Better late than never. I joined the Later Levels’ Christmas collaboration literally in the last possible moment. Kim had this excellent to run a writing marathon about Christmas and video games. Twelve days, twelve different questions. The one for today is:
You’re wrapping presents while listening to cheesy festive tunes, and start to reminisce about holidays past. What’s your favourite Christmas gaming memory?
My memory is a real Christmas miracle: a story about finding a copy of a game which was virtually impossible to buy in my country. I played the demo version of Elder Scrolls: Daggerfall for many happy hours and you can imagine how I felt when I learned that I would not be able to get the full game just because nobody sold it in Poland. Then, just a few days before the Christmas, I found a box with the tormented King Lysandus on the cover in a small computer store located near my home town’s main bus station. When I think about it now, it seems almost impossible, but someone owning a tiny business in a poor Eastern European mining town was actually bold enough to have the game shipped from Britain.
Since my parents have always been rather reluctant to buy video games as gifts, I had to spend my entire pocket money to get it. And then I was sitting in my quiet. warm room on Christmas, with heavy snowfall outside, and directing the steps of my player character through the snowy streets of the titular city. With the wonderful winter tune playing from the speakers and perfect quietness inside me.
Every year, I feel the temptation to relieve this experience. Every year, the fear of disappointment stops me from installing Daggerfall again. There is no way back into the childhood but hey, at least we still have the memories.