I think everyone has a first experience in gaming that they always remember. Mine was a bit more unusual than most, but what is consistent is that it helped me learn more about a style of game that I would still be playing 20 years later.

My cousin, who was female, and about 20 years older than me at the time had just finished a 1 year living abroad assignment in Japan. She was a gamer, but being pretty young, that was not something that we ever spoke about. Hell, at the time, Oregon Trail was too hard for me. She must have sensed some kind of language learning experience existed when she came back, so she brought this game she had been playing with the hopes of teaching me a bit of Japanese. What happened however unbeknownst to her, she was teaching me about a type of game that I would come to find as my favorite.

The game she brought for us to play together was Fire Emblem: Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi ( roughly translated to Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light) for the Famicom system that she used to play while she was in Japan. For those who don't know the Famicom was the Japanese Equivalent to the NES. 

When we were playing this game two things immediately hooked me. The first was the "world". My cousin was telling me about Marth, the Kingdom, the back story, etc. It seemed like something out of a story book. However this was much better than any story book because I could interact with it in a way which was impossible for books.

The second thing about the game that grabbed me were the battles. Looking back, the game visually looks pretty crude, but that didn't really matter. The point was you could only move so many spaces on this imaginary "Grid" and every weapon was weak to another weapon. That kind of strategy was something up until that point was completely lost on me. This game had rules. Rules that if you broke, meant certain death.


Example of a typical battle.

We never actually did finish the game that first time (It was a decade later when I actually did finish the game). But it was an experience I never forgot. Fast forward to now, and the gamer I am today imports role playing games from Japan and still finds it to be my favorite kind of game. Sometimes I cant help but wonder how my gaming would change if I wasn't exposed to them so young. What kind of gamer  would I be today?

I hope you all enjoyed my story. It wasn't particularly long, but its something important to me. Users of Game Informer and sites beyond, I would love it if you could share your first JRPG experience with me and what that experience meant to you.

I will be reading all comments or if you would like to contact me on twitter you can @Stealth____