Videogames are one of the most important hobbies in my life. Since I was a little kid I have played them like crazy, it was fun to run from one side of the screen to the end of it using everyone’s favorite plumber, Mario, and his now popular brother, Luigi (aka Green Mario). We had one mission only: rescue the princess.
Like most videogames back in the era, they had a simple plot, which consists in fighting the bad guy and rescue someone. Typically a woman, but I won’t get into details here because the last thing I want to do in 2019 is to trigger anything, misinterpretation is so common nowadays. Everything was so simple, and I am not complaining; you had to fill a lot of a story using your imagination, or simply go along with the game and have fun. Other games introduced to us an epic story about this warrior that fights using a sword and a shield the forces of evil. The Legend of Zelda had a lot to offer, it made us feel like a brave person and offered a story for us to enjoy and enchant our experience. And yes, the rest is history. It was so revolutionary that its legendary status still prevails, all well deserved. But, it was’t The Legend of Zelda the game that made me think of videogames as art. The truth is, that even though I had played it for hours and never getting tired of it, it wasn’t until Earthbound (Mother 2 in Japan) that everything changed inside of me. It began a revolution inside of me.
Earthbound is another legendary game that, unfortunately, has a cult status. It was not very popular in North America, and even less in Mexico. Let’s say I was late to the party. I feel ashamed to admit that I had to use emulators to play it, I was just in middle school and the PC was my only “console” back then. A funny thing I remember, is that my ability to speak English was null; I couldn’t read or speak that language at all. Of course, the only thing I understood is at the beginning, where you start naming the protagonists, Ness, Paula, Jeff, and Poo. I only changed Ness’ name to a different one I had came up with. I never imagined myself as the hero of any story, so I never used mine.
Mother 2 is a role-playing videogame set in the fictional Eagle Town, and the difference between all the games of the same genre, this is not a medieval-fantasy world. Instead, it is set in an urban town in the United States (I believe, because it does not specify exactly where in North America). You take control of the protagonist, Ness, after something fell from the sky. The game was released on 1994 in Japan, and 1995 in North America. There’s nothing I could say about the game that haven’t had said before by a lot of experts, so I’ll skip telling a long story about the game, because the purpose of this post is a story about my inspiration to start writing. So let’s keep going:
I have mentioned about my inability to speak English back then. It was difficult to me to know exactly what I was doing, it was trial and error all the time, until I had most of its controls memorized. As a role-playing game, everything is focused on the story, of course, so my only option to understand what was going on is to create my own conversations using my imagination. I cannot say that the plot in my head was any good because it was not, but I can’t describe how happy I was by making my own stories. I had enjoyed the “story-telling” in my brain, but then I thought about it for days after my PC was turned off due middle school obligations, and I concluded that it might be a good idea to write original stories. Of course, I changed my mind every time because I had never believed I have a talent for it. To be honest, I was one of these little boys, then teenagers, then young adults that never had any self-esteem. Well, to be honest I still feel that way. But now I just don’t care about my self-doubt. Other thing I have learned about these role-playing games, specially the main topic, Earthbound, is that many things in life, from the fights outside to the hardest ones that are within one-self, is that you have to do this trial and error thing. You’re going to fail once, twice, or maybe a hundred times, but you need to force yourself to rise again, improve by getting experience, and try again until you get into the final boss fight. And even after the boss battle, you can challenge yourself to do another run, even better.
I have written several short stories and a novel in my native language, Spanish. Now, I was so afraid to start doing it in this beautiful language that is English; I am not a perfectionist, but I try to do things right, and adopting a new language for my future works is kind of frightening. I guess this is the new start of my journey.
I hope my new novel, a project called For Her Moon (hashtag #ForHerMoon on Twitter), surpasses my own expectations.
Feel free to let me know your comments. If you had a similar story, I’d love to read it!