The ride from the Canadian Tire on Torbay Rd. in St. John’s to Old Perlican was the longest I’d ever taken.
It was 1990, I was six-years-old, and I’m clutching a Nintendo on my lap on our drive to the Conception Bay North town. My dad is driving and my mother consistently glances over her shoulder to make sure I still have the precious cargo.
Even before she could ask me, my ghost-white knuckles gave her the answer before a simple ‘yes’ tumbled from my mouth.
The first game I popped into the entertainment system wasn’t what you would expect. Speak the word Nintendo, and you immediately recall images of an Italian plumber named Mario and a princess named Toadstool (or Peach depending on who you are).
It was “Cobra Triangle,” a game that came with the system, a racing game featuring boats.
It offered me a lot of frustration from the moment I popped the cartridge in. I don’t know how many times I attempted to complete the game, but couldn’t for one reason or the next.
Retro-gaming is a big thing now. Gamers are lining up to pick up ancient titles and hard to find gems for systems long past its expiry date.
The Atari, Nintendo, Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis are all high on collectors’ lists as they search for mint copies of “Altered Beast.”
The release of the Nintendo Classic and the Super Nintendo Classic in recent years — the latter came out in Canada last week — has only served to stoke the fires.
Of course, you don’t have to pick up one of these official retrofits. There is always the classifieds, flea markets, eBay and a host of other avenues.
Nathan Connolly of Stephenville Crossing is one of those other avenues.
He has an original Nintendo — complete with Duck Hunt gun — and a Power Glove up for grabs.
Both are in their original boxes.
Remember The Wizard?
A movie that featured the guy from “The Wonder Years,” Christian Slater at the height of his powers and a kid actor who would go on to be Billy Heywood in “Little Big League.”
Well, the Billy Heywood kid makes a cross-country trip to a video game tourney where the final bad guy has a Power Glove.
It blew people’s minds.
With a controller on your right hand, you were playing with power or so the tagline went. It allowed you to control games like Rad Racer just by clenching your right fist and moving your arm.
And, it looked cool. Well, cool for the 80s.
It is something Connolly has had for the past 25 years. It was bought for him and his brothers in the 80s when the Nintendo was first making their mark in North America.
The Power Glove came released in 1989.
“Nintendo was the biggest thing around,” said Connolly. “If you called any house in Newfoundland, they’d have a Nintendo and a Big Red (Honda three-wheel all-terrain vehicle).”
He and his brothers got plenty of use out of it, but it has been in storage for the last couple of decades.
The ad is aimed at the collector who is looking to complete their Nintendo collection with a used original piece of video game history.
He would like to sell both pieces, but he is okay with not selling it. Connolly sees it as a great conversation piece a few years down the road.
I’ve moved on to the PS4 now, but I’ll still think about playing some of the older games.
Even now, there are few games that I remember holding more of a disdain for than “Cobra Triangle.”
Even as consoles evolved from pixelated magic to lifelike mind expansions, I still cannot think of a game that causes me more mental anguish.
I still hate “Cobra Triangle.”