Has there been a holiday that disappeared in the blink of eye? Completely evaporated in the face of the latest game you purchased/received? For me, yes. All of them. There have been several instances I still remember fondly, whether it be the game(s), age I was, or just the holiday in general. A few of my escapades have become legendary to my family. I have chronicled them here for your approval. Or disproval… I do what I want!
5. Spring Break 2009 – Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection/MadWorld/Orange Box/Boom Blox/Prince of Persia (Wii/X360)
At this point in my life I was an adult, finishing my bachelors degree. Keeping with my tradition of going nowhere and doing nothing for Spring Break, I increased my Gamefly subscription to 2 games concurrently. An achievement whore at the time (I don’t want to talk about it), I knocked Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection first. An easy 1000 points. I switched to the freshly released MadWorld for Wii, which I sadly beat in 6 hours. Waiting on my next rentals, I flew threw Half-Life 2 for the first time via the Orange Box. Prince of Persia (2008) came just in time. An all night play session took me through that. Then came Boom Blox, which I played for 10 hours with my roommate. On the seventh day I slept. On the eighth, I returned to class.
4. Christmas 2012 – The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (X360)
After throwing my new, glitched copy of Dishonored at the wall (froze at the same load screen), I finally decided to dive into Skyrim. With a solid week ahead, I created my Dragonborn, then proceeded to steal everything. I stole things I didn’t need or couldn’t sell just because I could. My sneak and pickpocket skills quickly maxed out. By the end of the week, I was 115 hours in.
3. Christmas 1990 – Super Mario World (SNES)
I was set to go on a cruise for the holidays during my 3rd grade break. Because I would be absent for Christmas, my grandmother gave me my present early, a Super Nintendo. I immediately tore into Super Mario World. The next day I started to feel ill. The day after, when I was to depart, I couldn’t get out of bed. Flu. I was too weak to walk. My grandmother helped me over to the couch to play Mario. Christmas morning I fell out of bed sometimes around 1 in the morning. I laid on the floor until she found me sometime around 7. I spent the rest of the day playing Mario.
2. Christmas 1995 – Chrono Trigger (SNES)
I’ve talked before about how much this game means to me. When I finally played it Christmas morning, I didn’t stop until I beat it 4 days later. Worried my parents would be upset for burning through the game so quickly (child logic), I hid this fact. Luckily, New Game + made it easy to do so, as did the 13 different endings. While this game owned my Christmas, I continued playing until every character was level 99, with every stat listed as **. I’ve run through the game at least 30 times. And that’s just on Super Nintendo.
1. Thanksgiving 1998 – The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64)
It had been 5 years since a Zelda game (Link’s Awakening on Game Boy), and 7 since Link to the Past. Much like Mario before it, Link and Hyrule were set to make the leap to 3D. After Mario 64, expectations were high. Following numerous delays, the anticipation was palpable. This game was the reason I traded in my Playstation and Final Fantasy VII (I eventually returned). Finally, the game released before Thanksgiving break in ’98. I preordered my copy, securing the rare gold cartridge. I picked it up that night at Electronics Boutique, playing until 1 A.M. The next day of school was arduous. When the bell rung, I skipped wrestling practice to go home and play. I didn’t leave my room for the next three days. I didn’t eat, even missing Thanksgiving meal with the family. By Saturday, Hyrule was saved. Me, I was scared to remove the cartridge from the system, fearing they had permanently fused.
Those are my memorable holidays of yore, sacrificed to the gaming gods. There have been others, some that I’m not proud of either. Growing older, I’ve had little time to game as much as I’d like, forcing my gaming to become binges over the holidays. This tradition will never die!
Christmas 2011 – Skyward Sword.