To all the games I’ve ditched before,
That now sit on my closet floor,
Was sad to move along,
I dedicate this song,
To all the games I’ve ditched before.
So, finally, my dedication to the games of my youth, where I had my first crushes that I’ll remember always, and my first break-ups that fill me with regret.
First, the Atari 2600. Since the games on that system weren’t all that complicated. But there was one game that I regret never finishing: Swordquest: Earthworld. It was a neat little game where you got a comic book to read — detailing the adventures of a brother and sister team — and then you were tossed into a zodiac-themed dungeon to try to solve the puzzles and finish the game. It was supposed to be four parts, and looking on Gamefaqs three were published. I liked the game and it was probably the first real RPG that I ever played. But I couldn’t solve the puzzle, and so I just ended up not finishing it until we got rid of the 2600. Ah, the first game I just drifted apart from …
My next system was a TRS-80 Color Computer 2. Yes, I had a Coco. And it had one game that I never managed to finish: Dungeons of Daggorath. This was a game where you wandered through a dungeon facing enemies, and getting items from them. The graphics were polygon, and you used text commands like “Attack right” or “A R”, etc, etc. You also could eventually find rings and in order to use them you had to “incant” them with the right word. So you’d get a Vulcan ring and have to say “incant fire”, a Rime ring and say “incant ice” and then you’d get the appropriate rings. Everything was driven by your heart rate. When you moved, attacked, or got hit, your heart rate increased. Eventually, your heart rate would go so fast that your heart would burst, and you’d die.
This was a simple yet very entertaining game. But there was no way to save, so every time was just like the first time, except that you knew it all already. I made it to the second half of the game a couple of times, and then got a new computer and stopped playing it. But if I did have that computer, I’d still play this game.
So, the next computer was one I loved: my Commodore 64. And there were a few games on it that I regretted never finishing.
Turrican. Not only did I like that game, so did my friends. Not only did I want to finish that game, so too did my friends want me to finish it. But you had to start every game from the beginning, and after a while it took forever to get anywhere. A friend and I basically played it for hours and late into the night one day to try to finish it … and got stuck because we couldn’t figure out how to jump through the level. I’m not all that anxious to finish it now, because it really was far too much work. But I would have liked to have finished it.
X-Men: Madness in Murderworld. When I got you, you were broken, but I didn’t realize it. When I figured it out, you wouldn’t let me fix you myself, but required professional help. When I got that done, you got me stuck with the puzzles. But you’re probably the best X-Men game I’ve ever played — since you weren’t a pure action game — and I liked the comic that came with it. If I could figure out how to get the emulators to save and could find a FAQ, I’d finish you.
Sentinel Worlds I : Future Magic. Probably the first real RPG I ever played, and the first to really get me creating my own characters based on people I knew and playing it through. I loved that game … and got stuck in it at some point, either due to a bug or to something I missed. This is another game that I’d finish if only I could find it and play it again.
And finally … the Amiga. And I can only remember one game that I missed that much: Buck Rogers. A TSR RPG with more to it than the D&D stuff, I played it a bit and really liked it. But, like many an RPG, I just got distracted by the next shiny. This game … I might play again, since I think I still have it.
And special mention has to go to all of those Gold Box AD&D games that I played and never finished, with extra special mention going to “Curse of the Azure Bonds”, which I played and loved a lot but never finished. I only finished “Gateway to the Savage Frontier” … and that was just barely.
Ah, memories. They don’t make games like that anymore. Sometimes, that’s good, but sometimes … that’s very, very bad.