Posts tagged ‘super mario bros.’

Nostalgiathon 2009 #2: I Was a Nintendo Kid

Today, I am going to blather on about the NES! How original.

Ah, that electronic fun machine. How I loved it. My first experience with the NES was when I was about five or six. The game? Mario Bros., what else? I couldn’t play worth a damn at the time, but I was fascinated by it.

Later on, my parents made friends with this couple that had two kids, Michael and Ashley, and we would go to their house out in the country a lot. They had an NES, and the kids and I would play video games together (we also had lots of adventures outside). That was the place where I got my Nintendo fix until I received an NES Power Pack for my 7th birthday in 1990.

I didn’t have a lot of friends in the second grade (or any other grade, for that matter), and I don’t think I helped that situation any by being a little girl who liked video games. When I’d try to join my classmates’ heated discussions about whether or not Sega was better than Nintendo, all the boys would usually just look at me funny and go on talking amongst themselves. (By the way, I would trash talk Sega at every opportunity even though I never touched one until sometime in 1999 or so.)

Also, when playing Mario Bros. with Michael or any other kid, we could never agree who got to be player 1 or player 2, so eventually video games became a pretty solitary activity for me.

Well, now that I’ve bored everybody to death, I’ll move on to actually talking about some NES games.

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There’s our little collection. And yes, we have a top-loading NES– a real one made by Nintendo. It’s great.

I didn’t own that many games when I was a kid; didn’t really need to because renting games was cheap and easy. Almost every week, we’d go to the mom-and-pop video store and I’d go look lovingly at the long wall of NES games.

One of the games I rented frequently was Mickey Mousecapade, which I recently bought a copy of. I rented it so much because hey, it was a Disney game, and because no matter how hard I tried, I could not get past the second level! Also, Minnie is retarded and always gets in the way, and that makes the game a lot more challenging. Eventually I got sick of it and started playing other games instead, but I always secretly liked it even when I was mad at it.

The first game I ever actually beat was the tie-in game for Disney’s The Little Mermaid. I was obsessed with that movie at the time, which is probably how I was able to beat the game– sheer obsession and determination. It certainly wasn’t because I was good at video games. Anyway, I’ll never forget how I felt when I finally made it all the way to Ursula and defeated her. I don’t think I ever beat another NES game, actually.

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Non-Thrift Store Adventures

Junk hunting is not so easy in the lovely city of Norman, Oklahoma. I mean, you can find plenty of junk, but when I say I’m going to go “junk hunting”, I really mean that I’m going digging for retro treasure, not random broken useless things or out-of-style clothing that doesn’t fit.

So, I got my “junk hunting” fix in a different way. I went to Hastings.

If you live in the Norman area and you love DVDs, random movie merchandise, and weird novelty items, the place to go is Hastings. Oh yeah, and they sell music, books, comics, electronics, and video games too. And Japanese candy, but I’ll talk about that some other time.

I haven’t had the chance to blow money at Hastings in a while, so while we were there picking up a gift for someone else, I took the opportunity to browse around.

First, I found this Luigi figure and I had to get it, because Luigi is awesome. Does he count as “retro” though, since Mario Bros. is still very much a part of the public consciousness and they make new games all the time? You be the judge.

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Then I went over to the DVD racks, which is where I spend most of my time when I go to Hastings. They buy used DVDs/CDs/books/etc., so sometimes you can score something great without breaking the bank. On this trip, after some debate, I decided to pick up:

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I felt like my DVD collection was incomplete without Jaws and Flight of the Navigator, plus they were cheap. I am going to watch both of them today.

That’s pretty much all for now. Maybe one of these days, I’ll make a trip up to Oklahoma City and see if I can score some more cool old stuff.

Books! They Do A Body Good.

When I was a kid, I loved books just as much as I loved movies and cartoons. I learned to read at a very early age, and would look at my collection of books over and over again. I even wanted to make my own children’s books– and often did, taking great care to crudely assemble them with copier paper and Scotch tape, complete with even cruder illustrations.

Obviously, old children’s books are a one-way ticket to Nostalgia Land for me. They’re also the easiest retro junk to find, and the cheapest to boot– they’re often only a dollar a piece. I assume that people get tired of their old books and leave them in Mom’s attic for a few decades before they finally end up in a Goodwill or other second-hand store. So it’s no surprise that I usually find some pretty cool books in places like that.

Today, I hit the jackpot.

About a block from my apartment there’s a place called Second Chance Books and Comics. I’ve passed it several times, and today I finally decided to pay a visit. Boy, I’m glad I did because this place has everything. I found five books, four of which I had as a child and one of which I thought was too hilarious to pass up. They even had a huge collection of VHS tapes. I wanted to buy like, ten of them, but settled on just two, because I’m poor, dammit. All the items are things that would have ended up on my Retro Wishlist at some point.
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