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So I've never beaten Ocarina before... or the Deku Tree

So before you revoke my gamer card, let me explain. In the Summer of 1998, I took a trip with my mom to North Carolina. I was on vacation from school, the man she had been dating for a while had family in NC, so she decided that we'd spend about a week or so down there visiting. I remember very little from this trip. I was barely 6 years old at the time, but there is one memory that stands out very vividly for me as it had a major impact on my life from that point forward. It was the first time I had ever played a video game console before.

Probably an easier decision for me to make than most kids in the '90s.

I remember being absolutely awe stricken the first time I watched somebody playing on a console. At the time, one of the other kids in my daycare had an Original Game Boy and a copy of Super Mario Land (which he was nice enough to let me play a few times), but it never really grabbed me. Visually it was a simple game, technically the Game Boy was a very limited piece of hardware, and let's be honest here: SML is hardly a fantastic Mario installment to begin with. But this? This was different.

I'm not sure which I played first, but the family house we stayed in had both an N64 and a Playstation hooked up to the living room television. One of the boys there was a gamer, and by '98 the prices had come down on hardware (and software) to the point where it was semi-affordable to have both systems. I remember them playing two games which were on the TV pretty frequently: Crash Bandicoot 2 and Mario Kart 64.

Oh the warm memories of getting your ass beat in a series you've never owned.

For the most part, I remember enjoying Mario Kart. I had never even held a controller before, let alone the N64's, so I wasn't very good at it. I mostly feel the same way about that gamepad today. The analog stick was terrible, its lopsided the way you have to hold it, and overall it just wasn't very good for playing anything. Combine that with the fact that this kids were much older than me, and I don't think I ever actually won a race. So that probably had something to do with my generally lukewarm feeling towards the game.

Crash Bandicoot though? Man I loved that game. I only remember playing the the first jungle and snow levels (probably all the time they'd let a 6 year old hog the television for) but I instantly fell in love. The Dualshock's d-pad was fantastic, and Crash's movement was tight and fluid. Killing enemies was fun and rewarding, as was the little pop every time you broke a box or the sound when you collected Wumpa Fruit. I remember sneaking out of the room I slept in there and watching them play the boulder chase and sewer levels and wishing I had a Playstation back home.

Best. Ice levels. Ever.

That Christmas I begged and pleaded for a PS1 and a copy of Crash, and I was lucky enough to get one. A few years later I'd upgrade to a PS2 and PS3 (along with dipping into the Microsoft camp a bit with the Original Xbox and 360), but I've never owned a Nintendo console before aside from a SNES I got at a garage sale years later. So aside from a handful of occasions totally an hour or two at most, I've never actually played Ocarina of Time before (don't worry I was going to come back to this).

My Game Boy copies of Link to the Past/Four Swords, Metroid Fusion, Super Mario Advance 2, Donkey Kong Country, Kirby's Dreamland, and Super Mario Bros. Deluxe cemented my love for the Nintendo greats, but I've played very little of the 3D stuff. Going back and trying some of it now, I've never really liked a lot of the N64 stuff. Mechanically it has a lot of problems, partly because of the controller, partly because of the technology, and partly because it was just very early in 3D game development. So Ocarina was largely something that I picked up, tried, and dropped.

I know OOT was revolutionary, but man that camera control needed work.

In order to rectify my unfamiliarity with what some believe to be the greatest game of all time, my roommates suggested that we start a new file on the N64 that we have hooked up in our living room and collectively play through it. This idea turned into the proposal for a one day marathon session of the game on Reading Day (our break from classes before finals start - I know, really smart of us), and after talking about it for a while I suggested that we live stream it. And that's exactly what we're going to do. (Luckily we were smart enough to push it off a few days and get some actual work done).

On Sunday the 15th starting at about 10am Eastern Time, we'll be live streaming The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time on my newly created Twitch channel (below). This will mostly be a straight run of the game, omitting the bulk of the optional side content. My two roommates will be joining me for most of it, and we've invited friends of ours from the area to come by, play for a bit, commentate/bullshit, and hopefully make for an interesting Let's Play.

With any luck, this will be an interesting, semi-insightful, humorous Let's Play, taking inspiration from some of my favorite Youtube LPs such as Game Grumps. Feel free to say hey in the Twitch comment box and say hello if you're watching! :)

EDIT: Happy to say that our livestream was a success. If anybody wants to check it out, the link for the video is below.

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About ctg867one of us since 2:47 AM on 11.29.2013

I'm an (aging) dude who plays games and comments about stuff. Been on Dtoid since 2010-ish, back during the Sterling days, though this account's a bit newer than that. Don't post on the FP anymore but you can find me on Qtoid and (occasionally) the Cblogs.

I also stream on Twitch sometimes, if you're interested: