“The following is a contributor post by the Bizzaro Mage.”
It was snowing outside, yet we were nice and toasty warm inside our little-terraced house somewhere in rural northern England (at least I’m pretty sure it was snowing, my memories from back then are a little fuzzy around the edges).
Our house only had one console in it back then, a Sega Master System 2, the one with Alex Kidd in Miracle World build, but that never got played because I was terrible at it and my dad hated it (he still does). No, my dad was a fan of the Blue Blur, Sonic the Hedgehog and he had recently picked up a copy of the newly released Sonic 2 for the 8-bit system.
For weeks he had been playing it, mastering it and tracking down those elusive and hard to acquire Chaos Emeralds and that evening delivered something of a Christmas Miracle, for it was that night, at about 10pm (very late for an 8-year-old and my 4-year-old brother) on which my old man finally got his hands on the Emeralds and went up against the game’s final boss, Metal Sonic. But then, in lieu of an ending, appeared an extra secret zone.
It was Crystal Egg Zone, and it was an edge of the seat, difficult level that took my dad down to Sonic’s final life. My mother had to put the carrot out for Rudolph by herself as the boys refused to move from the little CRT TV in my parents’ bedroom until, at last, Robotnik went down in flames and the secret ending finally played out.
Though we got a Mega Drive the next day and the Master System went into retirement before 1993 arrived, that moment will always be in my mind every time the festive season comes around.
Stepping from the shadows into the light, the Bizzaro Mage somehow functions as an average human being most of the time, just one with a faire few retro games cluttering up his tiny house. Check out his rambling attempts at sense over at winst0lfportal.wordpress.com
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