2 comments on “Samus- Destined For Greatness- Part 3 (The Memoir)”

Samus- Destined For Greatness- Part 3 (The Memoir)

Inside my deepest thoughts, there are complexities that I cannot explain. Inside my deepest fears, I am nothing special. My name is Samus Aran, now a bounty hunter who separated from the Galactic Federation Police, yet I still have ties to the organization. It’s been years since I rescued that little girl who was about to be destroyed by space pirates in part 2 of my story. As far as that event, I made it out alive but my relationship with some key figures of the police are forever tarnished. The commanding officer Adam Malkovich won’t even speak to me anymore, and we once had a great relationship. In my never ending pursuit to defeat the evil Ridley and Mother Brain, I must be strong as a woman. Still, there are parts of me that I cannot show, because emotion can be taken as weakness. Because of this, I choose to express my feelings in this personal memoir in hopes of not being judged.

Since 1986, I have been regarded as a hero. I wear the title with pride as the first major female protagonist in video game history. Still, under this power suit I am wearing there is a physical person with limitations and weaknesses. Similarly, when you peel back the layers of my heroism there are wounds, scars, and deep questions I long for the answer to. How would my life had been if my parent’s lived? What if the Chozo’s never adopted me? How would my life be different if Ridley never attacked my home planet of K-2L? What ever happened to my little brother Solomon Aran? What type of relationship would have developed? I wonder what life would have been like as a regular kid?

To the readers of this memoir, I was called to be an intergalactic warrior. I just want to now how does it feel to be normal? To those on planet Earth, I have listened to stories about people going to school to learn. I heard that boys escort girls to this thing called a “Prom”. How does that feel? What is it like to fall in love with someone, or go out on a date, or get married? To the career women, how does it feel to wear a business suit and go into an office, making important decisions? Being a bounty hunter is a lonely life, but I do it to one day avenge the evil creatures that created this life for me in the first place. There is one other issue I must address in this memoir.

To my reader, for years people thought it was a man in this power suit. When I was introduced in 1986, people either did not realize who I was, or just didn’t respect me. There are plenty of men in my field of work. I am personal friends with a few characters from the original Nintendo lineup, such as Mario, Link, Lil Mac and Donkey Kong for starters. We even starred in a game together called Super Smash Bros. I have always been friends with those guys and can hang with the “big boys”. Some have even asked if myself and Mega Man are 1st cousins, which that is yet to be determined.

See, that’s me in the middle. 🙂

I respect their platforms and they respect mine. But when it comes to leaving a legacy for women in our craft, just remember that I paved the way for future women in gaming such as Laura Croft from Tomb Raider, Jill Valentine from Resident Evil, or Tifa Lockhart from Final Fantasy VII, among many others. I say this not to brag, but to make you understand that women in this field have made a tremendous impact on millions of fans around the world in gaming. My story is just one, but it is the first and I want to make it known that through all of my struggles I am proud to be the woman I am. I hope that this entry to my memoir serves you all well. Of course I am out in the field fighting space pirates as we speak, but Vintage Retroman please feel free to share this entry with your readers, in case if I don’t make it back. Thank you V.R. for believing in me and recognizing that I was destined for greatness. Signing off,

Samus Aran

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2 comments on “Fun V.R. Retroquiz 8- Name That Video Game Character!”

Fun V.R. Retroquiz 8- Name That Video Game Character!

Yes, it is time for a new fun V.R. retroquiz my friends! Here are the rules: Based off of the picture, guess the name of the video game character(s) from the 80’s/90’s! It will start easy, but trust me it will get more challenging as you go along. Here we go!

20)

19)

18)

17)

16)

15)

14)

13)

12)

11)

10)

9)

8)

7)

6)

5)

4)

3)

2)

1)

Bonus to make up for the one you missed😀**

We’ll guys how many names did you guess correctly? Answers are below. Post your results in the comment section! I hope that this made you feel like a kid again! Signing off for now.

V.R.

