So I recently completed an Ebay bid for my favourite Zelda game as a birthday present from my mom, much like it was from my brother 24 years ago. Zelda II The Adventure of Link. Sure I had it as a kid but I sold the NES to buy the SNES, but my memory of the entire NES/SNES generation is totally out of whack with the internet facts on releases.
I actually already had the game but I was missing the box and instructions, luckily for Zelda II the map is in the instructions, the first Zelda and The SNES A Link to the Past have a much higher price tag with a map.
My original cartridge was once host to such players as Damo and Chris in his Skeletor phase. I’m also going with Boomer at this stage of my gaming handle, inspired by the fabulous dog boomer from Independence Day.
Let’s begin at the start of my NES, it was my birthday, I was 11, I had the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles bundle of the Nintendo Entertainment System, finally I could play games at the touch of a button. woah, mind blown.
The TMHT game was released in August 1990, this is start our timeline, although Zelda II was released in 1988, the timeline is going to represent what I had and when.
Now skipping to the future, the Super Nintendo was released April 1992, and I had it within the first month or two this I know, I sold the NES for £150 in the friday ad, some dude rang up at like 6:30 in the morning and I had to deal with it, I’m 11 this old dude comes to the bungalow and I’m like this is it, 1 NES 13 games. My dad did at this point get up and a cheque was made out to him. The one good thing my dad did do was buy the SNES before the cheque had cleared I was up and running with Mario World.
So this puts the life of my NES at a year and a half, so which Christmas in boots did my brother by me Zelda? The point of this post, it must have been that first one as he bought me two games, probably because I didn’t have many, the other was Tiger Heli which wasn’t that great and it took me forever to work out how to progress from the endless looping. Zelda on the hand had a gold colour cartridge and box this was obviously going to be a winner from the start, I had no idea what an RPG was at this point in my life, it was 1990, all I knew is it looked different, but it turned out amazing, huge exploration for the time, fun side scrolling action, powerups magic, total awesome. The best feeling is the mechanic on the jump and stab down action, get that on a knight and pass right by, confined to a corridor and even get some cheeky continuous hits on some of the enemies, nice.
Those who lived in Eastbourne in the 80’s and who played games would know that you had like two main sources of video games, Boots, and Rumbelows, who remembers them? I think they even used to do the whole rent a TV thing. I did buy Duck Tales from there, £40 and completed it in an hour, was a nice game, but way to easy.
Right so, where was I, ah yes, what I thought were years with a NES, is a year and a half, I amassed 13 games, Mario bros 3 was definitely another birthday so that’s gotta be 1991, though wikipedia type sites are saying 88 for Japan and 90 for America, what the hell! I have no idea how I could afford the other 9, or when super off road or super Mario 2 fit in. Oh and double dragon 2, which is totally different on the NES than arcade, another favourite of the time.
Moving back(or forward) to the SNES, I thought I’d owned it for a while, then worked with my dad for a week or so in the summer and he bought me the Street Fighter II American import and converter from MegaBytes, a shop on the corner in Eastbourne, again this was a good source of games in the early 90’s, boots was on the decline by then, wait, I don’t actually remember any SNES games in boots, hmm. Again I thought I had the Street Fighter for like a year before everyone else, turns out it was only 4 months, the UK got it in December apparently. In today’s time that’s like half a series of Sword Art Online. I guess 4 months of the hottest game in town was just a big deal to my 12 year old self.
Skip ahead a few more years and I’m mid 30’s and have a special display case just for excellent games of years gone past, queue image
Oof, Lartens provoking the wrath of crazed Zelda fans by calling it an RPG! If they get wind of that they’ll be all over Grig… could be one way of getting hits of course.
I usually remember years based off of what games were released. ’93 was a particularly vintage year with SoR2, Gunstar Heroes, and SF2, SCE/Turbo being particularly stand out. ‘Twas also the year of chasing round Hannah, Lydia, Fiona and co, and spending the incredibly sunny summer making BMW/CAOS. The combination of those elements made for one of the great years, despite our delusions that we were anything more than annoyances to them.
But who needs girls when we had games!
Mario Kart was fairly prominent too that summer, even though it wasn’t released that year. That was a lot of butt kicking dished out by Bedgell on me and Wayne in those youthful days!
