There are moments in life that define you in small ways, that shape who you are, who you become. You look back on these moments, and you can’t help but feel their significance, feel the way it changed you… this probably is not one of those moments, but I like telling the story anyway. A fellow games writer recently had some trouble with his Xbox Live account, which basically ended up with him having to create a new one and starting again – he has to replay all his games, get all his achievements back… that would be too much for me, and I’ll tell you why:
I dislike repetition, or at very least, I dislike having to go back over something I’ve just done due to some problem that’s meant I’ve lost everything I just worked on. Who doesn’t, right? I generalise it into repetition though because I generally don’t like repeating myself as well, in anything. The story I’m about to tell you kind of sums this up perfectly, which is why I like telling it – not sure if it ‘defined’ the behaviour though.
Anyway – before I migrated over to the 360 (and eventually, the Playstation), I was a Nintendo fan. My PC gaming was sort of a constant in my life, since I used my PC for a lot of things and so gamed on it as well, but in terms of ‘console’ gaming, I was a Nintendo boy, and the first console that I truly owned and loved was the Nintendo 64. Naturally, that meant I was a Zelda fan as well – Ocarina of Time was amazing. Then came Majora’s Mask.
Now, on the whole I liked Majora’s Mask, but the save system… oh the save system! You all remember it right? How crazy it was? Basically, the way the story was set out meant that you couldn’t save the game until you travelled back in time to the first day. Major accomplishments were kept when you did that, but not the minor stuff, so you really didn’t want to save unless you were in-between important zones. I believe the pacing was set so that you could complete one zone, per three-day cycle, at which point you simply travel back in time and then move onto the next zone, as it wouldn’t matter then if some stuff hadn’t been sustained in a completed zone.
Fair enough, it was a bit weird, but it made for some interesting gameplay, and you could do a ‘quick save’ if you really needed to, but you needed to go back to the central hub I seem to remember in order to do it. Most of the time, I didn’t have an issue with it and got through the game fine. After many an hour, I was on the last area, fighting the last boss you have to face before you go on to fight the main bad guy of the game. I was just about to finish it off when… what? It Froze? My Nintendo 64 actually FROZE on me? I couldn’t believe it – It wasn’t like the 64 was known to have issues like that that I can remember, unlike some modern day consoles (*cough* 360 *cough*), and to my knowledge it had never frozen before, nor ever did again.
What it did do though, courtesy of Majora’s weird saving system, was wipe my progress for the *entire* area. That was hours upon hours (I’ve never really been a hardcore gamer, especially back then, so everything takes me longer) of gameplay lost because of an odd set-up and a random freeze. Suffice to say, I (placed) the controller down in anger, stepped away from the 64… and never touched Majora’s Mask again.
Honestly – every time I thought about going back, I thought about everything I knew I had to do and I just couldn’t quite bring myself to do it all again. To this day, I’ve never completed Majora’s Mask, and I doubt I ever will. So yeah, now you know: Don’t do drugs.
Until next time.