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Gaming in Your Early Years


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When most people think about gaming, especially their early years, it seems that they often think of just playing games normally. Maybe you didn't know as much as you did now and had to figure a lot of things out on your own, but for the most part it seems everyone still had that general concept of playing through a game from their earliest gaming memories. You pick up Mario and you play each level until you beat Bowser at the end of World 8 and then you've beaten the game. Beating the game is obviously the primary objective of any video game, so it's only natural that your main priority when playing a new one is usually to beat it.

But I've always felt I was in a bit of a different boat. You see, I was born into a house that already had tons of video games to choose from. I had two older brothers who'd amassed quite a collection between christmas and birthday presents as well as spending their own hard-earned money. In a way, I suppose you could call little me a little freeloader. I was born into the era of the N64 and the earliest new game I remember seeing getting unboxed was Pokemon Stadium 2. Back then, the concept of a "new game" was absolutely mind-boggling to me. I'd just kind of assumed all the games we had were all the games there were. So going forward, I would get really excited anytime I went to the store or Blockbuster and saw a game we didn't have. 

The thing is, since I was born into a household with a bunch of games, that also meant I was born into a household with a lot of beaten games. Almost every game I could get my hands on already had a completed save file under one or both of my brothers' names. As a result, the concept of "beating" a game always felt like an "older brother" thing, if that makes sense. It always seemed like such a daunting and impossible task. Any time I would see an enemy, I would freeze up and panic. It wasn't until Wind Waker that I really worked up the courage to "properly" play video games thanks to my older brother's encouragement. 

So, what did I do for fun if I didn't actually "play" the game? Well, my concept of "play" was a lot more literal. Every game I popped into the system, I saw less as a series of objectives to clear and more as a new world to play around in. As a result, I tended to have a preference for games with hub worlds or safe areas free of enemies like Mario 64 or Ocarina of Time. Of all of these games, though, I think my absolute favorite as a kid was Majora's Mask.


It may seem like a strange game for a child who is easily terrified by anything dangerous in a video game to enjoy. And admittedly, there was a lot in this game that I didn't understand and that made me afraid. Just one example, I recall watching my older brother do the infamous "Them" quest in Romani Ranch. In the scene where the aliens appear, they spawn from what looks to be a red star and while waiting for the event to trigger, my brother would stand on the wooden crate in Romani Ranch and stare at a red star in the sky. In my childhood, I interpreted this to mean that staring at the red star in the sky for too long would cause the aliens to attack. As a result, I was absolutely terrified to so much as look up at the night sky at any point in the game. 

But what kept me interested in this game above all others was just how dynamic the game's "hub world," Clock Town was. Within Clock Town, there was absolutely no danger but there was loads to explore in this one area of the game. Secret chests to discover, minigames to play, characters to interact with and follow around... On top of all of that, you also had the transformation masks that allowed you to play as four different versions of Link. It didn't take long for my childhood creativity to kick in and I had created my own little personal roleplay world using Majora's Mask and the various Links as a variety of characters. 


Human Link was the protagonist. He was a normal boy who lived in the Stock Pot Inn with Anju as his mother. Anju's mother was instead her sister and Link's aunt. During the day, Link loved to go out and explore the town and meet with the various characters including the other Links to start all sorts of adventures.


Deku Link was a sad homeless child who was discovered by Human Link in the basement of the clocktower. The child was afraid to leave the clocktower because of the dog outside that would attack him. Link would play with Deku in the basement of the clocktower before eventually helping him to get out with the help of Goron Link to scare the dog away. Ever since, Deku lived in Kafei's house. He and Link would still regularly visit the clocktower to play in the basement by running along the water wheel or jumping across the water.


Goron Link was a sumo wrestler who studied martial arts at the Swordmaster's School. I'd love just playing as Goron Link and punching the gong over and over. He was a big, scary man with a heart of gold. He'd watch out for the little guys and stand up against the bullies. 


Zora Link was always my favorite. He was the town's super hero! He would solve problems, investigate mysteries, and fight (imaginary) bad guys. He would often find himself in situations where he needed help and eventually enlisted the help of Link as his sidekick before creating an entire superhero squad with all of the Links eventually getting involved. While his home remained a mystery at first, when I worked up the courage to explore new areas using the Song of Soaring, Zora Hall became Zora Link's headquarters where the many Links would gather for secret meetings to discuss their missions.


Kafei was the villain of the story. I didn't know much about him other than the fact that he was a suspicious masked child shrowded in mystery--I also thought he was a she. Many of the storylines I'd play out revolved around trying to break into her hideout and see what she was hiding. (I'd seen my brother enter Kafei's hideout, but never known how to. It was just one of the many enigmas surrounding this game).

Majora's Mask is just the biggest example of my overactive imagination when playing video games as a kid. I think this was a big part of why this game is so special to me even today. As a kid I was constantly discovering new things when just tied to this one area and even today, after playing through the game several times, I'm still making new discoveries! I wanted to make this thread because I wanted to open up a discussion on this subject. Did any video games capture your imagintion as a kid? Did you have similar experiences to me, or any other strange situation that gave you a unique view on video games? I would love to hear them!

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I honestly don't know if my experience count because the game i play is basically a game where it has no ending. Yes, i talk about NES game. Surprisingly, most of my family own NES than N64 although i'm born in era of PSone. You see, finding NES game that has ending such as Castlevania or Mario and perhaps bootleg of it is hard thing in my country. You know the cartridge that has words "1k in one" thing? Yes, i got that to play with. Apparently its cheaper to put many games that basically endless and only worth it to people who want to boast their highscore such as donkey kong etc.

