Sunday, March 30, 2008

It taunted me for 15 years

When I was a child, I played a lot of video games. I don't think this effected me negatively, because video games have, in all honesty and seriousness, been perhaps one of the most consistently beneficial influences I've had in my life.

Ever since I was a child, when I meet someone new, if I find out they've played anything from Xenogears to Metal Gear to Super Smash Bros. to Halo, or are big fans of the Final Fantasy or even Mario series, I have something in common and something to talk with them about. Most recently, this occurred with a rather famous celebrity who was starring in the movie I was working on. I nonchalantly asked him what he does when he's not working on a movie or tv show and he casually replied, "I play a lot of video games." From there on, it was as simple as asking him what his favorite games were, and bingo, we were good friends from that day on. We went go-karting the last week of the shoot. It was a blast.

I bring this up because today, I finally passed a game called The Guardian Legend, which has very little to do with guardians and nothing to do with legends. It's a game I first played on the NES when I was about 5. I remembered it being very difficult - one of the few games I couldn't pass or even get very far on. For some reason, the game always stuck with me, and periodically I would have an urge to play it. A few years back such an urge came over me and I located a flash version of the game on a website. I played it for about 10 minutes, realized the game is in fact hard, and wandered away from my computer. Earlier today, the same urge hit, but this time, I downloaded the ROM, an NES emulator, and hooked up my gamepad to my macbook and started going through the game. About 4 hours and several repressed curses later, I passed it, with my brother giving me a high five. We also found out that the main character is apparently female...and kinda cute in an 8-bit anime sort of way.

It was hard at parts. It was far from an easy game, but it was actually pretty fun. I'm not sure why, but I feel like this is actually an accomplishment of some kind. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense, that passing an old NES game that most people have never heard of should count as an accomplishment, but it does. The game taunted me for nearly 15 years, being one of the few NES games I wanted to pass but never did. Now it's been crossed off the list.

I'm not sure what game will be next on the list of nostalgic gaming urges, but I hope it's as fruitful as this one was.

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