Digimon World | The Game That Defines The Modern Gafa

<< Previous | Adventure Map | Next >>

TGTDU Logo - Copy

Audio

Enjoy some laid-back tracks from across the Digimon World Playstation games.

 

 

The Games That Define Us features carefully chosen music and remixes from the franchise of the game represented. Music is a key component of sharing the emotions one feels about a game, so we hope you will press the play button if you’re in a position to do so. 

introduction

Just a brief summary if this is your first time here: This collaboration is a 34-day long adventure through video games. Each piece is its own unique audiovisual experience, complete with artwork, designs, music, and (most importantly) amazing works of prose by brilliant bloggers around the world. This adventure will take you through nostalgia, joy, ambition, self-discovery, regret, anxiety, frustration, mourning, and every human experience in between. Video games exist as fragments on the timeline of our lives, and each one of us have chosen the adventure we feel most defines us.

Happy Friday! We’re over the hill for November — it’s Day 16 of The Games That Define Us! The next three days will all be devoted to titles from the Warcraft franchise, but first we’re finishing the veritable parade of Playstation 1 titles — there is so much love for that console in this group.

Today we’re joined by Victor from The Modern Gafa, whose overwhelming coolness is only matched by his clever wit. Reading his work will keep you entertained for hours, and he wrote a book, you know. For real, if you’re at all interested in getting review copies of stuff for you blog, this guidebook is for you. You will also love some of these pieces from his blog… if only we knew what a Gafa is.

Let’s boot up the next chapter of The Games That Define Us!

– Matthew, Normal Happenings

divider

starring

Dp46JTnVYAAex8z

Victor @ The Modern Gafa

Twitter: @TheModernGafa

For getting lost in the wilderness…

Game: Digimon World
System: Playstation 1
Release Date: January 28, 1999

1P Start

It’s one of the most beautiful worlds in any video game I have ever played. I’ve always wanted to see a manga or even an anime take place in this world. It’s one of my favorite fictional places of all time.

When toy stores in Japan opened their doors on June 26, 1997 a new and exciting item appeared on the shelves. It was part game, part toy. It was an attempt by Bandai to create something like Tamagotchi that would appeal to boys by replacing the cute and funny characters with strong and scary monsters. Additionally, this new Tamagotchi had the ability to fight. The first of its kind was known as the Digital Monster V-Pet Ver. 1, but the kids on the playground knew it by its short name: Digimon.

It was an instant hit, and the project quickly grew until it was a massive multimedia franchise that included a total of five versions of the original V-Pet design, a popular anime series, a manga, and of course: video games. The first attempt at bringing the handheld game to consoles was a straight adaptation of the V-Pets on the original Playstation. The follow-up would be a fully fledged video game adventure that took the simple idea of raising a battling monster out of the confines of it’s tiny LCD screen and into a massive universe that would become Digimon World.

Digimon World

While Digimon V-Pets were available in America, most first became aware of it when the anime series, titled Digimon: Digital Monsters, first premiered on Fox Kids in August of 1999. Since Digimon was a very loose concept with no established lore or rules, the writers of the first anime series were given free range to craft a story around the set of Digimon they had to include. They crafted an exciting adventure that followed seven young kids whisked away to a digital world where they are partnered with loyal Digimon of their own. At first, the kids are lost and explore the land on their quest to find a way home. As they begin to learn more about the world and how they got there, the children accept their calling and fight to protect both worlds from evil Digimon. Along the way, the kids learn a lot about each other and form an emotional connection with themselves, their Digimon, and the audience. One cannot put into words how much the first season of the digimon anime means to its fans.

While the story of Digimon’s first season, subtitled “Adventure” in Japan, was a fresh take on the “monster battle” genre, the world wasn’t exactly new to Digimon. The first story arc of the anime takes place on File Island. Japanese fans may have recognized it from its first appearance in Digimon’s first true video game experience. For American fans, we got the reverse experience.

Digimon World was released in Japan on January 28, 1999, a few months before Digimon Adventure would premiere. The game didn’t come to the west until May 23, 2000 after the franchise’s popularity was solidified. By that point, the first season was airing its final episodes on Fox Kids. V-Pets based on the show were released, multiple series of trading cards were available to collect, figures of all sizes allowed fans to play with their favorite Digimon. But it wasn’t until the release of Digimon World did we really know what it meant to be a Digimon Tamer.

dw3

While a similarly named franchise’s anime series is a direct adaptation of its popular games, Digimon World offered its fans in the west something new and exciting. When players first begin, they are greeted with a series of cutscenes that depict a normal kid hanging out with his friends, playing with their Digimon V-Pets. When he returns home, his V-Pet opens up and the boy, as well as the player, are sucked into Digimon World.

The city at the heart of File Island was once a prosperous home to all kinds of Digimon. And then something happened that caused the Digimon to turn wild and savage. They abandoned the city and went off into the wilderness. Your task is to find the lost Digimon and convince them to return to the city while uncovering the origin of the problems on the island.

It’s a simple objective, far from the epic Final Fantasy games that had dominated the Playstation up until that point. However, the story is secondary to the experience of Digimon World. Almost twenty years later and I personally don’t understand the villain’s goals or how exactly he achieves them. I don’t even care. That’s not what the game is about.

