September 26, 2016
Nintendo 64 Turns 20
20 years ago, Mario spoke for the first time.
20 years ago today, the Nintendo 64 (formerly named 'Ultra'), or 'N64' came out. And boy do I remember it.
I was born in '84. I had the NES when I was about 6, until I was 10 when I sold it to get money to buy the SNES (hey how did kids get money to buy systems, right?). But that's OK, because I basically owned the NES games on the SNES again (plus a bit more...) thanks to the Super Mario All-Stars. THEN, there was the Nintendo 64.
At launch, there weren't that many games out for it: Super Mario 64, and Pilot Wings 64. A few months later yielded a few sports games, as well as Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire.
I knew I wouldn't be able to get it straight away: it was brand new, and therefore expensive (especially for a 12 year old kid.) I really wanted one for Christmas but if I got one, I would have just gotten the system sadly. The N64 was the first Nintendo system (out of NES, SNES, and N64 at that point) not to come with a game. So you would have to buy the game separate. So I waited and saved as much and as best as I could. In the mean time, my parents would rent me one for the weekend with a game or two from time to time from West Coast Video. I'll never forget playing Super Mario 64 for the very first time and adjusting to both camera controls, and the analog stick / joystick.
When my birthday in July rolled around, I had enough to buy it. Plus, I remember getting a few other things for my birthday: that's where my love of blue controllers came from. My PS4 controller is blue, as well, as was my PS2 one. Off to Costco I went: I remember getting it, Super Mario 64 and Mario Kart 64.
I also remember reading about and wanting upcoming games for it. The first ever 'collector's item' I ever wanted as the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time gold edition. And my parents got it for me the Christmas that game came out, as well as the strategy guide. I remember when the Rumble Pak and Expansion Pak came out as well.
Video gaming isn't what it used to be. But boy oh boy, do I remember the Nintendo 64 coming out, as well as certain games and milestones it had. And you know what? I still have it, with my controllers and games in the basement in storage, as well my SNES "Mario Set."