Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Join Me in My (Eventual) TRIUMPH!

Dear NightMarchers,

I really want to keep you updated as to what's going on in my life these days.  Something really quite big has come up:
Check it!

When my friend forwarded this to me, I went through a range of emotions.  Naturally, I immediately called the rankings of "Most Difficult VideoGame Ever" into question.  I mean...it was total popularity contest, with no mention of such ridiculously difficult games (from my own experience) such as Kid Chameleon, Gauntlet, Snake Rattle and Roll, or Hudson's Adventure Island.  But these arguments are a trifle, and we all know it.  Once my initial ire had calmed,  I immediately knew what my path would be.  Spurred on by this far-from-definitive Internet list, I set my sights on the game in the top spot.  Lucky for me, it was one I knew well and still owned in its original format.  If you made it through the video, you know I am referring to Battletoads for NES.

Each level is like a different game.  You only get three measly continues.  The Wikipedia article even acknowledges how tough the damn game is.

A little background on my relationship with the Toads of Battle:  like many games I've played and/or owned I've always harbored a lust to conquer it completely, and I've made several earnest attempts throughout the years to do so (alas, in vain!).  Even while my brain was disputing it's newly given rank of "most difficult" I knew from experience that it was, at the very least, extremely difficult and therefore worth my renewed attention and vigor.  In addition to that, I was already well-trained in the nuances of the game, so I wouldn't be starting from scratch at all, simply building on an already impressive skill set.  Furthermore, when I've "re-attacked" these old games in my "adult" life, I like to think that my general skills have improved and that my age and experience has produced a sort of "wisdom" that allows me to reach my goals a bit easier.  Unlike my life-defining experience with Snake Rattle and Roll in 2003 (a game that was made impossible to beat without a simultaneously playing partner) Battletoads, while having a two player option, is actually (appearing to be) significantly easier with one player.  With no liege to train, I begin.

Day 1 (Sunday):
Played for a couple hours, where it was quickly determined that a. 2-players simultaneous is significantly more difficult to manage (reasons of friendly fire primarily) and b. James is not nearly as well-versed in the game after several attempts as I am at baseline.
Achieved level 6 (Snake level) fairly easily but this presented the first significant hurdle.
Conquered and moved on to the Fire Pit area, and subsequently the Elevator Shaft.  Got stuck there.
Day 2 (Monday):  Blew through all previously defeated levels, made it to the Elevator Shaft (level 8) with multiple lives and zero continues wasted.  I got all the way to the boss and blew it.  I was so disgusted with myself and did not wish to continue the game.  Must remember to be watchful for this phenomenon.  In retrospect, I should have played through my allotted continues for the practice.

I will keep you updated on my progress so that you may share in this wonder of Nintendo prowess and/or marvel at my life's lack of significance in this arena.



Eric said...

I never played Battle Toads, but had to concur with a few of this video's assessments (Ghouls & Ghosts, screw that).

I share with you the common logical fallacy that as one ages, these old 8-bit side scrollers should be easier to play. Hogwash!

I understand the yen for the antique games of our youth. A couple years ago I replayed all of the Sierra [King/Space/Police]-Quest PC games that I cut my teeth on. It's eerie how quickly it comes back.

Of equal importance, age does not seem to ever diminish the desire to play video games.

Nikki Brown said...

dude... contra was my favorite game. it was the only one i didn't suck at.