It was December 1987, my sister Melynda was coming home from college on Christmas break and she had a box with my name on it. A few weeks earlier we had been to visit and while shopping I saw this new video game system called the Nintendo. I’d never heard or seen it before and I mentioned that I NEEDED it. When Melynda walked through the door with that box I used my jedi mind tricks on her and asked if that was my Nintendo. “Who told you?!?” she screamed. “You just did HAHAHA”. Since I already knew what it was she let me open it and my world changed. For a couple of weeks we played the hell out of Gyromite with R.O.B. and Duck Hunt. To this day I can max the score on skeet shooting.
I did eventually pay my sister back for getting me my first Nintendo. A couple of weeks after the Wii was released I got up at 4AM to stand in line for hours to get her and her kids one.
I’m working on restoring my deluxe set. I now have Duck Hunt, Gyromite, a grey Zapper, and I never lost my original R.O.B. Some of his parts are missing but that’s what Ebay is for.
A couple of weeks after I got my Nintendo I went shopping with my Grandma Rentz to buy a system for my cousins. We searched all over Augusta but either the stores had never heard of a Nintendo or they were sold out. It seems that in 1987 most places weren’t giving video games a chance after the crash of 84. We finally found one at a department store called Sky City. While Grandma was checking out I was looking at the games in the glass counter. As I recall then there were just a few but one stood out. It was gold and it had an awesome name, “The Legend of Zelda”. Apparently my Grandma saw the look in my eye or maybe drool on my chin and she bought it for me. I bet she didn’t realize that 24 years later I would still be playing it. Thanks Grandma.
Zelda helped me and my Dad bond when I was in high school since he loved playing it as much as I did. The first week we had it I woke the old man up at 3 in the morning because I found the power bracelet. Much to my mothers surprise he got out of bed and had me show him where it was. Dad and I used to compete to see who could win the game the fastest. We averaged about 3 hours to complete both quests without dying. People would call our house to get help with the game and if I wasn’t home Dad could tell them what to do.
One night Dad was playing and he got a fire call. He was the chief of the local fire department and he just paused the game and we took off. About six hours later we come home to find Link in the same spot. Mom was scared to mess with it and ruin Dads game so she just muted the television and read a book. Good times.
Click the image to the right to see a fantastic banner showing the history of this remarkable series.
Here is a photo of my Virtual Boy. This particular console was supposed to be a portable device and was the first to display 3D graphics. Unfortunately is was ahead of its time and not very portable. It used red LED’s since they were low power and LCD’s didn’t have the refresh rate needed to display the image clearly. If you ever played the original GameBoy you would remember how the LCD screen would get blurry during fast paced sequences. The system barely lasted six months on store shelves before Nintendo pulled the plug, releasing only 14 games in the United States. It’s considered Nintendos biggest failure. Due to the fact NOA only shipped an estimated 800,000 Virtual Boys finding one of these beauties in good working condition makes them a nice collectible. There was also an issue with the system giving people headaches due to the eye strain. To help with this issue the games are paused automatically to give you a break every 15 minutes or so.
I always wanted one of these but couldn’t afford the price of them back in 95. I was in college and would stop by the local Toys r’ Us and play the demo. I am now looking up the schematics to build a link cable so that I can play Mario Tennis head to head.
UPDATE: I played Mario Tennis for about 15 minutes and yes, you will get a headache. I totally understand why this thing was a flop.
Here is a video showing the opening of Mario Tennis.
I was able to get my hands on this one finally. It’s the infamous Power Glove made famous by the movie The Wizard. Back in 89 my buddy Kurt had this thing and we never got it to work. I hooked it up last night and guess what? I still couldn’t get it to work right. It is a total fail but it looks cool in my collection.