Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Jan 292015

The Retro Gamer Crate from Man CratesA few days ago, a company called Man Crates asked me if I would write about my personal gaming nostalgia, memories that inspired my love of video games. If you’ve ever wanted to receive a gift that you have to open with a crowbar to get at the contents, take a look at this place. Man Crates sells bacon bundles, zombie survival kits, and many others–including retro gaming crates, which is why they’re interested in nostalgic stories from gamers.

It’s hard to pinpoint what caused my enthusiasm for video games. My early memories of watching my parents play Mario and finally trying it myself? The first full game I ever played through, Banjo-Kazooie? The day my mom handed me Final Fantasy IX and started a lifelong love of RPGs? My amazement the first time I tried Pokemon?

The more I think about it, the more I realize I enjoyed gaming long before it became one of my favorite activities. For me, games were present for so long, how can I pick one as the experience that made me a gamer?

But one gaming memory really stands out from the rest. More than any other, this one is wreathed with nostalgia. I was a little older, in 7th grade, and I was playing Final Fantasy Anthology (Final Fantasy V & VI)Final Fantasy VI. I liked to play a little bit each day before school, and since it was winter, two-hour delays and snow days gave me even more gaming time. One such snowy morning, I witnessed Shadow’s dreams for the first time.

The mysterious assassin was already one of my favorite characters, so the dream sequence fascinated me. I had to know more about what just happened, and my strategy guide didn’t help. For the first time, I looked up an Internet walkthrough.

I learned about how to get Shadow’s dreams–and also about controversy over how many there were. This led me to read about other Final Fantasy VI secrets and myths. Suddenly, a whole new aspect of gaming opened up to me. When I went to school, I finished the work in my computer class early (the two-hour delay might have altered the schedule so that was the first class), and used my free time to look up more about FFVI. (At least I found a guide debunking several of the myths before I attempted to circle a mountain 1,000 times to unlock a new party member…)

These memories are bound together in my mind. To gather the ingredients for this nostalgic crate, you’d need to bottle a snowstorm, capture the magic of a two-hour delay or snow day, and bundle them alongside the old PC from the school computer lab and my precious PS1 copy of Final Fantasy VI.

This isn’t the sort of package Man Crates could conceivably create, and it isn’t necessarily the moment that turned me into a gamer. It’s just a very special time in my gaming history that I’ll never, ever forget.

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  4 Responses to “Gaming Nostalgia: Snow Days and Shadow’s Dreams”

  1. …I dunno, we find it really amusing that Man Crates would contact you.

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