Saturday, June 27

Roots: Where I came from

I am considered a "old" gamer in many senses of the word. Demographically, yes, I am older but I have also been playing games since I was in gradeschool. How old, you ask? My first game was Frogger, like many others I know.

Lately, I have been getting a strange desire to see the old games I loved so much. In addition, I started to think back to those old games and how they influence how I play my games today.

In part, I blame my dad. We had this old game for the Intellivision called Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Treasure of Tarmin in which you would walk around hallways and rooms getting gear and powers to defeat bigger monsters further down the dungeon. It was possible to keep playing this game for ages by not collecting the game ending treasure but to keep going further (255 levels in all). My dad would go on sprees and I sometimes would wake up the next morning with him still playing the game. Resilience, my dad had.

This is what my dad would stare at for hours.

Of course, when NES and SNES came out, my dad found a way to get us one. Thus began the gaming mentality slowly embedded in the brains of my brother and I. Faxanadu and Final Fantasy sparked my love for RPGs, but also the need to "collect" everything.

My brother and I would take turns on the games; one to fight the monsters, the other to look up the abilities and "strats" to defeat them. Without the lovely internet, gaming magazines and long hours of trial and error were what you needed to complete most of these games.

Looking back, I can see where my brother got his min/maxing from. Gameshark and cheat codes started to become his staple, whereas I didn't mind spending hours running in circles hoping for random mobs to appear.

The Final Fantasy series really did it in for me. I remember spending hours collecting all the gear in FFIII (or IV depending on how technical you wish to get) only to have my brother lose the Moogle Charm during an arena match! Or, later, trying to get a Golden Chocobo.

Storylines and unfolding game mechanics highly appealed to me. Suikoden and Chrono Trigger are probably two of most endearing games for me. I loved the concept of what you do in the game affecting the ending, thus encouraging you to play them again to see how it turns out differently.

The journey has been a long one to my WoW days: Nintendo, table top RPG, UO, EQ, DOAC.

So what does all this influence accumulate to? I am considered by my guildies as a Completion-ist. I have a sickness with pet collecting. I am a lootwhore at times. Seeing wolves run off to kill rabbits never gets old for me. I don't mind letting Brann ramble on about dwarves and titans. Every time I do my fishing dailies, I wistfully remember button smashing in order to reel in large fish.

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