Super Mario Land and the magic of mental bookmarks

Somewhere, hidden beneath a metric ton of stuff that’s slowly accumulated in my closet or one of the million other places I haphazardly throw things into and then forget about, lies a cartridge of Super Mario Land. I can’t quite remember if it’s the same one I had growing up, but part of me suspects that it probably is. If you’re thinking, “Oh no, he’s about to launch into another of his boring childhood stories that only tangentially involve games,” then you’re totally right! Unlike many of my other stories, though, this one is more than mindless blathering, instead serving to illustrate how strong of a mental bookmark games are capable of being. Just so we’re all on the same page, what I mean by a “mental bookmark” is a reaction that’s just short of synesthetic and that’s caused by two influential or memorable things happening in a short span of time to the point where they become inextricably linked. An example most people can relate to would be listening to a song while talking to a boyfriend/girlfriend to the point where hearing that song causes you to think of that person, even years later. Read more →

A Radical Lack of Dreaming: Chrono Cross and my Playstation

What follows is the story of how I overcame a serious anti-Sony bias in order to own a Playstation, and the role that Chrono Cross played in all of that. To be read in F# minor. Read more →

Escapism – a DKC tale

I don’t particularly care for bananas. They taste strange and feel all smooshy (which, I assure you, is totally a word) in your mouth. All things considered, I barely consider bananas to be fit for human consumption. However, as a MacGuffin that compels two monkeys to embark on an epic journey through beautiful, bee-and-lizard-infested levels? When framed like that, bananas are actually pretty awesome. This is the story of my earliest memory of Donkey Kong Country. Read more →

Final Fantasy 4: A Story of Obsession

I don’t remember the first time I played Final Fantasy 4 (originally released as Final Fantasy 2). However, I remember looking for the game in shops all over, desperately trying to own it. While I never felt it measures up to Final Fantasy 6 or the peerless Chrono Trigger, it’s nonetheless a wonderful game, if only for the many translation quirks and outright errors that make the whole thing so lovably weird. What follows is a true story of obsession that arose from my desire to play the game one more time. Read more →

Why I love Chrono Trigger

I still remember the first time I played Chrono Trigger. I had drooled over it since it came out and I saw pictures of it in Nintendo Power (does that magazine even still exist?), and I just knew that it was an incredible game. It was some kind of psychic connection I had with the game or something. Still, I didn’t even have a Super Nintendo at the time, so it was little more than a dream.

Years later, I was in school and somehow it came up that I owned Super Mario RPG (and a SNES, though I don’t really remember when that happened). This guy came up and offered to lend me Chrono Trigger if I lent SMRPG to him, and thus I had finally acquired the game I so desperately wanted to play, if only temporarily. Everything after that is a bit foggy, but I’m pretty sure I returned it. Maybe. However it happened, I still own Chrono Trigger and have no regrets about it, even if that means that I technically robbed it from a classmate. I mean, I’d have probably set him on fire if that meant keeping it a little longer. Here are a few reasons why I love Chrono Trigger so much: Read more →

Fun with character names: Part 1

Some people consider immaturity a curse, but I think of it more as a gift. Take the following pictures, for example: all it took to bring about these wonderful moments was a natural inclination to replace characters’ normal names with a certain part of the male anatomy. Enjoy the aftermath. Read more →

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