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What's your absolutely favorite childhood gaming memory? Here's mine (Magic Sword)

VGEsoterica

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When I was a kid on random occasions (and some special ones) my dad would bring me to our local arcade; "The Dream Machine"....weird name but holy crap did I love going to that place. It wasn't huge (I grew up in Vermont so...nothing was ever big lol) but it was filled to the brim with cabinet after cabinet.

Usually I'd get $5-10 to play with until I ran out. Seemed like a small amount back then but later in life I realized $10 in the early 90's was a decent chunk of money to play arcade games with. My dad might throw a quarter in here and there (and weirdly could beat Dragon's Lair on one credit because he memorized it back in the day) but otherwise he would just let me play whatever I felt like.

Except one day we randomly went and started up a two player session of Magic Sword. I still remember where that cab was...on the back left wall tucked away in the corner. Clearly not a popular cab at that point in time but it was still there so why not try it?

And for some reason...that day...my dad just decided "fuck it" and we loaded that machine full of money and beat the whole damn thing. He even let me decide whether to choose the "good or bad" ending when it was all over. I still don't know WHY that day was different and he decided to blow a ton of money on beating it but he did and that memory is burned into my brain. It's like I can transport myself back to that arcade and that day and remember the whole thing....yet I don't remember ANYTHING about why we went, or what we did after or most of that year of my life to be entirely honest.

For my dad it was probably just a random day and he felt like seeing the ending but for me it's become my most cherished video game memory (hell probably one of my most cherished childhood memories about ANYTHING) of all time and one I don't think I'll ever forget. It's basically the reason I still love, collect and preserve arcade games.

But I'd love to hear others memories. I am sure we all have them (even if not everyone was alive in the 90's back when this occurred lol)
 

VGEsoterica

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this is Magic Sword...and it's the full story of that day. I did it for my dads birthday to send to him later today lol....VERY curious if he even remembers it happening. I am sure to him it was just a random day and he probably had tons of other shit going on in life as an adult
 

k1m1d4n

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Nov 5, 2020
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My dad used to own arcade machines.
He would put them at cafes and bars and split the profits with the owner as some sort of rent business.
Unfortunately for me he wouldn't play the games. He just bought the stuff, fix the stuff, place the stuff....
But fortunately for me he always let me try the new games.
One of the oldest memories I have in my gaming history is the first time I tried Alpha mission II. It was a space shooter in a neo geo cartridge. Those things were expensive as hell.
I remember sitting on a bench so I could reach the joystick and the first time I heard that music coming from that little stereo speaker....the chills.
Even to this day that music still brings me back.
 

k1m1d4n

Neo Member
Nov 5, 2020
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My dad used to own arcade machines.
He would put them at cafes and bars and split the profits with the owner as some sort of rent business.
Unfortunately for me he wouldn't play the games. He just bought the stuff, fix the stuff, place the stuff....
But fortunately for me he always let me try the new games.
One of the oldest memories I have in my gaming history is the first time I tried Alpha mission II. It was a space shooter in a neo geo cartridge. Those things were expensive as hell.
I remember sitting on a bench so I could reach the joystick and the first time I heard that music coming from that little stereo speaker....the chills.
Even to this day that music still brings me back.
 

VGEsoterica

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Oct 5, 2019
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My dad used to own arcade machines.
He would put them at cafes and bars and split the profits with the owner as some sort of rent business.
Unfortunately for me he wouldn't play the games. He just bought the stuff, fix the stuff, place the stuff....
But fortunately for me he always let me try the new games.
One of the oldest memories I have in my gaming history is the first time I tried Alpha mission II. It was a space shooter in a neo geo cartridge. Those things were expensive as hell.
I remember sitting on a bench so I could reach the joystick and the first time I heard that music coming from that little stereo speaker....the chills.
Even to this day that music still brings me back.
Awesome game and memory. I have this exact game on my Neo Geo AES shelf. Super fun one.

