In the darkest wilderness of our cruel world, one man was born from the loins of an avenging angel, suckled by wolves, and then raised by warrior barbarian tribes. He was fostered by the deepest scholars of his age, put through the 29 Trials of Impossible Heroism, and then forged into the man that would save us all from the coming darkness. Then some bastard got drunk one night and smashed his car into our savior thus ensuring that we shall, evermore, be totally screwed.
My name is Mathew Graham Coyne, and I am that bastard.
When I was a kid I wanted to be an astro-paleontologist. I wanted to explore strange new worlds and then dig big holes in them looking for prehistoric life. I got my hands on a Colecovision at the same time the US Congress hosed NASA out of the majority of its funding and everything just spiraled from there. Since then I have gone on many a digital safari from NES, to SuperNES to Playstation, Dreamcast, Playstation 2, Xbox, Xbox360, PC and various arcade adventures. In that time I discovered that those space Dinosaurs just can’t hold a candle to kicking Mother Brain’s ass. I mean, why dig up big space aliens when I can bury them in giant, gib-strewn smoking holes?
I love 8- and 16-bit games. I was raised on them. Everything I needed to know in life I learned from my adventures in gaming! I learned that farming is not planting seeds in the ground to grow crops, it’s the act of finding large populations of bad people and murdering them for their things! I learned that all good things come in threes, whether it’s gold or the number of times I need to whup the face of a punk ass to get the girl. I learned that the most dangerous peril of dating women (especially princesses) is that they will inevitably be captured by a horde of evil, so learn how to shoot a gun or kung fu!* Then, of course, I learned the greatest lesson of all for the battles in life ahead. Some call it, “never leave a man behind.” Others call it, “all for one and one for all.” I call it, “you must gather your party before venturing forth.”
I love looking back on these games as an adult. It’s not just the joy of realizing how amoral and soulless video games have made me, but it harkens back to a more innocent time. Back when games were simple and expectations were low. It was a golden time; a time of discovery, midi music, and repetition. It was a time when the world was my oyster, where all things were possible, and where dreams would one day come true. Then I sold all that crap for liquor, sex, and cash and you know what? Baby, it ain’t never been this good!
*Note: I went gun on that one.