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6:02 PM on 02.21.2009

Out of My Way; Bosses in Video Games: Gruntilda

And so my series continues, because I didn't see anyone else doing it and video game bosses stand out as some of my most poignant virtual memories. This time I'm sharing with you one of the most epic fights to ever grace a platformer.

Getting There

I played a lot of games when I was younger. Being lucky enough to own a N64 and a PS1 as well as a Mother who took me to Blockbuster every Friday for doing well in school meant that I got to try out a huge number of games. Some were shit, like Spider, but some were Banjo Kazooie. I think Banjo Kazooie could be credited with turning me into a full-blown video game addict. Well, that and the Legend of Zelda of course.

I didnít own Banjo Kazooie until later on in my life, but I rented it two Fridays in a row until I beat it. Climbing up Gruntildaís tower, which seemed a lot smaller from the outside, was an amazing experience. The clever writing mixed with the charming and beautiful worlds captivated my young mind. An experience I wouldnít have until my parents bought me Banjo Tooie for Christmas a couple of years later.

After struggling through a maze suspended over a pool of lava and finding my way to Gruntildaís chamber, I was presented with something unexpected. As it turned out, Gruntildaís evil sister Brentilda had actually been an important character. All of the secrets she had been telling me about Gruntilda were about to be the difference between saving Tooty and dying atop the tower. Scary, eh?

The Quiz

I remember nearly losing this quiz. How was I supposed to know that I was going to be tested on how much attention Iíd paid to Brentilda over the course of the game? Hell, half of the time I didnít even want to know that Gruntilda stuck weird things in her wazoo or that she ate cottage cheese with her feet. Still, there I was in the chair of fate, answering the questions that could very well lead to me doom.

Thankfully, my brain kicked into hyper mode and I managed to decipher all of the questions. I chased Gruntilda to the roof of her ďimpenetrableĒ fortress, and prepared myself for an epic battle. I had no idea what I was in for though, and had it not been for the help of a few familiar friends, my journey would have ended atop the tower. Seriously, put some sunglasses on because shits about to get epic.

The Final Battle

Even though we had won the Quiz and Grunty had escape, Tooty demanded that we end our party and get back up there. We had to finish the job right?

Everything had been leading up to this final moment. Here atop the lair, either Banjo or Grunty would fall, and I was going to be damned if our heroes were defeated. The battle started out easy enough, using some of the moves I learned at the beginning of my adventure, but it soon ramped up in difficulty, requiring me to draw upon everything I had learned over the course of my journey.

Soon, Jinjo statues began to appear around the arena. Knowing what I had to do, I made Kazooie shoot eggs out of her throat at them, summoning the Jinjos to help defeat Grunty. After four direct hits, her broom was defeated, and she was left on her legs. Firing spell after spell at me, I concentrated on dodging, waiting for my moment. It came with the arrival of the Jinjonator. After summoning him, I watched as Grunty took blow after blow, before I heard a final, deep ďJinjoĒ uttered from the mouth of the destroyer.

With her final words, Grunty tried to destroy Banjo. Luckily, it missed. I watched as Grunty fell to her death, and pondered how dark the ending to this friendly adventure had been. To this day, this remains my favorite boss fight of all time.

I really donít have much to say this time, other than that if you did read this, youíre my favorite person on Destructoid. Happy hunting everyone? Apologies to everyone if there are factual errors here, it's been years since I played this game.   read

9:06 PM on 02.20.2009

Out of My Way; Bosses in Video Games: Diablo/Mephisto

And so my series continues, because I didn't see anyone else doing it and video game bosses stand out as some of my most poignant virtual memories. Whether it is Mother Brain, Bowser, Ganon, Tyrant, or some overpowered motherfucker from Final Fantasy, bosses are integral parts of video games. I want to focus on the emotions I felt when facing these horrors over the mechanics of actually fighting them. Hopefully this feature will help trigger some of your special memories.


The thought of a place of eternal suffering used to scare the piss out of me. Hell, even though Diablo was a 2D game I still had nightmares thanks to the creatures roaming the halls of the Monastery in Tristam. It was this sense of dread that made destroying the physical manifestation of the Lord of Terror himself one of the most satisfying experiences I ever had in my young life, right alongside other favorites of mine like the Zelda series and Super Metroid.

