Video Games Tell Stories That Live With You Forever

Video Games Tell Stories That Live With You Forever

Many video games tell a story. But the stories we tell about games are often very, very different. The tales you tell and retell down the years (and decades) are more often than not those from around the game. Who you were, where you were, what you were doing and who you were doing it with.

Here are some of my favourites.


X-Wing

Video Games Tell Stories That Live With You Forever

I broke two joysticks playing this game. Snapped them clean off the base. That's how many joystick breaks it takes for me to learn a lesson. The lesson being don't calm down, because screw this game, just go and buy a Thrustmaster.


EyeToy

Sony's PS2 EyeToy came with this karate minigame where you actually had to punch at stuff in real life. So I was playing this game with some friends once and one of them got ambitious and tried to kick. We were drunk as hell, so of course he fell backwards and disappeared off the screen. He kept on falling and smashed his arse clean through the wall. It left a massive, perfectly arse-shaped hole.

The place we were living in was a rental, so we had to hide this at the next inspection by putting a poster over it. Problem was, the hole was so big that drafts blew through it, and when the real estate agent was walking through the living room the poster started flapping. It was some Shawshank Redemption shit.


The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

Video Games Tell Stories That Live With You Forever

Oh, you think this is a singleplayer game? Nope. First time I played/finished Wind Waker — which incidentally was the first time I ever actually played through a Zelda game — it was a co-operative experience, as me and two friends played the whole thing as a team, swapping controllers upon death and collaboratively banging heads to get past puzzles and dungeons.

By the time we got to the end, it fell to me to make the cutting blow. After it was made, the three of us just kind of collapsed on the couch and sat unmoving for what felt like an eternity. After a while I looked around and noticed that all three of us had gotten a little misty.

I've never had more fun with a Zelda game in my life, and I think part of that is because I've had to play every other Zelda game by myself.


Gran Turismo

I once spent a year working in the UK, and during some downtime I had my share house to myself for a week. I was broke and alone, so I spent the entire week playing Gran Turismo. And I mean the entire time; even the most ridiculous hours-long endurance events were fair game, to the point where by the end of the week — after hundreds of hours of driving — my left thumb was calloused and bleeding all over the controller, a level of physical damage I'd never done before in video games or managed since.


Street Fighter II

I suck at fighting games. Always have. But one windy morning at a local arcade, in around 1993-94, me and a friend walked in with a bag full of 20c pieces (SFII was 60c a turn in Australia in its prime), picked a character at random and just went at it. We took turns, swapping at the end of every round, and time seemed to just stand still. For one shining, miraculous day, we were world-beaters. Every manic button mash somehow ended in victory, every 50/50 collision fell in our favour. By the time Bison had been defeated, we'd probably spent around $10. But there we were. Victorious.

Having used... E. Honda.


Animal Crossing

At one point in time, I was what my parents would have classified a bright and aspiring young university student, with good grades and a decent work ethic. Then I started playing Animal Crossing on the GameCube. You can draw a line from where my grades went from A-B to C-D, and it coincides perfectly with me getting hooked on this game. One ex-housemate remembers saying goodbye to me on his way to work as I sat slouched on the couch wearing pyjamas and cradling a pint of tomato juice. He got home that afternoon to find the only thing that had changed was that the glass was empty.


Halo

Another co-op story! Truly, it's the best way to play a video game.

I played through the original Halo's campaign with a friend, and it was a struggle, because we both sucked at shooters on a control pad and the Flood are the worst.

But persevere we did, and we eventually made it to the frantic closing section. Despite having to repeat almost every other sequence in the game because we couldn't stop our sorry butts from dying, we somehow bumped and stumbled our way through the final Warthog drive, making the jump clear with... 00:01 left on the clock.

You know how you see professional athletes lose their shit after hitting a buzzer-beater or scoring a winning goal? The leaping, hugging and screaming coming from our living room that day is as close as I've ever gotten to that sensation.


What about you guys? Any memories of childhood friends/enemies? Share house shit fights? Special evenings with a special someone?


