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NICHOLAS MERCER: That perfect gift

Mario. — 123RF Photo
Mario. — 123RF Photo

I like video games.

I’m not as hardcore as some people, but I’m a fan of throwing a game on and escaping for a couple of hours.

It really starts with the Super Nintendo, or SNES for short. The original Nintendo was amazing, but nothing really compared to the SNES at the time.

The lineup of games, characters and advent of some serious great sports games really put it over the top for me.

The SNES might be my favourite console of all time and it just so happens to be my favourite Christmas gift ever received.

Let me tell you about it.

The year was 1778, how I wish I was … wait, that’s not how it starts. Sorry, I’ve been listening to a bunch of Stan Rogers lately.

Anyway, the year was actually 1993 and as we always did, my family and I spent our Christmas holidays at my grandparents place in Bay Roberts.

We were living in Harbour Grace at the time, so as soon as dad finished with the Christmas Eve church service the car was loaded up and we headed up the harbour (yes, I know what this sounds like).

As it always is with Christmas when you’re growing up, it’s a restless night waiting for the big man in the red suit to show up.

After a couple of attempts to get the folks up early, my brother and I were finally released to plunder the piles of brightly wrapped boxes waiting in the living room.

When our individual gifts were revealed, usually, there was always a big joint gift that always served to knock our socks off.

This year, the wrapping gave way to reveal the black and red box of the SNES. My brother just about hit the roof after a deafening shout of Super Nintendo.

I think there’s a video somewhere, but I’m not sure.

Truth be told, I threw a bit of a positive tantrum as well.

There were cool gifts before and since, but nothing was quite as big as this. One year, there was an air hockey table that was fun as hell.

Another year, there were Phoenix Coyotes and Anaheim Mighty Ducks jerseys. At the time, Paul Kariya might’ve been my favourite player, so that fit.

Plus, the Mighty Ducks is the best movie franchise of all-time. If you don’t agree, I will fight you.

Getting back to the point, the Super Nintendo was one of those gifts that ruled the household for months-years after that. That was until the first PlayStation hit Harbour Grace unexpectedly some years after.

Aside from the classic Super Mario World, there was Super Mario Kart, NHL 94, Turtles in Time, Chrono Trigger, Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat II, NBA Jam, Donkey Kong Country, Mega Man X, Star Fox, etc... I could go on.

That Christmas set the bar when I it came to gifts.

All from there on would be compared to the morning we got to plug the SNES in for the first time.


Nicholas Mercer is the online editor with The Western Star. He lives in Corner Brook and can be reached at


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