I have been playing video games since I was roughly 3 years old and my mother decided that I should try to play Super Mario Bros. for the NES. From there began a wondrous journey for me, spanning 14 years of my life and lowering my resistance to sunlight. It’s been a long journey to this point in time. Here are 5 highlights from those years.
5. Beating the Monster Mask – Startropics 2: Zoda’s Revenge
Startropics 2 was probably one of the first games I ever played. My family only owned this one, for some reason, although I found the original later in life. Anyway, this event probably happened when I was around the 8-10 age range. Startropics 2 was a damn fun game, but I could never get past the second boss of the Egypt world. He was a giant Egyptian pharaoh mask. I tried to find a picture, I cannot. Sad. Anyway, you stand on this floor of tiles that are trying to move you forward towards this guy, who is shooting like bullets and stuff at you. You have to jump backwards while firing your weapon at him. Once you hit him enough, his face rotated and became a freaky skull that shot lasers. IT WAS SCARY. It was really difficult at the time, and my mother and I had both tried to beat him. One day, my mom was at work, and I was playing, and out of nowhere, somehow, I beat it, with like maybe half a heart remaining. I was so excited to get to the next stage of the game, and to this day, Startropics 2 remains my favorite game.
4. Beating Captain Syrup – Wario Land 2
Wario Land 2 is an excellent game for the Game Boy. I got Wario Land 2 along with my very first Game Boy, a blue Game Boy Pocket. I played it all the freaking time. It was so fun, and it still is. The amount of treasure in the levels was amazing, and since you couldn’t actually die, it was a great game for me as a smallish child.
One day, I finally got to the last boss, and could not figure out what you were supposed to do. Captain Syrup is floating around in a little UFO like craft, and fire is jetting up from beneath the floor. She drops enemies from the bottom of her craft, and you have to throw them up at her and hit her. This part I picked up, having played Super Mario World. The part that was difficult was when she began launching bombs from her ship. If they hit the ground, they shot fire out from both sides. I could not figure out what to do, until eventually a bomb hit me. Instead of dying, Wario caught the bomb. I still had no idea what to do with this. I tried throwing it at her, but it didn’t work. During one of my failed bombing attempts, the bomb hit a flame jet underneath the floor, and the flames shot to the ceiling. I suddenly realized what I had to do: time the bomb’s connection with the flame jet so that the flame hit Captain Syrup. It took time, but I finally got this to work, and won the game.
I just did this about 3 minutes ago for research, and am now watching the awesome ending. Also, once you beat the game, you get a screen showing you that there are like 6 other endings, and that you have only played maybe half the levels. I was like “woah.”
3. I conquer my F.E.A.R. – F.E.A.R.
I bought F.E.A.R on a whim as I walked through Wal-Mart one day. I could tell it was going to be a scary game, but who cares? Sure, Resident Evil 4 had scared me, but I had been like 12. I was 15 now. I watched horror movies and never got scared. This was going to be the same. I got home and loaded it onto my computer and started to play. It started out mildly scary. Some people disappearing in pools of blood, creepy people who dissolve, odd radio transmissions, and a little girl who is creepy…all very surreal. I had to turn off the game scared a few times, but I always came back. But then THIS happens. (Warning, this video is rather loud and the F-word is screamed quite loudly and without warning. So there is the warning.)
That was too much for me. I was done. I quick saved the game and literally did not play for about a year. Then one day, I was sitting at my computer and said “I should beat F.E.A.R.”. And so I did. I was absolutely horrified throughout the entire game, but I beat it.
2. I beat Castlevania. Somehow. – Castlevania
NES games in general are much more difficult then any games we have now. Some games are incredibly difficult even by NES game standards. And then there’s Castlevania. I wouldn’t say it is the hardest NES game of all time, but damn will it give you some trouble. The worst part is how easy the first 3 levels are. I bought the game when I was probably 14, and could get through the first 3 levels with no problem. The third boss took a while to get used to, but wasn’t that bad. Even the fourth level became easy after a little practice. Where the trouble begins is the 4th boss.
The 4th boss is Frankenstein and Igor. Frankenstein bumbles around the floor doing nothing, while Igor leaps around the damn screen throwing fireballs that take a fourth of your health. This is dangerous enough, but the corridor previous to the boss has 3 difficult to kill dragon enemies that shoot fireballs that remove a fourth of your health.
If you are lucky enough to kill them, you get to move onto level 5, a challenging but beatable level with an IMPOSSIBLE BOSS. Death summons 3 magical scythes that appear from the goddamn ether and spin at you with little to no room to avoid them. They take a fourth of your health. The corridor previous to this is filled with axe knights and medusa heads, possibly the most evil enemy combination ever devised. Also both take a fourth of your health. After about 30 tries in one session, 20 in another, and finally, 50 tries in my final session, I wreck Death’s shit with holy water. Keep in mind “session” means I got pissed and turned off the game. And had to go through Igor again.
So I get to level 6, and after about 15 attempts on this impossibly hard level, I get through to Dracula’s lair. I die immediately and about break down, thinking I am about to return to the start of the level. I reappear on the staircase outside and become a believer in a deity. Turns out the designers were nice…once. I wreck Dracula’s shit an hour later and rejoice.
1. Becoming The Guy. – I Wanna Be The Guy.
I beat I Wanna Be The Guy. If you know what that is, you need no explanation for why this is #1. If not, I’ll keep it short.
- This game has made people cry.
- I spent 2 months on the final boss.
That’s a screen from the game. That is all.