Answers: 20)Mario 19)Sonic 18)Megaman 17)Pac-man 16)Link 15)Samus 14)Kirby 13)Simon Belmont 12)Snake 11)Kid Icarus 10)Bill Rizor 9)Lil Mac 8)Bob&Bub 7)Q’bert 6)Dig-Dug 5)Bonk 4)Pauline 3)Alex Kidd 2)Peter Pepper 1)Mappy **Bonus is Keith Courage

10 comments on “Memory Lane Moments Part 4- Coming From Where I’m From, The Beauty In The Struggle”

Memory Lane Moments Part 4- Coming From Where I’m From, The Beauty In The Struggle

I was born and raised in the great state of North Carolina, USA. Being a black child in the southeastern section of the United States, or as we simply call it “The South”, I was exposed to many different experiences in my youth. I remember growing up in the 1980’s in my hometown of Winston-Salem. My family would ride down the streets and smell the scent of southern sweet tobacco from the R.J. Reynolds factories. Summers were hot and humid. The city was bustling back then, with one of the most gleaming skylines in the state.  When my father decided to move in the late 1960’s from Danville Virginia to seek better opportunities, he decided that Winston-Salem NC was the place that he wanted his future family to call “home”.

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My family in 1985. The toddler hoisted up on my brother’s back is me

Growing up in the eastern section of Winston-Salem in the 1980’s and 1990’s was not easy. Some called it “the hood” back then. We did not live in public housing, but in a high crime neighborhood of single family homes. Sure we heard gun shots. There were no known organized gangs that I can remember, but plenty of smaller “cliques” of young men and women trying to “prove” themselves. As a young man, I saw my share of drug activity. We saw plenty of fights and were involved in some as well. My father and mother worked hard to provide the best life for our family that they could, but opportunities were limited like it is in many inner cities in the United States.

As the youngest in my family, I have always respected and paid homage to my older brothers and sisters. I knew what some of them were doing, but they did their best to shield my innocent eyes and help mold me into something great. Since my father worked so much, my mother took care of us and tried her best to keep us out of trouble. Even still, we were a hard headed bunch. Our family was so large, we ran the neighborhood. I don’t say that lightly. My dad was well respected in the streets and everyone knew Edward Price aka “Dino” aka “Lil Dintsy”. My dad had rules for our family when it came to the streets. He stressed things like “If one of you fights, all of you fight” and “Take God with you everywhere you go.”

Although there was bad, I honestly saw a lot of good in our neighborhood though. It was truly a community, where neighbors looked out for one another. Many families in the neighborhood may have had a lower income, but the camaraderie that we shared with other families created so many positive memories! You haven’t played basketball until your hoop is made out of a clothes hanger! 🙂 Other parents looked out for us, and our parents looked out for other kids all of the time! We would walk to the candy house and played football in the street. It was a great time and place to live, to be honest.

My brothers had the big flat top haircuts with the sharp part back then. A couple of them had the gold chains and nice clothes. I knew that my parents couldn’t afford those things, so as a kid I asked myself questions like “Why did mom and dad get that stuff for just them, and not all of us?” I started to figure out that a couple of my brothers had other sources of income, lol. You can read between the lines. I didn’t fully understand until later on in life the reasoning behind my brothers doing some of their extracurricular activities. They grew up in the 1970’s, so they had a whole different experience that I secretly envied yet admired.

Yet I can truly say, they always did their best to shield me from the streets, and I appreciate that so much. A large part of why I fell in love with video games back in the 80’s was the fact that they used Nintendo to keep my focus away from the outside world. My brothers would play Megaman, Super Mario Bros, The Legend of Zelda, and many other titles with me and I loved it. I didn’t know that secretly, they used gaming to keep me in a child’s place. I also believe that it helped them remember that life is not supposed to be serious all of the time as well. My brothers and sisters were some of the most hardcore NES gamers that I have ever met! Double Dragon and Contra, you don’t want to challenge my brothers Tim or Julius, trust me! 🙂

As I got older, in particular my pre-teen and teenage years, my siblings exposed me to more. I remember around 1993-1994, they took me out riding around the city and introduced me to different people and experiences. Siting on housing project doorsteps of friends and cousins that lived there at that time, I learned some of the most valuable lessons that stick with me to this day. I also fell in love with Hip-Hop music during this era. In that big yellow “hoopdie” car, my brothers would listen to everything from OutKast’s “Southernplaylisticcaddilacmusik” to Dr. Dre’s “The Chronic”. I was young, and although it wasn’t the best music for a young man’s ears, it was part of my experience that I learned many things from through those songs.

