Monday, July 21, 2008

My Childhood Wasn't Better Than Yours: Battletoads & Double Dragon


I am a pathetically inadequate Asian stereotype (as I've alluded to in the past) and my inability to be adept at either mathematics or video games has continued to be a personal issue of shame.

As a child, I wore thick framed glasses, was pathetically out of shape, and for a brief segment of my life was well versed in the nuances of Peter Parker's "Clone Saga."

Christ, how could I not be able to execute a proper "Hadouken!"?

And yet one of the few joys in my painfully inadequate existence were Sundays spent with cousins attempting the Super Nintendo masterpiece that was Battletoads & Double Dragon.


My cousins, unlike myself, were more than adequate models of Asian-inity, being gamers themselves, and yet for those solitary Sundays, they too were humbled by the seemingly easy task of mastering the intergalactic adventures of a pair of conspicuously WASPy-looking Chinese brothers and a trio of anthropomorphic amphibians named after skin disorders.

The three of us comprised a rag-tag alternating two person team that slayed giant rats, bulls, and the occasional blond dominatrix (which coincidentally made our then-Catholic consciences derive that much more sinful pleasure senselessly beating violent whip-wielding women with a roundhouse kick or toad foot thing).


We never beat the game (hell, I don't think we even made it halfway through) but it was moments like those when childhood seemed just right, when failure wasn't just okay; it was just damn fun.

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