Posted on June 15, 2012
Gun.Smoke (NES) and Adventures of Dino Riki (NES)
As evidenced by my prior posts, turning the stories video games tell us into “films” (if they can even be called that) has been a hobby of mine since I was in my early teens. With the advent of affordable technology I could actually use at home, it became a good way to switch my brain off after a long day’s work.
More recently, I began posting my edits to YouTube, but a “strike” against my account prevents me from posting clips longer than 15 minutes. I was initially disappointed, but it’s almost a blessing in disguise. Instead of focusing on games I play through for my cutscene movie-making, I can talk about whatever, whenever. It’s a good feeling!
The story behind these two games is similar to many others I’ve shared, except this one doesn’t end particularly well for one of them.
It was Grade 1. I just had an incredibly long week of Phys. Ed., recess, and early math. Life was rough, but somehow, I’d find ways to get through it all. (/sarcasm)
One of the best ways to get down on Friday was to rent a game, which was a nice treat. We had a few spots around town that rented NES games, like Major Video right next to my school (later replaced by Blockbuster Video), Video King downtown, and our local Co-Op store.
On one trip to the Co-Op for groceries, I was allowed to rent Gun.Smoke.
“Gun Dot Smoke” was a familiar title to my mom, who said it was probably based on a old western TV show that aired when she was younger. Even though that ended up not being the case, I knew I’d enjoy it simply by looking at the box art. I could tell it was a somewhat Galag-ian game, what with the scrolling upwards, shooting enemies and gathering power-ups along the way.
Well, we got home, popped it in, and the game wouldn’t get past the title screen. We tried swapping controllers, resetting, doing a bunch of other things, and nothing would work. I seem to recall my mom fiddling with the NES for a good hour or so before finally giving up, but it was probably closer to 15 minutes. Time has a way of dragging on when you’re little, with an unplayable game dangled in front of you like that.
To this day, I have still yet to play Gun.Smoke!
In any case, she ended up calling the Co-Op back, and we had to make the 20 minute trip back to exchange it for something that worked.
I’m not sure how other kids did it, but the game with the coolest box art usually won out. I picked this one out of the crowd, not really realizing that this game was pretty similar to the one I had just returned.
The Adventures of Dino Riki has the titular character shooting fireballs and all kinds of other projectiles at the prehistoric creatures attacking him. It added some platforming elements where you had to jump to avoid obstacles, which was a nice change of pace for the shooter genre. I remember enjoying it quite a bit, especially coupled with the Game Genie I had also borrowed from a friend for the weekend…
A day after renting it, my mom had some friends over. They had a younger child, about 2-3 years old at the time. Whenever I was in the living room “being social” (as social as a six-year old can be with adults), he’d be playing with my NES. No, not playing games, but flipping the cover up and down repeatedly, pressing Reset and Power like it was going out of style. It drove me insane, but I was a good kid. I kept my mouth shut, and patiently waited for them to leave as I played with the toys in my bedroom.
Patience is a trait I still pride myself in having lots of. Patience for waiting, patience with learning, patience with myself and my abilities when playing games, or anything else. It wasn’t always that way – playing a game could be a frustrating thing, especially when you take into consideration the kinds of games we grew up playing.
I can recall several instances during the “Nintendo Parties” my mom and I would have at my grandmother’s, where we’d eat snacks and she’d watch me play games. I’d get aggravated when I couldn’t get past something, growl at the TV, twist my controller in anger, and she just kept telling me to be patient through it all. I eventually listened, and adopted an almost Zen-like approach when playing.
She displayed an incredible amount of patience with me over the years, as well, something I can only hope to match whenever we have kids of our own.