By the time I reached 13 years old in 1996, my parents moved out of East Winston-Salem to the Ardmore neighborhood, which was a nicer mixed family middle class neighborhood. Lower crime, better schools, and more opportunity which are all great things. One thing I noticed though, was that the sense of community was very different. Most people in the neighborhood were very individualistic. Parents really did not want their children to come out and play. People were relatively nice, but more distant. This is where I learned that racism and class warfare still existed. It was not out in the open like it was back in the 1950’s, 1960’s,and 1970’s. It was very subtle and discrete, but I felt it and experienced it. Yet still I was blessed because I had a mother and father that were actively involved in the civil rights movement decades before, and they taught me that love and communication changes environments, not hatred. They also taught me how to handle myself and not be weak, timid, or naive either. It was a good mix of the two.

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My family on Easter Sunday, 2017

These are just a few experiences that helped make and mold me into the man that I am today. I am far from perfect and I do not pretend to be. Yet I wrote this as a reminder to find the beauty in your struggle. Coming from where I’m from, I learned many things through bad experiences. You never want to denounce the negative experiences in your life. Think of where you would be and the wisdom you would have missed, had you not gone through your negative experiences. Find the beauty in your struggle, because as  my favorite North Carolina rapper J.Cole correctly stated, “No such thing as a life that’s better than yours. Love yours.” Signing off for now…………….

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V.R.

 

2 comments on “A Vintage Retroman’s Plea From The “Green Hill Zone” Part 3, “The Recovery?”- (Finale of the 3 part series)”

A Vintage Retroman’s Plea From The “Green Hill Zone” Part 3, “The Recovery?”- (Finale of the 3 part series)

Yes my friends, you are about to find out the exciting conclusion of the 3 part series. Oh sure the Green Hill Zone is beautiful, but deadly! Part 1 in the series described how Vintage Retroman was captured and abandoned in the dangerous tropics of the Green Hill Zone from Sonic The Hedgehog. Part 2 captured the setting of how Sonic was resting on vacation with Amy, away from his troubles. All of a sudden, he got a terrifying message and his vacation was cut short. Will Sonic make it in time? Will Vintage Retroman’s demise be in the Green Hill Zone? Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion of my plea from the Green Hill Zone! You don’t want to miss this one! Enjoy friends!

(Scene is Sonic and Amy going ultra fast down Speed Highway)

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Come on Amy, drive faster why can’t you push this thing?/

No time to power up by jumping on computers or rings/

V.R.’s in trouble, we cant afford to waste any time/

If we don’t move forward he could permanently be left behind/

I know Green Hill, I know the traps and all of the snares/

How could I be off my game, relaxing without a care?/

(Amy chimes in) “Sonic, you’re being way to hard on yourself/

You never take any time off, you never tend to your health/”

“How do you expect, to work with no rest you don’t hear me?/

I have heard the expression Sonic, there is no rest for the weary”/

(Sonic responds) Amy, you keep me sane and I greatly appreciate/

Thank you for your support I just hope that we’re not too late…….

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**Cut scene to Vintage Retroman**

(Coughing loudly while talking) Sonic………. I’m at the end I cannot go any longer/

I’ve been attacked by Moto Bugs and crabs that shoot fireballs/

I went around a loop and all I saw was a bee named Buzz Bomber/

He shot his stinger and I fell on the other side of the waterfall/

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I tried grabbing those rings and it was ineffective/

I tried running fast like you, and I just ran out of breath/

I tried finding the secrets and avoiding the traps/

When I jumped over the spikes, I fell hard and collapsed/

Goodbye Sonic and Tails, farewell my good friends/

My eyes are closing right now and I can see the cruel end/

I look up at the blue sky and as I lay back my head/

but right before I close my eyes I catch a small glimpse of red?/

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*V.R. passes out right outside of the 2nd loop in the Green Hill Zone*

*V.R. is being dragged and hears an unfamiliar voice*

“Come on, come on, I didn’t sign up for a workout today/

I knew Sonic was on vacation so figured it was time to play/

Searching for Chaos Emeralds in a rare visit to Green Hill/

I found something so unlikely that it gave me the chills/”

