So, 1992. I was perfectly happy with my Master System and life was beautiful. Well, life was horrible, I was constantly bullied at school and the neighborhood. But at home? Everything was awesome. I even had a best friend, Eric. The guy was alright. He was kind of the Bart Simpson to my Milhouse.We were always playing together over at each other's house. He still had an Atari 2600 he never used, so anytime we felt like playing video games, we always did it in my place. That is, until he went on a trip to Rio to spend some time with his dad who worked there and came back with a Sega Mega Drive, a.k.a. Genesis, a buttload of games. Sonic the Hedgehog, Golden Axe, Decap Attack, Altered Beast, ToeJam & Earl, Quackshot, Castle of Illusion and a handful of forgettable games. He came to my place and talked for hours about those games but at first he didn't ask me over to actually play them. Motherfucker. Anyway, he left and for weeks we barely met. When we did met, he would talk on and on about what he had been playing how his games were so much better than mine. His Quackshot made my Lucky Dime Casper feel completely obsolete. I was a big Donald Duck fan at the time so that bummed me. Motherfucker. Not only that but I felt like I was losing a friend as he started to spend time with the "cooler kids" and ditched his geekier pal, me. And [insert favorite deity name here] knew I couldn't spare one at this time. I think his mother felt bad for me or my parents called her, anyway, they arranged for us to spend an afternoon together and that day I finally got a glimpse of the Mega Drive.
OMG! That shit was amazing! I mean, look that controller. I looked like something Batman carried on his utility belt and would use to beat a felon senseless. The D-pad looked and felt better than the one on the MS Controller. And forget about the d-pad. The thing had 3 buttons. THREE BUTTONS!! And START was a separate button. Think of the POSSIBILITIES! And then he took the controller from my hand. "Where's the other?", I asked. "There's only one.", he replied. "What kind of JACKASS buys a console, more than 10 games and no extra controller?", I thought. I swallowed the frustration and then he proceeded me to show some of his games. Boy, Quackshot was awesome. Donald Duck was so Indiana Jones and we had a plunger shooting gun. And so were most of his games, but what I really loved was Sonic: the Hedgehog. I'll be honest, until Donkey Kong Country was released, Sonic: the Hedgehog and its sequels were the most beautiful games I've seen. It was his favorite too, and I think he was so glad that I agreed, he even let me play a bit. We kind of became close again after that day. He was a nice friend most of the time, though some times he would revert to his new douche persona.
Someday I noticed that the controller ports on the Mega Driver and Master System were identical and convinced him to let me try to plug in my controller on his console (no double entendre intended). He was afraid it could damage the port but when ended up doing it anyway AND IT WORKED! Woot! Even he was happy that we could finally play co-op Golden Axe or Sonic 2. Off course I couldn't use magic in Golden Axe, because my controller didn't have a third button, but still, I could beat the crap out of the animated skeletons and evil amazons.
Things were good, but not as good as before. My console now sucked, that bunch of peripherals now seemed (even more) pointless, and it was hard to appreciate my old games now that I got a taste of something much better. When I saw Sonic: the Hedgehog for the Master System on a store I felt the last moment of excitement with my old console, but soon I noticed it wasn't a port, but it was rather a new and boring game and suddenly that feeling was gone. Eric and I were back to playing together but he no longer treated me as an (almost) equal like before, rather like that 2 year younger small town cousin. "You suck, you can't make this jump. give me the controller." To be fair, Eric probably perceived the whole situation differently from me, and I don't know who is right (if anyone was), but this is the story as I remember. Anyway, fuck reason, THIS IS INTERNETS!
One day while we were having lunch my parents noticed I was upset and they asked what was going on. I told them all about it, how thing were going with Eric and everything. Dad asked if there was a console newer/better than the Mega Driver. I said "Well, there's this Super Nintendo or something like that, but I hear it's very expensive and there's pretty much one place in the city that has it". He response was something along the lines of "Get me the car keys, I'm gonna buy something you can shove it up the little prick's ass". Oh my father, always the classy dude. But hey, he bought me stuff. I'm not 100% sure of this, but I guess the reason the SNES was more expensive than the Mega Drive is that he wasn't officially released here yet, so all he had were imports.
I only knew about the SNES a few weeks before that. A video rental store, called by the ridiculously explicit name "Games & Videos" made a Saturday morning infomercial on the local channel about they not only had VHS videos but also the best video games library and town. I don't know if that was common on the developed world, but here on the third video game rental places doubled as arcades where you had several consoles and people paid for the hours spent. They were very popular in the last two decades but started to decline since the rise of LAN Houses and Cyber Cafes. So, on this infomercial they a lot of people playing on the SNES and Street Fighter II was the biggest hit there. I told Dad about this place and we went there. He got one of the clerks to hand me the most popular games and said that If I liked it he would buy a brand new from them. The guy was probably more excited than me, and soon came with a pile of games which gave me a little idea of how expensive that console was. Man, was I spoiled? *rhetorical
Anyway. Remember how I felt when I hold the Mega Driver controller. Yeah, fuck that, this shit had 6 buttons! SIX BUTTONS! And separate START and SELECT buttons. Also, it felt incredible on my little girlie hands. I tried only three games, SF II, Super Mario World and F-Zero and finally reached a verdict: the SNES ruled, my existence would only feel validated when I was pressing those purple buttons.