What's next?

This year has been a monumental year for me, both good and bad.

I got engaged to a beautiful woman I met in January, I got fired from The Waldron News for actually being a journalist and covering news (without groveling at the feet of elected officials), I moved to Pennsylvania to be closer to my future bride, and saw the Los Angeles Lakers defeat the Boston Celtics in game seven (Boston wins that game if Kendrick Perkins is healthy).

To break the 2-2 tie of good and bad things, I accomplished something this week that I've been working on off and on for the last 14 years: I defeated Super Mario 64 for the Nintendo 64.

I've wrestled with this one since Clinton's first term in office.

I didn't just beat it with the bare minimum stars collected (70): I finished the game with all 120 stars collected. For those not familiar with the game (shame), there are 15 levels, each with seven stars to collect for a total of 105, and 15 bonus stars spread throughout the game. As stated earlier, you can face Bowser with only 70 stars, meaning that you can skip most of the difficult parts and still "win" the game.

"My top five games of all time."

1. Goldeneye 007 (N64)
2. Super Mario 64
3. Sonic the Hedgehog (Genesis)
4. NBA Jam (Arcade)
5. Final Fantasy VI (SNES)

But me being a perfectionist, that just wasn't good enough (FYI, this was done on an actual Nintendo 64, not an emulator). For the last two weeks, I was like a man possessed. There were moments of joy and bliss, moments of anger and frustration (Getting the star on Wing Mario Over The Rainbow was crazy stupid hard and took nearly a week), but overall, it was nice to wrap up 14 years of enjoyment that Super Mario 64 provided.

I've loved the game ever since playing it at a Software Etc. at the mall in Augusta GA in the fall of 1996. The game blew my mind in a way not done since playing the original on the NES. It was Mario in 3D. He didn't just run from side to side: he could move in ALL DIRECTIONS!!! Modern gamers take this for granted, but seeing the game in full 3D for the first time was a moment I'll never forget.

I've tried beating the game off and on since I received a Nintendo 64 for Christmas in 1997. I never got past 80 stars before selling the Nintendo 64 (for the record, I still feel crazy guilty for selling it, as my Mom shelled out big bucks for the system: It's why I bought another one and have taken a vow to never sell any old video game system, except for my crappy PS1). Even after downloading the game on the Wii, I couldn't make it past 90 stars.

But now, the journey is complete. The big question now is, well, what now? 

Sure, Super Mario 64 is a great game to play, but after doing EVERYTHING the game has to offer, I doubt I'll ever spend more than 30 minutes on the game again. I could go through the DS remake and achieve all the extra stars they added, but have you tried playing Mario 64 with a d-pad? It sucks so bad and always frustrates me trying to play it.

Nope, my time with the 64-bit plumber is complete. Which classic epic do I tackle next? I never defeated The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (actually, I haven't beaten a lot of games) or The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, so perhaps those two deserve my free time next.

What are your suggestions?


Paul October 30, 2010 at 2:31 PM  

Ocarina of time, definitely. If you talk about beating it with all secrets complete then that would be EXTREMELY hard (gold skullutas), but if you talk about just beating Ganon then that's reasonable. Try going through the water temple without an online guide lol.

dustin (The 16-bit Catholic) November 6, 2010 at 12:05 AM  

I'm hesitant to try Ocarina of Time. I have the N64 version as well as the downloaded version on the Wii, and on the Wii I am up to the Shadow Temple. The thought of doing Water Temple and tracking down the 56 skulltullas I've found makes me cringe (the Wii is at my fiance's house, so I'm unable to finish my quest for now).

Wind waker?

Paul November 8, 2010 at 12:50 PM  

Wind Waker's a great choice as well. A lot of people don't like the sailing, but I personally find no problem with it. At one point I managed to fill my sea chart with every island. That in-game ocean is vast, in a good way. And of course, when you get to the dungeons it's the classic Zelda experience.

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    A blog for the masses, if by masses you mean myself and family members who probably read this out of pity.

    I'm dustin Faber, the 16-bit Catholic. This blog is an amusing, sometimes thought-provoking look at my life and the world around me. Poetry, cooking recipes, gaming, faith, things that make me go awww, things that make me go grrr, and my obsession with a good glass of root beer can be found here.

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