The Game for our Peter Pan Generation

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

A couple of weeks back, I was browsing through Jermunn's Blog, and he posted about how the old video games are really shitty compared to the new ones. In particular, he mentioned how Bubble Bobble had really lost its edge. I think the last time I played that game was two years ago, and I don't remember being bored, though I didn't play it for very long. This sparked a whole line of memories... Frogger, Star Wars, Spiderman, Q-bert, Tetris, Pitfall, MarioKart, Tony Hawk 1, 1080, DonkeyKong, Tank, Joust and Pac-Man. While I have to admit Pac-Man still really freaks me out, stress beyond normal bounds, the rest remain fairly warm and fuzzy for me.*

Out of all of those games, the Legend of Zelda - Ocarina of Time, remains my favourite. Between bouncing around the innards of a giant fish, or swimming for amulets, making weird forest creatures play flutes, or catching chickens, this game was packed with the type of small games that were beautiful and occasionally challenging to fulfill. Just a great game, good visuals, intricate story, comprehensive layout, side games, etc etc...

And the music... Complete and utter leaky camembert, but the type of cheese that still eeks out a meagre tear when your friends suddenly shoot off into the dustbin. On my little search, for the Zelda music, I found all the original midi's, which are, in themselves quite zany and moofy, hardly the thing to stick on anyone's playlist. But the theme! What a theme! It's been translated into so many different versions, with piano, with spanish guitars, violins, voices, the dubious John Williams orchestral tribute and, yes, even Nine Inch Nails did a cover version! By golly, and what a tribute it is... you can actually hear a guy yell out during the concert "Hell Yeah!" probably some cranny getting his nipple ring twisted

But really, when I think of that game, I remember the Orange Pop Studio Boys, the giant loft they converted from a cinema, where we would hide out under a giant plastic blown up Chef Boyardee can, in front of a telly, and watch Jonno flip out crazy on the game, all the while surrounded by the detritus of his metallic bug sculptures, wild pieces of art and photographs strewn helter kelter everywhere, on copious amounts of various mind-altering substances, and more than 70% of the main space converted into a jamming studio. It was the perfect 20-something's playground, and this was the perfect game for us, the children of the Peter Pan generation.

Where have they gone now? Those types of games? Have we all finally grown up? Can I just raise my sword and turn back the clock... to the Temple of Time?

* wait... actually Frogger is really frustrating, Star Wars is boring, Spiderman is intolerably tedious, Pitfall is pitifully retarded, and Q-bert??? What was the point of that game?