Strawberry (Level 2)
The Summer of Retro
This story takes place about 8 years ago, when I was 9 years old.
It was the year of Nintendo that year. Zelda: the Ocarina of Time had come out he previous year, and everyone was riding with all the hype of Nintendo, which wasn't necessarily a bad thing. At least, for them it wasn't.
Up until last year, I just had my NES. But there wasn't anything wrong with that, I loved it! I had been playing it since I was two years old (seriously), and I still found a lot of enjoyment in it. However, when the N64 came around, I was swept up in the hype. I was amazed by the 3D graphics of Super Mario 64, awed by the feedback-giving teammates in Starfox 64. but most of all, I was intimidated by the vast area of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
That year, my family decided to have a Fourth of July BBQ. Nothing out of the ordinary, just a family get-together, including some relatives I hadn't seen since I was even younger. Throughout most of the day and night, I ignored everybody. I was down in my basement playing with my N64, trying so desperately hard to beat Ganondorf, or trying to finally achieve that medal on Venom in Starfox 64. Toward the end of the night, I had done it. I had beaten him for the first time, and I felt like I could take on the world.
By this point, a few people were downstairs trying to keep me company, including one "somewhat inebriated" uncle. Before I could even start to enjoy the ending, he got up, came over and hugged me, trying to congratulate me. He had a beer in hand, spilling dangerously close to my beloved system.
For a second, everything appeared to be in slow motion. But this is probably me just being over dramatic because I was upset. In the next ten seconds, a few things happened that will stand out forever to me. There was a loud crackle, black smoke rising from my N64, me screaming and sobbing, and then my drunk uncle trying to say that it was fine.
Everyone left the basement after that, and I was alone with my dead console. I looked at it like I had lost a brother, and I cried for most of the night. Now, my family wasn't too well off, not enough so that they could go out and buy me a brand new system at the drop of a pin (they weren't too keen on the idea anyway, even with the money). Everything was a blur after that day, though. Not in the "so many things were happening", but the way in which nothing is happening, and nothing stands out.
Skip ahead to August of the same year. I was still console-less. For a child who centered an entire life towards video games, I was heartbroken. I was on the way moving things up into the attic for my Mom, mostly sweaters and such, when i realized I had never really been up in the attic before. I took a look around. A few Ghostbusters toys in this box (Which still remain there today!), a few action figures over there. I opened up another box, an old, dusty cardboard box with the top separated. I saw two things, only one of which I recognized. The one on top was a strange black and faux wooden box, with a few switches and a slot on top. "Video Computer System", it said on top. I took that out with some cartridges that I assumed went into it, and was in shock to find my old NES under it, with all the games I had.
It was like finding a lost love...All the memories of beating Dr. Wily, of saving the princess, of so many things that I had done on it. I even thought of all the hours I spent in my basement, even earning the nickname "the Troll" from my parents and siblings. Yeah, thanks a lot for the support, guys.
I brought them both downstairs into my basement immediately, and started playing with my NES. I played all my old favorites, but I couldn't help but wonder about the other console, the Atari 2600, as my Dad identified it. I plugged it in, already having found myself not enjoying it. I was raised on NES, and I was taking a step back? I wasn't even doing this for nostalgia! However, I made a promise to myself that I would at least give it half an hour of my time, and I did. I played it for more than half an hour. That night, I ended up having a 3 hour session that ended way past my bedtime!
For the rest of the summer, everyone else in town was enjoying their N64 and Playstation, but I was happy with my old-school equipment. I was proud of it. I soon started my friends into retro gaming, and I consider that one of my best summers ever.
Later on down the line, I got an N64 for Christmas, but I was really indifferent about it. I was still hooked on my 2600 and NES! This probably pissed my parents off more than a little bit, but I didn't mind. I had been going to garage sales, sometimes finding new NES games there to add to my tiny little collection.
Now, I still have the 2600 somewhere in my house, and my NES is up in Boston, as I let my sister borrow it. She promised to bring it back by the end of August, which I'm now definitely looking forward to!
Last edited by Apollo; 07-06-2007 at 08:02 AM.
Pac-Man (Level 10)
I'd make a few edits to clear up some confusion:
1) You talk about black smoke rising from your NES. I'm guessing you meant your newer N64, right?
2) When you talk about discovering your 'beloved NES' -- at that point you haven't mentioned it before, so I don't know that you had an NES before. I'd consider adding something to the beginning about how you loved your NES but were now playing the new, hot N64 (thus leaving your old bride at the altar, so to speak). Also, when you "rediscover" the former love of your life (the NES) you probably shouldn't call it beloved as you ditched it for the new system. Maybe your "old flame" -- I don't know, you can be creative with it, but I definitely think you should imply or explicitly explain that you forgot about the old when you got the new, as kids will do.
I've never really "found" an older console that I missed but i've found plenty of old games and series that i never knew about or discounted. Always a fun feeling!
Strawberry (Level 2)
1) Oops. I'll fix that up now.
Originally Posted by smork
2) I hadn't even thought of that. Thanks for the advice, though.
Last edited by Apollo; 07-06-2007 at 08:03 AM.
Pear (Level 6)
Nay. Super NES >> N64 = NES = Wii >>>>>>> Gamecube
Originally Posted by Moo Cow
Anyway, you can be proud of yourself for being one of the few to kill an N64 (Mine has gone through hell & back, and I can still play Zelda 64 without any problems, and it even still looks good)
Banana (Level 7)
To say that the N64 is even in the same class as the NES is nothing short of blasphemy. That blurry ass pile of dog filth cannot compare with one of the best systems ever made.
Originally Posted by PentiumMMX
Take a hike, wang-broom!
I swear I can smell your stinky hands from here!
Pear (Level 6)
You're right: Super NES > N64 = Wii > NES >>>>>>>>>>>>> Gamecube
Originally Posted by smokehouse
Why? Because I can quickly setup an N64\SNES\Wii and start playing in less then 5 minutes, while I have to fight the NES for hours just to play some Zelda, and by the time I get it working, my save file is gone because of the system blinking. The Gamecube, however, can burn in hell for lasting longer then Dreamcast.
Strawberry (Level 2)
No one even commented on the story, except for the first reply
Try to stay on topic...