I cant remember much about being ten years old. I can't remember much about last week really, if I'm honest. But despite my awful memory, I can vividly recall my love affair with the Nintendo Game Boy like it was yesterday (I can just about remember yesterday. Pretty much).
I remember how the weight of the console felt in my palms, how the A & B buttons clicked, and how the Start & Select buttons felt soft and smooshy (best non-word I could use to describe the sensation). I remember, very clearly, how the lid of the battery compartment broke and wouldn't stay in place and how I would continuously have to repair it using sticky-tape. I recall pestering my parents daily for this electronic wonder, and despite their low-incomes (to which I was childishly oblivious to) they managed to grant my wish.
Mum & Dad, I love you.
As with a lot of Game Boy owners, my first game was Tetris. You may have heard of it. It's a puzzle game that has a variety of blocks falling down the screen and by creating lines you can make them disappear. Trust me, its pretty fun. If you were blessed with a friend who also possessed a Game Boy, and a copy of the required game...and a connecting lead...it was possible to play 2 player on certain games. I don't recall the name of the football game me and Douglas from down the street played, but it is clear to me, as it was then, that the original Game Boy was not designed for football games. It was utter ****. But it kept us captivated for a whole summer.
The thrill of the match!! Erm. Yeah. ^
Recently I had the good fortune to have a quick play on an original Game Boy, but I quickly found the blurry little green & black screen to be a real strain on my ageing eyes. It was practically unplayable compared to modern standards, and I started wondering how this blocky handheld had kept my attention for hundreds and hundreds of hours back in my youth. Fortunately for this blog, I know the answer to this question. It was all thanks to this little game:
The Legend of Zelda: Links Awakening
Oooh yes. Links Awakening. Yes indeed sir. I remember thinking Nintendo must have to use some kind of magical enchantment in the process of fitting this entire epic adventure on one small, grey cartridge. The game starts with Link washed up on the shores of Koholint Island, a place of mystery that has been engrained deeply in my gaming psyche. He is led by the cryptic guidance of an owl and must find eight legendary instruments in order to wake the 'Wind Fish' and escape the island. Looking back, Links Awakening seems like a bit of a testing playground for some of Nintendo's more far-out storytelling ideas. The inhabitants of the island are nothing short of wacky, and there are even cameos from the likes of Yoshi and Chain-Chomps from the Mario series. I can clearly remember huge amounts of this wondrous game and decided I would replay the adventure in its entirety again if I had the chance to. Sadly, I had to resign myself to the fact it wasn't to be.
You see I recently decided to reacquaint myself with Nintendo with the purchase of a 3DS, and soon discovered that there were a number of original Game Boy titles available to download at a price. Scanning through the list of titles I spied The Legend of Zelda: Links Awakening DX and within an instant I had decided this was a purchase I had to make.It is a dangerous proposition, returning to a beloved game after many years have passed. Maybe we will have grown apart, and attempts to try and rekindle the relationship are just folly. But it's a risk I have to take. Playing Links Awakening will literally be a link to the past for this gamer.
Possibly to be continued…but that's not guaranteed!!!