As I browsed listlessly through the PlayStation classics on my PS3’s store front I came across one of the most wonderful games of all time. Which game was it? Final Fantasy 7? Crash Bandicoot? No. It was Disney’s Hercules.
Yep, that one. “But GBD!” you cry, “That game was mediocre at best. Come on. It’s not one of the greatest games of all time. Why you so crazy for?” Well, I’ll tell you. Back in the mid 90’s I moved from Montana to Indiana with my family when my dad got a new coaching job at a local college. My grandparents had always lived in northern Indiana so we got the chance to see them much more often due to our new location.
I loved my grandparents house. It had a basement. It had a huge back yard. It had a hammock. A HAMMOCK I TELL YOU! Funny how little things like that are so fascinating when you’re nine. Every time we came to visit, my grandma and grandpa would pick up some special snacks that my parents refused to buy on regular basis (mostly Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts) and my brothers and I would eat like kings. Though there are many things that trigger memories of my grandparents home none seems to do it like PlayStation. And no PlayStation game more than Hercules. It’s weird that a game could have so much tied to it, but I can’t control the way the universe works.
My grandpa had invested in a PlayStation so he could dabble in a few guilty pleasure titles such as NASCAR and WWF. I always found this funny, as wrestling and racing aren’t always connected to the most intelligent lifestyles (Not that I’m pointing figures), and my grandpa is one classy guy. He plays the violin and has a mustache, so you can only imagine. He picked up a PlayStation so he could occasionally deliver the people’s elbow and ram Jeff Gordan into the wall, but he never bought a memory card so we’d always have to unlock everything in his games and reset all our high scores.
My older brother and I got tired of running stock cars into cement pretty quickly, so my grandpa would always take us to the nearby video store to rent some games. That’s where we rented Hercules for the first time. And the second time. And the third time. Seriously, we must have rented it on over fifteen separate occasions. I don’t know why my grandparents didn’t just invest in the darn thing. We could never get very far in the game, maybe the 4th or 5th level, but we played it for hours whilst munching Pop Tarts in their den.
It’s like a cheesy TV flashback to the “good ol’ days”. Summer time as a kid and all is right with the world. You’ve got a basement and a huge backyard to play in with your brothers and cousins and you’ve got Hercules on PlayStation. Life is good.
My grandparents still live in northern Indiana, but they moved out of their old house. Even though I eventually grew so tall I would hit my head on the ceiling at the top of the stairs, I still find myself missing that house when I go to visit. The PlayStation was put away after the move and I haven’t been able to find it. My grandma bought a Wii during its launch year, but I don’t play it much when I’m there. Looking back it was always my grandparents who made the house so fun and inviting. I never would have played any video games at their place if it wasn’t for them. I’m very lucky to still have both of them. It’s funny that a mediocre game from 1997 can make me so nostalgic, even without playing it. With all the fond memories I haven't decided if I’m going to purchase Hercules in the PlayStation store or not...
Maybe I’ll just call my grandparents.