They were the best days of your life, so long as you kept your panties clean

kirbys dream land 3

Kirby’s Dream Land 3 (1997)

So they say school days are the best days of your life, do they? Hmmm, I wonder. It’s a lot less responsibility, that’s for sure. And you were able to get away with a lot more immaturity back then, but that’s a silly argument. Both you and I still find farts funny to this day, right?

And the adult world might seem pretty scary and confusing at times as well, but that doesn’t necessarily mean school is a walk in the park, especially if you were a bit of a dumbo. Or a bit ugly or a bit ginger or a bit bespectacled or a bit fat, or in the most hopeless cases all four.

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SquareSoft aren’t clowning around anymore

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Final Fantasy VI (1994)

It’s not uncommon to want the villain to win, you know. I suppose people might look at you funny if you cheered the bad guys in Schindler’s List or Downfall. But what about Mrs. Doubtfire? They fronted Pierce Brosnan as the homewrecker villain in that one, but what about Mrs. Doubtfire him- or herself? Lying scumbag he was, exposed himself in front of children and everything.

Then he tried to kill the so-called villain via a spicy ensemble specifically designed to attack Pierce’s allergies. Not content with that, he finally goes the whole hog and ruins his ex-wife’s birthday by humiliating her in front of everyone. Christ, it’s no wonder she was reluctant to give him any sort of custody of the kids, until he had a hit-show on his hands and some good dough rolling in. Some bad guys just always win, don’t they?

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It’s another trip to Dracula’s castle, where the grass isn’t even slightly greener

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Castlevania: Dracula X (1995)

It’s a desperate situation that we’ve all found ourselves in, perhaps with a beautiful lady to impress as well, which only makes the stakes even higher. The scene is dinner at your local ‘kid-friendly’, ‘family-oriented’ restaurant which, loosely translated, means they’ll let any scum under the sun in.

Oh well, no matter, you’re busy making your heavily rehearsed order, staying well away from potentially embarrassing choices: the steak that you’d end up asking to be cooked well-done, or those very messy chicken wings. Or that fish fingers meal that looks right up your street but is only available on the kid’s menu. Is that ageism or what?

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A trip back to the wild west, before undergoing the trials of social media

Trials of Mana

Trials of Mana (1995)

If you asked for me twenty years ago, any day of the week or time of the day you would have found me on a Windows Millennium Edition computer, playing emulators using a keyboard, or perhaps watching Love Hina on Winamp through my dialup internet. If not that, then I would have been whiling away my precious preteen hours on AIM and IRC. An absolutely pathetic way to start puberty of course, and yet, would you trade internet nostalgia for the world?

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Writing a thesis in two days takes a Mega effort, Man

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Mega Man 7 (1995)

You don’t get deadlines in the world of school. There might be some form of project that has a due date, but that’s hardly set in stone – even if you don’t get it done, you can always get mammy in to explain things away for you. Mammy trumps all. And there are no deadlines in the working world either – you might have Go Live dates for projects, but they never get met anyway.

If things are looking bad and the client is trying to bust your balls, you can always invent some unforeseen technical issue and buy yourself a couple of weeks. This can’t be done in all industries of course, I hardly think you could do it in a newsroom. I suppose paramedics have to meet strict SLAs as well. But otherwise, nobody in the working world cares enough about so-called “hard deadlines” to go after you, unless their goose is about to be cooked as a result of your indolence.

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I’m dreaming of a heroic adventure, just like the ones we used to know…

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Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Reverie (1995)

I’m just back off a week of annual leave, but I don’t even get to have a pathetic attempt at a tan to brag about, as I was cooped up in rainy Ireland for the week. Both the Irish and Greek governments aren’t entertaining the idea of me travelling on Hellenic booze cruises, and Vegas isn’t exactly enticing right now. Something to do with a virus. Is that nanny state-ism in action or what?

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Like random encounters, the Swedish girls were coming at us thick and fast

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Tales of Phantasia (1995)

You have me down as an uncultured oik, I know you do, so it’ll probably surprise the hell out of you when I tell you that I’m pretty well-versed in Norse mythology. No, really, I know all about that Thor fella, and he had a hammer that did something with lightning or somesuch. Something that made him overpowered, anyway.

I’m not altogether happy with Thor, Chris Hemsworth or any hammer user, if truth be told, because he ended up inventing Thursdays, and Thursdays are my busiest day in work. A bit arrogant too I find, naming a day after himself. Why don’t we get Supermansday?

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A reading from the book of Quintet, on the creation of heaven and earth

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Terranigma (1996)

I’ve decided to stir up a bit of controversy this time, so I’d like to talk to you about going to church. I’d be lying if I said I have a season ticket to the church these days. After all, just like a football season ticket, it’ll cost you a ruddy fortune – that collection basket gets handed around twice during a mass, sometimes thrice if it’s a particularly juicy service and a load of people died the previous weekend.

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Remember – switching on your Super Nintendo is always faster than loading screens

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Super Nintendo Entertainment System (1992)

Every army needs its mainstay, that ever-present soldier who you can trust your life to, or that ultra-reliable piece of equipment that will never fail on you. You don’t bring undertakers out there on the battlefield – even if it would be a busman’s holiday for them, they’re the type of people who’ll always let you down. And if you had to trust your life to a machine, you’d be absolutely buggered if it was a printer, wouldn’t you?

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I, Burkey, do take you, Goku, to be my lawfully wedded Saiyan

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Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride (1992)

It seems I never get invited to weddings – I’ve only been invited to two in my life, and neither time was I of drinking age. Are wedding rates going down, on the whole? (check) The last thing you want to end up doing is having the type of marriage where you’ve gone out, bought someone a house and still ended up hating them. Worse than that, you’ll go on to lose this house in a divorce that you get asked about at each and every family gathering you relent into going to.

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