsche Post helped him package the shipment," Byuu explained, "[they] recommended the use of very heavy wrapping paper and tape to bind the two smaller boxes I used to return his previous 100 games.
"So even if the label were moved, the boxes would still have my name and address as the sender, his as the recipient. but obviously with older postage."
What about the remnants of the parcel he received - were there any clues there?
"The top and bottom of that label were clean cut, the sides were torn. But certainly, if I were going to steal the games, this would be how I'd do it.
"And I am sickened to have to panhandle and beg people to help me pay for this."How a tiny studio invented Diablo, and the action RPG 'All the technology we built was based on a single screen grab from X-Com.'
Discussions between Byuu and others trying to help out on Reddit have brought up the possibility of contacting the USPIS - the postal service's own internal investigation service. But there are difficulties getting them involved, as Byuu explained:
"I don't know how to get them involved. I cannot submit a USPIS investigation because I do not have proof of the theft. I absolutely cannot get anyone from USPS to talk to me. They all just give me the run around and refer me to online forms that are ignored, like the missing mail search."
The USPIS seems to be more aimed at "employees reporting other employees", he continued, and while some USPS workers have said they will pass along information of the case to their superiors within the service, hope of any breakthrough now seems slim.
"I am terrified that these games are lost forever, and don't know what to do," Byuu concluded. "I am just anxiously watching my inbox for replies from the few USPS employees who saw the story and reached out to me.
"I am still hoping for a call from someone that will take ownership on this."