Comments

    Recently out of high school a mate was boarding alone in his mum's investment house.
    He set the place up as one big lan pad: every room with a few couches and side tables and a TV stand. Two fridges in the kitchen for drinks. Ethernet cables winding everywhere.
    Bring a TV, xbox, snacks and a few mates and it was 16 player Halo 2 mayhem every weekend.

    Red Dead Redemption still makes my heart ache. i will never forget John Marston...

    Gta 3 and Vice City, countless playthroughs

    The Max Payne trilogy

    Prowling around in dishonoured up on roofs and in the shadows

    The first level of tonyhawk pro skater

    Dustbowl on tf2

    Stardew Valley recently. Just one more day, wait is that sunlight on the horizon? I just spent all night playing it.

    *Buys a JRGP*

    "We've defeated the FLEET of flesh-tearing discrimination angel demons with the power of love and friendship!"

    Yep, that absurdity will live in my head forever and ever, and then again when the next JRPG comes around...

      Seems a lot more interesting than "I just saved the universe by selecting a coloured beam." though. ^_-

    My previous housemate banned me from playing Dead Space at night because my involuntary yelling and crying out kept him awake.

    The circumstances around me playing Fallout 3 were aligned to make sure I got thoroughly hooked.
    I was just coming off a bad breakup, living alone, with no friends living anywhere nearby, during that crazy-hot summer of 2008-09.
    I bought an Xbox 360 and Fallout 3, and escaped the heat and loneliness by spending all my spare time in the Capital Wasteland.

    I had the exact same experience with the original Halo... We accidentally flipped the warthog right near the finish and managed to jump back on and peel out just as the timer hit 0:00...

    Another memorable moment, GoldenEye 64... My friends and I always figured the invincibility cheat was damn near impossible to get so we largely ignored it to unlock all the other cheats.

    Finally one afternoon (possibly accompanied by some herbal assistance) I sat down and replayed the facility over and over until eventually I hit the right combination of Dr Doek's location and sheer luck and made it through. I later traded that cartridge for one without invincibility unlocked and a nice Spanish guitar.

      Aaaah, that cheat. I sat down one day and just played it till I got it. It wasn't too bad, you just had to have Dr Doak in the right spot and follow a few strategies. But there was a bit of luck involved based on how many times you got hit.

        Dr Doak was the key... He had to be in the lab near the final area otherwise it was literally impossible to beat it.

    When The Sims (original) came out in 2000 (?) I hadn't seen anything quite like it, and it captured the attention of my brother, father, and me to the extent that we would crowd around whoever was playing and start bugging them to try to get them off the PC.

    Eventually we had to make an actual schedule to keep things orderly. 60 minute blocks rotating with no standing over or heckling of the active player allowed. We played it to death for about six months. None of the sequels came close to the original's charmingly unique experience.

    Metal Gear Solid - First game I ever finished
    Counter Strike: Source - I got HL2 on release and was an avid CS player, I migrated over to CS:S quite quickly and dominated the pub scene for the first few months until all the good 1.6 players came over.

    I have always been a console player so I kind of suck at using the keyboard for precision movement games like platformers. But back in the day, it was the only way I could play Cave Story, a game that intrigued me something fierce. So I made my way through, slowly, difficultly, all the way up to the Core battle. The Core battle, in case you don't know is basically a bullet-hell where you have to jump up and down on moving platforms while trying to nail the rapidly-moving Core with underwater physics.

    I tried and tried and tried and tried to no avail. Then, when I was reaching the point of actual physical exhaustion... I entered The Zone! We've all been in a "zone" before, but I've never before or since experienced something like that. I expertly dodged all bullets with impeccable jumps and pixel-perfect movement with incredible ease. Dumbfounded, I actually took my eyes from the screen to look at my fingers, moving over the keys with a speed and precision I wasn't aware I was able of, following a rhythm in the boss' attack pattern (that I hadn't consciously noticed) so that I didn't get hit even while not looking at the screen. I laughed and laughed maniacally until the spell was broken, but by then the boss was almost dead and I could finish it off with my normal skills.

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