my dad loved NES and Genesis. Always played..:even when I wasn’t around lol
 

VGEsoterica

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Getting Donkey Kong Country for Christmas. Still play that game to this day.
I remember getting my Genesis for Christmas. There was one big box but my parents kept saying it was for my grandmother later in the day...after we opened everything they said “oh wait...maybe this is for you” (or something like that)....and inside was the console
 
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For a long time as a child I couldn't get past the Barrel® in Sonic 3 and Knuckles. Then I stayed home from school because I was sick. I fired up Sonic and Knuckles Collection on my PC to play it...I had all the 7 emeralds before I got stuck there again. Then, I swear I accidentally turned into Super Sonic and the transformation helped me glitch through the side of the barrel!!! I was in sheer awe! I couldn't believe I finally did it and saw beyond where I was stuck all that time! It was truly euphoric to experience Sonic and Tails' route of the story, as I already beat it with Knuckles before but that was set after Sonic/Tails' scenario. That's my favorite childhood video gaming memory 😁
 
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Northeastmonk

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Wow OP. I had a similar circumstance, but mine was at a gas station while my family was on a road trip. There was a Magic Sword cabinet inside. I played it the whole time we were there. Something about it made it special. The NPC’s you released from jail that followed you around. The big boss on the first stage and that feeling of getting a power upgrade to your sword. Later on this feeling was captivated by Magician Lord on an SNK cabinet that I would play every time I went out to eat with my parents.

I have some amazing memories of going out to eat with my parents and playing Mortal Kombat II and 3 at the arcade. I remember going to the arcade when the Mortal Kombat II machine had like 8-9 people around it. These are simple memories, but it was amazing for me. Another one was playing Street Fighter II after getting stuffed with pizza and soda.
 

VGEsoterica

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Wow OP. I had a similar circumstance, but mine was at a gas station while my family was on a road trip. There was a Magic Sword cabinet inside. I played it the whole time we were there. Something about it made it special. The NPC’s you released from jail that followed you around. The big boss on the first stage and that feeling of getting a power upgrade to your sword. Later on this feeling was captivated by Magician Lord on an SNK cabinet that I would play every time I went out to eat with my parents.

I have some amazing memories of going out to eat with my parents and playing Mortal Kombat II and 3 at the arcade. I remember going to the arcade when the Mortal Kombat II machine had like 8-9 people around it. These are simple memories, but it was amazing for me. Another one was playing Street Fighter II after getting stuffed with pizza and soda.

I miss the days of arcade cabinets being everywhere. Pizza joints, laundry mats in Brooklyn when I lived there...bars. Etc etc.

Such a big part of growing up was arcades and so few of them exist any longer. Seeing MK for the first time was awesome too. Same thing...big group around it waiting for their turn. You KNEW it was gonna be a great game just because of the crowds
 
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Sierra Online adventure games.

Seriously. I LOVED Police Quest, Space Quest, Leisure Suit Larry (yes, my parents bought it for me), etc.. as a kid. The late 80s/early 90s was the golden age of adventure games and Sierra Online made some of the best.

I also have amazing memories of playing Wing Commander 1 and 2 when they were first released. Same with the original X-Wing and Tie Fighter games. I've been trying to find a space combat game that brings back the magic of those games for decades and have never really found one.
 
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Northeastmonk

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I miss the days of arcade cabinets being everywhere. Pizza joints, laundry mats in Brooklyn when I lived there...bars. Etc etc.

Such a big part of growing up was arcades and so few of them exist any longer. Seeing MK for the first time was awesome too. Same thing...big group around it waiting for their turn. You KNEW it was gonna be a great game just because of the crowds
Most of my arcade memories where I live now are stuck in the past. We had numerous arcades where people playing dancing and fighting games shut down. I went out to the state next door to me and went to an Aladdin’s Castle there probably around 2005. The same manager who managed the one I use to play Tekken Tag Tournament at was working. He told me they didn’t make enough money to keep it going. I have even seen pictures of the mall I went to as a child and that arcade has shut down too. I even spoke to a childhood friend and what was crazy about it all was that his wife’s mom worked at the Chinese restaurant that had the SNK I played while waiting for a table. Our memories and enjoyment of these games really live on with digital ports, arcade collections, and their original home release.
 

