So we saved up our Christmas money and bought it in December 1987. It was so exciting, and I remember the day as if it were yesterday. Jon and I eagerly asked our parents to take us to the only store in town where we could buy video games back then. We practically ran to the toy department and stood in front of the large, locked glass case of video games. We stood and looked over the case, our eyes wide with excitement, until it landed on the object of our obsession.
Not seeing a clerk nearby, we rang the bell for service and impatiently waited the five excruciating minutes it took for one to come to the desk.
"We want The Legend of Zelda please!" I practically yelled at her. She smiled and handed me a slip of paper.
"Take this to the register and your game will be waiting for you up there."
We didn't have to be told twice. We practically ran to the registers with our parents following saying "Slow down. There's no need to run." But there was a need! We were just minutes from owning what promised to be the best game we had ever played.
When we got it home we discovered we couldn't play it two player style in the traditional sense like Mario Bros. But that was ok. One of us would play while the other watched, and then switch every so often. We would continue this tradition with every RPG we played until Secret of Mana came out and we could play at the same time.
We'd give each other hints ("Try blowing up the bottom wall") and laughed the first time we saw a skeleton failing at hiding a key. We got really excited the first time we found the raft ("We can cross the water now!"), and we hugged each other when we beat the first dungeon.
We played that game until the battery for the internal memory died and it could only be played with a Game Genie. And oddly enough, neither of us have ever beaten it.
But that never mattered. What mattered is that The Legend of Zelda set off a love of RPGs in both of us that exists to this day. In large part I credit video games for the closeness that he and I share, and I will always fondly remember the hours and hours we spent playing games as kids. In fact we still spend hours and hours playing games together.
Twenty-five years is quite a significant chunk of time, and when I think about it, I feel very old. But I also feel very lucky.