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“Who is this man, I found in the water unconscious?/

With wounds all over, dehydrated, and his knees buckled/

Who is this guy that’s passed out and why is he unresponsive?/

Who saved his life? It is I, none other than the great Echidna, Knuckles!/”

*Sonic shows up and crosses the wooden bridge leading into the Green Hill Zone*

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(Sonic responds) Knuckles, get your big hairy paws off Vintage Retroman!!/

(Knuckles responds) “Oh Sonic, that’s some type of way to treat your Vintage Retro friend!/

I hope you enjoyed your so called vacation, today I don’t want to fight/

I saved your friends life, so at least a thank you would be really nice!!/”

(Vintage Retroman responds) Sonic he’s right, Knuckes saved me so you can’t be upset/

Even the fastest thing alive I would never expect/

You to be perfect/

Sonic, you did the best that you could/

Swallow your pride because what Knuckles did for me was so good/

Sonic and Knuckles & Sonic 3001

Tails got the plane fixed, I heard Dr. Eggman was in custody/

I know you and Knuckles haven’t always seen completely eye to eye/

But even if you don’t trust the red echidna from Sonic 3/

He deserves your respect, because for me he did the ultimate deed/

(Sonic Responds) V.R. you’re right, I’m glad you’re safe and that your struggle is over/

Knuckles I’m sorry, and thank you for your service my brother/

You rescued Vintage Retroman, which proved you have no fear bro/

From here on out, me, you and Tails are known as the Sonic Heroes!/

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**And that my friend’s, are how the Sonic Hero’s came into existence! Well, at least in another universe :)**

THE END!!!!

Well, I hope you all enjoyed the series! Please feel free to post comments in the comment section below! I will be starting a new series in a few weeks so stay tuned! Signing off for now!

V.R.

V.R.

0 comments on “TMNT Poem- The Tale Of 4 Heroes In A Half Shell”

TMNT Poem- The Tale Of 4 Heroes In A Half Shell

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Listen up everyone i have a story to tell/

About 4 heroes, who happen to be in a half shell/

Their names for short are Leo, Mikey, Donny, and Raphael/

Turtles that are teenage mutants from the sewers that smell/

 

We met up with April O’ Neil who reported that crime/

Is sharply increasing, because of this group called the foot clan/

Led by the infamous villain Shredder who in space and time/

Is trying to capture New York City and rule it under his hand/

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Master Splinter, we need your help in fighting the goons on these streets/

We need your training, your mental toughness and expertise/

Sure you’re a rat and we were mutated by toxic waste/

Let us have courage, leave the training base, and fight crime with haste/

 

To our nemesis’s, Rocksteady and Bebop you will see a disaster/

Also to Mr. Stockman, the fly creature with the first name Baxter/

Your luck has run out, Shredder since you are not the master/

Run from the presence of the turtles or we will finish this faster/

 

The T stands for teenage not that it matters at all/

The M for mutant, the bigger they are, the harder they fall/

The N stands for Ninja, fighting crime until it will cease/

The T for turtles, unlikely hero’s to restore the world’s peace.

V.R.

8 comments on “The Disconnect Of Being Too Connected”

The Disconnect Of Being Too Connected

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Sometimes I just wish for a day that we all could go back. I am talking a time machine and warp back to the past, even if only for a day. As I stare at the small 3.5 x 5′ screen I can’t help but wonder, have I became a zombie, a servant, a slave to the rectangle device we call a smart phone? I am not trying to be one of those “Holier than thou” type people. I love my phone as much as the next person. As I stare waiting for the next update, the next like, the next comment, I get a small fix of the drug I like to call, technocodine. Ok, I just made that up but you my reader gets the picture.

It wasn’t always like this. In elementary school in the 1980’s we played outside and loved it! Rarely did we have technology in our hands except maybe a Nintendo controller for a short time after getting home from school. I remember the days of passing notes in class to my 1st “real” girlfriend, trying to catch her attention and hide from my geometry teacher at the same time. At the bus stop in Middle and High School our status updates were who we called last night on a landline phone and what the conversation consisted of. Prank calls were the best and we all knew to be ready for the wicked “3 way call of doom.” There were no screenshots. The worst that could happen was leaving an embarrassing message on someone’s answering machine!

