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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Life Is Like a Hurricane

So a few days ago, I finally broke down and bought DuckTales Season 1 on DVD, which came as a bit of surprise to Ben and the rest of the Monday Night Crüe. It did not, however, come as a surprise to Scott, who immediately responded by telling me that he had some fond memories of the show.

That put my mind a little more at ease, since shortly after dropping thirty bucks in the hands of a Best Buy employee, I was a little worried that my own memories of Ducktales were way overselling the show's quality. Scott's about eight years older than me, though, so his fond memories would be a little closer to the truth than mine.

They would also pale in comparison.

At age nine, Ducktales was--and I say this without hint of exaggeration--the focal point of my entire existence. It was, if memory serves, the last part of the Disney Afternoon at the time, filling that sweet, sweet half hour between the end of school and the hour-long 1966 Batman block on the local Fox affiliate, and I never missed an episode.

As much as I enjoyed the show--especialy any appearances by bizarre, unicycle-riding Robocop analog Gizmoduck--my affection for it was nothing compared to the all-consuming fire that was my passion for the DuckTales video game.

Greatest Of All TimeThe DuckTales game for NES may have been my first obsession, excepting Batman throwing car batteries. I was an avid reader of Nintendo Power magazine at the time, and when I first saw that it was coming out, I flipped my lid. And for good reason; it was made by Capcom, the fine folks who also defined portions of my childhood with the MegaMan series, and according to Wikipedia, "is widely regarded as one of the better NES games of its day; it was highly respectable and fun to play."

It got to the point that in the fourth grade, when we were asked to draw a picture of what we most wanted for Christmas, I produced what may have been my finest work of art to date, including my extensive uses of Archie.

I folded over the paper and drew the top of a gift box, ribons and a tag and everything. Then, when you unfolded it, inside the "box," was a drawing I had made of the NES cartridge, complete with the box art, which I had memorized.

That probably bears repeating: I memorized the box art and was able to reproduce it with a handful of crayons.

I actually did get DuckTales for Christmas that year, and it's probably the best Christmas present I've ever gotten. I opened up that box, and it was on 'til the break of dawn. Right up until Grand Theft Auto III--another game about acquiring as much money as you possibly can by any means necessary, but with fewer giant diamonds--it was probably my favorite game ever, and I played it until I had found every single secret that had been in there, getting so much money that I got a different ending screen when I won, which, in the early '90s, blew my mind.

Which brings us back to today and the fact that I'm on a Scrooge McDuck kick lately (for reasons I'll get into later, but rest assured that Mickey's Christmas Carol has a pretty big influence on me at this time of year), just in time for the release of the DVD (which, incidentally, remains amusing and well-animated).

Coincidence? Or something... sinister?


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