My real name is Mario
(Merry Ho kinda sounds like Mario)
Anyway, I enjoy almost everything gaming so i might as well just tell the things I don't like.
-I'm not a fan of sports games, unless they are retro
-I'm not a fan of tactical shooters
Other then that I will play whatever.
But what I LOVE:
Using not-emulators with my not-roms to play retro games, even if it is to make fun of how bad most of them are, and to cherish the few wonderful games there are.
I was 7 years old, I had just been introduced to the NES at a friends house, I was introduced to a variety of games; Super Mario/Duck Hunt, Contra, Jaws, Castlevania....
And looking back I think I was very confused by Castlevania.
-You have a guy, who wears very little clothing, it is all leather and he wields a whip...ok.
-The music is creppy yet really cool.
-Because I didn't understand the controls that well I never figured out how to fire the secondary weapon, so it seemed to be that every item in the game was useless.
-Jumping was horrible.
-Whenever you fell it seemed like something was pulling you down really fast.
-I could never figure out the stairs.
-And the big bat always killed me.
despite all of that, something kept drawing me in to play the game every now and then, maybe it was the music or maybe the desire to figure out what the heck was going on. I eventually got my own NES but never owned Castlevania myself, so I forgot about it for a long time. Then I one day I began listening to a certain podcast and the first one I listened to happened to be about none other then Castlevania. Not half way through the podcast I got a rush of nostalgia and busted out a NOT-emulator and a NOT-rom of Castlevania and started playing while I listened to the rest of the show. The game was still hard but I now figured out all the controls and my dexterity was better then when I was 7. Still, the game was tough, I only got halfway through the 3rd level before game over, but I was happy, that was way further then I had ever gotten before.
Now the classic game of the month is Castlevania, I had to beat it. I work nights at a motel so I have alot of time to waste at a computer so I began my quest of finishing Castlevania once and for all. Now some people consider quick saving to be cheating but I only saved at the beginning of checkpoints because I got tired of having to start all the way from the beginning each time I ran out of continues. So no I didn't beat Dracula the way I was meant to, but none the less i did beat him, and believe me it was still no easy task.
I always hear how everyone hates Frankenstein because of his little monkey friend hopping all over the place, But I believe those people have never faced the Grim Reaper and his 4 flying scythes, he made Frankenstein seem like a walk in the park.
The final level was a real bitch, it probably took me longer then all the previous levels combined. You had to time everything exactly right and keep moving, it was genius, I felt a sense of accomplishment after I had mastered it. But then there was Dracula, it took me about 5 minutes before I realized that you had to hit him in the face. It took alot of persistence dodging the fireballs and jump whipping him in the face, but I finally got him.
So now after have finished Castlevania I thought about what had changed from my childhood experience.
-Still a leather clad dude with a whip
-I absolutely love the music
-I get the controls now but they still are a pain, having to press up and fire to get your secondary weapon to go is awkward
-Jumping is still horrible
-I think Simon actually falls faster then the pull of gravity
-The stairs still don't make sense
-I can now kill the first boss without being hit once!
So not much has really changed, I just got some mad skillz.
So at least now I can say I have played through Castlevania, but the true test will be playing through it without saves. Maybe I'll give that a try with you all on friday the 13th, I think I will at least make it to the last level this time without saves. And good luck to the rest of you, see you on the IRC channel.
I had probably just beaten Ocarina of Time for about the umpteenth time when Nintendo announced a new Zelda game for the N64, to say the least I was ecstatic, it had been two years since I first played OoT. Again one night my dad gets home, golden box in hand, I was now 13 so I admired the box slightly longer, about 2.5 seconds this time. The game cartridge wasn’t just gold this time it was also holographic as well. So to get right to the reason for writing this is to tell you about the epiphany I had about why this game as a whole isn’t as bad as many people thought. The two main complaints about Majora’s Mask were that they didn’t like having to play the same three days over and over again and that the game focused too much on side quests, to find out why I disagree with that continue on reading.
Ok I finished Majora’s Mask, got all the masks and finished the notebook, and I felt that I had again accomplished something, I enjoyed that game. But then I began talking to my friends who had played it and all they could say was how stupid it was that you had to keep doing the 3 days over and over and how the side quests sucked, and of course me being a 13 year old boy at the time I had to agree out of peer pressure, so I hid my pleasure and agreed with them on how awful the game was and how I would never play it again (Oh how cool was I…). So for the past almost 8 years I have had that mentality that the game wasn’t that good. It wasn’t until I wrote about my first experience with OoT that I realized I had been living a lie with my feelings for MM, and the more I thought about it the more I saw the genius in what Nintendo had done with this game.