Looking back, Diablo is a bit of a grind. Click, click, click, get better gear, click, click, repeat. I played a Warrior, which probably helped to contribute towards my grind since Warriors were limited in what they could do magically. Still, I loved exploring the Monastery, going deeper and deeper into darkness, until I reached the lair of the Lord of Terror himself.

To be honest, the actual battle with Diablo isnít nearly as epic as I remember it being. Over the years I romanticized it until it became an epic battle with the Devil for the soul of the world, and all of the Hollywood action sequences that would come along with that. Still, Diablo remains a satisfying conclusion to a classic game.

Years later, with the release of Diablo II, I would once again be asked to defeat the horned devil and his minions. Little did I know that theyíd be throwing his brother Mephisto into the mix, something that Iíve grown to fear more than the Lord of Terror himself.


Everything thing about Mephisto is horrifying. His tentacley head, his choice of strongholds, the blood filled pools that surround his throne, and his spider like structure all filled me with dread when I first fought him. Mephisto had corrupted the once beautiful jungles of Kurast, filling all life within their reaches with an intense hatred, driving all to madness. Fighting through waves of corrupted wildlife and the resurrected dead eventually led me to find and defeat Mephito, the Lord of Hatred.

Mephisto nearly got the better of me the first time I fought him, but I knew that he was what was standing between me and sealing away the Lord of Terror forever. I returned to fight him a second time, now with a much more powerful axe. With a final cleave, I watched as Mephisto exploded into a pile of meat and the world exploded in fire around me.

Apologies for the brevity of this post, but Iím sick tonight and exhausted to boot. I think Iíll head to bed now, and I hope that you enjoyed this. See you next time.   read

5:07 PM on 02.19.2009

Out of My Way; Bosses in Video Games: Andross

And so my series continues, because I didn't see anyone else doing it and video game bosses stand out as some of my most poignant virtual memories. Whether it be Mother Brain, Bowser, Ganon, Tyrant, or some overpowered mother fucker from Final Fantasy, bosses are integral parts of video games. I want to focus on the emotions I felt when facing these horrors over the mechanics of actually fighting them. Hopefully this feature will help trigger some of your special memories.


Before some of you get your panties in a bunch, Iíll have you know that this blog is about Star Fox 64ís* version of Andross, not the SNES originals. Now that we have that simple fact out of the way, letís get down to it.

Venom is a scary planet. Itís barren, dark, and full of Andross' armada. I never got into Star Fox 64 for more than a couple of playthroughs, but Venom stood out as an epic conclusion to an epic game. Whether it was the orchestral score, the battle inside the temple, or the final fight with Andross himself, I always felt like I was battling for the good of the Lylat system.

When I first entered the tunnel that would lead me to Andross, I was tense. He was taunting me, trying to shake up my concentration. I wasnít going to let him distract me though, and I fought my way through the tunnel to his chamber. When that giant monkey face appeared I dropped my controller and screamed. I wasnít expecting this.

Still, I knew I had to fight on. Using the reasoning skills that every eight year old comes equipped with, I discovered Androssís weak points and blasted them until he became vulnerable. Dodging intense laser fire and the swats from his massive hands was no easy task, but it was one that I took on with all of the determination of someone who knew the consequences of failure.

I think that for a brief moment, I became Fox inside of the Arwing. I had always been prone to daydreams, but this had to be one of the best Iíd ever had. My distraction nearly led to my demise though, and when I heard the familiar beep of imminent death, I returned to the battle with an even greater focus. Soon, Andross would fall.

It was much to my surprise when his face fell off and he became a chomping robot freak. I promptly blew up this freak and sat back in satisfaction as a very Star Wars esque ending sequence was played.

It would take me eight years to realize that I hadnít really defeated Andross, I had just defeated his shell.

Androssís True Form

Apologies that the video is such low quality, but it seems that everyone on youtube who likes Star Fox 64 is absolutely retarded.

Yes, he turns into a giant talking brain. Iím not sure what to make of that to be honest with you, but when I recently discovered this on my Wii, I was shocked. To think that I had never defeated Andross all those years ago, that he had lived on thanks to my foolish assumption that he had been defeated. This time I was going to finish it.

