My Nintendo 64 childhood

A little intro

I wanted to kick off this website with a post about my own personal Nintendo 64 childhood.

My memory has always been quite fuzzy when it comes to precise dates, but my assumption is that I first got my N64 back in the summer of 1998, quite some time after it was first released in 1996. My first game was International Superstar Soccer 64, and then the following Christmas I got Ocarina of time and Mission Impossible so that’s how I derive the date when I first received my N64.

Getting my personal Nintendo 64 games

Back at this point in my life, I was living in Morocco with my family. It was really difficult to procure games there, and when you could even get some, they were imported American versions that were incompatible with my PAL system. This meant that if I wanted to get any, I’d have to wait for my next trip up north to get some and then go back home to play them.

After moving back into Spain, it was much easier for me to get ahold of games both because of the shops I had access to and the increase in allowance from my parents. I could save up money and make my own financial decisions, which was pretty much the coolest thing ever for a kid like me whose parents were always quite reluctant to get games. But we’re getting a bit ahead of ourselves here, so I’ll leave it at that for now.

How I played with my Nintendo 64 games

Again, this is a bit hard to describe exactly because my memory is pretty fuzzy. Before we got the N64, I was used to playing games on a 1995 macintosh (I can’t remember the exact model). Since the only game I had at the time was ISS64, I often switched back to playing games on the computer such as SimTower, Sim Ant, sim-whatever or this cheesy shooting gallery game called Blood Bath. I pretty much was limited when it came to the supply of games at the time in a pre-internet era.

The point I’m trying to get to is that at the time, I had very limited possibilities in my personal Nintendo 64 childhood experiences and therefore played each game I had to death. A short game? No problem, beat it 15 times. Great multiplayer? Explore all the options!

Another thing I used to do was play a game till I got stuck and then reset and play that beginning section all over again. I must have played the first 1/3 of Day of the Tentacle a hundred times. This was probably because I probably treated games like I did real life as a kid – there are some things that simply can’t be done. For example, if there’s a wall with an angry dog on the other side in real life, you’re inclined not to climb it; however in a game, you’re compelled to climb it and fight the monster in order to progress in the story.

After my Nintendo 64 childhood

After the Gamecube arrived and replaced the N64, so did I. I left ny N64 collecting dust as the newer games replaced and improved what the previous ones established. I’m not going to complain, (most of) the games I had on the Gamecube were awesome and and improved much of what the early 3D games got wrong.

I forget the reason why, but some time in early 2008 I had a look on eBay and I realised that people were selling retro games for cheap. This was unthinkable for me at the time. I was used to dishing out €50 for a new game, so finding a triple-A game for £1.99 was astonishing for me. The first game I bought for the N64 in almost 10 years was Lylat Wars (Starfox 64 abroad). I then decided to start getting some of the really good common games that existed at that time such as Perfect Dark, Diddy Kong Racing and Mario Tennis.

But things really took off for me when I discovered the Angry Video Game Nerd, a TV series by James Rolfe. This is when I started to look at retro games more like a collecting hobby and got interested in learning about games from a historical perspective and included in my ‘most want list’ games that were rare or bad, and even started collecting import games.

Despite all this, I could only play the games over at my parent’s house when I went over to visit them, for that is where I kept all my systems since they couldn’t fit in my student housing. Since moving in with my (now) wife, I still have the same space constraints with regards to storing my collection but now I have a bit more spending money to use. Luckily I managed to get ahold of an Everdrive, so I have all my collection in one place and be able to play them without having to wait to go back home on a holiday.

Because of this, I decided to start up this site and document my memories, old and new about playing the Nintendo 64. And there you have it, my personal Nintendo 64 childhood story.

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Find out about my personal Nintendo 64 childhood and how it shaped how I perceived video games throughout my life.
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