There is truly no other game like Digimon World. One of its most well-known and well-loved features is its Digimon raising system. Just like in the V-Pet and in the anime, players are partnered with only one Digimon who follows them around on their adventure. Elements from the V-Pet are adapted into this 3D adventure. You can feed different kinds of food that can be bought or found around the world. Digimon can become sick and require medicine, injured and require bandages, and even become tired and require sleep.

Just like in the V-Pet, the different ways you raise your Digimon will determine how they Digivolve. For Japanese fans experiencing this game as an extension of the V-Pet, this is a no-brainer. To western fans more familiar with the anime, this concept was completely unknown and often a huge surprise to may players. Everyone knows that Agumon Digivolves into Greymon. Imagine my surprise when my first partner Agumon turned into a Meramon instead.

dw1

This is the first of Digimon World’s profound demonstration of exploration. There are dozens of Digimon available for the player to attempt to Digivolve into and each one has its own special requirements. Some need lots of food, others need more experience fighting. One special form is acquired after sleeping in a special spot in the forest. The game keeps a chart of the Digimon you have Digivolved into, inspiring the player to explore different techniques in raising and training their Digimon unlock as many forms as they can.

For many fans in the west, the shock of seeing Gabumon Digivolve into anything that wasn’t a Garurumon never wore off. For many, it’s been accepted as the norm. In fact, it’s generally agreed upon that these multiple possible evolutions – which date back to the original V-Pet – represent the core theme of the franchise. How you grow when you are young affects what you will become when you are older. A symbol in the original anime is the butterfly, a symbol of evolution and change.

As much as I love the Digivolution system in Digimon World, I completely believe that the game would be just as good if you were stuck with just an Agumon for the entire adventure. Because this is Digimon World, and once you’ve discovered how you will change, it’s time to discover where you will go.

As stated above, Digimon World takes place on the same File Island as Digimon Adventure. So while western fans were introduced to unfamiliar concepts, they were shown to them in a familiar world. Several iconic and memorable locations and landmarks appear in both with the game allowing fans to fully explore the areas from the anime.

File Island is a circular land mass with a tall mountain, Mt. Infinity, sitting in the middle. Players are dropped in the middle of the island, in the empty ruins of the city, and can choose to work their way east or west. The areas loop around so players who head east may eventually return from the west. However, you can’t explore the entire world right away.

dw2

I call this semi-open world because there is plenty of freedom and exploration, but there are still roadblocks that prevent you from going too far until certain story beats are hit first. A path up a mountain is not cleared until an earthquake from an underground tunnel causes a landslide. You’ll get lost in a misty forest until finding someone to life the curse on its woods. As the players fulfill their mission of recruiting Digimon to return to the city, more areas of the world will open up.

Many future Digimon game developers seem to think that the Digital World is like Tron or something because the areas are always overly Cyberpunk. Or they just take generic video game areas like “the desert” or “the forest” and slap computer parts haphazardly. The environments in Digimon World on the other hand each feel as if they were carefully handcrafted by an artist.

What gives Digimon World it’s unique and beautiful environments is the use of a technique called parallax mapping. Instead of the world being built on a grid with tiles individually drawn from a chipset, each background is designed first and then loaded into the game as a whole. Areas are blocked off as impassable and additional objects such as trees are laid overtop. This technique was popular in 3D games at the time for its ability to produce crisp worlds without having to rely on a grid-based tile system or having to load fully 3D environments.

This results in not only the most beautiful environment in a Digimon game, but one of the most beautiful worlds in any video game I have ever played. I’ve always wanted to see a manga or even an anime take place in this world. It’s one of my favorite fictional places of all time.

My earliest memory of playing Digimon World was at a friend’s house. He loaded up a new game for me – I had no idea what to expect. My gaming experience at that point was nothing more than my green Gameboy Color and a few bouts of Tekken II with my brothers. I played Digimon World until I had to go home. After a while, my friend let me borrow his copy and the strategy guide. When he wanted it back, I asked to keep the strategy guide just to flip through it and immerse myself in the world. Eventually I acquired my own copy, but had trouble finding time to play it on the Playstation that technically belonged to my brothers. But I savored every moment I could possibly spend exploring the vast island of Digimon World.

adventure map


WordPress Reader viewers, please consider enjoying this post again on the site. While we designed with you in mind, you miss some of the nuances of the piece by not enjoying it in its original form. 

patreon

This collaboration took an overwhelming amount of time and dedication from 34 exceptionally creative, incredible makers! Help us with the resources to make more, even better, collaborations in the future! We also have aspirations of developing a podcast called Normal Talks about optimistically appreciating everyday life! Please consider becoming a patron of Normal Happenings and help us try to make the world a better, more positive place!
become_a_patron_button

<< Previous | Adventure Map | Next >>

Spyro the Dragon | The Game That Defines A Geeky Gal

<< Previous | Adventure Map | Next >>

TGTDU Logo - Copy

Audio

The Games That Define Us features carefully chosen music and remixes from the franchise of the game represented. Music is a key component of sharing the emotions one feels about a game, so we hope you will press the play button if you’re in a position to do so. 

introduction

We are officially halfway through the month of November, and it’s been an amazing ride! Welcome to Day 15 of The Games That Define Us!

