When I was a kid, I always wished that I had the cool toys that the neighbors had. I especially wished that I had an Atari, and then a Nintendo, and then a Super NES, but I had to just go over to their house and watch them play. Sometimes, if I was lucky, I would get a turn playing something.
Soon after I got married, we bought a stereo, a Super NES and some other electronics for like $100 from a friend who goes through new technology like water in a sieve.
That same game system has lasted us 7 years and we haven't gotten anything 'better'.
We started out with only Donkey Kong Country, Toy Story and Animaniacs. The system came with DK Country. Our friend bought Toy Story, which is an OK game to play, but it seems like it was cobbled together quickly before the release of the movie by 3 different development teams and one guy stuck it together without music between levels and NO ending music. It just basically says "Thanks for Playing!" Kinda lame.
We have occasionally went out and got 'new' games, which are really used games that work just fine. They end up being anywhere between one dollar and 10 dollars. Compare that with the price you normally pay: $20 if you are lucky to $60 plus.
For Christmas, we got a few 'new' games, and I was excited to see that my wife had found "Zelda, A Link to the Past", since it is one of the best games of all time.
My son wasn't all that excited at first because he didn't know what it was like, but soon we found ourselves stuck in Zelda's world. I wanted to conquer the game as fast as I could, and so did my son. Since there are three available save game slots, we had three players: me, my son, and my wife.
I soon discovered that it takes forever to get through some of the secrets of the game unless you get help. It sucks away enough time to just play it already knowing what you are doing. I can't imagine playing the game and not having help available online. Instead of calling the help 'Cheats', we just call it help, because we don't want to promote the fact that cheating is OK. Getting help from others is an important thing to learn in life, though... especially if you are doing something that you aren't that good at, you can get it done better and more quickly if you have help.
Anyway, a few sites became my lifeline, especially GameSpy and RPG Classics; then I help the rest of the family through all the dungeons and secrets. My son caught on quick. He soon was thinking about Zelda day and night. We took a break to go to my brother's house in Idaho, and luckily no-one had a problem with doing something else for a while. I guess we weren't SO addicted to the game that we couldn't take a 3-day break.
Anyway, after around a month of playing, and in 89 tries, I finally won the game.
My son completed his game a day later in 131 games; my wife is still working on hers about once every other week, so she should be done in about a year.
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