Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Hero, the Love Interest, the Strong Guy

When I was younger, I used to spend full summers babysitting my brothers and playing a ton of Playstation 1. There were probably 3 summers filled with gaming in my overly hot room in St. Chuck, Nick and Brett perched on the edge of my bed watching, reading comic books.

Basically, those Sears spreads that shows kids spread out, playing with all of their stuff... yeah, we lived that.

Every weekend, I either rode my bike over to my cousin Ryan's house or got picked up by Aunt Dee to go hang out with Jake all weekend. 

Eventually Ryan started working at Crown Candy and I saw much less of him, but Jake, being a year younger than us, was always ready to hangout. We biked around the greater Florissant area from Friday night to Sunday morning. 

Back to the games, during this time certain games would sometimes allow you to rename characters if you wanted to. Generally there were 3 main characters, the hero, a girl, and a strong guy to rename. 

I always renamed them. The hero was obviously always me. The girl, who often was the hero's love interest, was named after my grade school crush, Jamie. And the strong, third character, was always named after Jake. 

It just made sense. My hormones had me obsessing over Jamie, my best buddy at the time was Jake, and I'm always the hero in my play. Why wouldn't I name them this way?

Jake unfortunately passed away in 2000. (I was actually playing a Playstation game called Syphon Filter 2 when I found out.) I didn't really know how to process things then. I had a lot of death in my life when I was younger. It seemed to be a curse for a while. But none of them had quite been as cutting as Jake. There was an entire portion of my life that was just sort of gone. 

I've mentioned before that I'm recollecting many of my Playstation 1 games now. One of my most sought after ones is Legend of Legaia, a game not many people I know played. 

Over Christmas, I found it. After searching for 4 years, I finally found Legend of Legaia. 

Jamie, Me, and Jake from left to right.

I haven't had time to play it until recently, but last week I found myself sitting in a totally empty house. I popped it in and loaded up an old memory card save I had from probably 15 years ago. 

And there I was, staring at Dan, Jamie, and Jake. A memory living on this little plastic card for 15 years. It was weird. I wanted so much to turn to someone and say, "Do you believe that?" But no one except Jake would've understood.