Just a brief summary if this is your first time here: This collaboration is a 34-day long adventure through video games. Each piece is its own unique audiovisual experience, complete with artwork, designs, music, and (most importantly) amazing works of prose by brilliant bloggers around the world. This adventure will take you through nostalgia, joy, ambition, self-discovery, regret, anxiety, frustration, mourning, and every human experience in between. Video games exist as fragments on the timeline of our lives, and each one of us have chosen the adventure we feel most defines us.

The snow is blanketing St. Louis right now, as it is for many other areas, so it’s a very good day to get cozy with a blanket and some coffee and catch up on some pieces you may have missed!

This is a good place to start, as today we’re joined by the Geeky Gal herself, Megan, for her journey with Spyro the Dragon! A close friend and colleague, I’m not even going to try to list all the things Megan has helped Normal Happenings with — not the least of which is our logo and branding! She’s also a wonderful writer, as you’ll see here, so once you’re done you should absolutely check out her wonderfully-designed site:

The next chapter of The Games That Define Us is taking flight now!

– Matthew, Normal Happenings

divider

starring

DqrojQJU8AEUKPb

Megan @ A Geeky Gal

Twitter: @ageekygal_

For finding happy places…

Game: Spyro the Dragon
System: Playstation 1
Release Date: September 9, 1998

1P Start

Spyro shielded me from a lot of sadness and pain during that time. I didn’t even realize this in those moments, I just knew I wanted to get to the next world; one more dragon left to release, one more egg to catch, one more hot air balloon ride, and get one more step closer to the happy ending Spyro was seeking.

fb_img_1542249651978.jpg

Some people can’t tell you the exact moment when they fell in love with gaming. My moment was a cool Christmas morning in Gulf Shores, Alabama, U.S. in a cabin by the ocean when I was almost six years old. I awoke to my mom and grandmother (who I affectionately call my Nanny) speaking in whispers over a pot of steaming hot coffee.

The sun was just beginning to come through the curtains as I stretched and yawned before rolling out of the bed. The smell of coffee led me into the kitchen where my mom and Nanny were still in their pajamas, wrapped in blankets, with their feet in fuzzy slippers. They smiled at me and offered some hot chocolate. I eagerly sat down at the table, knowing that Santa had come the night before, but by tradition we had to eat breakfast before opening any presents.

While drinking my hot chocolate and digging into a bowl of grits, my mom brought over a tin box that Santa had left for me. Inside was a few Pokemon related toys and a note from Santa thanking me for the milk and cookies we had set out for him the night before. I was very worried Santa wouldn’t be able to find us so far from home when mom took us down to the beach for Christmas vacation. It was a magical Christmas already since we’d never had the money to go to the beach before. Santa assured me in his note that he had no problem finding us and that I’d been very good that year. I was ecstatic and couldn’t believe Santa himself had written me such a note.

I quickly finished my breakfast and finally went over to the living room where a big box waited for me. I looked at my mom with my mouth open. “Is this mine?” I couldn’t believe something of this size contained my Christmas present. She said, “It sure is.” I squealed and asked if I could open it now. She and Nanny brought their coffee over to the couch and settled in before giving me the go ahead.

I ripped into the present, excitement flooding my body. I had no idea what could be in such a big box. It was almost taller than me! After getting off the wrapping paper, my mom came over to cut the tape off and help me look inside of it. I can’t remember what all was in the box except for one thing that I still have with me to this day: a Playstation.

My family had always lived paycheck to paycheck. We didn’t always have the best electronics or name brand clothes. My mom did what she could for us. Getting something so “high end” and expensive was truly a treat. I knew how precious the Playstation was.

We pulled it out and set it up on the small living room TV our cabin had. It only took moments to do, but it felt forever for an almost six-year-old. My mom presented the two games that Santa had brought: Frogger and Spyro the Dragon. I really wanted to share my first experience with the PlayStation with my mom so I picked Frogger, and we sat down together to play a few rounds. We laughed and talked, my mom even convinced my Nanny to try it out, as lunch time approached.

Eventually, the adults were ready to move on from the video games and hit the beach outside our door, but I wasn’t quite ready to stop playing. I picked up Spyro and switched out Frogger. I had no idea that the next few hours would change my life so much. As soon as I met Spyro, the cute, sarcastic purple dragon and his dragonfly companion Sparks, I was in love.

FB_IMG_1542249638918.jpg

I felt my heart race as I took down enemies, released dragons, and collected gems. Charging through the home world, Artisans, felt like a dream. Breathing fire to defeat gnorcs made me feel powerful. Finding the secret world in Artisans made me feel smart. I was completely immersed in this world, and I needed to see more.

Our Christmas vacation ended, and we headed back home to our small house in the country. Mom set up my Playstation in my bedroom, and I felt so grown up to have such an expensive thing in my own room. School started back, and I focused on my studies, but on the weekends, it was just me and my purple dragon taking down the gnorcs, trying to defeat the Gnasty Gnorc himself. I’d play for hours in my room on top of the daybed that was much too tall for me. My stuffed animals were my audience as the shine had quickly worn off for mom. I tried over and over again to beat levels and bosses. I even remember famously taking my favorite Power Ranger bowl and filling it with ice and cold water to soak my thumbs after a particularly hard boss battle.

