What Happens When You Fire Up Your Old N64

On a normal Friday at college, this would be the point in the night where you’re already pregaming; and, frankly, you’re having a fish-out-of-water moment realizing you’re completely sober at eight-thirty on weekend night. Your options are limited: you can go visit that one kid who got his girlfriend pregnant in high school and never left home or you can join Mom and Dad and trudge through three unwatchably-boring NCIS episodes from the DV-R. With sleeping until Sunday seeming like the best unlisted option, you head upstairs.

There are nests of candy wrappers and old clothes scattered everywhere, frankly, you’re old room looks like a tornado had angry sex with a homeless shelter. It’s there, amongst the debris, that you spot it. That’s right, it’s your old N64, looking just as glorious as the Christmas morning or Jewish Christmas night you first unwrapped it.

With that one glace the weekend has been booked solid. It’s a beautiful procrasti-tastic twist of fate. She boots up like a champ and before you can say “Slappers Only” you’re balls deep in a GoldenEye campaign and murdering Soviets with a ferocity only before seen in Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s creamiest dreams. The weekend passes nearly instantaneously and you’re catching up more with Banjo and Kazooie than Mom and Dad.

You return to school with you treasure and the binge continues. It’s like being reconnected with your old friends, Diddy Kong, Starfox, 3D Wayne Gretzky, and Turok. Your popularity soars. It doesn’t matter that your dorm room smells like hamster cage or that everyone’s uncomfortable by how you’re always itching yourself. Like moths to light or addicts drawn to their heroin den, people become fixtures in your room. Everyone has tales about dominating the local neighborhood kids back in their golden years and everyone’s eager to see if they got it, or if the games’ have passed them by and they’re just an old, Jamie Moyer-esque veteran still clinging to a dream.

Class, women, and hygiene take a backseat; you’re purveyor of N64 now. The few worthy opponents separate themselves from the novices and the hours blur together into epic sessions. By day you snapped pictures of Pokémon, collected stars in Super Mario 64, and get Harvest Moon married, and by night your alcoholism seeps into your new life and you’re going round after round of Super Trashed Bros., Mario Kegger, and Beerio Kart. Yes, the ultimate party system does not disappoint.

Soon the muscles in your hands have contoured to the controller and you bed sores and pasty ham ass have contoured to the couch. You haven’t moved more than leaning or reaching in days, and even those felt like too much activity, like you were about to pull something or start sweating. Part of you remembers your old life, with social interactions and purpose outside of this room, but part of your doesn’t want to ever pass the sticks. Like, ever.

You’ve got the point where it isn’t enough to beat Ocarina of Time, no, you need to beat it in less than six hours to be satisfied. The addiction’s spiraled out of control and you can’t stop, but, just as you’re trying to bust off a quick spin attack you notice the joystick has given out. Much like your sex life since rediscovering the 64, the joystick’s taken on a flaccid, limp, and absolutely worthless quality. Frantic, you examine the other controllers, but they’re all just as bad. Naturally, you had always taken the best one for yourself.

Now you’re at one of those Bone-Thugz-N-Harmony-or-Brittney-Spears-esque Crossroads. Do you reclaim your normal life, or do you get on the Internet, find a replacement controller with overnight shipping, and continue down the N64 rabbit hole?

Justin Gawel is an adult baby from Michigan whose articles appear on BroBible most Thursdays and some Tuesdays usually. Look for more of his writing, his BroBible.com archive, and his updates at www.justingawel.com or follow him @justingawel on Twitter.