Today, I saw this video of the old Intellivision game Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Treasure of Tarmin.
It wasn't the first game I ever played, not by a long shot, but it was the first one that got its hooks deep, deep in my heart. I remember staying up all night playing this game, trying to make it all the way to level 255, where the strongest minotaur dwelled. I was 10 or 11 at the time, and I'm reasonably certain Dad didn't know I wasn't in bed sleeping.
Now, I'm not hurting for videogames these days. I bought a PlayStation 3 this week, and I've been playing God of War III. The graphics for God of War III are astonishing, near film quality at times. The gameplay is complex and challenging, with a lot of variation. Qualities lacking in even the best games of the early 1980s.
But when I watched that video of good old Treasure of Tarmin, I felt a smile pull across my face and a gentle warmth bubble up in my heart. And I wished I still had that game (and the system to run it on), because I wanted to play it again. Though it was simple and repetitive, and the graphics weren't all that great (although they weren't bad for the time, no not at all), Treasure of Tarmin was a part of my childhood, a sweet and beautiful memory for me. Yes, I just called a dungeon crawl "beautiful." And it was. It sparked my imagination and made me feel like I was really on an adventure.
And as much as I'm enjoying the newer games, very few of them touch my soul in the same way. Nostalgia is truly a powerful force.
Corridors of Blood
10 months ago