The 14th day of February never really meant that much to me. With retailers’ ploys to grab at your hard-earned cash to be spent on lots of wasted paper and cheap chocolates; I never understood why a special day had to be set aside for those shenanigans. But I remember that one year I got something incredibly special as a Valentine’s Day present. It was gifted to me by my awesome Father during a time when I was still a student and without the means to buy games for myself. It was presented to me unwrapped, and behind the red paper cut out heart that read “ To My Little One, Happy Valentine’s Day - Love Daddy” was a menacing, half-eaten zombie face. Indeed, my father with his amazing sense of humour had gifted me a bloody Valentine of Resident Evil 2.
That was just one of my sweet stories of gaming memories that I shared with a member of my family and I know some of you have had your special memories as well. However, if you’re looking for more of those stories from me, you’re not going to find them here today. Welcome back to another edition of Flashback Friday Fun Times!
What you will find here is a collection of some of my embarrassing gaming moments involving my family members. These are the sort of stories where I would happily be playing something and suddenly I would hear a cackle at one of my failings. Those cackles may be followed by a smug smile as the sort of smile you might find on Reno of the Turks. Do not misunderstand though, as I love my family in the ways which words will never be able to adequately express. My immediate family are some of the most caring, and hilarious group of people I know... even when they’re being loveable jerks and having a laugh at my every video game demise!
The train did not look like this but I can never look at the top of a train car the same way ever again!
Tales of Woe # 1: My Father - I’ve mentioned it before but it was Final Fantasy VII and the PSOne that sealed my interests in games and JRPGs as my genre of choice. But it was somewhere along the top of the train cars in Final Fantasy VII, battling monster after monster and failure after failure, that I heard a chuckle. “You died again?”, I heard. And in my frustration I gave the evil-eyed squint to my precious Daddy that made him laugh hysterically. I couldn’t help but laugh as well… after I had finally beaten those stupid monsters, that is.
Tales of Woe #2: My Brother - Oh the fun nights I had with Resident Evil 5 with my darling brother, and the not so fun nights he gave me playing the first game in the series. It was not all giggles and laughs at 2 in the morning though, or maybe it was. It sure was for him when in my desperate attempt to get us out of a crowd of zombie like folk wielding axes and chainsaws, that in my panic and confusion, instead of shooting the lock as he screamed for me to do; I got out my knife and tried to cut the padlock. “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?!” Well, I was clearly showcasing my knifing skills. I thought that was plainly obvious at the time. Alas, there is a valuable lesson to be learned here. Pocket knives may not always cut a padlock. And by always, I mean never.
Tales of Woe #3: My Sister - Running for my dear life from spiders was all sorts of harrowing for me. The stress of seeing them run behind my ottsel self and failing more than once was amplified when I heard singing in the background. At first it did not click but as I grew more agitated I realized that there she was, my loving sister, who had been minding her own business as I was playing Jak II, was singing Coldplay’s “Trouble”. The words, “Oh no, what’s this? A spider web and I’m caught in the middle” never sounded so grating before. It was only when she felt my cold, hard stare that she realized the irony of that situation: Daxter dying repeatedly to spiders and her choice of song to sing right at that very moment. What irritated me the most was that she sang it so sweetly too. It was pitch perfect and right on cue.
She laughed like a hyena at my face back then and to this day, my eye still involuntarily twitches whenever we hear that song. She does what a sister does best and that’s to point and laugh. I cannot help but laugh at that moment too, one of my finer ones in my gaming memories.
Tangled up with me... a likely story.
Surprisingly, I have no tales of woe to tell of my mother unless I am intentionally blanking out a memory. I don’t really feel like going into the recesses of my mind at the moment. Therefore, I would like to keep all memories of her skeet shooting magnificence in the Commodore 64’s Summer Olympics game locked up in my head. Though that's not an embarrassing story but really I just don't want to recall that she bested us all with her aiming expertise.
Family members can sometimes make your life that much more interesting. As far as I’m concerned if they can also give me a chuckle as I am visiting my multiple virtual lives, then I will never mind sharing my game time with them. I'll even stand by the harmless mocking. If I did not have them to poke fun (and really, that's all it is), my gaming would have been a lot less memorable... Even though without them, my experiences would probably have been a lot more relaxing. Where's the fun in that?
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