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My stepson first proposed it “Steve we need a games console”. The choice a Playstation or a N64.
Id just finished university. Xmas 1997. My housemate at Uni had a SNES and many happy hours had been spent on it. Cannon fodder and Mario Kart were favourites.
A local retailer had a video presentation for the N64. I was sold. Bought with Mario 64 and Diddy Kong Racing. A sense of wonder ensued. For those that weren't there. That didn't experience the joy of controlling mario for the first time in 3D. That didn't make him fly or triple jump or swim.
Words cannot describe how sublime it felt. The balance, the controls, the level design.
The joy and quirky charms of Diddy Kong, of beating Wizpig. And then came Goldeneye.
A world previously only available if you spent a fortune on a PC. The sniper rifle, Facility and then the denoument on cradle... “For England, James?” Dont even get me started on the Multiplayer.
One breathless gaming experience after another. Those who have always deemed Nintendo to make kiddy consoles....didnt play Shadowman. My first experience of resident evil came in the Hi res version of Resi 2.Fear, wonderful shameful fear whilst playing a videogame!
Banjo kazooie, Mario kart 64, Smash bros. The games were astonishing but then the motherlode arrived. Here's the confession – before OOT i had never heard of Zelda. My mate started telling me about this amazing game where you play as a little elf and you have to rescue the princess and blah blah blah. I gave in and tried it.
Oh my! I remember my daughter being born just after it came out. I remember sleepless nights where i would play whilst rocking her to sleep in her crib with my foot.
She would cry in the night and i would say “No its allright, ill see to her.” because seeing to her meant another hour in Hyrule field or up Death Mountain or just fishing on lake Hylia.
It was devastating. Just mindblowing. It was perfection. Utter perfection. They had thought of everything – everything. The main quest, all the side quests. The masks, the music, the characters.
The thrill of getting the first three stones. The horror when you realised what it precipitated.
The desolation when you emerge from the temple of time to see Hyrule town and castle ruined and corrupted.
Epona! Oh my god when you first get Epona and sail over the fence on Lon Lon ranch! Bliss.
Its awesome. Its just how videogames were supposed to be. It is the pinnacle of its art. The yardstick by which all others are measured. It's my best game ever. It brings a smile to my face to remember it and with that pleasure a little smile knowing that whenever i want to - my N64 or Gamecube or Wii are waiting for me to experience it all over again.
All comments and feedback welcome. Thank you.