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I was watching G4′s Top 100 Video Games of All Time series the other day, and seeing the plethora of old Atari and original NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) games discussed overwhelmed me with a sense of nostalgia. Hours of my childhood were spent in front of the Atari and then the Nintendo, marveling at the ever-evolving technology of video games. So naturally, I had to go to my parents and pull out my old Nintendo and re-live a little bit of my childhood.
And thankfully, that bad boy still works! Granted, I still have to blow into the games and slap them about 5 or 6 times (y’all know what I’m talking about), but I can eventually get them to work.
The very first thing my younger bro Andrew and I did was throw in Contra, input its famous code (Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A B A Select Start), and then precede to cooperatively destroy the game in about 15-20 minutes. Obviously, some of my memories are a little hazy because I sure thought this was a game that took about 4 or 5 hours to play through. Nowadays, I can’t imagine spending $50 to $60 on a game only to beat it in about 20 minutes. Granted, back in those wistful days of my youth it was nothing to beat a game and then turn around and beat it about 6 more times in a row, just to make sure it truly knew who was boss.
After I gave Andrew a 17-7 rump-kickin’ in Super Tecmo Bowl, my lovely wife Kim indicated that she was ready for some “Adam and Kim time” and that’s all I needed to hear to pack up my Nintendo and all related games and accessories and head to the house.
But this isn’t all about nostalgia. No, there’s a little unfinished business tied in to this adventure. You see, there is only one Nintendo game that I owned that I was never able to beat. My all-time arch nemesis The Adventures of Bayou Billy. Basically, Bayou Billy is an American version of Crocodile Dundee who must rescue his girlfriend from some Mafioso dude named Gordon. At the time, it offered one of the most diverse gaming experiences on the market, featuring fighting, driving, and shooting segments.
The problem is that it’s one of those old school games where you play for a few hours, have very few lives, get to the last level with one life left, lose to the boss, and then boom – you have to start at the very beginning of the game. No ability to save, no codes to let you start where you left off, nothing. Just hours of anger and frustration. Puberty and my purchase of this game crossed paths, so you can imagine the hormonal extremities I was experiencing at the time, and I had a lot of anger and aggression that were taken out upon my poor controller.
Welp, I am a big fan of closure. I hate leaving loose ends untied, and my inability to defeat The Adventures of Bayou Billy is a shadow from my childhood that still lingers overhead. So, game on.
Are there more important things in life that I could dedicate my time to? That’s a very subjective question, but from a surface level perspective one would answer yes, probably so. But like Florence and the Machine says, it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back. So Bayou Billy, I’m gonna shake you off. Oh whoa.
Stay tuned for the conclusion of this exorcism.
What Nintendo games bring back the most nostalgia for you? Are there any games you simply could not conquer?