My Retro Treasures – Angela Haines

I want to share with you some of the first games I ever purchased. These games were the ones that sparked my passion for collecting video games.

While growing up I was not allowed a video game console. I played as many video games as I could when visiting friends and relatives, it didn’t matter to me what console or computer they had. I just wanted to play games. I always wanted my own video game console and my consistent nagging didn’t get me anywhere. Until one day a parcel arrived. I had won a Gameboy Pocket with Donkey Kong Land 2 from a competition off a cereal box. I almost threw the whole thing across the room I was that excited.

I eventually beat DKL2 and needed to start saving my pocket money for new games. I didn’t have much to judge my purchases on, I hadn’t played many Gameboy games before and the only other information I had access to was the box on the shelf in the stores. I’m surprised at how well I actually did choosing games that I would enjoy. However, I’m very glad that the Aliens game was MA 15+ so the shop wouldn’t sell it to me and that the Dragonheart game was way out of my price range, I shudder to think what would have happened if I had bought these terrible games.

My first purchase was Mole Mania. I enjoyed this game but looking back I didn’t really appreciate it. I was surprised to learn later in life that it was designed by Shigeru Miyamoto and now when I think of that game I realise how well it played and looked for a Gameboy game. The next purchase was Kirby’s Dream Land; I played it so much that even to this day the music is still fresh in my mind.

I had to own a Mario game and suddenly Super Mario Land was on sale, I also played this one many times over and its music is also burned into my memory. Worms was next; I recall being sold by the blurb on the back of the box mentioning banana bombs. Next is Wario Land – Super Mario Land 3, I purchased this off a friend who had finished the game and didn’t feel the same need as me to hoard games.

Finally Pokémon Red, I fell in love with the Pokémon TV series and decided that I’d buy the game with my Christmas money. It was the most expensive game I had purchased as it was a fairly new release. I also didn’t realise when I bought it that there must have been a shortage of Australian region copies of this game as Kmart had sold me a US copy. Although I now feel a bit annoyed by this; Pokémon Red is still one of my all time favourites, many 100s of hours were lost to that cartridge.

Photo note: These are the exact same cartridges where all these fond memories come from. The purple game case is also the first case I bought.

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