The battle wasnít too difficult, perhaps he had been wearing the protective mechanical suit for a reason, but the rush of satisfaction that hit me when I did finally kill the big brain/ape definitely made up for the lack of challenge. Just a few shots into his eyes and a few more into the heart of his brain and he went down

Sure, he tried to take me with him but I narrowly escaped with my Arwing intact, the better of the two of us. I watched as Fox returned home to Corneria, and I felt that the war I had started so many years ago had finally come to a close.

I have now written two of these in one day, CG, I hope you enjoyed it. I really wish I could have found better videos, but I guess the majority of the people who would record this sort of thing still arenít capable of being intelligent human beings. Iíll give them a few years. Also, the SNES Andross remains amazing to look at thus the inclusion of that picture. By the way, I wrote this blog earlier today as well and no one read it because it was instantly buried underneath 6 short blogs. Also, I really don't have a very clear memory of this battle, which should help explain why this has so much filler.

*Or Lylat Wars, you twats   read

4:01 PM on 02.19.2009

Out of My Way; Bosses in Video Games: King Dedede/The Nightmare

And so my series continues, because I didn't see anyone else doing it and video game bosses stand out as some of my most poignant virtual memories. Whether it be Mother Brain, Bowser, Ganon, Tyrant, or some overpowered mother fucker from Final Fantasy, bosses are integral parts of video games. I want to focus on the emotions I felt when facing these horrors over the mechanics of actually fighting them. Hopefully this feature will help trigger some of your special memories.

King Dedede

Kirbyís Adventure is one of my favorite games. It was one of the very slim selection of games that I could convince my Mother to play with me. Looking back on it, I think she had fun, but she was probably only playing with me because she wanted to spend time with me. Either way, I cherish the time that I was able to share my hobby with her. Thankfully, I donít just love this game from nostalgia. It also has one of the most epic boss fights of all time.

I had to struggle my way through the last world, with one level being a tower populated by six minibosses, and another containing a plethora of traps and baddies, I was starting to get pissed. I couldnít wait to kick that blue bird Dededeís ass. When I completed the final world, which is also amazing, I was ready. You pissed off the wrong pink puff ball Dedede, and I was going to retrieve the Star Rod.

It took me a while to figure out his attack patterns and how to dodge them. Hell, he defeated me a couple of times, but I kept coming back for more. When he did finally go down, I didnít feel as good as I thought I would. Was that really all there was to the final boss of such a great game?

It was then that I was treated to a scene starring Kirby and the recently weakened Dedede. I watched as Kirby walked to return to the Star Rod to the fountain of dreams, and as Dedede desperately tried to stop him. Did he really hate his own people that much? Why couldnít he just let it go? Kirby did a triumphant leap onto the fountain, and returned the Star Rod back to its rightful place.

However, something was wrong. A dark ball of energy was released from the fountain when Kirby had returned the Star Rod. As it turned out, King Dedede has been on my side all along. He promptly sucked me up and shot me after the ball of energy, and the final battle began.

The Nightmare

The game had just become a SHMUP, and I was going to have to destroy the ball of darkness before he could escape. Shot after shot was sent towards him, and he returned the favor in kind. Eventually, I had weakened him enough that he felt the need to retreat, and I hastily followed after him on shooting star. I was still filled with feelings of resentment towards myself. After all, if I had simply not played the game this monster wouldnít be terrorizing the citizens of Dream Land.

I had caught up to him, and he revealed his true form. I found this version of him to be significantly easier, though it still tested my gaming prowess. I was weakened, and being hit once would mean my doom. Thankfully, my skills surpassed his, and he was quickly defeated. Nightmareís would no longer torment dreamland.

I was treated to an end sequence recapping the events of the last half hour on the bottom of the screen, while Kirby and Dedede flew back to the fountain of dreams. Outside of Mega Man, I never thought I would get this much satisfaction out of a NES game.

