25 Days of Wicked Good Christmas: The Year Without A Memory Card
Before this blog begins, go buy a WGG 2020 Ugly Sweater! Every dime goes towards making sure every kid has some loot under their tree this Christmas. More details in the tweet below:
Now, Let me take you back.
The year is 2002. It’s the holiday season. The snow is falling, the tree is glistening, and Lil’ 12-year-old Dommy – a lifelong hardcore Nintendo fan – is frantically scribbling up his Christmas list after hearing months worth of hype at school about the newest Nintendo games.
Metroid Prime, Super Mario Sunshine, Luigi’s Mansion, this new weird game called Animal Crossing, you name it – it was on this kid’s Christmas list. Some other kids in 8th grade were hyped as hell for some game called Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, but all your boy needed under his tree that year was that sweet sweet Nintendo goodness, baby. And boy did he ever get what he asked for.
I’ll never forget that Christmas, and I’ll never forget those games. Wrapped up together in a neat little stack. Super Smash Bros. Melee, Luigi’s Mansion, and Animal Crossing.
What I didn’t ask for, however – was a very important accessory to this new wondrous console. An accessory that, thus far, he had not needed with all his prior consoles and handhelds. That accessory, my dear friends, was a memory card.
Now, mind you, Animal Crossing came with a small Memory Card, but I didn’t put 2-and-2 together whatsoever. I figured since only Donkey Kong 64 came with that mandatory Expansion Pak, only Animal Crossing would need this so-called “memory card”. Right? Wrong.
Imagine Young Dom’s surprise when, after playing Super Smash Bros. Melee with his siblings for basically all of Christmas Day, he went to go power off the console… Turned it back on the next morning… And realized all his saved progress was gone. I’ll never forget the feeling of pure terror that washed over me.
I went to my parents and felt like a complete asshole, since they worked their asses off to get me the GameCube and a couple of games that year, only to tell them “hey… I need one more thing”. Luckily, they were totally fine with taking a trip to the store on the 26th. I got a memory card, carved open the plastic, slotted it into the GameCube, and the rest was history.
To this day, I still don’t understand the “blocks” system of memory that Nintendo chose to use for the GameCube, or why they didn’t just bundle a goddamn memory card with the console, but I’m glad that I had this experience.
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