For this inaugural edition of Gadabout Gamers, I chose the theme of NEStalgia as a reaction to all the recent doomsaying for Nintendo’s future in the wake of the Wii U’s continuing disappointing sales. For many of us, the NES or SNES was our first console and is arguably the machine that really ushered in “The Gaming Generation,” in a way that the arcade era had failed to.
However, while I’m aware of the place of the NES in the history of gaming, I never personally experienced much of that history. Although we finally got an NES in the late 80’s, we never had that many games for it. We’d rent stuff from time to time, but none of us were dedicated enough to finish them in the three meager days we could keep the cartridge for. Because of this, the games that we did play obsessively, like Bubble Bobble and Doctor Mario, are most etched in my mind. Having to share the console with a brother and a sister, games that offered a multiplayer option were favoured.
We couldn’t afford to buy every console that came out, and by the time my brother got an N64 I’d moved on to “grown up” things like boys and shopping. While I did maintain an interest in the medium, it never really became a part of my life. That is, until I moved to Montreal and ended up working in the industry.
Which is where I met Rick. Rick’s history with gaming and the NES specifically, was very different to mine. He grew up gaming. He’d picked out our wedding march at age of fourteen after playing FFVI. He’d been gaming his whole life and video games were a part of his life. And so I’d like to share my favourite NEStalgia story, which actually doesn’t even belong to me. It belongs to Rick’s parents.
Rick’s father worked in computers in the 70’s and 80’s and was very into early PC gaming. His mother, not so much. So, when they finally scraped together enough money to buy their sons an NES for Christmas, Rick’s father couldn’t resist giving The Legend of Zelda a try. Every evening after Rick and his brother went to bed, his mother and father would carefully unpackage the console, hook it up to the TV and make as much progress as they could before packing everything back up before the boys woke up for school.
Rick’s mom would help out by mapping out the location of every single item they’d need in Hyrule. It was all laid out in pencil on graph paper taped together to better chronicle their progress. They still have the maps she drew stashed somewhere in the basement.
As Christmas Day drew closer, she even played the game on her own to make sure Link had what he needed for his clandestine adventures that evening. As it turns out they did manage to finish the game before Christmas Day and neither Rick nor his brother were any wiser.
I really hope you enjoyed this month’s prompt and please don’t forgot to add your post to the Link Up using the widget below:
Next month’s prompt is: I Am/Not My Avatar
Again, this can take any shape you’d like. Pro or con. Essay or art. Take the theme and make it your own.