Now back on the trail, some of you who see me on discord might realize that i put way too much Excitebike gif. Because yes, like i mention earlier, my gaming in early years is not with N64 but NES so don't expect some Zelda or Mario 64 because it was so pricey for my family AND our pocket money. Honestly i don't know why of all game, i pick that. Over 1k game, i only play that (most played frequently at least). A single player game that teach our reaction when there's obstacle ahead and to avoid those fumbling biker (If you play on mode B). Its kinda addicting because if you know how to land properly, you can beat those time limit (I still having hard time beating 5th level until now). 

It take me one year to realize that you can avoid those small bump, simply by pressing left d-pad. Trust me, those pesky bump is what give people nightmare whenever they play this game in my day. Even my old sibling always throw their d-pad to other when there's stage with bump.

"One false move, and you gonna be in hell of a button mashing unless you got turbo button"

While it may seems "meh" to me, i realize i can't just GAS GAS GAS like nobody business. See the temp UI? Yes, i always wonder why my bike stopped whenever that thing got too high until i realize stand for "Temperature". So in the end, i use the supposed "Nitro" when there's no obstacle and NO WONKY BIKER ahead of me. Every boss fight have pattern but these guys A.I is like Imp/flying heads on Castlevania! But that's the challenge i take because i like it when i see many bike other than me on the track.

The satisfying experience i had in this game is to figure out how you gonna "fly" and "land". If you play it on mode A, you'll realize that the developer already calculate how to beat every obstacle. But as i said before, i like it on mode B so that kind of tips is kinda bit out of context because i also need to react to those wonky driver. That or perhaps i just love to make my life harder for no reason lol.

Whenever i play this with someone else (siblings, friends), boy, let me tell you the house will be full of scream, grunt, and laugh whenever i fall. While the satisfaction for player is to breakthrough obstacle, the satisfaction for the audience is to see how possessed you are mashing the button so the biker can quickly recover and continue the race. Never without single day we got yelled by our elder for being noisy but what the heck, we scream again minutes later. Whilst the game is single player, me and my friend try to figure out how to overcome the obstacle that we deem nasty.

Needless to say, what you expect from spongecake brain of brats? Not much. We just say "Try press this and that", "How about this and that", "I told you it should be this and that! Listen to a pro!" lol.

"Hit A! No, B! Fuck you guys, both! Turbo it is!" *toppled again milliseconds later*

This game didn't ask you to beat every enemy but instead avoid it (Mode B). They didn't ask you to jump and avoid obstacle but instead they want you to face it like macho man in broad daylight with brain. Sure there's other race game but i like this one as this is LITERALLY my first game experience where i absorb its element; when to turbo, when to change lane, how much high you should fly, which position you should take before you land the bike, when to react to wonky enemy, and of course doing your best to not imagine what kind of face you make when your bike is stop, drop, and roll.

TL;DR, this game inspire me that sometime, even hard mode can be fun...provided its beatable (=_=💢)

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  • 1 month later...

Now this seems like a fun topic, and Im surprised there aren't more replies on this! Gaming in my wee days, huh? Alright...

Well, I'll start out by saying I have memories of My cousins Sega Genesis that I would constantly watch him play all the Sonic games on, play Road Rash with him as well as Mortal Kombat. Not sure when this actually started, but we did this for a few years. I remember when he beat Sonic Adventure 1 and 2, showed me the final bosses. Even did this with Resident Evil. And we've always play Melee and Halo. (he had a lot of consoles). Course, as we got older, I started not to go over as much and play games just cause he got to be a sore loser. Games I just picked up I was able to spam things and beat him, and he wasn't happy. Of course, in the past year we've played games again, and are neck and neck with Mario Kart 8. he still gets mad for a second, but he doesnt stay mad. 

...Right, I got sidetracked by what I actually wanted to discuss. Still, a fun memory of my youth anyway. THE YEAR WAS 1998!!! Or before... 1996? 1997? Whatever, we had a computer, and plenty of kid games for me to have fun and play with, learn. Not sure if you count that as a video game. But, I was a kid, thats what my family got. Math blaster, reading blaster, which we had in school so I was happy to play them at home and get more than five minutes on. However...the one game that I would say made me a gamer, made my parents realize I needed a game system, made a lasting impact on me still to this day???



If no one is aware what this game is, it is a 3D First person Shooter from the minds of iD software (Doom and Wolfenstein fame), with composed music by Trent Reznor/Nine Inch Nails. My mother was a HUGE NIN fan, so when she heard about this game in some magazine (Dont remember...maybe playboy? yes...we had playboys once), my mother wanted this game. And it is one of the few 3D games my mother has ever played. She loved this game. My father loved this game. I was 5 at the time (so yea, probably 1997), and I knew my parents were playing this game. I tried to play this game, and my parents let me due to knowing between reality and fiction (...you kill monsters, not people so...). As a child, I never got far. I got pretty spooky for me. But, my mom was the first to beat it. Since I didint have the skill to play the whole game as a kid...I hoped on my moms file to see how it all ended. Reading Aura's comment about playing on his brothers copy of MM, though doing different goals in their file, reminded me of what I did with quake, so I knew I had to put it down. 

Since I became fascinated with gaming, my parents knew it was time for a console. Years later, I had found out they asked opinions and went with with was recommended to them at the store for a child. Thinking about it now, Im surprised it wasn't Nintendo. But, what I got for...Christmas of 1998?


...and maybe a game boy too? Or that was my birthday. I cant remember. But the big home console was Playstation, and the games that I played throughout the years on that thing... All the spyros, Crash, Croc, Bugs Bunny Lost in Time, Tarzan, Pac-Man World... Oh good times...

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