Our cousins had a Super Nintendo before us, but it wasn’t Super Mario World or Smash TV that captured my imagination. Final Fantasy IV (FF2 in the U.S.) was my first exposure to JRPGs.
I feel in love. The graphics were so good you could see the character get into bed. (In full armor, but who cares?)
And the gameplay? Wow. The plot of an epic fantasy with combat strategy akin to tabletop. Incredible. Beyond platforming and racing.
There was just one problem, though, after I finally got the game:
As usual, I was grounded.
Since I wasn’t into sports or sleepovers, “grounding” meant I couldn’t play video games. Even if I had a brand new one.
Fortunately, I had an ally: My brother Brandon. We came to an arrangement: If I couldn’t play the game, I at least wanted to see it played. Brandon was happy to oblige.
Break out the popcorn.
Brandon forged into the new frontier with me beside him. We laughed together at the jokes, mocked spoony dialog, collectively gasped at twists of plot.