more nostalgia for 8-bit games

This is the same Famiclone I had at home. source.

It’s the early 2000s.

The gaming world was moving into the 6th generation of consoles like the PlayStation 2 and GameCube.

But me and the boys were still attached to the 8-bit games.

J and I picked up bootleg game cartridges for our Famiclones at Gulf Bazar, Kozhikode. It was a gadget heaven, where you could find all kinds of imported electronics and video games.

Most NES games they sold were pirated “multicarts” with multiple titles copied onto one cartridge. With no video game magazines available to guide us, we had to trust the stickers and graphics on the cartridges to choose something that looked interesting.

But our friend C was lucky to own an original Famicom console from overseas. He introduced us to classics like Double Dragon II & III and Ninja Gaiden II & III.

We were blown away by the cutscenes of those games, which still hold up well today. The intro to Ninja Gaiden II is truly amazing.

Another friend, R, introduced us to a game called “Jungle Strike.”

It's the repurposed version of a Famicom racing/shooter called “Battle Formula 【バトルフォーミュラ】.” It was released as “Super Spy Hunter” in the US. It had a fantastic soundtrack that built up a lot of hype.

Conquest of the Crystal Palace is another favorite of mine. The story centered around Prince Farron’s quest to liberate the Crystal Palace from the evil King Zaras. He is aided by his loyal companion Zap, a dog who serves as the palace guardian.

Zap, in particular, stood out to me because of his appearance - he closely resembled a miniature schnauzer, which remains one of my favorite dog breeds. I always loved the dynamic between Farron and Zap’s teamwork as they traveled to different realms facing various dangers. The gameplay was 2D action platforming at its finest.

Initially, you could choose between crystals granting abilities like flight or magic attacks. Then, it was a matter of traversing levels, fighting enemies with sword strikes or acquired spells, and uncovering secrets. Finding power-ups like health potions added an extra challenge to remain alive. That title holds a special place in my gaming memories from childhood. I can still hear the epic soundtrack playing in my head.

I fondly remember those summer breaks.

As a tribute to the blips and bits, my album “Reprise: Special Edition,” released in 2020, includes covers of themes from some of those classic video games.

#memories #video games