Yesterday evening, I spent a few brief moments looking back and reflecting on the time when Rare’s Donkey Kong 64 was nearing its release back in 1999. My initial plans was to record some new videos for our recently launched YouTube Channel, but my wife wanted to play the game–her first time–and I sat there and watches her play for a little bit through the training area and acquire her first Golden Banana! It was watching the game in action and the familiar music and sounds had me remembering how badly I wanted that game.
In middle school, some friends and I would have discussions about what we were expecting way before it was even known to really exist. Tips & Tricks Magazine had a ‘Donkey Kong Country 64’ listing in its rumored games section and that was enough to trigger conversations about the game, and this was before even Banjo-Kazooie had released! When the game finally was announced and I saw it for the first time in some magazines years later, I was ecstatic and overjoyed. One of my most anticipated games was finally coming!
I had a subscription to GamePro Magazine at the time and would sit and stare at pictures of the game, wondering what the DK Coins were utilized for, being excited about the return of minecart levels and that there were more playable Kongs than ever before. One of the craziest things I probably did was borrow an Electronic Gaming Monthly Magazine from a friend, write down the entire article on paper–two full pages front and back–, and then memorized those pages to recite to myself and my brother every night before going to sleep. I was a really die hard fan of Rare’s Donkey Kong games and I showed it!
When the game released in late 1999, I didn’t acquire it right away knowing that I would surely be waiting until Christmas to get it. It was the only thing on my Christmas list as there honestly wasn’t anything else that I had any desire for that year. Well okay, Jet Force Gemini, but I really didn’t want to push my luck! Christmas finally came around after what seemed like an eternity and wrapped nice and neat under the tree was my copy of Donkey Kong 64, awaiting my excited hands to tear open, insert into the Nintendo 64 and play that beast of a game I had been eagerly waiting for for so long. I spent the majority of the day playing the game and it was just as awesome as I had hoped it to be!
Donkey Kong 64 remains as one of the most anticipated games for me that Rare has ever released to date. The excitement and anticipation leading up to its release was unlike any I’ve ever really felt for any other game. It was an amazing game and an amazing experience like no other…an experience that my wife is now partaking in for the first time and I look forward to watching and hearing about her own personal experiences with the title as she plays through it herself!