Looking Back: N64 Memories

I remember once upon a time (I was 11) my art teacher asked us to draw something that held meaning to us. Everyone in the class drew some kind of stuffed animal, except me. I drew one of these:

Nintendo 64 with a Mario 64 cartridge

I was a weird kid

The reason I drew it was because I had gotten it for my 7th birthday and I knew that it was large investment on my mum’s behalf, and I had such great memories playing the thing with my sister and my cousins. No stuffed animal meant anywhere near as much to me.

So, I’ve decided today to go through the N64 games I’ve played in my time. I hope you enjoy this bought of nostalgia as much as you did with my Sega Mega Drive Post.

The N64 was the second console I ever got. I remember being impressed with its capabilities because I knew that my Sega was 16 bit, and now this was 64 bit – wow! Such improvement.

The games that it came with were these:

Super Mario 64 Cover

What a game


Super Mario 64

What a game! I’ll be perfectly honest – I didn’t get very far in this game. The reason was, I was slightly afraid of these guys:

Super Mario 64 Boo Key

Thankfully I am no longer a wuss

And you had to do a level with them pretty early on so… Another early level was an underwater level, and for me… well… it made child me give up on a lot of games.

Super Mario 64 Jolly Roger Bay Underwater Level

That eel! He was so scary!

Actually, I still pretty much hate water levels. Having them so early in a game is very off-putting.

Super Mario 64 was probably the first game that taught me “explore everything, try everything”. I remember being really really stumped, getting to Peach’s Castle and all the doors were locked! What the hell!

Super Mario 64 Bomb Painting

Freaking painting…

It took me an embarrassingly long while to realise I could jump into the paintings, and that was how to play the game. It was amazing! It took me to another world! This is a running theme that I have always loved. Entering a painting, a TV, a computer and ending up in another world.

My favourite level is near the start of the game – the ice world!

Super Mario 64 Dropping Penguin GIF

I did this

I just thought it was so cute that you could carry around a baby penguin.

Super Mario 64 Princess Peach Secret Slide

This was the best!

Another favourite level was anything that involved a slide! So much fun!

The other title that my N64 came with was this classic:

Mario Kart 64 Cover

Legend!

Mario Kart 64

I know that everyone likes to think of themselves as being awesome at Mario Kart, but I am awesome at Mario Kart. I am so good that my girlfriends family don’t let me play with them on the Wii version (which I had never played before!).

This game is just legendary – played this loads with my cousins. I mean, don’t get me wrong, the racing bit was really fun, and I’m pretty sure I unlocked all the things, but the game was really about this:

Mario Kart 64 Battle Skyscraper

BATTLES!

Battle Mode, you were given a small area in which you all tried to murder each other. You have 3 balloons. Last one with balloons left wins. Fall into a pit? You lose a balloon. Get hit by a shell? Lose a balloon. Honestly, Wario was the best character for this.

Mario Kart 64 Wario Stadium

In fact, Wario was the best

I was always Wario. He was cool. He had his own level with his face all over it. I mean sure he has his own weird-ass game but still. Wario is the best. He was heavy and still decently fast/easy to use (as opposed to Bowser who was just heavy).

Now, in my entire time owning an N64 I believe I only asked for 2 games. The first was this

Pokemon Stadium Cover

Legendary!

Pokémon Stadium

Now, it was mostly used to play the best game ever on. The battles were actually pretty tough. Did anyone beat the Elite Four? I think I reached them, but that was about it. Even as an adult I couldn’t beat them (heck, I couldn’t beat Giovanni).

Pokemon Stadium Gym Leader Castle

So difficult!

But without a doubt, the best thing in this game was this:

Pokemon Stadium Sushi Go Round Mini Game

SUSHI GO ROUND!!

The mini-games in this game top pretty much any other mini game ever. They were all really fun (with the exception of the Clefairy one) and I was amazing at all of them (with the exception of the Electrode one that really hurt your fingers).

And the commentary was done by this guy

Tracey Sketchit Pokemon

A LIGHT TAP DECIDED THE OUTCOME!

I still hold some of the quotes from that commentary dear to my heart.

The second game I asked for after seeing it on Movies, Games & Videos was of course this N64 classic:

Banjo Kazooie Cover

Oh God I sucked!

Banjo-Kazooie

I really sucked at this game! Well, not as a player but because the 3rd real level in this game was…

Banjo Kazooie Clanker's Cavern

OH GOD AN UNDERWATER LEVEL

That’s right folks – a heavy water based level. Not to mention that the second level had this:

Banjo Kazooie Treasure Trove Cove

A bloody shark!

The point of that game was COLLECT ALL THE THINGS! All the music notes and all the puzzle pieces. Because any level with water or sharks bothered me, I never really wanted to play it! I never even made it to Rusty Bucket Bay which is one of the hardest levels in video game history (well, according to about 2 people I know).

This game also engrained “look everywhere” into my head. I really liked exploring, as long as the level wasn’t scary. Once again, my favourite level was an ice level:

Banjo Kazooie Ice Freezeey Peak

Winter Wonderland!

And one of the coolest things this game offered was that you could turn into different animals. My favourite was this:

Banjo Kazooie Alligator

The alligator was so cute

Just a rather bizarre story of a bear trying to rescue his sister with the help of a bird.

Now, here is a game that I did not own but was totally legendary in its own right and man, it was the best multiplayer game ever!

Goldeneye 007 N64

Da da DA DA

Goldeneye 007

When I played this game with my cousins, I had never actually seen a James Bond film. I’ve still only seen 3 and Goldeneye is one of them. But mostly I remember this game. The rules were:

  • You can’t use the golden gun (one hit to kill)
  • No headshots (one hit kill)
  • You can’t play as Oddjob (you can never hit him!)
  • Of course, all these rules were broken.

    Goldeneye 64 Multiplayer

    No, you can’t use the Golden Gun!

    I don’t know why but I always played as Boris. I think it’s because he wore glasses and looked pretty smart. In fact, Boris turned out to be one of my favourite characters in the film because he’s a geek.

    Goldeneye 64 Boris

    INVINCIBLE

    I very sadly gave my N64 away not so long ago because I had to accept that I just never played it any more. It broke my heart a little, but I hope it ended up with someone who loved it.

    N64 memories anyone?

    2 comments

    1. Wesley says:

      I never officially owned an N64 but I would spend hours at my friend’s houses who had one. Most of my childhood friendships were built upon Mario Kart, Goldeneye and Pokemon Stadium. I was a bit of an introvert back then so it was easier to build those relationships around video games because I didn’t have to think about how to interact or what to say. Video games provided that for me!

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