Mid-week of the 5 Day Challenge, and it's all about a game that keeps you playing long after it was time to turn it off and get some fresh air.
Luckily for me, fresh air and movement were never an issue with this game, because it was on a Gameboy. Growing up, my family did a lot of travelling and because screens in headrests weren't yet a thing, plane journeys were a chance to settle in and game to my heart's content. While I had a few different options for my incredibly 90s clear plastic Pocket Gameboy, the favorite by far was...
Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
Before Legend of Zelda came into my life, ongoing gameplay wasn't something I'd ever done. My favorite games all involved clear stopping points: short levels, timed track laps, arcade battles. The idea of a character moving through a story - that was brand new to me.
I spent hours playing. I loved it, but I wasn't always that good at it, so this was definitely a marathon, rather than a sprint. I feel like it took me months of free time playing before I finally beat it (and oh, the feeling of finally getting there!). At times, bosses seemed insurmountable (no matter how many pots I threw at them) or I just couldn't figure out the next step, but that made it all the more interesting.
This was a huge step up from the simple point-a-to-point-b-to-princess-saved that I was used to with Peach and Mario, and Hylian Link (who, I admit, I thought was an elf for years) with his sword was just so much cooler than previous characters. This was a fantasy novel in game form, and I was hooked.
While I never timed my game-play (did anyone, back then?) I'm pretty confident in saying that I played for at least fourteen hours straight. Because those days, I had entire days on the weekend where I didn't have to do a single solitary thing, and I used all that glorious free time trying to rescue an 8-bit princess in a fantasy kingdom.