Soleil rouge

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A gas station in Chicago somewhere on Ashland Ave had a couple of arcades, but the one I remember most turned out to be Tiger Road. My older brothers and I were absolutely fascinated by it.

I was super young around this time so I didn't remember the name for years. From time to time, I'd try to google things that I remembered from the game but couldn't find it for the life of me. One day I said fuck it and searched for screenshots of arcade games in alphabetical order until I found it lol and immediately got it on Mame.

It actually held up quite well and the music was incredibly nostalgic.
 
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Buying the original Legend of Zelda on the NES and being so enthralled by the game that my friend and I stayed up well past midnight playing it the next night. Just the two of us, hunkered down in his family's living room, lights off and everyone else in the house asleep, classic Zelda music keeping us entranced. Now that I think about it, that may have been my first ever gaming binge. Lol

I remember getting my Genesis for Christmas. There was one big box but my parents kept saying it was for my grandmother later in the day...after we opened everything they said “oh wait...maybe this is for you” (or something like that)....and inside was the console
Ha, I got the Genesis on Christmas, too. I had discovered it in my parents' closet a few weeks before the holiday, which made the wait excruciating.

Edit: Also, forgot to mention, never even heard of Magic Sword. Looks tight, tho!
 
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Orta

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Coming downstairs Christmas morning 1990 and finding my NES under the Christmas Tree. I finally had this iconic magical box in MY possesion, this thing I'd only seen pictures of in magazines and on tv ads. It was all mine. I think I spent a good half hour inspecting it, the buttons, front lid, controller, game cartridge (TMNT) before playing it. I've played hundreds upon hundreds of games and owned nearly every console you care to mention and nothing will ever come close to that day again.
 

Aion002

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I remember when I was 10 years old or something having lunch on a restaurant during a vacation with my parents, in front of the restaurant on the other side of the street there was an Arcade Store, I quickly finished eating and I pestered my father to give me some money to go there, since our table had a clean view to the place he allowed me to go play some games... He didn't had a change so he gave me 50 brazilian reals or something, which was lot of money at the time for a kid....

After he had finished eating he went there to get me.... And guess what? I had exchanged all the money for arcade tokens, he was so surprised with his own mistake that he laughed while waiting for me to run out of tokens.... Which took a while since 1 token was 1 real and I mostly played Time Crisis.


Good times.
 

Kuranghi

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Probably The Settlers, its the first purchase I remember. Dad told me not to open the cardboard box til I got home and I ignored him ofc and realised I had lost the manual when I got home.

After much tears we got a call from the farm shop where a jolly farm woman said "We found a booklet with a fat knight on a tiny horse with a windmill in the background", so we returned to the farm shop got the booklet and an extra steak pie my mum had decided she now needed.

 
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Kuranghi

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I remember when I was 10 years old or something having lunch on a restaurant during a vacation with my parents, in front of the restaurant on the other side of the street there was an Arcade Store, I quickly finished eating and I pestered my father to give me some money to go there, since our table had a clean view to the place he allowed me to go play some games... He didn't had a change so he gave me 50 brazilian reals or something, which was lot of money at the time for a kid....

After he had finished eating he went there to get me.... And guess what? I had exchanged all the money for arcade tokens, he was so surprised with his own mistake that he laughed while waiting for me to run out of tokens.... Which took a while since 1 token was 1 real and I mostly played Time Crisis.


Good times.

Its cracks me up to think of your mum and dad just standing there behind you watching the intro to Time Crisis over and over, just because its so silly:



To be clear though I fucking LOVE this intro. So many great lines, its like an 80s action movie blockbuster trailer.

Rachel Macpherson: "Don't Come!"

VO: "Wiiild Dog"

So good.
 
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Con-Z-epT

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Getting the original gameboy for christmas.

I can't remember how old i was. I think 6 years old.
I've played videogames before that but never owned a console or anything like that.

It came with Tetris, Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, Metroid 2: Return of Samus and Mega Man: Dr. Wily's Revenge.