First of all think back on OoT, how many days passed while you played the game. It took what 5 -10 minutes for one full day to pass? And not to belittle OoT because it is an amazing game, but how different was it from one day to the next? No difference…they were exactly the same. So basically you were playing the same day over and over again (Ok well maybe the same 2 days if you count the days as a child and as an adult) Nothing ever changed, all the NPCs said the same thing every time you talked to them, they had great character design but after talking to most of them once they never said much else. Now think about MM, you have 3 distinct days, and each day is separated into morning and night sections for a total of 6 sections, and depending on which section you were in each NPC not only said different things, but were also in different places, doing different things, and as each section progressed their personality would change. Remember at the beginning everyone is excited because the moon festival is coming up but toward the end all the characters realize the impending doom that was the moon falling to destroy them all. and it made sense that the characters would say the same things each time you replayed each section, it was the same day to them. And because there was no way for you to talk to every person in one section, you had as many chances as you wanted to get to everyone. Now you have to admit that MM has one upped OoT in character development.
Now that’s not all that is genius about having only 3 days, once again think back to OoT, how many in-game days did you have to finish the game? Right, unlimited there was no sense of urgency to finish the game albeit your own personal desire to finish the game. So giving one day takes about 5-10 minutes and you played for how many hours? 35-40 maybe, How many in game days is that? Somewhere between 250 and 500 days! That’s over 1 year, and let me ask this question, what the f*ck what Ganondorf doing this whole time? By the time you become an adult he has royally f*cked up Hyrule, so he just sits in his unreachable tower playing the organ? (Ok I am really sorry for saying all that, don’t hate me, but it needed to be said to make my point with MM, remember I say it with all the love in the world)
Ok now to MM, you have 3 days, that’s it, no more, no less. You have to save the world in 3 days; the in game sense of urgency is through the roof, not to mention your own. If you don’t make it then it is on you, you messed up it’s your fault. Well thank goodness for being able to go back in time (even if it is very paradoxal with you being able to keep your weapons and your masks when you go back but not your rubies or any type of ammo, although you can put your rubies in the quantum bank and they will stay there when you go back, which all of this is pretty easy to look over in the long run) Back to the 3 days part, so now it’s not as tough, you have 3 days each to complete each dungeon, each side quest and anything else you want to do, which in there is still that sense of urgency to get it done, and if you mess some part of or forget to meet with someone at the right time then you have to start over, the game does not wait for you, and I love it, more weight is put on the actions of the gamer not the game. And do you remember seeing that imp with the mask causing havoc off in the distance every now and then? Yeah, you got that feeling that, oh ok the bad guy is actually out there doing something, not just sitting and waiting for you, he was waiting for you at a specific time, the very end of the 3 days.
Well you may say that still just doing the exact 3 days over and over, has anyone seen Groundhog Day? That movie was awesome because you got to see how Bill Murray was the only thing that ever changed and everything else only changed in relation to what he did. The same thing happens in MM everything is on a schedule and you are the only thing that can have an effect on it. And if you play the game right you should never have to do the same thing twice, unless of course you mess up. Many didn’t like the save feature in this game, they were used to the carefree save whenever you want feel lie it of OoT. In MM the only times you could save were if you warped back in time or if you came across one of those Owl Statues, which weren’t always around, you had to get it right the first time, a lot of the time there was no easy save, get it right or its back to square one, which gives that part of the game a neo-retro feel, how many NES games were there that if you messed up you were back at the beginning, that’s right, a lot. So you say that’s too hard to be putting into games anymore, well was MM really that hard? I mean come on they let you play the song of time backwards to slow time by half, if that doesn’t help you then just give up as a gamer.
One final thing about the 3 days, if you just wanted to play for a little bit each time you turned on the game then a 3 day in-game session was about perfect, get as much done as you could and then put it away for next time, I mean what’s wrong with starting at the beginning each time you start the game, you can easily reacclimate yourself to your surroundings because you have done it many times previously, I mean it worked for Super Mario Bros. I don’t think that game is considered a failure, do you?
(Hmm reminds me of something…)
Too Many Side Quests…many consider this a bad thing, I have a different view. Frankly I have never played a game with too many side quests, you know why? Because they are optional! If you don’t like them just do the main quest. A good example is Assassins Creed, there were a horrendous amount of flags to collect, did I collect them all….no, because there was no reason to (unless of course you own a 360 and only play games to get achievements, by the way that is a disgrace to gamers, but that story is for another blog) anyway, when I did come across random flags it was kinda neat to see how many you had collected, but did I care? No. Did it add or take away from the story? No. Now in MM the side quests had a purpose, heart pieces, they give you more hearts, useful. Golden Skullatas, the more you got the better prize you got, and it helped that they were all confined to one dungeon. Collecting the fairies in the 4 dungeons got you valuable upgrades. Getting the 6 bottles was also fun and useful. And my favorite, the Mask quests, getting every mask was its own interesting unique task, which most of the time involved you learning someone’s story and helping them out within the length of one 3 day period. Every time I helped someone and got a mask I felt a sense of achievement, not like the 360 achievements that are mainly for completing random or mundane tasks that give you no personal sense of completion, no I felt like I had done something, something worthwhile. And out of it you usually got a pretty useful mask. And do you remember the last and greatest mask?