Despite such an amazing Christmas that year with a game that I grew to love quickly, I can’t say that I had a happy childhood all of the time. I love my mom, and I know she gave me all that she could, but I had a very tumultuous relationship with my biological father which caused me to experience more sadness than a child ever should. On the Fridays that I found myself at home, still waiting for him to pick me up, I’d load up Spyro and lose myself to get away from the pain in my heart. It was something that affected me for many, many years.

FB_IMG_1542249641387.jpg

Spyro shielded me from a lot of sadness and pain during that time. I didn’t even realize this in those moments; I just knew I wanted to get to the next world, one more dragon left to release, one more egg to catch, one more hot air balloon ride, and get one more step closer to the happy ending Spyro was seeking.

I knew I found my happy place in Spyro the Dragon and, eventually, gaming. Spyro helped me escape my childhood sadness and eventually led to my love of gaming now. Gaming became my comfort then and I still turn to it in times of sadness or stress or loneliness. I never felt alone when I had Spyro to occupy my time.

Months of playing Spyro on the weekends finally came to an end one Saturday. I had finally beaten the game. It wasn’t 100% completion (I found the flight levels especially hard), but I was proud nonetheless. I ran to grab my mom and we watched the ending scene and credits together. I was so happy but also so sad to see it end. I still played after that, trying to reach 100% completion. I was never able to do it.

Almost twenty years later, I downloaded Spyro the Dragon from the PlayStation Store to my PS3. I had no idea if it would hold the same magic it did when I was six, but I was feeling nostalgic. When I saw the familiar Insomniac sign held by a gnorc, my heart started racing, just like it had all those years ago when I first put the disc in. I truly lost myself in Spyro all over again almost twenty years later. That weekend, I beat the entire game at 100% completion. The child in me felt a pang of sadness and pride. I beat my favorite childhood game again, and this time, I did everything that needed to be done. Spyro could rest easy this time around.

After putting down the controller and saying goodbye to my favorite sarcastic purple dragon, I thought back to six-year-old me and what she’d think of me right now. I never in a million years thought I’d go to school to learn how to make video games or work on simulators. How crazy is it that a small purple dragon and his dragonfly sidekick inspired a sad little girl to make video games her passion? Thanks Spyro for lifting me up when I was down and giving me a passion for gaming and creating. And special thanks to mom for buying me such an amazing gift that has only fueled my love for gaming since. Six-year-old Megan would be proud right now.

FB_IMG_1542249643910.jpg

adventure map


WordPress Reader viewers, please consider enjoying this post again on the site. While we designed with you in mind, you miss some of the nuances of the piece by not enjoying it in its original form. 

patreon

This collaboration took an overwhelming amount of time and dedication from 34 exceptionally creative, incredible makers! Help us with the resources to make more, even better, collaborations in the future! We also have aspirations of developing a podcast called Normal Talks about optimistically appreciating everyday life! Please consider becoming a patron of Normal Happenings and help us try to make the world a better, more positive place!
become_a_patron_button

<< Previous | Adventure Map | Next >>

Banjo-Kazooie | The Game That Defines LividLightning

<< Previous | Adventure Map | Next >>

TGTDU Logo - Copy

Audio

This is one fun and funky soundtrack!

 

 

The Games That Define Us features carefully chosen music and remixes from the franchise of the game represented. Music is a key component of sharing the emotions one feels about a game, so we hope you will press the play button if you’re in a position to do so. 

introduction

Just a brief summary if this is your first time here: This collaboration is a 34-day long adventure through video games. Each piece is its own unique audiovisual experience, complete with artwork, designs, music, and (most importantly) amazing works of prose by brilliant bloggers around the world. This adventure will take you through nostalgia, joy, ambition, self-discovery, regret, anxiety, frustration, mourning, and every human experience in between. Video games exist as fragments on the timeline of our lives, and each one of us have chosen the adventure we feel most defines us.

Today’s blogger needs no introduction.

Anyway, we’re ready for the next chapter of The Games That… Just kidding, I would never miss an opportunity to talk about one of my favorite bloggers! We’ve been graced with Ellen from LividLightning, returning after writing a wonderful piece for the Hyrule collab! She’s one of the most entertaining bloggers I’ve ever met, and she’s in fine form for this post with her playful, quirky writing style. After you’re done here, be sure to check out these amazing posts:

T-minus three, two, one. We’re launching the next chapter of The Games That Define Us!

– Matthew, Normal Happenings

divider

starring

Dkvd2rVUUAAxbvX

Ellen @ LividLightning 

Twitter: @LightningEllen

For silly animal noises…

 


Game: Banjo-Kazooie
System: Nintendo 64
Release Date: June 29, 1998

1P Start

Gah-huk! Ahem. I’ll try to keep the spelling of silly noises to a minimum for this article, but that’s a large part of the what make Banjo-Kazooie so darn special.