Metroid and Mega Man where to hard for me at first but i had an awesome time nonetheless.

From that point on i see myself as an enthusiast for videogames.
 

VGEsoterica

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Super Metroid, winter, a lot of rain outside and I am in bed.
I still distinctly remember "snow day" gaming. Bunch of snow overnight....no school. Go outside in the morning and build snow forts and generally just screw around till I got cold. Come inside and directly in front of the tv for a solid mid day weekday gaming session.

I grew out of that though...snow days became ski days
 
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VGEsoterica

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I remember when I was 10 years old or something having lunch on a restaurant during a vacation with my parents, in front of the restaurant on the other side of the street there was an Arcade Store, I quickly finished eating and I pestered my father to give me some money to go there, since our table had a clean view to the place he allowed me to go play some games... He didn't had a change so he gave me 50 brazilian reals or something, which was lot of money at the time for a kid....

After he had finished eating he went there to get me.... And guess what? I had exchanged all the money for arcade tokens, he was so surprised with his own mistake that he laughed while waiting for me to run out of tokens.... Which took a while since 1 token was 1 real and I mostly played Time Crisis.


Good times.
lol tokens...the scourge of parents everywhere. Turn money into something only good at an arcade and then you have to wait for kids to burn them all off!
 

Rayderism

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I used to love the days when videogame arcades were everywhere, back before home consoles were strong enough to accurately play even the simplest of arcade games. I'd spend my paper boy (now there's a job that's a relic of a past age) money at them every week.

There was this one near my house called "Space Invaders" that had the most awesome atmosphere....dark, arcade cabs recessed into the walls with the volume cranked on all of them, strobe lights flashing, lasers swirling around the ceiling and reflecting off spinning disco balls. It was like walking into another dimension. Those were the days......the place is a porn shop now. :messenger_unamused:

Before COVID19, I tried modern day arcades like 16-bit Arcade and a few other's whose names escape me.....it just isn't the same. All of the games in there can all be played at home now, the places are too well lit, which kills that amazing atmosphere, and the places are usually mostly devoid of people. Instead of feeling amazing and exciting, they just felt sad and pathetic and contingent on you buying their overpriced alcoholic beverages. It made me feel old with the realization of how much things have changed since then. I don't bother trying to relive my youth at modern arcades anymore.

I think my whole reason for becoming a game hoarder stems from the memories of the videogame arcade days. Having a host of games at my fingertips gives me at least a hollow sense of those times.

That, and sometimes I'll put on something like this on and turn the lights down as I play some Arcade Archives or The Pinball Arcade games:

 

Hawks Eclipse

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For my dad it was probably just a random day and he felt like seeing the ending but for me it's become my most cherished video game memory (hell probably one of my most cherished childhood memories about ANYTHING) of all time and one I don't think I'll ever forget.

Seriously though, your dad's way cool and I'm glad you got to play in an arcade during your childhood, with your dad no less.

Based on your account, I'm guessing he saw it as a good bonding opportunity on a cab that no one else would interrupt. If he just wanted to see the ending why would he let you choose between the good and the bad one?

Apologies, I don't have any childhood gaming memory off the top of my head to share for now, but I enjoyed your anecdote enough to come in and comment, cheers!
 

Hawks Eclipse

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I used to love the days when videogame arcades were everywhere, back before home consoles were strong enough to accurately play even the simplest of arcade games. I'd spend my paper boy (now there's a job that's a relic of a past age) money at them every week.

There was this one near my house called "Space Invaders" that had the most awesome atmosphere....dark, arcade cabs recessed into the walls with the volume cranked on all of them, strobe lights flashing, lasers swirling around the ceiling and reflecting off spinning disco balls. It was like walking into another dimension. Those were the days......the place is a porn shop now. :messenger_unamused:

Before COVID19, I tried modern day arcades like 16-bit Arcade and a few other's whose names escape me.....it just isn't the same. All of the games in there can all be played at home now, the places are too well lit, which kills that amazing atmosphere, and the places are usually mostly devoid of people. Instead of feeling amazing and exciting, they just felt sad and pathetic and contingent on you buying their overpriced alcoholic beverages. It made me feel old with the realization of how much things have changed since then. I don't bother trying to relive my youth at modern arcades anymore.