The music used in the Kirbyís Adventure is amazing, and the graphics could have been at home on the SNES. Iíve said it before, but you should definitely check this one out if you have a Wii or a working NES emulator. Hell, just go to to get your gaming fix. Thanks for reading another one of my longwinded blogs, Iíll see you again next time.   read

8:48 PM on 02.13.2009

A Quest to Finish Games: Kirby's Adventure

I grew up on the 16 bit and 3D eras, so going back to play 8-Bit games can sometimes be a chore for me. Unless the game is absolutely great, I tend to lose interest rather quickly. It's hard to have motivation to complete old games when you don't have any nostalgia to help justify the reason you're playing it in the first place. I didn't experience this problem with Kirby's Adventure, the game could have easily been released on the Super Nintendo with nothing but a graphical update, and maybe even without one.

The graphical presentation is mind melting for a NES game. Granted, it was released in 1993, but this and Metal Storm are definitely the pinnacle of what the NES was capable of. The ending sequence is especially beautiful, and would even hold up today alongside other 2D titles. The game is vibrant in its colors, and some of the things employed, such as a "3D" affect on a spinning tower, are almost mind blowing given the console.

Level design is as equally impressive as the graphics. One level in particular, the last one before the final boss fight, will likely stay in my video game knowledge bank forever. Each new screen is a piece of a level you've already visited, one from each world. A remixed version of the first level's song plays as you make your way through it, and it's a great tribute to the rest of the game.

I'm sure most of you are aware of Kirby's ability. He eats other enemies and gains powers from them from doing so, such as turning into a fireball or singing into a microphone so loud everything on the screen dies. He can slide, eat, fly, and jump. Your main attack is sucking up the enemies, and you can also shoot them at other enemies should they not hold a powerup. Other attacks, such as Sword Kirby and Fireball Kirby are gained by eating enemies in the fashion I explained above. It all comes together to create a great gaming experience.

The last thing I want to touch on is the games ending. I won't spoil it for you, but the twist at the very end is was unexpected, and the boss fight was one of the best I've ever played. In short, if you own a Wii you should download this game. It's only 500 Wii Points and you can always buy Mega Man 2 with the remainder. You could also look for the GBA remake of it.   read

1:26 PM on 02.10.2009

A Quest to Play Games: Metroid Prime

Last night I finished Metroid Prime with ten hours and three minutes on the clock and 77% of the game completed. It was one of the most rewarding experience I've ever had with a video game, taking its place alongside RPG's that are famous for their epic length and platforming games that defeat you every step of the way. Every new missile expansion, energy tank, and power up filled me with a sense of joy. I came to crave the music that was associated with each, and the beautiful animations that came along with them.

On that note, this game is beautiful. Back in 2002 this game was absolutely mind blowing. Today, it holds up as a crowning achievement in video game art styles and level design. I never felt like the game was challenging to the point of total frustration, but it was also never so easy that I could play it without worrying about error. This is thanks, in part, to the fantastic level design found throughout. It's obvious that Retro Studios were fans of the older Metroid games. This visual diversity couple with brilliant level design and an amazing soundtrack help to make Metroid Prime one the most immersive games ever made.

I remember reading that many fans were worried about the Metroid franchise when they heard it was headed to a three dimensional perspective. They didn't want Metroid to become a mindless fragfest along the lines of Unreal Tournament or Counterstrike. As I was playing, Metroid Prime felt more like an adventure game with a heavy focus on exploration. The combat elements were there, but they took a backseat to the enviroment.

I believe that this is what made it such a joy to play. What cemented it in my mind as a modern masterpiece. If you haven't taken the time to play Metroid Prime through to completion, and if you own it in your collection, I suggest that you play it immediately. You won't regret it. Unless you're Dyson.

Up next on my playlist I have Majora's Mask. Wish me luck!   read

12:54 PM on 01.22.2009

Games That I Never Seem to Finish: Requesting Destructoid Community Input

If I were to post a list of the games I've completed, it would be 1/50 of the size of a list of the games I've played. I too suffer from gamer ADHD, and I'm asking you, Destructoid, what game I should play first. The games in question are listed below.

- Final Fantasy VII -

As I wrote in a previous blog post, Final Fantasy VII is a game that has been haunting me since I was only six years old. Since this game and I have a long term history and that the only Final Fantasy that I've ever finished was the Gameboy Advance remake of Final Fantasy 1, I'd like to be able to check this bad boy off of my list.

