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Monday, September 10, 2012

Granstream Saga - My Story

Purchase Date:  Hell if I know.
Price: Gift
Repurchase Date:  April 2012
Repurchase Price: $5

Granstream Saga was amongst my favorite games in the "something I'd never heard of until now" category that I had received as a gift.  Every time I held one of said games in my hands, ready to insert it into my system and power it up, I felt a palpable anticipation and anxiety (although subconsciously done, the sexual undertones of that statement were probably not a mistake).  I never knew what I was going to get.  Judging from the cover I figured I was in for some sort of romp involving a bejeweled hero with an awkwardly foreshortened sword (or maybe a comically large dagger?).  I figured it had airships, a panicked parakeet, a dreadnaught from Zelda, a busty maiden that kinda wants to punch me (maybe?) and some sort of cow skull monster with a... vagina? cowrie shell?... on its forehead (I specifically remember thinking that when picking up the game for the first time, and still to this day think it).  One thing for sure, it would be a ride one way or another (it was a dragon by the way... not a cow skull demon monster... I figured that was probably bugging you,).

The game did not disappoint.  It had an interesting fight system, fully hand drawn anime cut scenes (at this point most cut scenes were CGI, so that was a bit of a novelty) and a surprisingly well crafted story.  Most importantly, it felt like a game that was completely mine.  Nobody had ever heard of it and certainly nobody had ever played it (at least in my small town.  I'm not putting forth that truly I was the only person that ever played it... although that would be an interesting thought.  I get the game as a child, sell the game for store credit in the days before I knew this was a system designed to rip me off, and then buy the same copy back some fifteen years later in the overly elaborate ploy of some evil genius to get thirtyfive dollars from me rather than just thirty.  I imagine him wringing his hands, smiling at his ill gotten gains, his plan having finally paid off... wow, that was a long ass sidetrack).

Upon discovering gamedude earlier this year, my friend Jeremy (whom has had an integral part in both my decision to start this collection and the decision to record the journey) started to bulk up his collection with games of yesteryear.  I on the other hand started purchasing games in a more practical mindset, games I had always wanted to try but had a hard time finding (The World Ends With You, anyone?).  Every time I went to the store though, I was immediately drawn to the PS1 area of their shelves, content just to revel in it and the memories it stirred up.  I also remained somewhat jealous of my friend who had the confidence to make the rash purchases that I avoided, perhaps somewhat aware of the Pandora's box it would open.  All of that practicality went out the window when I saw a lone copy of Granstream Saga sitting on the shelf for a mere five dollars.

I bought the game and let it sit on my shelf for a few months while my wife and I moved to a new house and settled.  Then, one night, I decided "Hell, I bought the damn thing, I might as well play it." so I popped it into my PS3, flicked on the projector and began playing it on a screen larger than my young self could have imagined with headphones creating an encompassing world I hadn't dreamed of.  This is what my childhood is supposed to feel like... my new mission was coming into focus.

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