Family! Can’t live with them, can’t live without them. This has been the mojo of my life. Don’t misunderstand me, I love my family, I grew up with my mother and my younger brother. As the sons of a single working mom, we had to spend a lot of time alone together and like any other siblings in the world we sometimes (all the time) had some differences. Every single day it was like recreating an episode of Game of Thrones just to have the supremacy of the only available TV in the house. I wanted to watch anime, and my brother just wanted to tease me like the good little brother he is.
However, not everything was fire and blood. We did find common grounds, videogames. But not every video game, Nintendo videogames. We figure it out that it doesn’t matter how many games we played, it was always a Nintendo video game that made us feel closer together. So today I want to share with you the Nintendo games that prevented us from killing each other.
Super Mario Bros 3 for NES.
Everyone has a rich cousin. Or maybe not that rich, but it was the one with the biggest allowance in the family. So one day, my cousin came to us with something that we have never seen before, an NES console. It seems he got bored of it and he just gifted to us. It came with the most addictive thing we have ever seen. A Super Mario Bros 3. cartridge for the NES! At that time, Super Mario Bros 3 was the best thing that had ever happened to us.
The game was a rush of adrenaline to our little hearts. We were determined one day get to the end of the game. Holidays, weekends, free time, at night, that was all we did for months. Every time we died, we will dread the moment we had to hear the awful but great Game Over music while we were decimated by a Goomba, a Koopa Troopa, by simply falling into the void pits of nothingness or just by getting eaten by a Piranha Plant.
Yet after all the hardships and great moments, the day we were waiting came. My brother was the first to finish the game. We even cry while watching the words we wanted to see so much one day as proof of our accomplishment, The End.
Donkey Kong on our pink Game Boy Advance
There is always this one cool neighbor in the block. The one with the cool toys, and the cool bike. The kind of neighbor who is surely someone else’s rich cousin. We had one of those neighbors too. However, he was, well he wasn’t that nice. Every day he will come to us and show off his new Game boy color like it was the eighth wonder of the world. We could only watch, but he never let us play. After countless days of me and my brother, both trying to at least get a glimpse of our neighbor’s Game Boy Color my mom had enough.
We lived in a coast town, so she made a two hours trip to the nearest city, looked everywhere for a videogame store to get a Game Boy Color, but she didn’t find one. Instead, she found just a single Game Boy Advance. Thanks to the salesman she discovered the GBA was the newest console in the market at that time and thought my brother wouldn’t mind the color if that was the case. She was right about that. When she came home at 10 pm, we saw her face, she looked at us with a tired face but with a big smile and gave us a box.
The power of pink!
In it, there was a pink Game Boy Advance (it was the only Game Boy available in the whole city) with one game, Donkey Kong Country. My mother wanted to find a Mario game but all of them were sold out and Donkey Kong was the only Nintendo video game available at that moment. Without even knowing what exactly she was getting and spending more than half of her payroll, she got it for us.
If there is one word to describe our time playing Donkey Kong is “discipline.” Donkey Kong was one of the most challenging things we ever encountered as siblings. We started the game without even knowing how many levels it had. Together we played, played, and played and sometimes we stayed until 2 or 3 AM on a school night just to conquer one level. We even took turns to play levels if one of us needed a break. It was our personal mission. I don’t even remember how many times I died by a Zinger or by a Croptopus.
Yet, this game was sublime. The music was perfect, the environments were pieces of art and the character designs never failed to amaze us even today.
I will always remember my favorite level, the Croctupus Chase. This level was the most peaceful one for me. I didn’t have a stellar time at school when I was nine years old so getting to my house and playing this level always brought me incredible peace.
Donkey Kong will always have a special place in my heart. Not only because of the great times for the two of us. It was also a way for my mom to show us that even if she wasn’t there all the time because of work, she cared, she loves us, and she will do anything possible for us. Even if that meant getting a pink Game Boy Advance!
Super Mario Party 7 for Nintendo GameCube
Until today we still have our old Nintendo GameCube console. It’s our second favorite after the GBA. If there is one game, we always remember dearly it’s Mario Party 7. The title was the last Mario Party to be released for the Nintendo Gamecube.
At the time we had recently moved to a new city and because it was summer break we didn’t have a single friend. Besides this, my brother was in the “I hate my family” phase a.k.a. puberty. However, Nintendo games, especially Mario Party was like the white flag in our family. It didn’t matter if we fought for some silly thing or if we weren’t talking between us at the moment, we would always have time for Mario Party 7
Every board and mini-game was just perfect, and even though we were really competitive, it didn’t matter because we had such a great time. At the end of the day, we always ended up laughing and enjoying our company. We sometimes even forced my mom to play with us. Saying she is tremendously bad at it is an understatement, but that made it even funnier.
We even got to have friends because of it. Our neighbors at that time will gather at our house to play. My brother will always choose Mario, and I will alternate between Daisy and Yoshi. We even had our own urban legend that any player that chooses Luigi will do terrible at the game (this might not be scientifically proven, but we still believe it as we believe in global warming). It might have been mere coincidence, or that we just didn’t like that much Luigi. Yet, we avoid at all cost playing with him.
I have enjoyed every single Mario Party I have played until today. However, Mario Party 7 will always be the one that I will remember the most. It gave me and my brother some common ground at a time in which it was difficult to even speak without fighting over something.
Times change, but Nintendo games remain
Nowadays, me and my brother don’t spend that much time together. He is in college, and I have my own family now. Yet, even now, we still remember the great times we had with our Nintendo games. It gave us time to bond and get to know each other. I learned how perseverant my brother can be, how perfectionist he is, I understood what he likes the most in a game and what he hates, and I got to understand him and respect him. I like to believe he learned a thing or two from me too.
So here you have it! I could go on and on about every single game we played together. Yet, these are the ones that got to us on crucial moments in our lives. If you are finding challenging to bond with your siblings, you should give videogames a try. For sure, there will be something out there to make you have a common ground and have some quality time.
Talking about Nintendo! Check what other valuable life lessons we learned thanks to it.