slammerkinbabe: (!wtf (mario wtf))
So there was this Nintendo game I played as a kid, and I've forgotten the name of it. It was one of my favorite games ever, even though every other Nintendo-player I knew in the world thought it was boring as hell. It was an RPG, I guess, but it was missing most of the things that make an RPG fun. All it was was that you were this little dude wandering around somebody's kingdom. He didn't have any specific tasks or missions or anything and there wasn't any ultimate goal that would end the game. He just wandered around the countryside, and every so often he'd run into a bad guy; the easiest bad guys were nearest the castle and the hard ones were further out. When you met one you had to decide: run away or fight? If you ran away, nothing happened and you wandered around some more. If you stayed and fought and won, you gained experience points and could fight better next time. If you lost, which I'm pretty sure was synonymous with getting killed, you could restart without losing any of your experience points. I know. There's a reason this game bored everyone but me, right? I don't even know why I loved it so much. It's not like it had amazing graphics or anything (I remember the graphics being weak even for 8-bit Nintendo). Part of it, maybe, was because it was different from other Nintendo games in that there was never any particularly bastardly bad guy who drove you crazy but you HAD to beat him because otherwise the princess would never get rescued. And you never had to start over completely, so dying was pretty much consequenceless. I think when you died you got sent back to the central palace and had to "start over", but since you retained your experience points, you could make your way back to wherever you'd been before with ease.

Anyway, the other thing I loved about this game was its particular brand of adventure. This adventure was supplied far more by my imagination than by the creators of the game, but I did love the sense of gaining strength and moving steadily forward into deeper danger and mystery. The thing I loved best was the specific names of all the enemies you fought. At the beginning they were some pitiful little things, I forget what, and the scariest thing you might hit would be a magician or a wizard. (For some reason I remember those as being early on but then a warlock as being way far out and incredibly difficult, but I could be misrembering, because what?) At first I would be so happy when I could beat one of those. But I'd keep going and all the enemies would be these great things from old fantasy lore, and soon magicians would be old hat (har) and you'd have new scary/awesome things to beat, and the element of surprise was just the best. Were you going to stumble into some harmless troll you could take out with one shot, or would you turn the corner and be face-to-face with a griffin? If you met the griffin, should you take the risk? I will never forget the shivers that shot down my spine every time I ran into a wyvern. I didn't even know exactly what a wyvern was, but the name, and the vague grainy pixelated shape on the screen, and especially the sheer amount of life it took off me every time I took a hit from it wete enough. It was one of the highlights of my childhood when I took down my first wyvern.

I was getting to the point where I could tangle with chimeras when my cousin Chris erased my game. I still haven't totally forgiven him.

Why am I on about this now? Well, because I now have both an original NES and a Super Nintendo emulator* on my Droid. I got the NES one awhile back, but it's only recently that somebody put together an app that compiles a listing of all available ROMs that are compatible with the Nesoid system. All of a sudden there are hundreds and hundreds of games available to me, and I desperately want this one! Only I can't remember the name of it.

What was your game of choice growing up, kids? Mario? Zelda? Megaman? Final Fantasy? Donkey Kong? Paperboy? Yo! Noid? Maybe it was for Atari or Sega and I never heard of it. Maybe it was for Nintendo 64 or PSwhatever and you think I'm an old fogey. Maybe it was Pong and I think you're an old fogey.** Anyway, let's reminisce. What were you playing at the birth of the technological era?***

And what *was* the name of that game?


*Nesoid and Snesoid, and if any of you with Droids want to relive your childhoods while riding the subway, I *highly* recommend them. They cost like $3 or $4 each and all the games are free.1 So worth it, at least to me.

**Actually I would not think that, for the very good reason that my parents gave me a hand-me-down Pong game when I was a kid and I played it plenty, believe you me. Oh God I really did play the most boring games in the world.

***N.B.: "Board games" is an acceptable answer. I will be appropriately abashed.

1Although of course you mustn't download any games that you don't own. You'll note that I own whatever game it is I'm describing here. I just don't know exactly where it is. Probably in a box in my parents' attic, and I'm allergic to their attic.

Posted via LjBeetle
slammerkinbabe: (wee me)
When I was a kid, I read an article in Highlights magazine that gave excellent instructions on how to pour out a bottle of water. It explained that if you upended the bottle and then swirled it around clockwise, the water would form a whirlpool at the mouth of the bottle, and it would all flow out much faster! Highlights helpfully suggested that you challenge your friends to a bottle-pouring-out contest, so you could make them feel like morons for not being able to empty a bottle as fast as you. Good times!

Not having any friends as a kid, I challenged my mom to a bottle-pouring-out contest instead. You can imagine the way my world tilted on its axis when I swirled my bottle around just the way Highlights had instructed, and the water DID go out faster -- but my mother still beat me! Because she *squeezed* her bottle! At first I accused her of cheating. Then, when I realized that if my mother was cheating in bottle-pouring-out contests there truly could be no rationality in the universe whatsoever, I said that it must have been a “mistake”. Physics made a mistake that day, my friends. Highlights magazine said so.

Cut to twenty years later. I am emptying out the remainder of a bottle of horrid Aquafina FlavorSplash (Raspberry! With Other Natural Flavors) in the bathroom sink here so I can refill it with normal water that has not been splashed with flavor.* Since the bottle itself has been tainted by pallid ghosts of raspberries long since passed, this requires me to refill and empty the bottle several times by way of exorcism.

And so the bottle goes swirl swirl swirl, and the whirlpool forms at the mouth, and out the water goes in a shining circular arc. And then I refill it, and swirl swirl swirl again, and watch in dumb 9 am stupefaction as the water pours out in another shining arc. And I’m three shining arcs in before I remember that physics didn’t actually break that day that my mother and I competed to empty a bottle the fastest. And that, therefore, I should be squeezing my bottle.

And I tried that for two seconds. And my hand resisted. It did not want to squeeze the bottle. Somewhere in the back of my head a little voice was wailing plaintively “yeah but Highlights SAID!

So I gave in to the inevitable and went back to swirling the bottle again. I lost about thirty seconds of my life. But the little person with the little voice was happy.

I guess you never quite recover from a Highlights childhood.


*I got this affront to drinkable liquids everywhere when I was in a Dunkin Donuts and I wanted to get a Diet Coke, but they were a Pepsi place, so I asked for a Diet Pepsi, but they didn’t have Diet Pepsi, so I looked at what sodas they did have and it was Sierra Mist and three flavors of Crush, so then I went to get a water and they had five rows of Aquafina FlavorSplash Raspberry! water and no normal water.1 WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING TO ME, DUNKIN DONUTS.

1In answer to your inevitable question, I needed to be able to carry the water in my purse, so I couldn’t get it in a cup. Besides, Dunkin Donuts now charges for water in a cup. They put ice in it and call it a Blizzard Blast or something like that. I guess giving it a brand name justifies charging fifty cents for tap water.
slammerkinbabe: (!childhood (wee me))
Do any of you remember a computer game called Chicanamerica?

childhood reminiscences )


slammerkinbabe: (Default)

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