I think my whole reason for becoming a game hoarder stems from the memories of the videogame arcade days. Having a host of games at my fingertips gives me at least a hollow sense of those times.

That, and sometimes I'll put on something like this on and turn the lights down as I play some Arcade Archives or The Pinball Arcade games:

Another great anecdote. I'll always love stories where people describe their magical experiences in arcades of days past. Thanks for sharing it.

Speaking of TPA, have you tried Zaccaria Pinball before?
 

VGEsoterica

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Seriously though, your dad's way cool and I'm glad you got to play in an arcade during your childhood, with your dad no less.

Based on your account, I'm guessing he saw it as a good bonding opportunity on a cab that no one else would interrupt. If he just wanted to see the ending why would he let you choose between the good and the bad one?

Apologies, I don't have any childhood gaming memory off the top of my head to share for now, but I enjoyed your anecdote enough to come in and comment, cheers!
Not sure why he let me choose? Probably just to see what I’d do I’d guess!
 

VGEsoterica

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I used to love the days when videogame arcades were everywhere, back before home consoles were strong enough to accurately play even the simplest of arcade games. I'd spend my paper boy (now there's a job that's a relic of a past age) money at them every week.

There was this one near my house called "Space Invaders" that had the most awesome atmosphere....dark, arcade cabs recessed into the walls with the volume cranked on all of them, strobe lights flashing, lasers swirling around the ceiling and reflecting off spinning disco balls. It was like walking into another dimension. Those were the days......the place is a porn shop now. :messenger_unamused:

Before COVID19, I tried modern day arcades like 16-bit Arcade and a few other's whose names escape me.....it just isn't the same. All of the games in there can all be played at home now, the places are too well lit, which kills that amazing atmosphere, and the places are usually mostly devoid of people. Instead of feeling amazing and exciting, they just felt sad and pathetic and contingent on you buying their overpriced alcoholic beverages. It made me feel old with the realization of how much things have changed since then. I don't bother trying to relive my youth at modern arcades anymore.

I think my whole reason for becoming a game hoarder stems from the memories of the videogame arcade days. Having a host of games at my fingertips gives me at least a hollow sense of those times.

That, and sometimes I'll put on something like this on and turn the lights down as I play some Arcade Archives or The Pinball Arcade games:


My entire collection is basically "things I loved as a kid and things I didn't get to experience back then"....so many consoles and arcade games I didn't have / didn't get a chance to play...now I can.

I am a bit worried about what arcades will exist after the pandemic though. Console gaming sales are going crazy high but all the local arcades in Chicago have been closed for near to a year at this point in time. Not sure how long they can survive to be entirely honest
 
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crozier

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Either

1) Beating Bubble Bobble on NES with my brother
2) Beating Zelda II
3) Playing Mario 64 on my buddy’s system for the first time
 
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Chukhopops

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To me, it’s getting Super Mario Bros 3 after literal years of knowing about it, seeing images in magazines, etc.

It’s impossible now to realize how much of a gap there was between this game and any other NES game before it, it was like a new generation entirely. The sounds and musics, the diagonal scrolling, levels with both underwater and over water and the size of the world... there will probably never be anything like that again.
 
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Mhmmm 2077

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When my brother assembled some shitty 386, did some magic in MS-DOS and moments (in reality it was probably minutes) later I was playing Commander Keen. Not sure which game in the series it was, but it was so glorious, even if it had a little slowdown. Also was blown away when he brought a CD-ROM that could eat up to 4 discs, like, what magic is this?! it didn't even have a tray, you were just pushing the discs into the slot, it was regularly sized CD-ROM, just with 4 separate eject buttons for each disc and I think it was 16x read speed. Mind fucking blown.

edit: it was in the 90s and I believe I was around 5 years old.
 
