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the girl with violets in her lap [userpic]

not the thoughtful, passionate post on vital social issues that I've been meaning to make

January 25th, 2011 (01:13 am)

current mood: curious

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


(Deleted comment)
Posted by: Susan Jane Bigelow (shashalnikya)
Posted at: January 25th, 2011 11:42 am (UTC)

This was exactly my thought, that it was Dragon Warrior. I totally loved that game.

Posted by: Shanna (siobhankha)
Posted at: January 25th, 2011 08:06 pm (UTC)

I also totally thought of Dragon Warrior. And I, too, loved that game.

Posted by: Chris Schmidt (crschmidt)
Posted at: January 25th, 2011 11:12 pm (UTC)

Yep, also thought of Dragon Warrior. (Which actually did have progression -- you were meant to follow a series of dungeons/areas, picking up better gear, in order to first complete the bridge to the final castle with the rainbow drop, and then go into that castle and beat the end bad guy. But it was not particularly obvious, I expect, unless you did a lot of playing or reading about it. Which I did, somehow, though I'm not sure how since at the time I didn't have the internet. Possibly Nintendo Power.)

Posted by: Pythian Habenero (lienne)
Posted at: January 25th, 2011 12:07 pm (UTC)
emotions: all smiles

I have fond, fond memories of Super Mario. I can't actually remember which Super Mario it was. Brothers? World? But I'd know it by sight. I loved that game.

Also, Secret of Mana. ♥_♥

Posted by: Chris Schmidt (crschmidt)
Posted at: January 25th, 2011 11:13 pm (UTC)

Brothers is the one in Kylie's Icon. Super Mario World was for the SNES and looked like this. Another common one was Super Mario Brothers 3, which had a movie made around it, and had a first world map that looked like this.

Posted by: Pythian Habenero (lienne)
Posted at: January 26th, 2011 12:39 am (UTC)
ed norton: TinyNorton approves!!!

It was World, then. :D

Posted by: Brandoch Daha (ticktockman)
Posted at: January 25th, 2011 01:31 pm (UTC)

You might try asking in whatwasthatone.


Posted by: Writer's Blog (megancrewe)
Posted at: January 25th, 2011 02:23 pm (UTC)

Wish I could help you remember, but that game description doesn't ring any bells for me!

I played a little Mario and the other classics (my face Mario was I think 2, the one where you could play as the princess), but the only games I loved enough to play regularly and all the way through were the early Final Fantasys. So much love for FF4 (which was 2 when I first played it). I liked the game play that was relatively simple and didn't require much fine motor coordination but encouraged strategy, and the simple but character-based story.

Posted by: Damian (fanboy_of_zeus)
Posted at: January 25th, 2011 03:39 pm (UTC)

When I was nine, we moved to a new house. There were a few weeks between when we bought the house and when we actually moved in, but we went to explore it a bit at the beginning of that time, and discovered that the previous owners had left some stuff behind - a chair that was on the verge of falling apart, some random trash, and a Nintendo set with maybe half a dozen games. We took it home, set it up, and played with it as much as we could.

Then we actually moved, and before we did, Mom gave it to the neighbors. I begged and begged her to let us keep it, but the more I begged, the more determined she was to have it out of the house because she didn't want us wasting time playing with it.

That being the case, I didn't really get a chance to play video games until I started dating a gamer in college. At which point my favorite was quite definitely his X-Box D&D Heroes game. It'd let you play it through several times with the same characters, who just kept getting stronger and stronger and accumulating items and money - we may've even hit the cap for how much gold it'd let you have, I can't remember. But there were plenty of monsters to fight, and my character had a big shiny sword and this magic power that'd let him basically smack the ground and send out a shockwave that'd stun all the monsters around. He was pretty much unkillable by the time we stopped playing - and the irony was, I'd named him Doomed; when we first started playing I had trouble getting the hang of it, so my first several characters didn't even make it through the tutorial and I finally gave up on giving them interesting names 'cause I was sure this one wouldn't last five minutes anyway.

...And I *still* want video games of my very own, damn it.

But no, as a kid I had to make do with computer games - which were fun too, I'm not denying that. Used to love the King's Quest games - played V a bit, made it about halfway through VI, and played VII through so many times I've got the whole thing memorized. Same for Torin's Passage (by the same company), which I was actually just thinking of this morning; you play this farmboy whose family's just been stolen by an evil witch, and he has to go on a quest down through all the layers of the world to the witch's lair at the very center, trying to get them back. He had a shapeshifting pink dog, too.

Posted by: kokopellinelli (kokopellinelli)
Posted at: January 25th, 2011 06:33 pm (UTC)
Cake is the only thing that matters

I started with the original Nintendo. Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario 2. I also loved Zelda (though I didn't have it, a neighbor did). Also Metroid and Bubble Bobble. Super Nintendo I played Super Mario 3 and Aladdin (I was SO PROUD of myself when I made it through the scrolling flying carpet level the first time). My friend Becky and I were pretty far along in Mario 3 when my brother erased our saved game. We gave him so much crap about it. He was afraid to ever enter my room again. He still gets defensive when I bring it up. I also enjoyed playing Earthworm Jim and Mario All-Stars at my cousin's.

My brother got a 64 when I was in high school...first 3D Mario and of course Zelda, Ocarina of Time. I have a Wii now. Zelda and Mario are still my all-time favorite games (Paper Mario is actually really hard...at least for me).

Sadly, last time my brother was home he boxed up both his 64 and mine (a hand-me-down from a friend) and sent them to his house in Portland, along with all the games, so we'd have them here (I'm about 30 miles away from him). The package was supposedly delivered, but someone apparently stole it off of his doorstep! I was very disappointed. Our Mario games, Ocarina of Time AND Majora's Mask, gone.

Wow, I guess I really am into the video games. My mom calls it "sign of a misspent youth." Whatever, lady! You paid for half my first Nintendo!

/really long rambly semi-on-topic answer

Posted by: kokopellinelli (kokopellinelli)
Posted at: January 25th, 2011 06:34 pm (UTC)
Has a Herb

Also forgot to mention the Smash Bros games. So much fun!

Okay, I'm done now.

Posted by: telepresence (telepresence)
Posted at: January 26th, 2011 12:42 am (UTC)

It wasn't a Nintendo game, but I suspect you might like an old Playstation game called Tail of the Sun.

Posted by: Nathaniel Wolfthorn (ganimede)
Posted at: January 26th, 2011 03:20 pm (UTC)

The game I remember playing most when I was younger was The Hobbit on a very old Spectrum. It was an amazing game but despite how much I played it, I never completed much more than about 25%. I didn't get into consoles really until I got my Nintendo DS. I was more into computers and PC games.

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