One my personal Top 13 list of all-time favourite video games, The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time would be #1, the entire Final Fantasy XIII trilogy would be #2 (yes, I know that’s 3 games… my list, my rules), and just edging out Diddy Kong Racing for the coveted #3 spot would be none other than Banjo-Kazooie!

Capture

Gah-huk! Ahem. I’ll try to keep the spelling of silly noises to a minimum for this article, but dammit, that’s a large part of the what make Banjo-Kazooie so darn special.

Anyway, the cranky bear and sarcastic bird were a large and wonderful part of my childhood. Yep. I was bullied relentlessly in the school system here, and had to go through many a scary medical issue while growing into the somewhat mature adult I am today. Along with many other video games, Banjo-Kazooie’s wacky and whimsical world drew me in, distracting little me from a lot of life’s miserable moments. I’ll never forget the first time I made Banjo punch an adorable bouncing googly-eyed carrot at the base of Spiral Mountain. I was instantly in love with the game after that. I had a blast helping the duo fulfill their ultimate mission: save Banjo’s little sister Tooty from the clutches of the evil witch Gruntilda Winkybunion.

Whoa… wait. Banjo likes punching things and he’d do anything to save his little sister… wow! I can see me turning this into a Banjo-Kazooie and Final Fantasy XIII narrative comparison essay now so I’m gonna stop myself there. Let’s take a trip through 13 of my favourite things about this game instead (I’ll compromise with my inner obsessive Lightning Farron fan).

Capture2

I) Banjo-Kazooie is essentially a big collect-a-thon that leads you across various themed worlds hunting down Jiggies, Musical Notes, helpless Jinjos, and Extra Honeycomb Pieces. I had so much fun tracking everything down, and I’ve done it countless times. To inspire me for writing this article (and refresh my terrible memory), I dug out the ol’ N64 and gave the game a very brief revisit. It seems I was able to collect everything in 10 hours the last time I played. I’m impressed with past me!

II) I remember being captivated by the box art as a kid. A big ugly witch looming in the distance, an action shot of our sarcastic heroes grabbing a shiny Jiggy in the foreground, and the game’s title is a super cute font. There’s a reason I tracked down a mint complete in box copy on eBay a few years ago.

III) The mighty Mumbo Jumbo’s magnificent transformations always made me grin from ear to ear. The sorta scary Mad Monster Mansion world was a lot less intimidating when you’re bouncing around as an adorably tiny pumpkin with yellow shorts and a blue backpack, let me tell you. There was also a cheat code that turned Banjo into a washing machine, of all things. Nope! Sorry Mumbo, I’m not washing your underwear.

IV) I mentioned Mumbo Jumbo in my last point, right? Well, as soon as I think of Mr. Mumbo, my brain goes “Eekum Bokum!”, the amusing sound effect my favourite skull-headed shaman friend makes. Kazooie’s “Bree!!” sound effect also comes to mind when I picture the red breegull. All the NPCs make their own silly sounds as the dialog scrolls on the screen too. Those cute sounds really struck a chord with young me. I have to admit, they do annoy adult me a tad these days.

V) The hella whimsical melodies that play in all the worlds are really something special and always get me right in the feelz whenever I listen to the game’s soundtrack today. Each tune just fit the theme of the world so perfectly. Great job in the audio department, Grant Kirkhope!

Capture4

VI) Kazooie’s ability to fly was fabulous, even though it was kinda annoying that it cost you a consumable item called Red Feathers. I’ll always remember soaring over the gorgeous island world of Treasure Trove Cove. Especially useful since swimming isn’t advised due to an angry shark…

VII) The invincibility ability was another fun thing to play with. For the cost of Gold Feathers, Kazooie shielded Banjo with her wings, giving you the ability to charge through anything, and also not get shredded to pieces by various things in Clanker’s Cavern.

VIII) If you wanted to really have fun with flying and being invincible, you can totally cheat to get infinite Red and Gold feathers. In certain secret areas of the witch’s lair, you stumble upon Gruntilda’s disgruntled spell book, aptly named Cheato. He’s upset Grunty lost him and will willingly give the bear and bird cheat codes to enter on the sandcastle floor of Treasure Trove Cove.

Capture6

IX) When you failed and got that dreaded Game Over screen, the game actually showed you poor Tooty’s fate. I remember laughing in sadness as poor Tooty emerged from Grunty’s machine as an ugly green monster, while a hyper-sexified version of Gruntilda walked away to likely go sign a modeling contract.

X) Click Clock Wood, the game’s final place, was one of my favourite worlds. It was so cool how the area went through four different seasons. It was so much fun just discovering what changed between seasons. I also remember helping a very cranky squirrel there. Conker’s cousin, maybe? Oh and the Banjo Bumblebee transformation was amazing.

XI) Egyptian themes are a thing that has always fascinated me so Gobi’s Valley is another high point in my memory. Traversing the scorching sands, entering the pyramids, and exploring ancient tombs was so exciting!

XII) There were secrets and Easter eggs aplenty in this game. I’m not sure how much time young me spent trying unsuccessfully to get at that mysterious ice key, just out of reach in an area of Freezeezy Peak.