- Metroid Prime -

I remember getting lost on my two playthroughs of this game, not sure where I was or where I was supposed to be. This is one that I'd love to see through to completion.

- Rogue Galaxy -

I picked this up in the used game section of Blockbuster for about ten dollars. I'm a huge fan of Level 5 as a developer, and I know little about the games plot or what will eventually come from all of it. I do know that the main character isn't a total cliched prick and that the game is beautiful. It's also been called "what Final Fantasy XII" should have been, and I'd like to see for myself.

- Pikmin -

Shigeru Miyamoto never fails to please when he comes up with a new game concept. Even the WiiSeries of games has been somewhat enjoyable. Pikmin is yet another Gamecube game that haunts me with its existence, knowing that I left the tiny spaceman to die on the familiar planet. Plus, the Pikmin may be the cutest plants in existence.

- Super Mario World -

A childhood favorite, I'd like to crush Bowser and save Princess Peach. What more can I say? It's Mario!

- The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask -

I still believe that this game has the potential to be my favorite Zelda of all time, taking the throne from the Wind Waker. I haven't played it in years and going back to it with a different perspective might be what it takes to finally complete it.

There you have it Destructoid, I'll do a tallying system similar to what ThePhil did yesterday, and I'll play these games in the order that you decide.   read

9:09 PM on 01.19.2009

Gaming Haul: The Holy Shit

Today me and my Dad hit the town, on the prowl for video games. We only went to two places, the closing Circuit City and the corporate shitfest that is Gamestop. Circuit City had things that were normally $60 marked down to $55, and every Playstation 2 game was $20 a piece. Even shit like Wall-E: The Game and Dance Party: Boogie Nights Edition. Needless to say, as a gamer looking for discounts, I had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Luckily I found what appeared to be the one good gaming deal in the store, Blue Dragon for $10.

Next stop, Gamestop. I was browsing through the Playstation 2 games again when something caught my eye. It was Disgaea 2. I checked underneath it to see if there was another copy, and to my surprise I found Disgaea 1 sitting there. Hot stuff.

I'm so happy that I've actually begun to vomit sparkles.   read

1:46 AM on 01.14.2009

My Life as a Gamer: I've Spent Ten Years Chasing the Man in Black

On my last blog I received a comment telling me to re-write the experiences I've had as a gamer in about fifteen years. He felt that my blog wasn't relatable enough to the Destructoid community. I'd ask that today you try to look past my age, and instead look back on a similar gaming experience in your life. Mostly though, I'm deathly afraid that you'll ignore me because I'm not as experienced as you are.

Before you run away at the sight of that all to familiar image, I'll have you know that this isn't a Final Fantasy VII fap-fest. I'm an admitted Final Fantasy fanatic; I've played every game at some time during my life. The tragic twist on this love affair of mine is that the only Final Fantasy I've ever managed to finish is the original; remade for the Gameboy Advance. The only other one I've come close to completing is Final Fantasy IX; which I quit right before the final boss. After a certain number of failed playthroughs I began to question what was driving me to come back time after time; fighting the same battles and experiencing the events within.

The answer lies within the very essence of Final Fantasy itself. Inside each of the games respected worlds lies familiarity. Familiar places, familiar people, and a consistency that the real world doesn't allow. As with any other video game, the Final Fantasy series serves as an escape from reality into a world much more exciting and interesting than our own. When I was younger I had a real fear of Sephiroth and Kuja. The motives behind their actions proving to be a challenging thing for a seven year old to wrap his head around. To me they were not only the "bad guys"; they were also the very essence of what I was afraid of. The unknown.

He might be a "trap", but he's one of the scariest villains in video game history.

I briefly shared the story of how I acquired my first Final Fantasy here, but for the sake of ease of use I'll reiterate here. When I was nearly seven years old, I had achieved a solid A+ on my report card. True to her word, my mother took me to the nearby Target to pick out a brand new game for my Playstation. I have a vague memory of seeing Cloud's spiky blond hair behind the display case, the Shinra tower looming ominously over his head. I told her that was the one I wanted, and she went to go fetch the cashier. I remember the look on his face when he realized how young I was, and he told her that the game in question might be too much for a seven year old, that it would go straight over my head. He was, of course, right, but I begged and pleaded with her until she caved and laid down the twenty dollars to purchase me the game.

