Eight years ago I was a child with dreams. I dreamed of the day that I would one day make my own video game, populating it with my own brand of magic, thinking it to be some sort of alternate reality that was entered only by the most elite in our society. In my mind, game designers lived in a whole another world where anything was possible. Of course, I later found out that this was all bullshit. Still, for a long time I found that imagining my own video game worlds and expanding upon what was given to me was enough to satisfy my urges to create.
The game that captivated me the most as a child was Banjo Tooie. Slammed at the time for itís not quite as smooth frame rate (30fps) and a less linear scope, Banjo Tooie never took its place as the classic the original did. To those people I say pah! Banjo Tooie is the greatest 3D Platformer ever made, and Iíll fight anyone to the death who disagrees with me. Each of the worlds had its own unique style; featuring creativity in the minds of their creators that would leave a lasting impression on me for years.
It would be unfair of me to list Banjo Tooie as the only thing that inspired me in early youth. The Ocarina of Time, Sunset Riders, Super Star Wars, and Kirby all invaded my mental playroom at one time or another. You see, the expanded universes in gaming donít just come from the developers and publishers. Often times they come from the hearts and minds of little boys and girls, left alone with a box of crayons and an imagination. Banjo and Kazooie looked around nervously as we entered the gloomy town, the decaying shutters hanging from the saloon slammed against the side of the building, creating an aural accompinment to the flashes of lightning in the sky. Luckily, I knew better than to be afraid, and I encouraged Banjo and Kazooie to follow me inside the building. I cautiously swung the door open, leaping back when a jarring noise greeted me, the sound of a head on collision spinning out of control on a stormy highway. After regaining our composure, Banjo and I took the first step into the old building, carefully making note of the baskets of eggs and musical notes that sat on the tables and bar stools. Kazooie hopped out of Banjoís backpack and inspected the nearby piano while Banjo and I edged towards the stage in the center of the room. We heard a single ping and turned sharply around to see Kazooie standing by the piano looking bashful. She had pressed a key. Suddenly, goblin esque cowboys popped out of the floorboards. I knew we were in for a fight! With a karate kick here, a barrel roll there, a few eggs shot to and fro, and a whole lot of luck, we defeated the evil cowboys and claimed our first Jiggy. I knew our adventure was far from over, but it was past my bedtime. Knowing that Banjo and Kazooie would be right there waiting for me when I woke up, I said goodbye. With a smile on my face and a warm feeling in my heart, I closed my eyes and drifted off into sleep.