(I'm going to ask that you all forgive me: I know that my blogs are few and far between, but I had to write this, to get through some feelings. No funny pictures, no comments, just words trying to convey complicated feelings.)
I'm not going to lie: I was sad when I heard Nintendo Power was shuttering up, but I cried when I read the Nester and Max comic tucked away in the last pages of the final issue. Not just because it was a beautiful tribute to a magazine that I loved, but because of the rush of emotions it made me feel.
I had been a subscriber since 1991. My first issue was a copy of #1 my parents got me, but my first subscribed issue was the one with Robin Hood on the cover. I eventually got some backissues as a present from my mom for doing good on my report card in 1992, but I was a subscriber from 1991 until a little over a year ago. I still have my power cards I ripped from the back of the mags, my Super Power Club membership card, I remember sending a letter with Legend of Zelda art back when I was 9.
I had to have this issue. I had nearly a full set. Hell, I still have the issues with the Super Mario Adventures comics in them in my bookcase as we speak.
I remember the excitement of getting every new issue. Of bringing them to school, and being cool because I could help out with games that other kids found too hard. It was a present from my mother every year. Growing up a military brat, there were few constants: we were going to move in 2 years or less, Dad goes to work, Mom worked hard raising two kids, I was expected to do well in school, and I would always have Nintendo Power to look forward to every month.
I kinda always expected these things to be a constant in life, since there were so few. I've lived in Richmond, VA for nearly ten years now. TEN! That would be unbelievable to my younger self. Dad is retired, and he's fighting cancer (and kicking much ass thus far!) with mom by his side, us kids now well grown. I've been out of school now, but I want to go back to earn a doctorate, maybe because I feel so comfortable in academia. But last year, I stopped getting Nintendo Power, and now there is none.
You'll have to forgive me if my thoughts seem scattered. I've not vocalized them aloud, and I find myself tearing up again over my keyboard.
These things aren't a constant. Nothing PHYSICAL is. But what does stay are the nostalgic feelings. Rushing to the mailbox every month. Hugging my mother when I did well in school and getting to go to Pizza Hut. The time my father showed off his combat skills while I was playing GI Joe on the NES by coming within an inch of my face with a karate kick (to be fair, I said he couldn't). Christmas mornings getting a new game, seeing the snow accumulate on the windowsills, drinking a coke while driving all over the midwest, beating Sagat with Zangief on my Sega Nomad while going cross-country in Turkey...I'll have these forever.
But now, Nintendo Power has passed. One day, we, too, shall all pass, but we have the ability to make new, amazing memories and experiences. I have a second family in my Tuesday night gaming group. I go out and try to do special things with my friends and family. I have realized that I have the ability to help create and stir up those feelings in others that I was blessed with throughout my life. In that way, Nintendo Power lives on. There is always something to look forward to, not just every month, but every week and every day. I may not rush to the mailbox anymore, but I reach out to those I love with the same passion as I did reaching arm-deep to get my magazine.
Nintendo Power died this month, but it wouldn't want us to mourn its death. I won't pour one out for it, but I will raise a glass. This is a time to celebrate the life of a now-defunct magazine, and moreover, celebrate our lives as it affected us. As I pour some sangria into a wineglass and fire up my NES, I offer that you others raise your drinks as well. Here's to the life of an old friend, and the lives that were made better by knowing it.
You are THE source, Nintendo Power. And you will always be my pros.