Happy 25th birthday and awesome giveway, desnos! I'll be updating my post with more memories, but here's what I have so far. They aren't chronological but I will try to sort them if I get a chance.
1. My parents getting a Super Nintendo and Street Fighter II for Christmas one year. I had been anticipating it for so long, and I can't count the number of hours I spent playing that game with my brothers and friends.
2. Playing some of the early Sierra Quest games. King's Quest 1, 5, and 6; Police Quest 1 and 3; Space Quest IV. Those games got me interested in adventures.
3. Playing Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers. That game opened my eyes to a whole different way stories could be told in computer games. It was so amazing - dark, mature, and gothic. So memorable especially with an wonderful, moody soundtrack. I felt like I was in New Orleans myself.
4. Beating the last level of Goldeneye on N64 under the bonus goal (I think the goal was 2 min 15 seconds). I tried so many times and finally got it in something like 1 min 55 seconds. It was a huge relief!
5. When I was young I also tried writing my own games in BASIC. Simple text adventures based on things like Star Wars. I shared these with a few friends and they seemed to enjoy the games.
6. Beating Star Wars: Rebel Assault II in one sitting at a friend's house. It wasn't too difficult of a game. I loved the cinematics, though. Really impressive for the time.
7. A friend of mine got Phantasmagoria the week it came out. The following weekend I went to his house to sleep over. We stayed up all night playing that game. There's a part in the end of the game where you're in a deathly situation. We were so tired and couldn't figure it out, but then I had an epiphany and solved the puzzle. Sadly my mom arrived to pick me up before we could finish the game together, but when I arrived home I immediately called him to ask if he had beaten the game yet.
8. One summer after high school a bunch of friends and I decided to have a league/tournament for NHL '95 on Sega Genesis. It was a fun blast from the past to play that game again, since it had been some years. I made it to the finals at the end of the summer but my friend destroyed me. Another friend acted as the league commissioner, keeping stats of all our players throughout the season. Just an all around great time to spend with friends.
9. A general memory was playing game demos from the discs that came with PC Gamer magazine. I loved trying out all the new games (at least the ones our computer could handle). One of my favorite demos was The Curse of Monkey Island. I must have replayed it 20 times. I never had the game, so hopefully it will one day land on GOG.
10. The first time I played Wolfenstein 3D I was blown away. Same with Doom. The FPS was the coolest thing I had seen up to that point.
11. I loved FMV cinematics. One of my favorite sequences was the opera in Gabriel Knight 2. It was a moment where you could just sit back and relax for 10 minutes as the game rewarded you for making it that far.
12. Beating Legend of Zelda. It was so epic. When I defeated Ganon I felt like I had actually saved the world. I spent a long time playing that game with my brothers, so there was a big investment and payoff.
13. The final stages of Super Castlevania on SNES. The entire game is great, but the last few levels are really awesome. The music track "Bloody Tears" in Stage A
is unforgettable. And I love when the main theme kicks in
during the fight with Dracula.
14. One day playing Tecmo Bowl on NES at my friend's house, I managed to kick a 70 yard field goal. The record was 65 yards by my friend's brother, and he was a little mad when I beat it. All I did was press a button and the game did the rest. :P
15. My family got a new computer around the time CD-ROM became popular in the mid-90s. We didn't really have a good computer before that, so just being able to try out some games was awesome. Our neighbor had The 7th Guest so he brought it over for us to try out. Seeing that technology on a computer was really eye-opening.
16. When my older brother came home from college he had a bunch of games I never heard of. One of them was Grand Theft Auto. During my gameplay I accidentally deleted my brother's save file. He was in the final city, so in order to not upset him I had to make up for the lost progress in just a couple days before he would find out. He did find out but didn't mind too much, especially since I recovered about 75% of his save.
17. We visited my out of state relatives one summer, and my cousin had the SW: X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter. I hadn't played a PC game with a joystick before (e.g. when I played Wing Commander 3 I just used the keyboard). But when I tried the joystick it was so much cooler. I never owned a joystick but I remember in that moment feeling a game like X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter was a true space combat simulation.
18. I also loved arcade games. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, X-Men, and SImpsons ones were probably my favorites. One afternoon at the arcade I managed to get to the last level in X-Men playing with a couple kids I didn't know. It was pretty cool, just playing games and having fun with strangers who had the same interests.
19. My first multiplayer experience was with Warcraft II. A friend really wanted to play it so he lent me a CD. It took forever to get the connection working on that slow dial-up. I sucked at the game, but it was a great feeling just to play online against someone head to head over the internet.
20. One Friday I rented Super Return of the Jedi and played it all night, beating it by the morning. I don't think I moved at all, other than possibly going to the bathroom.
21. Beating Riven. That game is HARD, but it is really a beautiful piece of art. I needed a little help from walkthroughs to finish the game, but I still felt like I had accomplished enough on my own to warrant feeling satisfied.
22. Mario Kart 64! I loved Super Mario Kart as well, but the N64 version was even more fun. I played that game so much with friends. I remember one time in battle mode where I only had one shell left for the longest time yet still managed to eliminate three other people and win. For some reason that stands out to me because I remember my friend being upset and throwing the controller at the ground when I got him with a carefully placed banana peel to win the match.
23. Tekken Tag on PS2. I wasn't great at this game and mostly button mashed, but like other memories it's something I spent a lot of time playing at someone's house. Really fun game.
24. The ending of Braid. I never saw it coming, but when it happened I almost expected it. That game had a really deep emotional core, something that I appreciated for the developer to want to connect with the players on such a level. But I still was a little depressed for some time after finishing Braid. It made me think a little bit.
25. The first time playing Donkey Kong Country. That game seemed like it set a new bar for video games. The graphics were awesome and the gameplay was fantastic. The way Rare did the 3D characters was quite impressive, and that game sort of reinvigorated my interest in games since at that time I had gotten a little bored.
- Being so frustrated with dying in Contra then one day learning that there was a code to get 30 lives.
- My friend bringing Mortal Kombat over to play on Sega, and entering the blood code when my parents weren't around.
- Beating The Last Express. One of the true gems of PC gaming. A brilliant piece of historical fiction. I hope they make a movie one day (Jordan Mechner has a script ready and Paul Verhoeven is set to direct).
- Once when visiting friends of the family, I saw they had an SNES with Mario Paint. I turned it on and the first screen I was was that someone crudely animated two people having sex on a beach. I think those peoples' older son (who was about 17 at the time) did it. LOL.