Everyone has that game in which they could play forever. We remember passwords, secret levels and that moment when we finally beat that really hard ‘Boss’.
It’s easy in this day and age to obtain classic games either via download or hard copy thanks to the powers of the Internet. These same powers have also exposed us to classic games that were legendary for the time or have become covenant cult classics. Can those games still resonate the same feeling of awe they did 20 years ago to new players now?
Last year I came across an artist by the name of Zac Gorman. He’s done fantastic comic strip art with classic games i.e. “Punch Out” and “The Legend of Zelda”. It was through his art that I was introduced to a game for the Super Nintendo called “EarthBound”. I bought this game in a vain attempt to understand both the sentiment and what was going on in these drawings. I’m currently about half way through the game and so far I haven’t a clue.
I understand the scenes being referenced, but I don’t understand what feelings Gorman is trying to convey.
“EarthBound” tells the story of a meteorite that crashes in a small town in the middle of the night. The main protagonist of the story, Ness, investigates the incident with his neighbor Pokey. Ness discovers that an alien force named, Giygas, has enveloped the world in hatred and turned animals, humans, and objects into malicious creatures.
A bee from the future instructs Ness to collect eight melodies in a Sound Stone to preemptively stop Giygas. Along the way Ness meets and joins alliances with three other kids. A psychic girl named Paula, an inventor named Jeff, and martial artist named Poo.
Even though I enjoy current gen gaming, my heart is really with older titles. I enjoy not so popular games like “Final Fantasy VIIII”, because, when I play games, I play for more than just entertainment. I want to be part of an adventure, I want to able to reference it in everyday life, and I want to feel something deep that other forms of media cannot provide me.
I reviewed Gorman’s work one more time to see if I could finally see what he was trying to say. I had a very Captain America type moment of, “I understood that reference”, but it did not leave me the same feeling as his other work has. While I myself still feel nothing for the game other than a sense of accomplishment, for others it means so much more.
Games like “Earthbound” resonate with many of its fans despite the fact it did not do well when it was originally released. There seems to be something that may be lost on those of us who did not have the privilege to play this game when it was originally released. Can we go back and try to capture a little piece of ourselves? I don’t think I’ll truly know until the game is finished.