Flashback Friday Fun Times: Broken Joysticks and PopcornS

Alright, this time things are going so far back that my memory is completely a fuzz ball of prehistoric goo. Dinosaurs are stomping around in here, Party People. I'm talking Aztec temples in Montezuma's Revenge and B.C.'s Quest for Tires ancient times, just to throw out some random moments in history to dazzle and confuse you. I'm going to need serious help from you, TAY and Kotaku to help me sort out my brain in this edition of Flashback Friday Fun Times!

While I usually attribute 1997's release of Final Fantasy VII as the game that shaped the type of games I prefer to play today, it was our Atari and our Commodore 64 that really introduced me to gaming.

We loved our Commodore 64 something fierce.

Flashback Friday Fun Times: Broken Joysticks and PopcornS

I remember the discs. I remember the awesomely dirty colour of the C64 itself. And best of all, I remember our copy of Summer Games.

I was a bit of an Encyclopedia Britannica nerd back in the day. Flipping through the pages to look at the anatomy of frogs (that thing had the coolest clear pages of each layer of what a dissected frog would look like and each page would overlap each other and teach you stuff, man), swimming through the pages with various types of fish, and admiring flags of each country of the world was what I loved most about our volumes of Knowledge that were the Encyclopedias.

So when we booted up our copy of the Summer Games, it was like visual candy for me. Before competing, you had to choose which country's team you wanted to be a part of to represent in the world games. Choosing a team meant selecting it via a screen that had all the flags of the World. To my little brain, it was an In-Game Encyclopedia and it was heaven.

There were a few countries I enjoyed playing as but Japan and Great Britain were ones I really liked. Why? They had the most bad-assed anthems, of course. See, the greatness of this game was that it was just like the real Olympics: when you won an event, and your character was standing on the podium at your medal ceremony, they played your country's anthem.

::sniff::

Audio candy too in all its midi brilliance?! Could this game be any cooler?

Shot Put and Pole Vaulting were not our favourite events we could play, but we sure loved the hell out of the freestyle swimming, skeet shooting, track, the hurdles and diving events.

But there's a price to pay for the love of diving, freestyle swimming, track and frantically trying to best your siblings in a friendly game of virtual athleticism: Broken joysticks. Lots of broken joysticks. Those events required swift toggling and when you're going for gold, a joystick suffers the consequences.

Friendly competition had a dark side, people.

Flashback Friday Fun Times: Broken Joysticks and PopcornS

Killer Watt? Killer Who?! Sorry. Sorry

There was a lot to love on our C64: remembering those times my brother would ninja jump on little rocks near the waterfall in The Last Ninja, collecting lanterns in the Bruce Lee game, my sister being a pro at jumping over ruts in the road in B.C.'s Quest for Tires, watching the dashboard of the Ferrari in Test Drive as I rolled off the road, and listening to classical music in the amazing side-scrolling shooter game Killer Watt.

But there's one thing I was having a bit of a task trying to find this week. My sister and I were convinced we had Chilly Willy. It involved that little bastard of a penguin sliding ice blocks into his enemies. It was fun! I did eventually find it but I stumbled upon a similar game in my search - Pengo.

Flashback Friday Fun Times: Broken Joysticks and PopcornS

This is Chilly Willy and not Pengo. So says the Internet and the Internet would never lie to me!

Now, I don't think we had Pengo but the only reason why I brought it up is that I remember Chilly Willy having one of the greatest tunes ever in "Popcorn" as its level music. But then I watched some Pengo videos in which "Popcorn" was used. What the heck was going on here? Stop messing with my mind, Old Age!

Whatever the case may be (because I enjoy living in delusions), Popcorn is awesome. Chilly Willy was awesome. Skeet Shooting beginning my career as an Ace Virtual Archer (as displayed by my mad skills in The Legend of Zelda series) was awesome. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Pool of Radiance and Heroes of the Lance were awesome (Well, we didn't sink a lot of time in those to really know just how awesome because those were our Swan Song games for our C64 and we just did not get to play too much in-depth. But I did however love playing as the mage Raistlin! Hmm, maybe FFVII should not be credited after all for my gaming habits!). Our Commodore 64 and all those awesome games were awesome. But broken joysticks were not so awesome...

...The Swedish Chef recreating "Popcorn" in his kitchen, though? Hella awesome.

So what about you guys? Did you have a Commodore 64? Maybe you had The Atari? Wanna talk about it? Maybe you'd rather talk about The Muppets? Anyone want to post me the video of Bohemian Rhapsody as covered by The Muppets so I can do my best Freddie Mercury? Whatever you care to do, feel free to leave it in the comments. Even if you'd rather not talk at all... That's cool too. Happy Friday!

  • Friendly competition awaits over at TAY Classic where Life and video games are all being discussed. But you know what's cool? You can actually start up your own discussion too and beat those suckas in the 100 meter dash! Aww, yeaaaahhh. Just be sure to make one of your tags, "tay classic" when you publish. Though you know, if you still had questions about TAY and how to break a joystick, Gold Medal Winner TheUnfathomableTruth made an award winning guide.