Capture5

XIII) Some of the minigames Banjo had to endure for Jiggies were quite entertaining. The biggest, baddest, and best of all minigames, however, was a trivia board game style showdown with Gruntilda before the final boss fight, amusingly named Grunty’s Furnace Fun. I learned so much about the game answering the usually unfair questions Grunty asked of the bear and bird during the event. It took me quite a while to beat it my first time through, but I’ll never forget the feeling of accomplishment when I finally survived.

And there you have it! Writing this has made me realize the nostalgia is heavy with this one. I think all of us gamers have a soft spot for the first games we ever played. Those first moments when we wrapped our hands around a controller, gasping in amazement as the characters on the screen moved when we pressed buttons. Video games will always give us something other forms of media never can: the ability to almost physically interact with other worlds, and to feel like we’re living out the stories of the characters we control. Once that final boss has been crushed, we walk away feeling like the brave hero who just saved their world. For me, Banjo-Kazooie will always be one of those special first-time gaming experiences and I’ll always treasure the many hours I spent playing as the bear and bird.

adventure map


WordPress Reader viewers, please consider enjoying this post again on the site. While we designed with you in mind, you miss some of the nuances of the piece by not enjoying it in its original form. 

patreon

This collaboration took an overwhelming amount of time and dedication from 34 exceptionally creative, incredible makers! Help us with the resources to make more, even better, collaborations in the future! We also have aspirations of developing a podcast called Normal Talks about optimistically appreciating everyday life! Please consider becoming a patron of Normal Happenings and help us try to make the world a better, more positive place!
become_a_patron_button

<< Previous | Adventure Map | Next >>

Crash Bandicoot | The Game That Defines The Gaming Diaries

<< Previous | Adventure Map | Next >>

TGTDU Logo - Copy

Audio

These N-Sane Trilogy remixes of the original soundtrack are seriously on-point. Here is a collection of some of my favorites!

 

The Games That Define Us features carefully chosen music and remixes from the franchise of the game represented. Music is a key component of sharing the emotions one feels about a game, so we hope you will press the play button if you’re in a position to do so. 

introduction

Wow, we’ve really been getting through these! It’s Day 11 of The Games That Define Us! 

Just a brief summary if this is your first time here: This collaboration is a 34-day long adventure through video games. Each piece is its own unique audiovisual experience, complete with artwork, designs, music, and (most importantly) amazing works of prose by brilliant bloggers around the world. This adventure will take you through nostalgia, joy, ambition, self-discovery, regret, anxiety, frustration, mourning, and every human experience in between. Video games exist as fragments on the timeline of our lives, and each one of us have chosen the adventure we feel most defines us.

Today we’ve been graced with on of my favorite bloggers, The Gaming Dairies! If you’ve never discovered their personal and creative recollections of gaming, you are really missing out. After reading today’s amazing piece on a game that I have tons of childhood memories with, you should check out these pieces:

Please enjoy this fantastic next entry in The Games That Define Us! 

– Matthew, Normal Happenings

divider

starring

Dn9jXE7U0AA8OME

The Gaming Diaries @ The Gaming Diaries

Twitter: @thegamingdiary

For AGOOGAHBOOGAH!

Game: Crash Bandicoot
System: Playstation 1
Release Date: September 9, 1996

1P Start

Childhood and Crash Bandicoot go hand in hand for me. When I think of happy childhood memories some of the best I can think of are my gaming time and Crash.

Let’s journey back to the 90s. I was beginning my gaming journey and this came at the time of the two most exciting gaming consoles for me, the Game Boy and the PlayStation. To be honest, if people guessed the console that the game I was talking about was on it would be pretty split between the two, maybe verging to the Game Boy. However, I’m taking you back to the PlayStation and one of the games that has stuck with me and stayed in my heart and mind all this time.

This game was released on the 9th of September 1996. Back when Bill Clinton was US President and John Major was the UK Prime Minister. Back in the year where Independence Day was one of the highest grossing films, along with films such as 101 Dalmatians, Mission: Impossible, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Nutty Professor. In the UK music charts the Spice Girls were on a roll with Wannabe having held the number one spot from the 27th July to the 7th September. So by the 9th September we were on our way to a new number one which was Flava by Peter Andre and I don’t think I’m the only one who wouldn’t be able to remember that one versus Wannabe. So do you wannabe in the know as to what game made me? Sure if you have read any overall posts or the title to this you may have a clue but hey I can introduce it. That game is Crash Bandicoot.

crash-bandicoot-24.jpg

I have written about Crash Bandicoot on my blog recently, and the nostalgia of playing the games again for the first time with the release of the N-sane Trilogy. I had written about the best and worst of Crash Bandicoot, again inspired by the N-sane Trilogy. These posts included things that have stuck with me all this time but are not all I want to talk about.

