I’m happy to say that my summer attempt at flawlessly finishing Zelda: Link to the Past did not end with that sad, hardfail night with all of its controller unveilings and whiskey popsicles. The following week, I went into an unusual training regimen called playing Goonies 2 for the NES (okay, Macifom) every day, each day progressing a little further, each day starting over from the very beginning.
In the Goonies 2 (Konami, 1988), you take the role of Mikey Walsh who must rescue all of his misfit, underdog friends who have been kidnapped by the Fratellis, the rink-dinkiest mafiosa family in all of Oregon State. Now I thought it was the bomb, making a game about Goonies. This game came out around the time I was really getting into this movie for the first time, all of 7 years old, and couldn’t really give a damn if the game was lacking hard authenticity that linked it to the film. Not even the addition of “Annie the Mermaid,” could wet the warm blanket of kinship I felt with the Goonies. So if the names didn’t count for enough, there was a near-likeness of Anne Ramsay who threw down the gauntlet each time you powered on the game, and to cinch it all up, Cindi Lauper’s theme ‘Goonies “R” Good Enough’ had been digitized into one of the most memorable, questable 8-bit BGMs ever.
I remember being pretty fucking damn good at this game back in the day. I could at one point play from beginning to the end, and rescue all of the Goonies in just two hours. Even with the Official Nintendo Player’s Guide on hand, that was one fucked up map to commit to memory. But the longer you played, the more the crazy double-sided terror became familiar romping ground. I guess that that’s a truism for all exploration-heavy games, but there was something about the Goonies 2 that really made you want to plug away at it. Perhaps it was the idea that if you didn’t beat it this time around, you’d have to input a password that looked like this:
H4O N4←→’74 3 ‘ ‘ E
And with spaces and ambiguous O’s to worry about, it was probably the economic choice to start with a clean slate every time, anyway. And I didn’t use any pussy-ass save states, either. It was a very pure feeling of accomplishment to stop for the day at a point further than the day before, and I felt like Rocky in a montage as he smashed more and more mosquitoes against the wall before facing the queen alien with a pick-up sized boxing glove full of steel aborted robot babies.
Sometimes I don’t really get why I write this fucking blog. Am I really going with the whole ‘Once I have 100 posts, I’ll make it public’ thing? I gotta stop fucking around and invite some criticism and hate. And hire a lawyer. Tell you what – I’ll make this thing Google searchable tonight – just let me finish this post and believe me when I say that all the things from here to the end of the article are all 100% true.
Sunday morning, I play through Goonies 2 beginning to end and finish it for the first time in 20 years. Later that same day, I start a game of Zelda: Link to the Past, and finish it without dying once, for the first time in about 12. My son was there; he can tell you. We restored that Triforce to glory and stomped a silver mudhole in Ganon’s ass. With light arrows, no less. Both games in a single day. And if that’s not epic to you, then at least one of us is pissing up the wrong wind tunnel.