What games are tied to a physical place for you?

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#1 Posted by aodhhinsai (19 posts) -

I was thinking today about games that are so strongly tied to a physical location in my mind that I'm transported back there whenever I replay them. It's usually games that were unlike anything I'd played before or hit me at the right time in my life.

I think I've got two that stand above the rest:

- Super Mario Bros. 3 always takes me back to the kitchen in my house as a kid. Hunched over, sitting on the counter staring at a white 13" CRT.

- I remember playing Mass Effect in the basement during summer break 2010. My normal bedroom in the attic wasn't insulated and the summertime temp could hit 80 degrees inside (it was an old house) so I'd camp out downstairs. I would come home from my mindless summer job at the high school and veg out in the dark, damp, chilly basement. I only had Nintendo consoles up until high school so my first taste of the wider world of games was Steam, loaded onto a Bootcamp partition, on my middle of the road MacBook Pro. I can remember picking up Mass Effect for sale for $6 not knowing anything about it and it blew my mind. I'll never forget the feeling of sitting on the fold out bed in the basement and playing the coolest game I'd ever seen. It's goofy, but to this day playing Mass Effect in a room that isn't 63 degrees, pitch black, and vaguely damp feels wrong.

What about you folks? What games can you never separate from a single location?

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#2 Posted by Vortextk (944 posts) -

Lufia II. Sitting in this house, 20 years ago, on the floor of my room right after moving in, playing it on an emulator on my computer(also on the floor) and learning the wondrous use of fast forward on an rpg you wanna grind in.

Diablo II, reading the manual from the box while my mom shopped around in a Ross because we just bought it and I couldn't wait to get home and play.

That's what hits me off the top of my head.

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#3 Posted by cikame (2856 posts) -

I've only ever played games in two locations in my life so nothing too noteworthy, instead for me it's music, songs i'd listened to around the same time i played a game so those two things are linked forever in my mind.
Guild Wars Prophecies - Limp Bizkit (Chocolate Starfish)
Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX - Rammstein (Sehnsucht)
The Soil album Scars used to remind me of something but that memory seems to have gone.

I guess i used to take my Gameboy with me to violin lessons and play Pokemon with friends, but i'm never reminded of that.

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#4 Posted by Relkin (1196 posts) -

Not a specific game, but any memories of going through the process of using a burned PS1 game (paperclip, etc) are intricately tied to the rec room in my parents house, twenty years ago.

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#5 Posted by aodhhinsai (19 posts) -

@vortextk: Digital purchases are super convenient, but nothing built excitement like flipping through a good manual. I miss that! Pretty sure I've still got the booklet for the GBA port of Link to the Past memorized.

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#7 Posted by nutter (2185 posts) -

Silent Hill 2 is forever tied to my underground studio apartment, peeking out of the shower slightly terrified that pyramid head may be out there waiting...

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#8 Posted by Captain_Insano (3522 posts) -

Pretty much the entire PS1, but weirdly specifically, Time Crisis (with home Light Gun attachment).

My parents had just split up and I would visit my father at the apartment he was living in above an Ambulance Station (he was a Paramedic, so he was basically living at work). The PS1 boot up theme and Time Crisis in particular are tied to my memories of that place. I'm pretty sure I had a PS1 at my usual home at my mothers as well, but the gaming memories from that apartment stand out strongest to me.

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#9 Posted by Chamurai (28 posts) -

TMNT 3: the Manhattan Project, Mario RPG, Looney Toons B-Ball and various other NES and SNES games take me back to my friends house where we'd just play games and have Green Day, Weird Al or the Dangerous Minds soundtrack playing in the background.

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#10 Posted by FarleysLundgren (163 posts) -

Lost Vikings on my older brothers Amiga at his apartment.

Mario All Stars and Another World on my older sisters SNES at her place.

Punch Out and Mario 3 on a NES at school during a summer break.

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#11 Edited by jamesyfx (153 posts) -

I used to always go round to a friends house to play the demo of Future Cop LAPD with him.

Not that I remember that game terribly much unless I think back. Was lots of fun though.

Other than that, I have a lot of memories of my dining room in my dad's old house. Ocarina of Time, Final Fantasy 8, Extreme-G 3.