Why is this the game that I come back to when I think of games that mean the world to me? Why this is a game that is permanently entwined with my childhood?

crash1

I came to the PlayStation late in terms of owning it, the PS2 had been released and I got a second hand PlayStation. I had played on a PlayStation at various friends houses so I had wonderful memories of taking turns at levels in games or finding some random games in their selections. I was drawn towards Crash Bandicoot every time I saw it. There was something magical about this game to me. Here was a game that you play as a running, jumping, spinning, box smashing, Wumpa fruit collecting Bandicoot in jeans and trainers who gets chased by boulders and rides wild hogs as well as just running/jumping for the sake of it but it encaptured a little bit of something and everything that I wanted in a game even though I didn’t know it when I first played it. I played some levels over and over at friends houses, which may be why even today I remember some very well. I seem to recall trying to unlock the relics for friends that were struggling with some of them. As much as I wanted to try every level through properly my first experiences, I think, were a random mix of levels, I may have eventually got my own save within one friends memory card but I’m not sure. Remember memory cards? A save was a big thing back then.

crash-bandicoot-15

Then when the PS2 came out, I got my second hand PlayStation. So what game was top of my list to buy? Well it just had to be Crash Bandicoot and its sequels, as well as a very popular Dragon franchise. As much as I had probably played most of Crash Bandicoot, if not all of it, I was so excited to start again. This game just hadn’t grown old. I couldn’t wait to just jump back in and have my proper first attempt as I was playing it through from the beginning all by myself. Get Crash on the go and collect all the gems and relics and go through his platforming adventures. Even though I fell in love with other games on the PS1, be it the Spyro games or the Tony Hawk games or whatever, I was always drawn back to my plucky Bandicoot pal, my go to mate, the game that I could play no matter what. I dread to think how many saves I had for Crash over the years as I know I played it from beginning to end time after time. And yes I mean the three original Crash games when I say that! It was just that game. That one that no matter what you could replay it and still enjoy it like it was the first time.

Childhood and Crash Bandicoot go hand in hand for me. When I think of happy childhood memories some of the best I can think of are my gaming time and Crash.

Playing Crash Bandicoot as a child has definitely influenced some of my loves in games. I still love platformers, even if they can frustrate me for hours, and I am willing to try, try, try again with them. I will play them through again from the beginning at times after finishing them. There was a magic about Crash, a magic that sparked something in me that still exists as a gaming love now. If that isn’t special then I don’t know what else is. It is the game that if anyone asks me what my favourite games are it will always be mentioned, no matter what amazing games are to come this will still be up there for me. It is a game that it didn’t matter when I played it that just made things better, be it forgetting the bullies, forgetting the bad things or just an average day got better. It is a game that comforted me when I needed it.

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy_20170707141608

Crash became a friend that I could rely on and he is still there today, somewhere in my heart, reminding me of happy days and the way that games were changing which was exciting to see as a child. Now games have come and gone, got more realistic, longer, more advanced, whatever you want to say about them. However, even now the games that I look to most fondly include this one and I was so excited for the release of the N-sane Trilogy on Xbox One and Switch this year.

Thank you Crash Bandicoot for making my childhood, for giving me happy times, for teaching me that games can be ridiculously hard (though I seem to have forgotten that from the original game but I’m definitely learning it from trying the remasters) but you can always get there in the end.

adventure map


WordPress Reader viewers, please consider enjoying this post again on the site. While we designed with you in mind, you miss some of the nuances of the piece by not enjoying it in its original form. 

patreon

This collaboration took an overwhelming amount of time and dedication from 34 exceptionally creative, incredible makers! Help us with the resources to make more, even better, collaborations in the future! We also have aspirations of developing a podcast called Normal Talks about optimistically appreciating everyday life! Please consider becoming a patron of Normal Happenings and help us try to make the world a better, more positive place!
become_a_patron_button

<< Previous | Adventure Map | Next >>

NiGHTS into Dreams | The Game That Defines HideNGoShauna

<< Previous | Adventure Map | Next >>

TGTDU Logo - Copy

Audio

I believe this is one of the most underrated soundtrack in video game history. Stay and listen a while?

 

The Games That Define Us features carefully chosen music and remixes from the franchise of the game represented. Music is a key component of sharing the emotions one feels about a game, so we hope you will press the play button if you’re in a position to do so. 

introduction

Happy Friday, and welcome to Day 9 of The Games That Define Us! 

Just a brief summary if this is your first time here: This collaboration is a 34-day long adventure through video games. Each piece is its own unique audiovisual experience, complete with artwork, designs, music, and (most importantly) amazing works of prose by brilliant bloggers around the world. This adventure will take you through nostalgia, joy, ambition, self-discovery, regret, anxiety, frustration, mourning, and every human experience in between. Video games exist as fragments on the timeline of our lives, and each one of us have chosen the adventure we feel most defines us.

Today we’re graced with Shauna from HideNGoShauna! This brilliant writer has a whimsical spirit and writing style, and her game choice couldn’t be more appropriate. I’d like to spotlight a series she did recently: Japan memories. She spent three weeks there, and chronicled each day. Travel blogs always get my attention, so to see one of my favorite bloggers crafting one so adeptly was a major treat! I recommend you block off an hour of your life, start at Day 1, and work your way forward in time.

That is, after reading today’s amazing piece of course! We hope you enjoy today’s dreamy entry of The Games That Define Us! 

– Matthew, Normal Happenings

divider

starring

Dp0Dsc3UUAAXlEE

Shauna @ HideNGoShauna

Twitter: @HideNGoShauna

For Claris and Elliot

Game: NiGHTS into Dreams
System: Sega Saturn
Release Date: July 5, 1996

1P Start

The unique creatures, lovely soundtrack, and overall magic of the game really made an impression on me. I remember drawing my own renditions of the worlds in my sketchbook. To this day it’s still one of the most uniquely creative games I’ve played.