Despite being somewhat cliched, I still love the cast of FF7, pre-whoring

My reading skills not quite up to the caliber of the Final Fantasy, she would sit with me and read me the text boxes. I naturally progressed very slowly due to my lack of reading skills, and my desire to understand the games plot. Slowly, over time, my reading comprehension skills grew to the point where I could play and read Final Fantasy VII without the assistance of my mother, much to her delight. This marked a strange phase for me though, where I would run from every random encounter so that I could get to the next plot point faster. It wasn't about fighting monsters, it was about reading my interactive book. Unfortunately, this halted my progress near the end of Disc One when I was so massively underleveled that it was proving impossible to progress.

I know everyone in this picture by name.

Nearly ten years later I have yet to complete Final Fantasy VII. I'm fear that I will fall back into old habits and reach the end, delete my save, and start the journey over again. Maybe I feel like the game will lose its appeal, the magic that drew me into it in the first place, if I do finally take that step and finish it. Avoidance is something we're all guilty of, whether it be within games or in the real world. If I do ever catch the man in black, I guarantee you that Destructoid will be the first to know. Until that day I'll enjoy Final Fantasy for everything it's worth.   read

3:22 PM on 12.31.2008

My Life as a Gamer: How Games Made Me Who I Am

I'll warn you that this blog is epically long compared to what I usually write, and that it really isn't that well constructed. Prepare to be bored.

As far back as I can remember, I've had a controller in my hand. My father used to do that trick where he'd give me a controller that wasn't plugged in and make me think I was playing. We'd "play" NBA Jam together, and I would always win. Fast forward a few years to when I can process things in my brain and move my hands at the same time. The Super Nintendo was finally mine to enjoy. There was a problem though; the games I loved were fucking hard. At age five I was getting skull fucked* by my favorite video games, their challenge thrown at my face like so many piles of scalding hot man love.

The games in question? The first one that comes to mind Sunset Riders, a Contra clone set in the wild west with a different kind of extreme action. It featured chases on horseback, pseudo-firstperson shoot outs, and inventive fun bosses. I never actually beat it as a child, until I accidentally game across a debug menu that gave my shaky hands unlimited credits and plenty of bullets. I was finally able to see that sonofabitch game through to completion and wipe the smug smile off of the final boss, (who you have to kill twice by the way, only the second time he's a superhero.) I can honestly say it was one of the happiest moments of my life.

The second game that comes to mind is the original Star Fox. This is the one that totally defeated my little five year old mind. I only ever manged to get to the third level once. Once! I was absolutely abysmal at Star Fox. Looking back, I didn't realize how bad I was, because the only thing that really mattered to me was that I was having fun. I feel like this is something I've lost as my gaming "career" has progressed. It's not so much about the fun anymore, it's about how much the game can Wow! me.

The last game that really comes to my mind is Donkey Kong Country. Dear God, this game was crack to me. The only one I ever made significant progress in, and the game that sparked my love for action platformers. It's a game that gave me wondrous dreams of riding on the back of a gorilla through a strange South American jungle, searching for treasure, and being free from the tyranny of my, *ahem*, drunk parents. These games together helped to spark my love for video games, and instill in me patience, persistence, and a conviction to finish what I started.

Let's go forward a little bit farther now, to my sixth Christmas. Santa had heard my wishes and received my letters, and I woke up to find a Playstation under my tree. I swear to you that I was cuter than the N64 kid by a million miles. This system changed my life. showed me a whole new world of graphics, and introduced me to games with substance. Let's dive in, shall we?

One of the first games I played on my Playstation was Spyro the Dragon. At first I didn't understand how to control it, but it didn't frustrate me. I just enjoyed the fact that I could explore this new beautiful world. The worlds weren't the typical fire, ice, water, lightning montage I'd seen before. Instead there was the incredibly inventive "dream world" and the "magic realm". It helped to change what I expected out of the average video game, and made me into an elitist six year old prick. Hell, one of my fondest memories was watching my Dad discover rumble and drop the controller out of fear.