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Venom Snake

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When i was a kid, my parents were having drinking-parties where my C-64 was involved. They mostly played Giana Sisters and River Raid, taking turns. One day the joystick broke so my uncle, slightly drunk, went to the computer store across the street and bought the best controller they had there. :messenger_sunglasses: Those were the good times..
 
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Aesius

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Super Metroid, winter, a lot of rain outside and I am in bed.
It's funny, I didn't play Super Metroid until I was ~21 or so and in college. I somehow missed it despite owning an SNES and all the other classic games for that console. And yet I still have a fond, almost child-like memory of playing it for the first time. Similar with Symphony of the Night. I played it on XBLA over Christmas break when I was home from college. Somehow those experiences are up there with playing Chrono Trigger and similar classics for the first time as a child, even though I was already an adult.
 

Aesius

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I got Ocarina of Time for my 12th birthday. It had just been released. That's definitely a peak gaming moment for me. I feel like I was the perfect age to both appreciate and be completely in awe of it at the time.
 

Yoda

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Probably playing Mario 64 for the first time with the original Shenmue being a close second. I couldn’t believe what I was playing (graphically) was possible for a video game.
 
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VGEsoterica

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It's funny, I didn't play Super Metroid until I was ~21 or so and in college. I somehow missed it despite owning an SNES and all the other classic games for that console. And yet I still have a fond, almost child-like memory of playing it for the first time. Similar with Symphony of the Night. I played it on XBLA over Christmas break when I was home from college. Somehow those experiences are up there with playing Chrono Trigger and similar classics for the first time as a child, even though I was already an adult.
Ooh Symphony of the Night. I played it and fell in love with it and stupidly traded it in for next to nothing for something else...then bought it again like six months later realizing my mistake. Now I never sell anything lolol
 

VGEsoterica

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Waking up in the morning and seeing that my big brother bought the dreamcast with shenmue and crazy taxi

I imported a Dreamcast from Japan in early 1999 with money I made cutting grass at the country club. I could not wait till 9/9/99. I was basically the coolest kid freshman year with the people who liked video games because I had a Dreamcast early

Then I found out in September what "region locking" meant...and I bought ANOTHER Dreamcast :messenger_tears_of_joy:
 
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namekuseijin

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this is Magic Sword...and it's the full story of that day. I did it for my dads birthday to send to him later today lol....VERY curious if he even remembers it happening. I am sure to him it was just a random day and he probably had tons of other shit going on in life as an adult

nice. I don't quite remember this one, but looks like a Capcom. In the same style, I loved their The King of Dragons - only finished the port on SNES.

My earliest video game memory is from a decade earlier, I do remember playing some early platforming game on my cousin's Magnavox Odyssey 2, either in 79 or 80.
 

01011001

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Getting this for Christmas:



I could win the lottery tomorrow and I'd arguably not be as happy as I was opening this present.

same, although I got a regular GBC + Yellow separate.
I had a Pocket before and the upgrade in image quality alone from the Pocket to the Color was ridiculous...

that game is still a mystery to me... is it a GBC game? is it a GB game? it's a mystery... and the japanese version doesn't have any color support whatsoever... so fucking weird lol
 
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deriks

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Its cracks me up to think of your mum and dad just standing there behind you watching the intro to Time Crisis over and over, just because its so silly:



To be clear though I fucking LOVE this intro. So many great lines, its like an 80s action movie blockbuster trailer.

Rachel Macpherson: "Don't Come!"

VO: "Wiiild Dog"

So good.
ACTION

@thread
Favorite gaming memory is playing Sonic 3 from top to bottom and discovering every single stuff. It was glorious
 
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namekuseijin

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It's funny, I didn't play Super Metroid until I was ~21 or so and in college. I somehow missed it despite owning an SNES and all the other classic games for that console. And yet I still have a fond, almost child-like memory of playing it for the first time. Similar with Symphony of the Night. I played it on XBLA over Christmas break when I was home from college. Somehow those experiences are up there with playing Chrono Trigger and similar classics for the first time as a child, even though I was already an adult.

you played it better than as a kid, because you already had some discernment over what made it great

I played it exactly as a 20 yo at the year it released. It is still superior gaming finesse.
 
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