April 2, 2014

being luigi, chasing after the triforce and saving sylvia from mr. x.

// i had originally wanted to use an old picture of me and my best friend playing nintendo, but i couldn't find it. so instead i found this really long piano medley. // 

i was so excited about this blog linkup, but i am unbelievably late with the post. so many different thoughts and memories were going through my mind and i just could not catch up with them all.

but before i start, let me back up a little.

last year, i stumbled upon a really cool blog, gamerwife, headed by a even cooler gal, mariko. and in her corner of the internet, mariko shares really cute, neat, informational, insightful and thought provoking content related to games and video game culture. oh and cats. really adorable cats. 

recently, she kicked off a monthly blog hop {you can see this month's topic here}, and her inaugural topic, NEStalgia, awakened all these incredible eighties childhood memories that are super special to me.

you see, our family immigrated to the us from korea in 1986, and i every time i recall that moment i think of the elementary school i went to, pizza, doritos and our first trip to toys "r" us. i even remember what i got - a hot pink popple and a yellow fluppy dog. my brother, after pensively thinking {as hard as an 11 year old can}, got the nintendo.

growing up, i was my brother's side kick. and he always wanted to show me things he was interested in. when he was hooked on nintendo, he wanted me to play to see just how fun it was. he first introduced me to duck hunt because the dog was silly like bobby, our childhood cocker spaniel. my brother knew i would get a kick out the dog popping up to laugh at me every time i missed a duck. i still hear our laughter in my head from our bedroom and me telling bobby to stop laughing at me {of course the real bobby got super confused and probably thought we were crazy}.

after duck hunt it was gyromite where those bird-like creatures were scary but so cute when munching on radishes; super mario bros., a classic; kung fu, with the annoying wasps, knife throwing villains and super creepy mr. x laugh after each stage; mike tyson punch out where glass joe is pretty easy to beat, but the dude with the upper cuts was one tough cookie; zelda, my favorite and i still get a kick out hearing the songand finally, contra.

each game has a special memory, but the one with contra still gives me the giggles. it was a two-player game and of course i kept dying. but you can get free lives as you play and use by pressing a button. unfortunately i had all but used up all my lives but i gave that "free life" button a try anyway and voila, i was able to play. but 5 seconds later i died again. and so i pressed the almighty "free life" button and bam! new life! i was so excited thinking i had hacked the game and gotten unlimited lives that i screamed, "bro! i'm getting lives i don't even have!" and my skeptical bro just said "errr.. really? wait! jane! you're taking my lives!" we both couldn't stop laughing after that. 

right now at home, we have the nintendo wii that yangkyu and i play from time to time. mario party, mario kart and dr. mario are just some of the games we love. but there is just something about that console and games from the eighties that are just so special. i once had a dizzy spell trying to blow into the games {a trick if the game didn't load, did anyone else do that too?} we also had an emulator for our pc at one point, but it just wasn't the same. 

nintendo is more than a game to me. it reminds me of the great memories growing up with my brother. sure i loved my dolls and my stuffed animals, but i also loved video games, dungeons & dragons, star wars {my brother wanted to build me an r2d2 because i loved it so much} and v.

i was always envious of friends who grew up with sisters, but then i remember that brothers are really cool and mine taught me the way of the jedi and fought monsters over and over again because i loved that elf named link in the legend of zelda. 

what are your fond nintendo memories? 

// linking up with gamerwife's gadabout gamers bloghop


  1. Ahh this is super nice Jane - I too link Nintendo with my brother, he got the console for Christmas but I got to reap it's benefits plus get other presents (win win!) My little brother who is ten (big age gap between us) considers himself a retro gamer and has bought the old NES console and has about 20 games already - so now when I go back home I get to play with him and it's sort of like a full circle :) A sweet full circle!

  2. Oh my gosh! Your post just totally brought me back to the day when my sisters and I played Game & Watch as young girls!
    Awesome post, Jane:)

  3. Those are such fond memories! In the early 90's, my sister was very good at Super Mario and Zelda, so I just sat next to her and watched her play. She always encouraged me to play with her or take turns, but I was sooo horrible at video games (still am) so I enjoyed watching the story line move along because her character rarely died!

  4. Ill have to check out that blog, GamerWife :)

  5. It's really sweet how Nintendo still brings back wonderful memories of bonding with your brother :)

    Rowena @ rolala loves

  6. If not because of your post I would probably forget about a Nintendo and how of a game addict I was. Nintendo and Super Mario game must be like a phenomenal thing back then everyone knew it by heart. Like an icon. Thanks for sharing about this Jane. Bring back a good game time.

    I think you and I are in the "worry too much" category. We all have self doubt about our decisions. Sometimes we just have to learn not to worry (which is the HARDEST thing for me). If I am not worried I dont feel like myself..lol.

  7. although i am more than happy that i grew up with a sister, i envy that you had brothers! my childhood did include old school gameboys, but that was about it (that mario tune is very nostalgic though!) - i've always been girly i guess. i love these stories :) x

    Miho @ Wander to Wonder

  8. Thank you so much for this, Jane. I love your Contra story and the image of you getting light-headed blowing into a cartridge made me giggle. Retro gaming forever!!

  9. I had a bright green popple! I didn't know what those things were called.

    I loved playing Duck Hunt at my cousins'. We didn't have the original NES growing up. We had the SNES instead, so going to my cousins' was a real treat. Thinking back, the technology with the gun was pretty advanced for its time.

    DK downloaded an emulator and you're right. It's just not the same. There's something special about having the console, system, and (especially) blowing into the game cartridges to make them work.

    1. Console, physical controller, and blowing into the cartridges*

  10. Fond Nintendo memories? I guess just getting together and playing with my friends and sister. After beating it, I did get bored, but it was fun going through that process with other people. I can't remember, but is Contra the one with the army guy? I think I had that game too. -Jess L

  11. Definitely - MarioKart with my cousins, all four of us battling it out for hours upon hours. And now I miss them terribly


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