A trip down memory lane with my Nintendo 64

by MaddOx
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Last week I turned 30. With COVID-19 having the country on lockdown, there wasn’t much I could do to celebrate. All my previous plans were scuttered. But in the build-up to the big day, I was desperate to cling on to my youth. And to do so I thought I’d take a trip down memory lane and buy myself a Nintendo 64 and replay some of the classics.

Thanks to Ben from NinjaRefinery I didn’t have to buy the console as he had one spare that he kindly sent me for no charge. So it was just a case of finding games to play. So, I popped on eBay, put a few bids in here and there and managed to bag some of my favourites, getting some great deals on still boxed games. The only one that wasn’t was Pokemon Stadium.

But boxes didn’t really matter. I just wanted to take that trip down memory lane to relive my youth. Afterall, I read on the internet, where everything is true, that up until 29 your body regenerates cells faster than they die off. From 30 onwards, it reverses. So essentially, now my cells are dying off quicker than they can regenerate and I’m officialy dying.

GoldenEye N64 shooting up enemies

Whether that is scientific fact or not is another matter. But it still made me think of the days gone by. Hanging around with mates playing Goldeneye 007 and trying to be the one who gets the golden gun first, essentially winning you the game because everything is a 1 shot kill. They were the days.

The trip down memory lane began

But when all my games arrived and I got to play them, the sense of nostalgia soon left. Everything I was looking forward to just seemed meh. The excitement faded. And I don’t even know why. I even set up a little pillow and blanket fort to play the games in. But no matter what I did. I just felt old.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed kicking my partner’s arse on the Pokemon Stadium mini-games. I hadn’t lost my skills, and it was all just like I remembered. But it all just seemed pointless.

Pokemon Stadium N64 Pikachu attacking with Thunder Wave

What’s more, I forgot how bloody awkward the controllers were for the N64. I had all these fond memories. And yet now, years later. I could barely walk and shoot at the same time on any of my games. Not Goldeney, not Turok, hell I even struggled on Star Wars: Rogue Squadron and Episode 1: Racer.

I began to get the hang of it after a while, but my skills were clearly not as sharp as making Sandshrew dig holes led me to believe. Had I lost my touch? Have I just evolved beyond those games? Either way, my trip down memory lane soon became a trip down memory hell. I just couldn’t relive the memories I wanted to.

I was determined to keep going and enjoy it. But the more I forced myself, the more I just kept being put off. I was putting pressure on myself to relive old memories. Trying to recapture my youth with this trip down memory lane. But why? The past is the past, and even if the science up top is correct, I’ve still got a few good years left in me hopefully.

Taking a trip down memory lane playing Star Wars Rogue Squadron on the N64

Focusing on making new memories

Then a present from my mum for my birthday put it all in perspective. She mentioned how much I’d grown, all the memories we’d made. And urged me to spend the next year making new ones. Even giving me a list of things to do over the next 12 months. Then I thought, why am I focusing on old memories, when I can go out and make new ones?

Sometimes a trip down memory lane is great. I almost think back to the likes of the Crash and Spyro remasters and how much I loved replaying them with new graphics. But having become accustomed to the graphics we have today, maybe that’s why I enjoyed them, I was making new memories. If I’d gone back to play the originals I doubt it’d have been the same.

That’s why I’ve decided to focus on the future. I have great memories of my past, and I want to keep them great. I don’t want to taint them by trying to relive them. Don’t get me wrong. Still psyched to have the N64 and I will no doubt play it again. But next time will be without the pressure I was putting on myself to take that trip down memory lane.


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