XG3 was the first 'next gen' game I ever played at the time (2001-2002), I was amazed by the visuals. I'll always remember sitting there thinking.. Wow. These graphics are stunning. And I was playing through composite video as well.

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#12 Posted by isomeri (3124 posts) -

Pokémon Blue. Playing that game against my friend with a link-cable every morning before school at his place.

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#13 Posted by Pezen (2384 posts) -

Mass Effect is me sitting in front of my tv in my first apartment. Specifically one late friday night answering the phone telling a girl I am not coming out to the bar to hang out because I am busy saving the universe.

Suikoden is me sitting in my mom's old wicker chair in front our old Sony CRT on wheels in our living room with two of my friends next to me during a summer break. And me telling my friends they need to 'grow up first' before they get a chance to play. I was just too into it, I couldn't let them also play.

Jungle Book for NES brings me back to a christmas eve when I was young. Just watching that first level gives me all sorts of christmas nostalgia.

Man, there's a ton of these coming back to me now, but I'll leave it at this for now.

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#14 Posted by sparky_buzzsaw (8906 posts) -

It's not exactly a specific location, but this is in the same spirit. I have no clue why, but when I decided to buy a PS2, I bought it on a road trip with two buddies instead of just picking one up in my college town. We traveled about six hundred miles with that thing sitting next to me in the back seat.

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#15 Posted by hippie_genocide (2443 posts) -

Playing Street Fighter II (and all its variations) at a local convenience store during lunch break and after school through my high school years. Playing SOCOM II in my first apartment every night and all weekend long.

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#16 Posted by Paliv (250 posts) -

Pretty much every game I play is tied in my memory to the time and place I played them initially. When I go back and replay them I am instantly transported back with a wave of nostalgia. The Mass Effect games especially stand out, as does each replay. Probably because they’re long enough to set an impression each time. Also they’re some of the few games I’ve taken the time to replay (at least 1 & 2).

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#17 Edited by Nodima (2619 posts) -

Final Fantasy VIII, IX and Xenogears in my parents' basement, playing the former and latter over and over making up voices for all the characters. PS2-era Madden with friends is tied to this as well.

Final Fantasy XI PS2 Beta in the guest bedroom my parents converted into the "computer room" during my teen years, amazed at what video games had become and staring at the demo disc of WoW a friend from school had given me, knowing I would never install it.

Mass Effect 2 was the last game I played on that same CRT from the basement in my first apartment before my dad gifted me his 720p 50" LG so that game is always linked to both that moment and the "woah, video game graphics!" moment when I started up my male Shepherd run.

DOOM is tied to when I lived with my girlfriend in her small, barely-not-a-studio one bedroom apartment because she was not a gamer at all but was very interested in how interested I was in them...but DOOM was such a loud, obnoxious game I couldn't play it when she was home.

Those are the main ones I guess. I could have got more nostalgic about certain games but as it turned out nothing else is married to locations for me really. I remember where I played them but I don't necessarily think of them when I think of those locations, if that makes sense.

Edit: There's a boxing arcade game tied to my memories of a vacation to Disney World more than any ride I went on both times we went because I probably spent $20 or $30 of my dad's money beating it. It's the one with the red and blue grip paddles and you just kind of jiggle them violently at the screen. I'd be sweating so hard by the end of it.

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#18 Edited by MoonlightMoth (647 posts) -

I have a few, all of them from when I was very young:

  • Playing Civilization hot seat mode on the old Elonex family pc in the corner of the living room, swapping seats with my older brother. Spent many a weekend playing that whilst dad watched TV and my mum slept having worked during the night.
  • Both Sonic 2 and 3 are tied to an old school friend called Rudy. He had a Mega Drive whilst I had a SNES. Whenever I went over after school I'd end up playing those. He lived above a burger restaurant and I always loved getting free food from his mum.
  • Watching people play the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game at the local leisure centre. Mum would always have to drag me away after swimming classes because of that.
  • Playing Road Rash on a game gear demo station at an old video game/GW store called Cyberdyne. My brothers and I would stop there after school rather than going straight home. One time our parents came searching for us as we'd been gone so long.