Published on August 6th, 2012 | by Chris Warriner1
Video Game Recollection: Nintendo GameCube
It was a cold and sleepy November morning more than a decade ago – November 18, 2001 to be exact. I was a high school sophomore at the time, in the process of moving overseas in conjunction with my dad’s latest deployment. My family and I were housed in temporary quarters, living out of suitcases with what little we could carry with us; clothes mostly. Of course I found a way to stuff my PlayStation 2 and some games into my suitcase. I even squeezed in a Dance Dance Revolution dance pad. I was very into music and rhythm games, and the DDR series, which at that point had only two North American releases, was among my favorite. But the PlayStation 2 and Dance Dance Revolution were not on my mind that morning. Before sunrise, I made sure my dad and brother were awake so we could make a trip to the nearest Target for something else – Nintendo’s latest home video game system, the GameCube.
A release date video game system purchase was something new to me. Only rarely had I even managed to get my hands on a new video game on the day of its release. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time springs to mind. It was the first game I had ever pre-ordered. There was usually a truckload of hype leading up to new hardware releases, like the 9-9-99 advertisement campaign for the Sega Dreamcast, which left its mark on my impressionable young mind. I really wanted one. I grew up with Sonic the Hedgehog and wanted to try his new 3D outing. I didn’t get to own a Dreamcast until much later, or too late depending how you might view the timing of that purchase. But on that morning in November, I was prepared to pick up a new piece of hardware that seemed to have noticeably less hype behind it than the Dreamcast and PlayStation 2 releases of the two previous years.
I got all of my information about the Nintendo GameCube from sources like Nintendo Power magazine and IGN. I still subscribe to Nintendo Power, but haven’t visited IGN much lately. The huge jump in performance from the Nintendo 64 really sold me, but of course the big name Nintendo titles only helped to seal the deal. Low resolution QuickTime video clips of the games in action were more than enough to convince me that I needed to get a GameCube. I ate it all up, knowing that although only a few games would launch with the system, but more great titles were on the way. The surprise sequel to Super Smash Bros. announced at that year’s E3 was my most anticipated title, but I would make do with Nintendo’s makeshift Mario offering until then. Luigi’s Mansion was the only day one game that appealed to me, and it was what I aimed to take home with me that morning, along with a shiny, new GameCube.
After a stop at a gas station for some coffee, we headed to Target where a few folks were already lined up outside. It was still some time before the doors opened, but the wait wasn’t too long. When the doors were unlocked, we made our way to the electronics counter and had no trouble securing a Jet Black Nintendo Gamecube, complete with one controller and all the cables needed to hook it up. Luigi’s Mansion wasn’t available there, but luckily there were quite a few other retailers on the same strip as that Target. A trip to the Kmart across the street helped us find what we need. It isn’t the first place you think of when you want to get your hands on a video game, but they were stocked with what we needed. After picking up the game, a memory card, and the Offical Nintendo Power Player’s Guide we were ready to head back to where we were staying. My dad returned to sleeping, while my brother and I quickly hooked up the system to try it out. I’ll never forget that startup jingle.