Shiny happy people
Video games are capable of evoking every human emotion. We've cried at the end of a sad game, fallen in love with characters, raged at difficult boss battles, and laughed at hilarious moments. The most common emotion we've had when playing games, though, is happiness--and that's what we want to talk about today.
What is your happiest gaming moment? Do you have a particular memory of slaying a nigh impossible boss, getting the item you've been gunning for in an MMO, or nailing that last Achievement in your favorite game? Or do you recall an awesome shared experience with a friend playing couch multiplayer, or remember the joy of getting a gaming console for your birthday? Let us know, and check out GamesRadar's staff's memories, too.
Henry Gilbert, Features Editor
I loved the crayon-colored world of Yoshis Island more than its papercraft N64 sequel Yoshis Story, but the latter is the one that almost had me overdosing on its sugary sweetness. Yoshis Story follows a rainbow coalition of Yoshis as they battle Baby Bowser and his evil minions. Once the young King Koopa is defeated, the Yoshis get back their Super Happy Tree (seriously, thats what its called). The credits then roll and the Yoshis sing a sickeningly sweet tune over a guided tour of the game you just played. Most times itd just give me a stomach ache, but for whatever reason the Yoshis happiness was infectious and I found myself humming along to the tune.
Listen for yourself and see if it doesnt raise your spirits too.
Greg Henninger, Community Manager
The day my dad purchased TIE Fighter for me, hands down. Unfortunately he had no idea what he was doing when it came to installing games on MS DOS, so he gave up after about 10 minutes. I was crushed because I wanted to destroy the Rebel scum as quickly as possible.
After he gave up I spent the next seven hours trying to get it to run, and that glorious moment the LucasArts logo came up on the screen I could have cried. I went on to spend the rest of the summer locked in front of the monitor and joystick. I could not have been more proud of myself. DOS was a piece of garbage to install something on, but the game was more than worth it.
Justin Towell, Associate Editor
When I was given my Sega Game Gear in April 1992, it was the standalone solus package plus a copy of Super Monaco GP. That was amazing enough, but after playing for half an hour or so with my parents, I went back to my own room. After half an hour or so, the battery light started flashing. Doh.
So the next day, we went back to WH Smith and the lady there very kindly let us return the solus package and put some extra birthday money forward for the 129.99 version that came with an AC Adaptor (no more batteries!) and a copy of Sonic The Hedgehog. I got it home, waited for my dad to have a go on Super Monaco with the sound on then finally loaded it up and played. At the sight of the special stage and its swathes of golden rings, I said out loud ahh. My dad said: Whats wrong?
Grinning with absolute delight, I said Ive got it. Sonic the Hedgehog was mine at last.
Ryan Taljonick, Associate Editor
My fondest gaming memories are composed of all the days I spent playing games with one of my cousins as a kid. I'd go over to his place (or he to mine) every Friday for a night of pizza, soda, and video games. We started this tradition during the NES days--we played a ton of Contra--and it endured up until the PS2 era.
I can recall with ease all the hours spent exploring new worlds, geeking out with my cousin about new discoveries in Mega Man Legends, or plowing through the latest JRPG. Those nights were some of the best of my childhood--and though we now live on opposite sides of the country, I still look forward to catching up with him every now and then to reminisce about the old days.
Lorenzo Veloria, Associate Editor
I didn't grow up in a family of video game players. So when one of my family member's interests overlapped with a game I was playing, it was an extra special time. When I was a kid, my dad was really into watching war movies involving the Vietnam War and WWII. For some reason, my dad got drawn into a certain side-scrolling shooter on the NES. Maybe it piqued his interest because the characters reminded him of all the war movies he'd been watching, maybe the music got his attention, or maybe he just wanted to live out a war hero fantasy and shoot a bunch of aliens to kingdom come.
Whatever it was, Dad loved Contra, and we'd play co-op until he said his fingers hurt. Even now it puts a smile on my face to think that my non-gamer dad would shoot aliens with me for hours in a game that is largely considered one of the most difficult games ever made.
Hollander Cooper, Lead Features Editor
It's hard to pin just one memory--every time a new game I'm excited for comes out I'm ecstatic, and every new console release is met with an absurd amount of happiness for the future of gaming. If I had to pick one, specific moment, though, I'd go with a somewhat strange one: a boss battle in Dragon Quest VIII.
