I spent part of the day organizing and cleaning around the house in attempts to find a laptop bag that may contain my NES ROM cartridge. Unfortunately, I didn’t find the bag or the cart but in the process did have to move my Crate-O-Games for the NES. Seeing these carts is always a trip down memory lane, and not just playing the game but the event that surrounded each one.
An annual event
I didn’t have a lot of Nintendo games when I was little. There usually only two times a year I would maybe get a new Nintendo game: my birthday or Christmas. Occasionally if a game was one sale I’d get one outside of those dates but every year I knew I’d get at least one game and I always tried to pick the perfect one.
I remember getting Ironsword for Christmas. I remember picking it out with my mom at Toys R Us. You see, asking my mother to buy a game was not a good idea. Video games and things like that were better picked out by me and then given to mom for delayed gratification come Christmas day. And being I got this at Toys R Us, I know I got this game new, which meant it was probably a good $50 and it was probably 1989.
I’m not sure why I wanted Ironsword. I had never played it before and unlike the later days of computer gaming and today, there were no demos to try. You had to pick games out based on what you read and what you saw. So what did I see?
Everything a nerd could want
I saw a big muscle dude holding a bad ass sword (not knowing then it Fabio on the cover). So one check in the “Buy” column for awesome cover art and a medieval theme. On the back I saw a knight with a sword fighting dragons, jumping over lava and buying arms and armor. Again, a check in the “Buy” column for cool medieval-ness (despite the half naked macho man never appearing in the game).
Christmas Day came and I surely spent all day playing Ironsword and frankly, getting my ass kicked. I remember it being a ridiculously hard game, especially for 10-year old me. In fact, it was so tough that I had to write a letter to Nintendo asking for help. Although the game was a challenge, I very much remember enjoying the game music. I remember liking it so much that I learned how to play the theme song on my Yamaha keyboard.
One last thing about my Nintendo games is that I rarely traded them in or sold them. I guess I felt like I had paid for them and that I wouldn’t get my money back nor a better game in return. Much like today, I picked the games I wanted very carefully because I knew they would be few and far between. Each game had to last at least one year…until my next birthday or Christmas.