(No, this blog isn't about buying a BMW...)

I was sitting on my porch earlier thinking about what to write about this evening when my mind started to wander.  There are a ton of stars out in the Midwest tonight and I got a bit nostalgic while staring up at them.  Said nostalgia led to this group of personal gaming 'firsts'.  Some are serious, others a bit more light-hearted.  I hope you guys and gals enjoy reading about them as much as I enjoyed experiencing them (with a few exceptions as you'll see).

The first time I broke a controller

(This game could seriously contend as a torture device!)

Rygar for the NES was one of those extremely difficult early games that myself and many others slogged through.  With a floaty jump, timing based enemy movement to dodge, and crazy spikes in difficulty, Rygar led to several controller tosses, but one in particular hit my dog and I got in more trouble than a video game should have been worth.  Not to be deterred I was playing a few days later and smashed it against the tile in front of the fire-place.  While it was my first broken controller it wouldn't be my last...

The first time I was 'corrected' by a non-gamer

(Started a new character yesterday.  There's hope for me finishing the main quest yet!)

I was exploring Skyrim's mountains when my neighbor and his wife came over one afternoon.  I can't for the life of me remember what I was seeking, but my journey involved the effective yet frustrating method of strafe-jumping up the cliff-face.  If you've played an Elder Scrolls game you know what I'm referring to.  Spamming the jump button while adjusting the camera and strafing from right to left can pretty much get you anywhere.  I've been on top of the highest peaks as well as buildings that I can't imagine the designers intended for me to climb.  This particular time Jenny asked "Isn't there a path or something?" 15ish minutes into my climb.  Looking around I noticed one snaking its way around the mountainside.  "Well I'll be damned!" was my reply...

The first time I bought a game with my own money

(As an eighth grader with a job as a caddy on weekends I managed to buy a lot of comics, magic cards, and snes games...)

Final Fantasy 2 was the first game I ever bought and at the time my most expensive purchase ever.  It didn't let down.  The story is among the best of the series and the characters were stand out awesome!  I've re-played it numerous times, but still wish I had the original system and cartridge.

The first time I experienced vertigo while gaming

(It happened in this very area!)

When you first get to the snowy area in Metroid Prime, Ripley's shadow passes over and you're treated to a vista that spreads for quite a ways.  I'll never forget walking up to that snowy ledge and looking around the vast grey and white expanse.  Having just saved I couldn't help myself.  I took the leap and was surprised by the lurch in my gut as I watched Samus fall to her death.  I've re-created the sensation several times since as the graphics and frame-rate continue to improve, but Metroid Prime will stand out as the first.

The first time I felt emotionally invested in a game's story

(My second favorite Zelda... Just barely inched out by Ocarina)

The rain sequence at the beginning of A Link to the Past got me as involved in a story as I'd ever been at that point in my life.  Between Zelda's pleading voice, the stormy background, and the ominous cracks of thunder and music, I was hooded from moment one.  After the disappointed that was Zelda 2, (which in retrospect is pretty good if drastically different) I couldn't have been happier with the pacing and style of the SNES's first foray into the IP. One of my top ten all-time games, A Link to the Past earned it's spot with amazing game-play, a great path to trod, and some of the best dungeon design in the history of the series.

The first time I broke a PS1 controller

(Another top-ten contender...)

Final Fantasy Tactics is probably my favorite srpg even with the easy ways to cheat it's systems to build your characters.  I had been taking jobs and then fighting random battles with the remainder of my crew to grind with the largest amount of my characters as possible for three or four hours one day.  I'm not even sure how many battles I had fought or trips to the tavern to collect the reward and check for new mission availability I had made when I lost a battle by dumb luck (or inattention on my part, sobriety wasn't my strong point at the time).  When It dawned on me that I hadn't saved once during the entire slog the controller flew from my hand faster than the expletive from my mouth.  Told you it wouldn't be my last!

The first time I bought a collectors edition

(Stupid I know. Also totally worth it!)

The collectors edition of Fallout 3 was too much for me to pass up.  A bobble-head, book, and lunchbox!?!  <hands out, full of bills and change>  "Here's my money!"  Oddly enough I lost the bobble-head (pretty sure an ex took it), and couldn't begin to tell you what happened to the book.  For a while the lunchbox held my weed, but these days it's in my closet filled with an obsolete pile of photos from my childhood.  Worth it?  Probably not, but still very cool!

Gaming can be full of awesome moments.  Some of them however, will always stick out in your mind for being the special time that they were.  Those gaming 'firsts' are what the hobby's all about and I relish the chance to experience something new every time an anticipated title comes out. 

I could go on all night, but it's getting late.

Thanks for reading everyone! 

Any personal 'firsts' you'd like to share?