So I was listening to the soundtrack for The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time when I was bitten by the nostalgia bug. Ocarina of Time is one of my favorite games of all time and not because I played it myself. I was nine years old when it came out on the Nintendo 64 back in 1998 and I remember the fun I had watching my brother, Paul, play it through several times. I loved watching my brothers play games. I remember watching them play the original LoZ, Donkey Kong 64, Star Fox 64, OoT, and Super Metroid on the SNES. It never got old. I think it’s because of them I’m a gamer girl.
I think Star Fox 64 was the first game I played by myself and the first one I beat. Thinking about it now makes me feel proud. I wish I knew what happened to the cartridge because we did own it. It seems to be missing now. I really want to play it again but aside from it missing, our N64 is barely alive now. It’s hard to get it started anymore. There were so many fun games I loved to play on it. Pokemon Snap, Paper Mario, Mario Party, Super Mario 64. Since they re-released Star Fox 64 and Ocarina of Time on the Nintendo 3DS, a big wish of mine would be for them to re-release the original 64 Paper Mario on some system. I want to be able to see if I can beat it. I never made it far in the original because we didn’t own it.
Super Metroid is another game I loved watching Paul play. After we sold our SNES, I had trouble recalling what the game was called through the years but I did have vague memories of the final boss, Mother Brain. When I was thinking about Mother Brain one day, I went on YouTube and searched for that fight. It’s funny how a boss that didn’t scare you as a kid ends up creeping you out later on. I think it’s because of the 14 year gap between I saw my brother play the game and when I found the fight on YT. The music probably didn’t help much. Same for Mother’s roar. I’m over now. Doesn’t creep me out as badly.
This brings me to Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts. I remember very little of Final Fantasy VII when it came out in 1997. I remember people asking me if I had ever played it and I remember looking up Cloud and Sephiroth through the years but Final Fantasy never piqued my interest until 2007 when I saw Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children for the first time. That got both me and my sister interested in the series. I’ve since played through the original FF7, FF7: Crisis Core, and the DS version of FF4. The only game out of those I’ve beaten was Crisis Core. I’m not strong enough to face Sephiroth on the original VII because it’s so easy to get to that point and not have trained enough to outlast him when he goes One-Winged Angel on you (Safer Sephiroth). There’s also the fact that best Summon Materia in the game, Knights of the Round, is a total pain to get because you have to do the Chocobo breeding sidequest. you have to have a Black Chocobo just to reach the cave where Knights of the Round is. That takes time and I’m rather impatient. Maybe someday, I’ll do what I must to win.
FF4, I was doing well in until I made the mistake of going to the Tower of Babel when I wasn’t leveled up enough. The DS version makes it easy to advance in the game at lower levels than recommended. The Tower of Babel, however, you can’t leave once you enter. The enemies are strong there so I was stuck. Any attempt to fight just makes the party get hit hard and sometimes faint. I have yet to replay and stick with the game past that point. I know I made it to the Moon but that was prior to Babel, I think.
Kingdom Hearts was a game I saw a family friend play way back when. I’ve played through the first game up to the final boss. The only reason I haven’t been able to beat it is because the camera controls for that game is a pain in the rear. You had to use the shoulder buttons, instead of the analog stick. Kingdom Hearts 2 was much easier, thanks the camera being controlled via analog stick and the new Reaction Commands you were encouraged to use on a variety of tasks and enemies. I’ve beaten that game several times. Birth By Sleep was another entry I loved to play. I’ve beaten Terra and Aqua’s scenarios but Ventus’s is another pain. The final boss, Vanitas, is hard to fight because it’s not a typical battle. You have to do things in a certain way in order to beat him and I haven’t gotten the knack for it yet.
Dissidia Final Fantasy is the Super Smash Bros. of the Final Fantasy series. It’s a fighting game with RPG elements in it. The fights are in real time (or there’s an RPG option for those who prefer it). Both that and Crisis Core were the sole reasons I bought a PSP. Dissidia is the coolest thing to me because the first game had the heroes and villains from the original Final Fantasy all the way up to X (10) with secret characters from 11 and 12. The sequel, Duodecim, had six more characters from Final Fantasies 4, 7, 8, 10, 12, and 13, plus more two secret characters from 5 and 11. To add another level of coolness, they also gave us a playable version of the game’s Big Bad, Chaos, in the form of Feral Chaos. Grand total of playable characters is 31.
Duodecim had a lot more to offer than the first game. It has a lot of new mechanics, like a world map, and the Assist Feature. The biggest thing, though, is that it also includes the entire first game’s story updated for the new mechanics. It’s like you’re getting two games for the price of one. When Duodecim was first announced, I was on fire for it. When the NA release was announced, I was dancing in the street. Since getting the game, I’ve only played it and never went back to the original Dissidia. No more need to. I was excited when it was announced that my favorite character from FF4, Kain Highwind, was going to be in it. When I learned Liam O’Brien was reprising the role from the DS version, good gravy, it was like Christmas came early.
Dissidia was a good game for me because it introduced to me to other stories and characters pre- and post-VII. I feel more connected to characters in the other games in the series, probably more than Kingdom Hearts did. I was introduced to Squall Leonhart from 8 via the first KH game and KH2 introduced me to Vivi (9), Setzer (6), and Seifer, Fuujin, and Raijin (also from 8). The characters from VII, Aerith, Yuffie, Cid, Cloud, and Sephiroth, I’ve known a lot longer. Dissidia gave me the gist of each game’s story.
Right now, I’m trying my hand at LoZ: Twilight Princess. It’ll be the first Zelda game I’ve seriously played. Ocarina of Time I’ve dabbled in but always chickened out of upon reaching the second dungeon, Dodongo’s Cavern. As of this post, I have reached the final boss of the first dungeon in Twilight Princess. I have yet to fight the beast but hopefully, I’ll get up the nerve to fight.