Recently was my birthday. Having just turned 29, I began thinking of a piece to write that looks back and honors my history in gaming. My thoughts first went to figuring out why I love games so much, and it became quite clear as to what I wanted to write about. I wanted to go back to the beginning and reflect on the first two real moments and games that started me down a road I still walk today. These games are Super Mario World for SNES and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for N64.
Let’s jump right in.
Super Mario World – SNES
This game is a classic. There is no question about it. It is one of those titles that is timeless and still fun and relevant today. Super Mario World was packed in with the Super Nintendo my Mom got me when I was four or five years old, which was in 1992/1993. I can’t tell you how many times we sat there together playing and saving Princess Peach, as a team. If I would get to a difficult spot, she would jump right in and get me through it. It was so much fun and when I look back on it, I can so clearly picture both of us playing together in our old living room.
Those moments stick with you. Not only was this an incredible achievement in gaming, it was an incredible moment in my life that I won’t forget.
Nintendo, as we all know, loves to re-release their old games and I have purchased this one every single time. I have lost count of how many times actually, and I really don’t mind. When I start it up and see that title screen and jump back into the first level, I’m transported back to my childhood with my best friend and mother right by my side.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time – N64
This is another truly special game for me. In 1998, a little guy named Adam Bankhurst was sitting in his living room when his Dad came in with a wrapped present. That day wasn’t even a special holiday, he just sometimes liked surprising my brother and I. When I opened it up, my eyes were treated to the collector’s edition of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, gold cartridge and all.
Now, I had been playing games for a while, but nothing too serious. Then this game comes and hits me like a storm, after the first dungeon that is.
As many of you know, the first boss inside the Great Deku Tree is Queen Gohma. When I got to her lair, I thought it was just another part of the dungeon. I kept walking and looking in every corner of this area, an area I thought was an endless tunnel. Little did I know, probably due to the fact that my TV’s brightness was WAY too low, all I had to do was look up!! It took me probably 10 minutes to finally figure that out! Oops!! Silly young Adam.
After that fiasco, I kept exploring the incredible world Nintendo had crafted and never wanted to leave. When I finished it for the first time, I knew that this was special and was only the beginning of many more experiences like this. It brought me into the world of video games and hasn’t released its grip since.
I have no problem with this. I love games and I always will. They are an escape from reality and a friend that is always there. It gives you a chance to jump into any world and become anyone, it’s simply amazing.
I have “grown-up”. I have a job, a wonderful wife, and many other hobbies and interests, but gaming has never changed for me. It has always been a constant source of enjoyment I can’t get in many other places. I couldn’t be more thankful for that.
So here’s to 29 more years of gaming. Here’s to all those people who work day and night to give us these masterpieces.
Now I want to turn it over to you! What are your first gaming moments? What games or moments stick with you to this day and may have shaped the person you are today? I’d truly love to know!