After putting some 40 hours into the game I arrived at an enemy who (at the time) I thought was the final boss. For nearly an hour we exchanged blows, and I slowly worked through all of my mana and items, approaching the point where I simply didn't have anything left. You know that point, right? The spot in a boss battle where you realize that you're fighting a losing fight? I hit that. I had one person left, and it was Angelo--my weakest fighter. He was almost dead, there was no chance of success, so I just... shot an arrow. Whatever. Stupid game. But, apparently, that's all it took. The boss died, and I freaked out. It was an awesome moment of victory.
David Houghton, Associate Editor
Theres just a purity about Street Fighter that creates an unassailable alchemy of fun and camaraderie when youre playing it foir long enough with the right people, and thats something Ive really come to appreciate since Street Fighter IV came out. And the favourite moment Im going to include here is the night that all of that fell into place.
Its a few years ago. After a few weeks of playing SFIV every lunchtime in the office, my friend Owen organises a Friday night Street Fighter party at his house. The night is good, raucous and long, but eventually participants start falling by the wayside. By 5am its just me and Owen. But were not stopping. Without thinking or discussing it, we switch to our mains (him Fei Long, me Bison) and play the same match over and over again until the sun comes up. Only its not the same match. With every trick, counter and bit of one-upmanship we learn, the game changes into something different and something better. I pull off something new, Owen finds a way around it, I find out a way around his response. Eventually its 9am and weve turned Street Fighter IV into a new game. Our favourite thing is now even better and weve made it entirely our own. I go home, sleep for almost the entire weekend, and dont even care.
Andy Hartup, Head of UK Content
In recent years, my happiest memory was first seeing the teaser trailer for Skyrim, back in 2010. I'm a huge Elder Scrolls fan, I'd been waiting for TESV for ages, and the stirring music mixed with the beardy lore read out by Max von Sydow was pitch perfect. However, it wasn't my happiest gaming memory of all. That, like most of my fellow GR editors, resides in my childhood.
It was Christmas day, and an excitable 11 year-old version of me - who had been nagging his parents for months about getting a MegaDrive with Sonic the Hedgehog - was staring at a MegaDrive-shaped box, covering in wrapping paper. I tore it open, and yes, there was the Sonic-branded MegaDrive box, full of wonderful console. I opened the box, removed the machine, flipped out the game box and oh, this is Altered Beast. Disappointment washed over me. Altered Beast? Really. Throughout Christmas Day and Boxing Day, I tried to enjoy "wiiising from my gwaaave", but it was no good. It wasn't Sonic. So, on 27 December, when the shops opened again, my parents took me to swap The Beast for The Hedgehog. I took it home and played for hours, days, months - it was every bit as great as I'd hoped, and well worth the wait.
Tom Magrino, Managing Editor
Alright, reaching way back for this one. As a kid, my brother and I would hop on our bikes and ride down to Scottie's. Now, Scottie's was a liquor store's liquor store, full of booze, porno mags, skeezy-old-man clerks, and, perversely, jars and jars of homemade pickles. However, it also had Street Fighter II and Smash TV arcade cabinets, and said skeezy-old-man clerks were more than happy to raid the cash register for quarters and let us play to our hearts' content. They didn't even try to molest us afterward, so I guess they weren't that bad.
A few years ago, whoever owned the place razed the store, and all that remains is the concrete slab it was built on. Alas.
Sophia Tong, Editor-in-Chief
I've always loved cooperative games, mainly because some of my fondest childhood memories include playing video games with my brother and sister. Well, mostly my brother. Three- to four-player games weren't as common then, considering this was pre-N64/Internet days. The Secret of Mana was the only three-player game we had and it was perfect for us. My sister got to play as the pink princess (she was too young to be of use, really), my brother wanted to be the boy, and I wanted to be the genderless sprite who got to cast tons of cool magic.
It was one of the rare times where we would actually play together without fighting over everything and it was surprisingly effective. My sister isn't much of a gamer (plus she was maybe 4 years old at the time), but we were able to explore the world together on Flammie's back and eventually beat the game.
The best of times
Now that we've shared our fondest gaming memories with you, we want some reciprocation. What are some of your favorite game-related experiences? Let us know in the comments below.