Maybe a year later with several platformers under my belt, I was in a Target with my mother. We were browsing the video game section, and we decided to ask the clerk if there was a good game we should try out. He reccomended Final Fantasy VII (The Greatest Hits Edition), and seeing that spiky haired mynx on the game cover with his giant ass sword was enough to make me beg her to buy it for me. I had no idea what I was in for, of course. This game was my very first RPG, and considering the fact that it was text heavy meant that it was hard for me to understand the story. I had to have my Mother come in and read it for me whenever she could, until I slowly started to comprehend the words on my own. In a way Final Fantasy VII taught me how to read, but more importantly than that, it gave me a gigantic world to explore full of characters that I cared about. I think this game is what really set my passion for video games on fire.

On my eighth Christmas all I got was an N64 (I'm an only child by the way), and I was privileged enough to play Banjo Kazooie. To me, it was the perfect evolution of Donkey Kong Country that I had loved as a child, and it had a more complex story. It was like a combination of Final Fantasy VII and Donkey Kong; or so it seemed at the time. This and Banjo Tooie are two of my favorite games of all time, and they ended up being the games I invested most of my childhood into. Nostalgia always wins.

Even farther in the future, and I have a PS2 and an Xbox. This time around I'm absorbed in the online component of Halo 2. Some might even say obsessed. The first couple years of middle school were hard on me, and I spent my time with my imaginary and real friends playing Halo 2, trying to get away from the pre-teen bullshit. For the most part, I had a good stable of online buddies to fuck around with in the Halo-Verse. Amazingly enough I found normal people to play with, and by spending online time with them and interacting with them, I learned more social skills than I would have if I'd been hanging around with the drunk fucks at my middle school.

Video Games have shaped me as a person. I've learned patience, persistence, reading comprehension, and some basic social skills all thanks to the games I played growing up. We're all here because we love them, some of us more than others. They understand us better than our families ever did, in ways that only we could understand. They share epically written tales of despair and hope or lighthearted adventures with mustached plumbers. They let us hang out and talk to Santa Claus, go sledding with Jesus while fighting off robots with a make-shift bazooka, save the world from maniacal villains, and live out our repressed fantasies. They inspire us to check websites like DToid daily for any sort of game related news, make fantastic games like BonerQuest, and feel a strong enough connection with our fellow gamers that we can get together without knowing one another and have the time of our lives. I've never played a game through to completion without taking something from it, whether it be a new outlook on the world, an undying love for cutscenes, or an unhealthy fascination with old men.

I know that most of you have memories like the ones I've shared here today, and I'd encourage you to share them in the comments. I'm proud to be a gamer, and I wouldn't trade my hobby for anything. For the record I've always been an only child, and I've always shared my Christmas gifts with my father. We've never been ridiculously loaded.

*As I've said a thousand times, I curse because it makes me feel manly   read

7:44 PM on 12.25.2008

A friend of mine did this half-decent pencil sketch of Ash. He isn't creepy at all.

Merry Christmas motherfuckers.   read

8:44 PM on 12.18.2008

Hey Destructoid's C-Blogs: I'm Krow

This is actually my third account on this loverly site, my two previous ones failing simply because they never had proper introduction posts. I suppose I should start by saying I love video games, which should be fairly obvious to you considering that I took the time to lurk and post on this site for six months now. I only recently turned sixteen, and I live in Colorado. It's alright, I'm not afraid of butt-pirates*.

The first video game console I ever owned was a Super Nintendo. Man, those were the days. I still remember when I was six years old, and my parents bought me a Playstation for Christmas. That would turn out to be one of the happiest and one of the saddest days of my life, seeing as how my mother decided it would be a great idea to give our SNES to the neighbors, as they didn't have a game console. It took a long time for my rage to subside. By the way, did anyone ever play Jurassic Park for the SNES? That game was fucking* sweet.

I've got to say, I like this place so far. The community seems intelligent from the outside, there's plenty of retro gamers, and not everyone gives off the impression that if I met them in real life they'd smell like a three week old ham sandwich. All in all, I'm happy to be here and I hope we can be friends. Hah, internet friends, I mean. I don't want to have to send any of you to jail for statutory rape.

*You people.

*I curse because it makes me feel like a man. I'm a man, right?   read

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