Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A - Z Challenge: Z is for Zelda

By: William G. Muir
The title of this post is rather misleading. I am not really going to talk about the video game series Zelda. To be honest with you I have only played about a total of 10 minutes of the game since it was first released in 1986. The reason for that is fairly simple, I never owned a Nintendo. But I wanted one.

When I was in sixth grade every boy that I knew either had a Nintendo, or was getting one for Christmas that year. I too was one of those young boys wishing to wake up Christmas morning to find a Nintendo game system sitting underneath the tree. Instead I found a Sega Master System.

To say I was disappointed would be an understatement.

My disappointment was short lived though, there was two reason for this. The first being that my parents assured me that they tried to getting a Nintendo but they were sold out. However the salesperson had informed my parents that the SMS had better graphics and more colors than the Nintendo. Knowing that my system was the superior one helped lift my disappointment. But what really drove away those dark clouds was the game my Sega came with.

My parents hadn't just bought me a Sega Master System, they bought me the Sega 3D system. Unlike the Nintendo system where the game only came in cartridges, some of the SMS games came on these little cards. Now I never did play any of these games, but none the less the first generation SMS had a built in card reader for those games. That card reader also doubled as a slot for the adapter for the 3D glasses.

So I slid the 3D glasses adapter into the card slot, hooked up the Light Phaser (the gun) and popped the 3D Missile Defense cartridge into the SMS and soon I was trying to shoot down nuclear missiles before they made to their target. If you failed the world was plunged into a nuclear holocaust.

Even though the game only had a limited number of different screens, I found it to be very entertaining. Each time you cycled through the different locations the missiles would increasingly speed up. So they were flying at me so fast I had to swerve to one side or the other. With the 3D effects my mind though the missiles were headed straight towards me.

Having a Sega Master System I missed out on one pain in the neck that every Nintendo owner went through, and that was having to blow into the cartridge to get it to work. Unlike the NES which you loaded the games into the front of the system. All the SMS cartridges were loaded on top of the system. So while other kids were busy trying to get their NES to read their games, I was already on my way to the second round.

Even though the SMS did have as large a game catalog as Nintendo, mainly do to the fact that Nintendo had exclusive deals with third-party suppliers. Add to that the fact that for a few years I was the only kid I knew that had the Sega, I was glad I had the SMS over the Nintendo. Cause the few games that came out for both systems, the Sega games always looked better and had better controls.     

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