Another fine time was the Saturn years. There was hope, there was joy, there was Nights! Course all that faded, almost symbolically with the depressive waning interest in life that I remember was gaining momentum and hanging in the air. Seem to remember something about ruining Damo’s summer coz i refused to go out or open the curtains. Still, at least Nights could still just about crack a smile. Good times…
Oh. Super Mario Kart DID come out in ’93… in Europe at least. Right as I say I remember years based off of game releases! Can I really believe anything I remember after this?! I’m like Cloud! Now wheres Tifa…
I just can not trust my memory at all. You might recall actually it was only a couple of months back that it dawned on me that the Megadrive was still active when the saturn came out and for a while after. Like in my head there are no overlaps – just distinct eras. Yet nope…
They definitely are still the major time stamp of everything from being about 10 to about 21, it’s just the borders of time are a bit hazy. Like I really remember saturn and Daytona as being part of the summer of dev, and him punching us through cushions, and generally him being around a lot. But final fantasy and playstation a lot later – like a levels time. Which would be 1997. I did get mine quite late though. The game gear is all over school trips when I was at school in eastbourne – including one to see the queen where I took the tv tuner and even though we’d gone to london we still sat in the minibus and watched the main thing on the tiny game gear screen. And of course that was the year of my introduction to Sandra and Stephanie as we watched going for gold on it (well, she was on the other end of the phone). Which was before she got her dad to tell us to leave her alone.
But that seems awfully late to have had a game gear as wasn’t I like 15 by then? Maybe it had just been hanging around for a long time…
But boots? Yeah man that is way weird now you think about it. They did CDs too right? But you can’t imagine them ever doing that now… And they definitely had SNES stuff because that was the scene of the great street fighter challenge. And I can picture there being a SNES boxset on the end of one of the aisles. I think I either got Starwing from there or from Dixons
I definitely got my UK version of game gear sonic from there after that punk Jeffrey Lawrence stole my japanese one on the coach. Ooh those were dark times… Remember playing a lot of g-loc back then. Link up games were quite a big deal at school. G-loc was pretty terrible but it was social at least to link it up. And Tetris. And I think balloon kid was actually link up too – though I only remember one person ever having it so maybe I’m just thinking of one of the bosses.
Anyhoo, December article achieved! Every month covered! Comments-based high fives all round!!
The Saturn era of Dev punching us through those cushions must have been the summer I got it, which was 95. The beginning of Grove times. We wouldn’t have still been playing it any other year as Sega Rally would have been around and we never went back to the original Daytona. Think I’ve actually got some video still of that time somewhere where we’re getting ready to go to the Martlet. Awes.
I remember a Tetris Gameboy link up happening at my school in late ’93 that turned in to a cool memory. It was one of those situations where a succession of events occurred and everything felt awesome. It started with me bumping into Fiona in the corridor at the end of one lunch break and somehow having a conversation with her. I was buzzing with hype… although I don’t know why as I do remember she said she didn’t want our magazine after I offered it to her. She’ll regret that after Grig goes global! Anyway, I went back to my class and I was in a frenzy of excitement blabbering on about my encounter to Wayne and co. There was some kid in the room who was the cousin of Danni Borrer and he had been kicking ayne on two player Tetris all lunch and nobody could beat him. Matthew Pope put one of the Gameboys into my hands, and with lunch time close to ending, insisted I played this kid the last game. I wasn’t even too sure what the rules were of 2-player Tetris so I just played the game normally, only vaguely getting what was going on when his lines started getting dumped on my screen. As it turned out, his last game was one game too many as I managed to end his unbeaten run, Matthew Pope excitedly shouting ‘He’s beaten him! Pom’s beaten him!’ to everyone as they gathered round to look. It was probably the best thing that had happened to me up to that point – two lame events, one after the other. My life was sad. In an awesome way!
I wish I remember the SF2 incident. That event sounded cool, but I might not remember it as I usually only really remember Street Fighter games that I’ve lost and felt royally grigged off about, and those memories were always games in the arcade. Games against Matt Bishop and a random Japanese kid on the pier being two that still haunt me to this day.
I do remember when the SNES launched however, and they had the launch titles all stacked up in Boots. I also got Flashback there, and possibly Sonic 1 on the Master System. That seems a different universe now.
This is a long comment.
Man you totally pwned that dude haha.
I remember seeing Dev at the Martlet quite often, but I think that was before I met you guys so didn’t know you and only knew him as Damo’s step brother.
So I reckon if Harris didn’t invite me to get drunk at the Grove I probably wouldn’t of made friends with Chris outside of school, never would have gone to Matt’s the next day and never played Daytona on the Saturn, which totally got me back into gaming.
Man that one choice after watching Waynes World 2 could of altered my entire social path. Though in that timeline Damo and Chris would have been at Sherwoods pre Christmas party and Danny’s new years (actually I don’t remember new years that much but I think Chris was there), so it could of still worked out the same. Who knows.
Oh good, there was a 2-player mode on balloon kid. I’m not totally losing it