Throwback ~ ColecoVision

Aaaaw yeeeah, zombies!  We be talkin’ ’bout my home console, ColecoVision, today.  ColecoVision in the hiz-ous!

Um… I’m not certain how my ghetto side got out, but it happened.  I think we should all except that it happened and move on.

In my first post I mentioned that some of the topics I’ll cover will look at the emotional effects games have on players.   As we all know, nostalgia is the perfect tool to generate emotion.  Lets just say this post is my nostalgic moment, and I hope it proves to be one for you too, zombies.

While I was born five years after the release of ColecoVision, and most of my peers proclaim the original Nintendo to be their gateway console, ColecoVision has always been my first video game love.  For me, the memory of the two ColecoVisions my family had evokes a sense of pride and glee in me that can only be rivaled by Kingda Ka.  When I talk to someone who knows what a ColecoVision is and who shares in the same reaction of, “Dude!  You know about ColecoVision?  That’s awesome,” I feel like we’ve instantly become biffles (best friends for life).

Side ramble ~ To the jerks who started the rumor that Hurricane Irene took down Kingda Ka,  I greatly dislike you.  And to the guy who made this video, I greatly dislike you extra because you wasted 24 seconds of my life in unnecessary horror I will never get back.  You all made my Sunday very sad until put an end to your rumor.  Thank you  To the rest of you, please plug hell into your GPS and go there.  Thank you.

Anywho… one nerdy, historic detail I’d like to take a moment to share with you, zombies, is explaining what the hell Coleco is/means.  I’m sharing it because I wondered it for a while myself and then realized I have the internet; therefore, I could look it up and actually educate myself.  So Coleco stands for Connecticut Leather Company.  Yes, I know… Leather and gaming consoles usually don’t have much in common.  But then again, neither do cards, and that’s the industry Nintendo started in.  If you’d like to learn more about the history of ColecoVision and some of other consoles Coleco released, I would recommend checking out GameSpy’s page.

So back to my ColecoVision flashbacks….  I spent many a Saturday morning gazing into the glow of our living room Trinitron desperately attempting to get past at least three screens of Pit Fall.  Did that ever happen? No…  But I made up for my Pit Fall short comings in Cabbage Patch Kids: Adventures in the Park (CPK).

For anyone who had the pleasure of experiencing CPK, I’d like to shed light on a couple of  aspects of the game that I’d be interested to get your thoughts on:

1) How come each time your character fell, she rubbed her butt?  What kind of message was that sending children?

2) What the hell kind of park were the CPKs hanging out at?  I went to many parks as a child, and none of them required me to swing from ropes to land on lily pads over a mouth of water that would eat my soul whole, heaven forbid I fell in it.

Rivaling CPK in terms of “this is hilariously ridiculous” was the Smurfs: Rescue in Gargamel’s Castle game.  In order for your character to even fathom encountering any form of an enemy, you had to first navigate him through about a dozen screens of killer fences and blades of grass.

For those of you who haven’t seen this gem, I’m serious…  The fences, grass, and dips in the ground kill your character.  We’re not talking about “dips in the ground” that mimicked the cliffs in Mario Brothers.  When I cite the blades of grass, I’m referring to a blade that is maybe one week over grown.  And the fences… Don’t even get me started about them!  What’s even more disturbing is that your character maintains the same dope-tastic smile even in death!

Despite me poking fun at these two 80’s cartoon based games, they are the two games my sister and I reminisce about the most.  They’re the games that take us back to the simplicity of childhood.  The games take me back to the days when I thought it was possible to keep a small house beetle as a pet.  (I learned within four hours or so that no, you can’t.  Not because my mother insisted I couldn’t, but because I somehow ended up killing it…)

Other ColecoVision titles that take me back to being five year old me are:

~ Venture

~ Looping

~ Donkey Kong Junior

~ Carnival

~ Lady Bug

~ Frogger

~ Time Pilot

~ Mouse Trap

~ Q Bert

I’m sure there are more, but unfortunately my memory is lacking at the moment.  What I do remember was that Donkey Kong Junior was like original Donkey Kong with a splash of extra awesomeness.  I enjoyed the fact that the levels weren’t all ladder based.  You got to climb ropes and stuff.  Why?  Cause you were a freakin’ monkey/ape/gorilla/whatever(!) and that’s just what they do!

And Looping… My sweet, sweet Looping…  Looping and I were like the best friends who secretly hated one another.  That game was the bane of my five year old existence.  Why?  Cause just like Pit Fall, I couldn’t get past the first few screens or, in Looping’s case, the first few seconds.  But here’s the difference between Pit Fall and Looping.

Looping was like that cool kid you always wanted to be friends with.  It was bright, colorful, fashionable, it had missiles and, I’m assuming, hot air balloons that had some pretty tight steering and were surprisingly fast.

Pit Fall on the other hand, was like that kid you hung out with when no one else wanted to hang out with you, but once everyone was around, you acted like you weren’t friends with him, and actually made fun of him in front of everyone else just to look cool (especially when Looping was around).  Actually… That’s a very untrue and mean way of describing Pit Fall.  Not Alyssa Bereznak mean, but mean none the less.

For me, Pit Fall just wasn’t a turn on.  After all, I had CPK and the fine, fine butt rubbing skills it’s main character demonstrated to keep my gaming interests peaked.

There’s something about talking about an 8 bit CPK character rubbing her butt in sorrow that seems so wrong.  Then again, I’ve opted to honor our Lord and Savior by blogging about zombies every Sunday.  I’m pretty certain we all have a pretty grim picture of my moral character at this point, zombies.  And I believe CPK butt rubbing and my lack of moral character are the perfect notes to end this post on.

So if you too are a child of ColecoVision yearning for a reminder of the simpler days, I recommend checking out a place like Barcade where you can get your drink and classic gaming on, downloading Console Classix and playing ColecoVision games FOR FREE, or taking 15 minutes out of your day to reflect on the ColecoVision titles you may have forgotten.  While you may be an adult now, there’s no reason you can’t still experience the happier moments of childhood.

On we game!


About gamerinthought

To put it simply, I'm mother to the thoughts and ramblings found on Gamer In Thought, a child of Coleco Vision and NES, and the harbinger of all things awesome.

Posted on September 2, 2011, in Throwbacks and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I did own the Smurfs ColecoVision game way back in the day. Along with Venture, Frogger, Mouse Trap, Carnival, Q*Bert, Pitfall, Burger Time, Atlantis, Pole Position and myriad others, I remember one of my favourites, Space Shuttle in which you are tasked with the seemingly impossible task of launching, orbiting and landing the space shuttle.

    However, for all of it’s great nostalgia and the fact that it cemented the roots of my future gaming prowess, I can no longer play a vast majority of the ColecoVision back catalog. While the memories of these gems are fond, the joy of playing them today does not elicit squeals of joy from me like playing old NES games does. I will every once in a while try to dive into some Coleco goodness, but it’s usually brief and leaves me cherishing my fond memories of those games all the more.

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