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TheDustinThomas avatar 12:57 PM on 05.14.2013  (server time)
Take Away My Gamer Card: Exposing My Secret Shame

I think it's safe to say that every gamer has that one game that they're ashamed to say that they've never played, or if they have played it, they never finished.  It's mostly reserved for classic games, I don't get a lot of hate from people when I say I've never really played a Halo game, or that I didn't care for Red Dead Redemption.  But when I say "I liked Chrono Trigger, but I never finished it," people look at me like I have three heads.  I get it, it's one of the most beloved games of all-time, it's quite possibly the perfect JRPG, an all-time classic.  My wife is a huge Chrono Trigger fan, and I'm almost certain she considered divorcing me when I told her I never finished it.

I find that I'm guilty of doing the same thing to other people.  My tastes are a little bit different, so I find myself saying "Wait a minute, did you just say you never played Symphony of the Night?" Then I get the vapors and pass out like a 40-something southern belle in the 1930s.  Some people look completely disgusted when you reveal that you've never played that one game that holds a special place in their heart.  Why does it bother people so much?  Why does it bother me? Everyone has their own tastes, so why are people so dumbfounded when I tell them I've never played a Final Fantasy game?  I don't like JRPGs, so why would I play one?  If you don't like platformers, why would you play one?

My wife with someone I assume is from a video game.

Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy, while I respect what they did for gaming, and I understand why people love them so much, they're just not my thing.  As a youngster, sports were my number one hobby, so when the SNES hit the stage I was all about games like Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball, NBA Jam, a football game called Super High Impact, and WWF Royal Rumble.  I loved sports games, and I had no interest in fantasy.

Not to say that I only played sports games, I played all the classics: Mario, Metroid, Castlevania, Mega Man, Contra, and the list goes on.  But the one classic series that I've never been able to make myself push through, despite my best efforts, is The Legend of Zelda.

There, I said it.  Please refrain from stone-throwing until I'm done.

I've always felt like less of a gamer because I've never really played a Zelda game.  It's not for a lack of trying.  I've tried almost every one of them, everything from classics like the original and Link to the Past all the way up to Phantom Hourglass, which is the last one I attempted.  I've never been the type to force myself to play something I don't like, but I also don't give up on a game before giving it a fair shake.  I tried to sit down a few years ago and finally play A Link to the Past, and while I got a good 6 hours or so into the game, and found myself really enjoying it, eventually I got to a point where I didn't know what I needed to do in order to progress, and then turned it off and just never returned to it.

My goal is to go back and complete it before the sequel is released.  I ask friends "If there is one Zelda game I should play, which one would it be?"  The answer is always either A Link to the Past or Ocarina of Time.  With the 3DS version of OoT, and the fact that I'm mostly a portable gamer these days, that seems like the one I'm most likely to finish, assuming I ever start it.  To this day, the only Zelda game I've ever completed is 3-D Dot Game Heroes, and I absolutely adored it.

So how can I love 3-D Dot Game Heroes and not Zelda?  What is it about that little elf kid that never grabbed me the way it did everyone else?  I've asked myself this question several times over the years.  I think a lot of it is because as a child I was never into high fantasy.  Elves, wizards, fairies, I just wasn't into them.  I was more into shooting aliens, stomping goombas, and blasting robots, and for some reason in my head I never considered that type of stuff to be fantasy, even though it clearly is in some capacity.

Because The Legend of Zelda is such an institution in gaming culture, I do have an interest in the series.  The orchestral version of the Zelda theme was played at my wedding (I should mention that my wife is also a huge Zelda fan).  I've watched countless videos on the games, read countless articles, I have Hyrule Historia sitting on my bookshelf as we speak and I love it.  So what's the deal?  What is it that I don't get?  Am I predestined to not like certain games?  Is it this way for anyone else with different classic titles?  One of these days Zelda, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but someday, I'm going to freakin' save you.

You may now commence with the stone-throwing.

Thanks for reading.


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