Here is my entry.
I remember it like it was yesterday. It was the first of March 1997 and there I was, downstairs in Virgin handing over the money that had taken me many months to earn. Taking on extra rounds as a paperboy and saving all of my Christmas tips for this special day.
The day of course was the release day of the Nintendo 64, the successor to the Super Nintendo.
After months of reading about the Ultra 64, then the Nintendo 64, reading about delays, about game line-up changes and looking at pictures of Mario 64, Pilotwings, Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire and Wave Race amongst other games the N64 was finally upon us.
I picked up my N64 with Mario 64, handed them to the cashier and handed over my hard earned money, the blood, sweat and tears had finally paid off. I only had one obstacle to now overcome, the 35 minute bus journey home. Here I was walking through the city centre with my big bag containing the console and a grin the size of the bag and I still had to get home yet.
Finally after what felt like the longest bus journey ever (second to the bus journey from when I got my SNES) I get home, get my mates round and set up the N64. The cartridge goes in, the power gets turned on and the words Super Mario 64 appear long with speech. Wait a minute, speech, Mario just spoke. I click start and Mario’s face appears, he says Hello, whoa. I press the button on Mario’s face whilst trying to get to grips with the new pad and manage to stretch his nose. Oh my god, I just stretched his nose, now his ear, now his chin. Ten minutes later and I haven’t even started the game yet.
I click start again and I’m transported to outside Princess Peach’s Castle. Walking, running, jumping, sliding up to the door this is just amazing. I go into the castle, there is Toad, there are doors with stars and numbers on, they are locked. I open the door with no number on and behind it is a picture. I look around the room, what do I do? Where is the level? I walk up to the picture and jump into it, the ripples are amazing. I’m taken to a screen where I’m shown a title and suddenly I’m standing on some grass with a world around me.
I complete the first mission, another and another. I get the wing cap, I’m flying. I’ve flown before in previous Mario games but not like this, not around and around and up and down like this. My mind is blown. I fight Bowser; I spin him around and throw him into bombs. I get the Metal cap, the Vanish cap; Mario turns to metal and walks underwater, vanishes and starts walking through walls. The graphics, the sound, the game play, its Mario notched up by 100.
I’ve gotten a lot older since that day and played many games over the years on many consoles, but I still remember that day like it was yesterday.