(When has link ever looked more bad ass?)
That covers the main side quests of the game, none of them were required, except for a few of the masks, but they were all worthwhile and added to the game, not one of them took away, and if you didn’t want to do them then you didn’t have to, so if you don’t care about them, don’t complain about them.
If you don’t see this game now in a different light, then I fear that you will never will understand. While MM did have its flaws, it is the type of gameplay that I would like to see more of, and I am sure that it can be improved upon. So I hope you will join me now and take a second look at this game in a new light. I can’t wait to experience it again.
I still remember it like it was yesterday…I had just turned 11, My dad arrived home from work and in his hand was a shiny golden box, he handed it to me and I just stared at it in awe for about 1.5 seconds. As fast as I could I opened it up to hold the glittering gold cartridge in my hand, which only reflected the treasure that was the experience to come. I put it in the N64, fired it up, named myself link and I was off. As soon as I walked out of link’s house I fell in love. The environment was beautiful, lush, green and there were those little particles with trailing tails flying through the air.
yes even these small things amazed me.
I scoured Kokiri Village until I was satisfied that I had found everything that I could. Getting every ruby, going in every house, talking to everyone, and getting the Kokiri Sword :D (It seemed that every five minutes the game was one upping itself and it pretty much kept that up from beginning to end) Exploring inside the Great Duku Tree, fighting a crazy looking spider thing (which when after you stunned it was incredibly satisfying to slash it in the eye with your sword over and over seeing how many times you could hit it before it scurried away)
I could go on and on about every little thing that filled me with awe but I’m sure you don’t all want to read that much, so I’ll just keep it to a few chosen memorable moments.
My Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time top 10 remembered moments! (in chronological order)
9: Exploring Hyrule Field for the first time (in case you were wondering #10 was slashing Queen Gohma in the eye over and over)
I was overwhelmed; I think it was a good 2 hours before I ever got close to getting to the town.(I always avoided doing what the game told me to do for as long as I could so I could explore on my own) Lon Lon ranch, trying to get through the blocked entrances(made me mad when I couldn’t ), finding all the secret holes and rolling into trees, fighting the Stalchilds at night, and following the Marathon Runner.
8: Traveling through Time and turning into an adult
After finally getting through the first three dungeons you get to see what those 3 little stones can do. Open the door to the Master Sword, And I think it helped that I was pretty young when I played this because I was so surprised that you got to be an adult, I first looked at the sword and thought “there is no way I’m going to be able to wield this thing, its bigger then me!” then when I was an adult, I probably spent another hour running around Hyrule field looking for changes.
7: Hookshot and Longshot love The single most useful and fun weapon in the game, I never got tired of playing with it.
Now only if this was real...sigh
6: Finally being able to go back to the past I don’t know about you but I forgot to tame Epona when I was a kid
I got the song but I never played it again to tame her, I don’t exactly remember when you finally got to go back (I think it was after the Fire Temple that Sheik finally let you go back) so yeah that was a good moment knowing I wasn’t trapped as an adult.
5: Getting The Biggoron Sword You all remember the fun, little, timed, complicated, frustrating at times, yet strangely satisfying romps that got you that new sword
I think that pic is of the “Goron’s Knife” you know the one that broke after 2 uses, what a tease.
4: Spirit Temple
Silver Gauntlets… Awesome (picking up huge shit was fun)
Boss battle… Awesome
Saving Awesome looking hot chick Nabooru…Awesome
3: Finding out Shiek is Zelda
Yeah give me a break, was like 11 years old, I totally didn’t see that coming.
2: Fighting Ganondorf I my training and travel is coming down to this, I filled my bottles with fairies and Blue potion and started up the spiraling blood red stairs, ominous organ music getting louder and louder. This was it, the final epic battle…or so I thought.
Wailing on him with the sword after he was stunned…still really satisfying.
I thought I killed you….
Hell yeah, I got a twofer!
I was going just crazy about now; I was out of Blue potion and didn’t have many hearts, Lucky I made it through this awesome battle.
1: The Ending
Sad day that there is no more story, but a great feeling of accomplishment to know you have finished the game and can sit back and enjoy the ending.
I played it many more times after that doing speed runs, playing the whole game in one sitting, I even tried completing the game without getting one heart piece, that was rough. But I will always remember my first time, the magical, amazing experience that I will never again to be able to truly relive. Although I have younger sisters that have recently played though OoT and it brought a tear to my eye to see them enjoying it the way I did the first time I played though it. I will defiantly be holding on to my N64 so I can share the same experience with my children someday.
Well there you have it, a small portion of my favorite moments of the game that started my affair. I hope you all will post many moments and emotions you felt on your first play through of the masterpiece that is The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.