In 1991, halfway through my high school years, my friends and I became addicted to an SSG released game: Warlords.
Many hours were spent building armies, mixing units and treasure hunting with our “hero”. They would find artefacts that enhanced their capabilities and though their discoveries I grew personally attached to them, their journey and success was for the better of my kingdom. I would reward my greatest hero with the best treasures and make them the ultimate badass: a one-unit city razing Mo-fu.
With eight different races offering different battle units, the replay value was – in my head – immense and the most enjoyable part was the choice of how I chose to win the game.
You could raze the cities of your enemies and eradicate an entire race, effectively commit racial genocide without any guilt or simply occupy them (but still push the race out of existence).
20th of September 2009, whilst cleaning out the storage space – of the external hard drive – I found a folder of old games. Warlords was there, zipped up and begging to be released.
Pandora’s box was opened and my memories were awoken to a nightmarish truth.
The game sucked in the 21st century!
My excitement fizzled as the ancient graphics reared its ugly head. I tried to not be superficial and reminded myself of the game play.
As I progressed through the strategic game, the simplicity of the game design, the ease of conquering the opposition and ultimately, the tedious nature of tracing my units began to chip away at the pedestal.
By the end, when all but three kingdoms existed, I would wait for what felt like eternity for the computer to finish its move.
As for my heroes, I “lost that loving feeling” which I remembered so fondly. I didn’t care who found what or who died trying. They all felt the same to me and as Juliet once asked herself whilst Romeo hid form her, ‘what’s in a name?’
Sadly, my afternoon was spent lamenting over what I hoped to be a wonderful reconnection.
I guess some memories are best left undisturbed.