Childhood Video Game Memoriesby Emma K
Thought we’d mix things up a little bit here at NFG and take a walk down memory lane with a few of our staff members. Just how did we get our lightning fast reflexes, bang on shooting precision and sheer love for all things video games?
Read on to find out and if this sparks any memories for you, let us know in the comments section below.
I had some trouble figuring out which games would have been the earliest. Thankfully I found classicdosgames.com and can start re-living some of the ancients. I remember my older brother and sister playing Prince of Persia (1990), Duke Nukem (1991) and Wolfenstein 3D (1992). While I have gone back and played these games, they weren’t personally my first experiences.
Jazz Jackrabbit (1994) and Warcraft: Orcs and Humans (1994) came out for PC when I was a wee kid, so while I probably didn’t get them on release I do have fond memories of running and gunning as the green rabbit.
My first home console was a Super Nintendo, I don’t want to fathom how many hours I lost to Bubsy (1992) and Super Mario All Stars (1993). What sealed my fate as a gamer was probably the SimCity series from Maxis. Later on I would transition to Bullfrog Productions, “borrowing” Chazz’ copy of Theme Hospital/Park and getting hooked on the Dungeon Keeper series.
My very first gaming experience is a little hazy, but from what I remember it was with a Sega Game Gear. I don’t quite remember what I was playing, only that I knew I was going to be hooked for life when that moment happened. The first console I ever owned was a Super Nintendo and the first game I ever completed was Yoshi’s Island.
But the moment that sticks out in my mind is finally beating the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time on the Nintendo 64. My older brother played some of the first few dungeons but I took it up myself later. To this day, slaying Ganon has been one of the most satisfying gaming moments in my life.
Playing it now, he seems like an easy boss to fight, but for an 11-year-old kid it was hell on earth. The whole experience cemented my love for RPG games and more importantly my love for the Legend of Zelda series.
First gaming memories are of me and my little brother, when I was about 5, playing the original Super Mario Bros on NES with my Dad, and him totally schooling us at it. Oh lordy how that changed quickly. Alongside all the Mario themed games that quickly followed, were Trog, the original Bionic Commando, the T2 movie game (you get to be Arnie!!!), Robocop 2 and well as the staple Duck Hunt of course. That f***ing dog I swear…
The original Mortal Kombat followed through the influence of older cousins, as well as Super Mario World and the awesome Batman Returns game. Good times.
My first gaming memories are of various DOS games: Stunts (1990), Carmen Sandiego and Ski or Die (1990). I spent many hours trying to master the key timings to beat the times on downhill runs in Ski or Die and the epic 8bit (or however many bits it was) electric guitar sound track is forever implanted in my memory. In fact, in the course of writing this paragraph, I spent about 20 minutes just watching and listening to YouTube videos of all the minigames in Ski or Die.
One of my fondest memories is of the original Command and Conquer (1995) demo. While only three missions long, I remember the second mission being a particularly difficult ‘solo commando’ mission which required you to traverse the entire map, killing enemies and blowing up buildings along the way.
This wouldn’t have been such a strenuous task, if it wasn’t for the unfortunate ability of the Commando’s building-destroying C4 charge to also kill the Commando, unless he was quickly moved out of range. When I say quickly, I mean quickly. I had to turn the game speed settings to the lowest option so that I could maneuver the unit away from the building, as soon as the ‘charge laid’ animation occurred.
Little did I know that upon playing the full version years later, I would be required to set the game speed to the fastest option in another mission, but more on that later.
Similar to Tunesmith my early video game days were spent on a number of DOS games on the old family computer. These games included Crystal Caves, Cosmo, Commander Keen, SkiFree, Math Rescue and Skyroads to name a few.
I was a deprived child and we never had a gaming console in our house (this changed only two years ago) so I’ve always being an avid computer gamer. When my addiction to the more strategy-based games such as Settlers and the Civilization series took over when I was in primary school, I knew my love for video games had some what cemented.
It was during primary school as well in which I have fond memories of the large amount of educational software we were exposed to. Ms. Frizzle and the Magic School Bus gang helped me learn so much about the human body and the solar system. And of course Zoombinis!!!
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My gaming adventures began with the original Nintendo console and Gameboy. I have vague recollections of Ninja turtles and hours upon hours of Tetris. The Tetris tune is still engraved upon my brain. Sometimes I wake up at night, bathed in sweat, screaming that the blocks won’t fit.
I didn’t truly embrace gaming until the Super Nintendo with Bugsy, or was it Bugby? Bubba? Some rabbit that had to collect balls of wool, don’t ask me where the logic is there. Super Mario was also a staple of my youth as with almost everyone. Once when my Mum said I couldn’t play it until I had cleaned my room, I packed up a backpack and ran away to the park… Where I couldn’t play it anyway… It was the principle of the matter!
Discovering PC games was the true awakening. Prince of Persia has a special place as my first PC game. Closely followed by Command and Conquer. Age of Empires. OH! Pokemon! While I can’t remember what I had for breakfast I can still remember unpackaging my blue Pokemon game.
The excitement was insane. I then realised I didn’t have any batteries for my Gameboy. I literally ran to the closest corner store to get some before losing months of my life to the best game ever. It’s just not the same these days. Ahh to be a kid again.
I’ve had many fond gaming memories dating back from console to console, PC to PC but the person that started my gaming career rolling was my cousin Paul. Paul was a few years older than me and had an Amiga computer. You know, one of those old computers that ran on something like an 8Kbs processor and 512KB of ram.
Games were loaded on 5 1/4 inch floppy disks and were very basic but from the moment I heard the title music for Fire and Ice, I was hooked. At every Christmas, Easter and birthday that took place at his house I would find any excuse that I could to get away and get some time with old classics such as Fire and Ice, Barbarian, Asteroids and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
One day when I feel a flash of inspiration I’ll find an emulator for Fire and Ice and fulfill my childhood dream of finishing it from start to end.