EXCLUSIVE: How Rare Brought Me Into the Era of the Nintendo 64

I’ll never forget the day. I was living in North Carolina at the time in the same town where I grew up for the first twelve years of my life. My Mom and I had went to an east coast grocery store called Ingles to do a bit of shopping. So we’re walking down the frozen food section and in the middle of the aisle they had a rack holding a variety of different magazines. As we were walking by, I glanced at the rack from the corner of my eye and happened to catch a glimpse of a tiny image of Diddy Kong at the very top of a GamePro Magazine front cover.

I was a huge Donkey Kong Country fan so the very sight of anything ‘Kong’ related instantly had my attention. I grabbed the magazine, briefly looked through it and discovered Diddy Kong Racing for the first time. This was the day that I first truly learned of the Nintendo 64.

I vaguely recall seeing Nintendo 64 games on the store shelves of Roses back then, but never really knew what it was exactly. I was still completely satisfied with my Super Nintendo and the games I had to play on it. But the moment I learned that a brand new title bearing the ‘Kong’ name and coming from the same developers of Donkey Kong Country was coming to that system exclusively, I had to have it.

The Nintendo 64 and Diddy Kong Racing was at the top of my Christmas wishlist and my parents thankfully delivered it beneath the tree that year in 1997 and my siblings and I spent the majority of the day playing it together. It was one of the best and most memorable Christmas’ that I can recall and certainly one that I will never forget.