How can my past excitement be written out with simple words? The first time I heald that red and grey NES Zapper in my hands, it was like I had the entire world at my feet. Not only did the zapper make for an amazing toy in itself: the sleek, smooth surface, the futuristic bright coloring, the slits on the side creating a feel of realism, the springing sound of the trigger; but it was also used in one of my most memorable video games of all time.
Duck hunt provided a game that had no ending, it just got more and more difficult, which allowed for a great portion of stress releif. I didn't have to worry about winning; since "saving your game" was a thing of the future, and really only limited to zelda, I was not forced to suffer through an entire game, clawing to get to the end, commiting to the full adventure in one sitting. With duckhunt, I was just excited to see the time pass from a blue sky to a sunsetting orange sky, sniffing out the ducks with my laughing dog companion, whom was my favorate part of the whole game.
I will admit, however, I was young back then, and I did not like losing. Instead of playing fair, I just wanted to see the duck freeze in place in a hilarious pose after my shot, which sounded nothing like the boom of a gun, but rather a quick sound burst of a rushing waterfall, and fall to the ground. My brother and I would take turns slamming the tip of the zapper onto the glass of the tv screen, trying to anticipate the movements of the bird.
It wasn't until I was older. . .way older. . .maybe two years ago, and I am now 22, that I finally figured out how that game worked. My confusion was derived from the fact that the my tv was never calibrated for a long distance sensory type of control, was the gun really that specific in its technology that it new when I was pointing at the multicolored duck rather than the blue or orange backdrop? Then what about the tree? or the grass? sometimes I was able to blast the duck in the grass before I actually saw him! To my suprise, when I recently played it after years of maturing, I discovered my answer. When the trigger was being pulled by my five year old fingers, the spring clicked and the waterfall sound rushed through my living room, I was never able to notice the split second when the tv screen flashed white, and wherever the duck was, a black square appeared.
It was an amazing discovery, unfortunately, I feel like the magic was taken from me that day. My supersmart, super awsome, futuristic zapper was nothing more than a black and white distinguishing toy. Then again, we need to keep in mind that the things we played with have never changed, it is our own mindsets that have outgrown the fantasy we remember.