Occasionally after the rush of a rare find at hand me down stores or the bitter taste of defeat after losing a bidding war over X-Files Resist or Serve (for like the eighth time) I think of my time as a gamer. A lifetime of gaming really. Some eras of my life more than others.
But regardless of what I’m trying to collect or what bad game I’m playing for the sake of the coconut’s entertainment I can still always look back fondly to some of my earliest days of gaming and of course meeting my first gamer – my mom.
My mom loved video games up until Tetris 64. That was the last game I’ve ever seen her play. Now her eyesight is so poor she can hardly drive let alone play (but she was killer at Tetris)
But her absolute favorite game when I was little – was the original Final Fantasy. I would remember times early on sneaking out of bed and watching her play after bed time. Usually I wasn’t nearly as sly as I thought I was and I was busted but she would let me stay up and watch her play for a little while.
It sounds silly now but it’s hard to overstate the sheer level of possibility Final Fantasy offered. A large open world where you could travel at your discretion. A sprawling ocean. The game was gorgeous , the monsters terrifying and challenging and the combat utterly addicting.
So naturally being lucky enough to have a parent into gaming in the early 90’s I was fortunate enough to have a Nintendo in the play room of our small house. I still grew up playing outside but on rainy days I began to take more and more of an interest in the NES.
There were a few other games at my disposal, we had 1942, Adventure Island IIIand Fester’s Quest (which scared the shit out of me). But these games just lacked the intrigue that Final Fantasy (kept stored in a top shelf out of reach of children) held. It had a pull. I know I wasn’t supposed to play it but what damage could I really do?
So one dog day afternoon I risked life and limb and climbed up the shelf and retrieved the sacred RPG. I placed the cartridge in the system and began a new game. After an hour of getting my ass kicked and realizing I don’t know what the hell I’m doing I decided to take a break. I decided to let my little party sleep in a tent.
I was asked to save the game?
Why of course.
Unknowingly deleting my mom’s saved game. All of those exhausted hours grinding levels gone. Her leveled characters now replaced by four level one white mages all named after our Black Lab.
All of these years later I had forgotten all about the sad incident until one night in early 2018 I had a strong desire to start the Final Fantasy series from the beginning. So busting out my vita I purchased origins (remake of the original two games on ps1) and spent time grinding away when I wasn’t working or taking care of my pregnant wife.
One night after Hope (my wife) was in bed and I was enjoying finally beating a bunch of Hill Gigas’ asses after grinding for a few hours it dawned on me that my mom was probably doing the same exact thing pregnant with me thirty years before.
I never really told her that story but I felt connected to her in a new way. Love you mom.
Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers, mothers-to-be, vilomahs, pet moms and people who miss their mothers and wish to celebrate them.
And a special Mother’s Day thanks to my mom for doing her best – raising my sister and I wasn’t easy – and to my wife for being the best mother I’ve ever seen.
To all strong women out there. Thanks.
Give me food, money, beer or kill me: https://ko-fi.com/colinsik
If for some reason you’d like to read more of my thoughts or follow me on social media: https://linktr.ee/BuffaloRetro