There are hundreds and thousands of video games out there. And when you look at the list, it is almost a 50/50 split in the games that keep going and the games that have an end. Back in the 80’s though, finishing a game was not only a milestone in someones life, but for someone like me, a freaking miracle. Never could finish Super Mario Brothers for some strange reason.
But there was one game that I didn’t think that I could finish that all of a sudden I did. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom which was based on the movie of the same name… That movie freaked me out to no end!!!! Between the dinner sequence to Molo Ram ripping the hearts out, it was way scarier that the first movie. In fact, thank you Stephen Speilberg for helping the Motion Picture Association of America for creating the PG-13 rating. But back to the game.
And the memory comes crystal clear. The place was Malibu Grand Prix in Arizona. After racing around in several circles, I get the chance to go into the building go to the game that was right next to Marble Madness, which had the exact same cabinet design as Indiana Jones,. But I went over there with a handful of tokens thinking, I’m gonna play this until I go broke. So the first quarter went in and within five minutes, game over. Those stupid rail carts.
For those who haven’t played it, there are three different levels with three stages each. First you have to free children who are in a cage while avoiding bad guys, bats and flaming hearts. Then you ride down a rail cart avoiding more bats, baddies and road blocks. Finally, you are trying to steal the three Sankara stones while avoiding Molo Ram and his flaming hearts. Finally, you go through one more free the kids stage and then run across the bridge to kill Molo Ram.
So after that first quarter, I got really frustrated. Hey, I was a kid and young. But I decided to try again. I think everything was a blur when I was playing but I do remember my hands getting sweaty all of a sudden and my finger nails were scraping across the logo on the top of the controller. But then there was that moment. All of a sudden I was on the rope bridge I couldn’t believe it. But then my dad said it was time to leave. Yeah, right!!!! No way in hell I was going to be pulled from the game. He came over and started to watch me. I said hold on, I have never been here. And for the first time in my video game memories, he didn’t pull me away from a game.
Then it happened. There it was, the face off between Indiana Jones and Molo Ram. Then the screen sort of froze and the music got suspenseful and a message came up. “Molo Ram! Prepare to meet Kali…in hell!” and then he cut the rope and Molo Ram fell to his death and the game was over! Sorry if I spoiled the game for anyone. I just couldn’t believe it I beat a game! This was a milestone in my video game life. If I was to describe the feeling today. It’s like Mike Weiss or Billy Mitchell or Timothy McVey walking away from a game that they had just broke a world record on. I rocked that game. I placed my initials on first place.
Finishing a game is no easy task. I mean with the fighting games, it’s always possible with the players after continuing a few times. But for the unexperienced game players playing the “quest” games is just a pain in the neck. However, for me I get to turn and walk away with pride knowing that for the first time, this was a moment that I didn’t have to…..
Keep Calm and Insert Coin