In my earliest years, I grew up watching my Dad play video games, and eventually playing them with him. We would sit together on the lumpy futon in the den, peering up at the tiny television. Sonic was one of the first games I remember, along with Mortal Kombat, Ghouls & Ghosts, and a few other favorite Genesis titles.

And Altered Beast of course. WIIIISE FWOM YOUR GWAVE!!!

As I grew, Dad stayed by my side as a guide to the exciting world of video games. Dad was firmly a Sega fan; he believed that Nintendo, while fun, was always a step behind Sega as far as technology and graphics were concerned. As such, instead of having a GameBoy like my friends, I had a Game Gear (which Dad reminded me had colour display several years before Nintendo) and instead of N64 we got a Sega Saturn.

One result of the Sega-mania of my upbringing was that, while I occasionally felt like I was missing out on the popular games my friends were playing (Pokémon, Donkey Kong Country, and Super Mario 64, mainly) on the other hand my consoles were a source of wonder to my friends, and I soon came to love that I had my own special set of magical worlds to peruse.

Occasionally friends would come over to play video games with me at my house and wouldn’t want to leave.

Sega Saturn had a really awesome diversity of games. We would visit our local Cash Converters (used goods) store and eventually amassed a good stack of titles. Some of my favorites were Astal, Bug, Clockwork Knight, Shining the Holy Arc, Sonic R, and Tomb Raider.

Dad would play Virtua Fighter 2 with me often; I only learned many years later that he was letting me win on occasion — as such I feel a bit embarrassed now of all the smack-talk I used to give him after delivering a K.O.

I had a teeny crush on Lion…

Playing the Saturn was the first time I really felt like “I’m a gamer. This is my console.” I was old enough to start beating levels on my own (okay, I did ask Dad for help from time to time) and the Saturn was a precious possession to me. Heck, the thing was even my first CD player, and I delighted in changing the pitch, tone, and speed of my AQUA: Aquarium album with the Saturn.

The game that stands out the most from this time though has to be NiGHTS into Dreams.

320px-Nights_Into_Dreams-title.png

NiGHTS Into Dreams came bundled with a “3D Control Pad” controller that was innovative for its time.

The fantasy stages and bosses in NiD were so creative and strange. The main character, NiGHTS, is an androgynous, elfish being that can fly in a beautiful, acrobatic way.

The entire mechanics of gameplay felt different than anything I’d controlled before, designed to be used with the 3D Control Pad. You could make NiGHTS fly in any direction, forming giant loops to suck up gems and executing sudden turns as you pleased.

The unique creatures, lovely soundtrack, and overall magic of the game really made an impression on me. I remember drawing my own renditions of NiD-like worlds in my sketchbook. To this day it’s still one of the most uniquely creative games I’ve played.

I enjoyed the landscapes in NiD so much that I would often linger on purpose without hitting the checkpoints, forcing NiGHTS to transform into one of the two human characters whose dreams he inhabits. As such, I had the opportunity to walk and run on the ground and get a better look at some of the interesting designs in the game, but before long the egg-clock, bane of my existence, would begin to chase me with its terrifying searchlight.

I hated that clock with a passion. If it caught you in its bright ray, you would “wake up” and fail the stage. As a child I strongly wished that there was an alternate game mode where I could explore the fascinating worlds at leisure without that cursed clock dogging me.

I’ve always had a penchant for baddies, and Reala, NiGHTS’ rival, intrigued me. He was like the evil twin of NiGHTS.

null6.png

I was stoked when a new NiD game was announced for Nintendo Wii some years ago, but it really didn’t capture the magic of the original. I’m not particularly fond of the altered version of NiGHTS that was presented; in the original game NiGHTS doesn’t really speak, whereas the posh female voice in the new game really throws me for a loop (a loop, get it? Like how NiGHTS uses loops to collect energy gems? … )

I’ve often thought that NiGHTS would be fun to cosplay, and that I’d like to design the costume someday — I was so excited when I saw a cosplayer at the Edmonton Expo last year wearing her own handmade NiGHTS costume! I should have gotten a picture with her, ah well. She told me that the headpiece was a pain in the butt to craft, and I totally believe that!

NiD, for me, is a reminder of my happy childhood, a special time when I had nowhere important to be, nothing particular to do, and seemingly all the time in the world to play games on my beanbag chair in my tiny, cozy room. It is one of those magical games that can remind us how video games can be an interactive art form, a format for creativity where dreams can become reality.

adventure map


WordPress Reader viewers, please consider enjoying this post again on the site. While we designed with you in mind, you miss some of the nuances of the piece by not enjoying it in its original form. 

patreon

This collaboration took an overwhelming amount of time and dedication from 34 exceptionally creative, incredible makers! Help us with the resources to make more, even better, collaborations in the future! We also have aspirations of developing a podcast called Normal Talks about optimistically appreciating everyday life! Please consider becoming a patron of Normal Happenings and help us try to make the world a better, more positive place!
become_a_patron_button

<< Previous | Adventure Map | Next >>