Where I grew up, if you had a feud with someone you might end up in a brawl after school in front of a small crowd, but regardless of who won or lost guns were rarely a factor. Today, when arguments break out it quickly goes viral on social media and kids are killing other kids over opinions, ideas, and emotions that are not even real. I have never seen anything like this. I worry about our younger generation. The same technology that grants so many opportunities if used correctly, has also caused so much harm to homes, families, and communities.

I know what you are saying, who does this guy Vintage Retroman think he is? He is so self righteous. How dare he address this subject with his audience while he uses technology to do it? Truth be told, I am preaching to myself as well. I am addicted to technology. It is the disconnect of being too connected at times. It’s quite troubling actually. I used to go to the beach to sit out and enjoy the warmth of the sun, the sound of the crashing waves and all the beautiful sights. Now when I go to the beach, I have to capture every single moment on film. I am not saying that there is anything wrong with taking beautiful pictures. What I’m saying is, if taking the perfect picture to capture the beauty or the moment becomes more important than enjoying the moment, that is a problem.

Here is an idea for you, my reader. What if for one day, the world had “International No Technology Day”. Literally 24 hours. Would the world stop spinning? What if there was one day where everyone had to actually have a conversation with another person face to face? Picture just one day, where we talked to our kids and spouses about everything in person. What would it look like, considering we’ve been conditioned to be slaves to technology? Once again, I am not trying to make anyone feel bad. I am trying to make us all think.

I say all of this, as I type my article on my laptop. My smartphone just went off so I will be checking the latest news and social media updates just like you in a minute. Then, I look over at my wife and kids and they’re doing the same. Oh sure we’re all in the same room, so I will justify my actions by saying we are all spending time together. It’s easier that way right? I am sure that my sons would enjoy what they are doing on their phones or video games way more than me tossing the football with them in the yard. My 6 year old daughter doesn’t want to have a tea party with me for sure. Well, maybe they would like that, maybe not. One thing’s for certain though, there’s no way my daughter who plays on her high school softball team wants me to go out in the yard and play pitch and catch, right? Yeah, that’s right, she’d much rather watch softball updates on Twitter or the College Softball World Series?

I am a hypocrite in every sense of the word. I wrote this article for me. I have diagnosed myself with the disconnect of being too connected. Can someone please teach me how to hold down that little red semi circle button that says “Power”? Can someone please help me remember the conversations with my mother around the table while eating a delicious meal? Will someone please let my wife know that I am so sorry. I know that we used to have really long, deep conversations about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I must admit here recently that the quick text conversations of “Hey, how is your day?” “Oh good, that’s good” and “I love you” get just a little old after a while. To my reader, while you are explaining things, please let my children know that I love them and that I promise to learn how to put the laptop, phone, and games down for a little while. I can’t be the only one infected with this disease. Just remember that it is not the devices themselves that are the problem. They are only inanimate objects. We only get sick from the actual disease when our thoughts, motivations, and objectives become subject to over connection. To my reader, I would never judge you. I am simply a fellow traveler trying to get back to using technology for good in its proper context. Let us take this trip together, one step at a time. Signing off for now.

V.R.

2 comments on “Pac-Man Poetry By V.R.”

Pac-Man Poetry By V.R.

Pac-man

I’m like a yellow pizza pie with one slice taken out/

I flow around eating pellets and making sounds with my mouth/

I hit the arcade’s with much success in the 1980’s/

I’m so successful that that my sequels we’re starring my lady/

Who has that pretty bow in her head but don’t let her appearance fool you/

When it comes to clearing stages her goal is to rule you/

Oh sure both me and my wife we’re chased by those pesky ghosts/

But if I swallow the big pill, they better run or else they are toast!/

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When the black screen blinks, I power up, the ghosts turn a shade/

Of blue I’ve never seen before with their faces disarrayed/

In this maze, I eat cherries and strawberries gaining extra points/

If played in arcades, be sure to bring plenty of coins/

Because I’m truly a retro classic, even in modern times/

And to the ghosts, my foes named Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde/

Although we’ve been at odds for years trying to get the upper hand/

I thank you, because without you there would be no Pac-Man!/

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V.R.