Has anybody heard of Mancrates? Because you see this thing here…


…fills me with so much want.  I distinctly remember that era.  That’s the Super Retro Gamer pack.   They have another cheaper option but I have my eyes on that one because of the SNES business attached to it. You see, I have a bunch of SNES games I refuse to buy again through the Nintendo Store.  But should I get this Mancrate, well… bee’s knees… is all I’m saying.

Anyways… that’s the catalyst to the chain reaction of synapses which fired off in my brain sparking a hearty trip down memory lane.

I can’t remember not being a gamer, to be honest. As a baby I played an old Telstar…


but that was brief.  I moved on to an Atari which I only  had access to when I went to somebody else’s place.  Eventually I got my own and then a Nintendo, and then a GameBoy.  I carried the GameBoy and the battery everywhere.  I never not had my GameBoy all the way up to college in 2002. I stayed current on as much as I could right up to Playstation and Dreamcast era… enjoyed a brief stint on PC but I NEVER… eeeeeeeeeeever thought of myself as a gamer.  I played games.  Like somebody would watch a movie or read a book, which I also did just as much but nobody called me a movie freak or a bookworm, why “gamer”?

“No, No, they are nerds.” Then as I got older. “No, those are pimply LAN freaks in their momma’s basements.” But then… one day it all sank in. I remember it well.  I did not have a lot of games. I was very selective and would rent before I’d buy and even if I bought them, I’d wait.  I had Silent Hill, Resident Evil, Resident Evil 2, Silent Hill 2 and I had just bought Fatal Frame(Which I had bought the same day I returned the rental copy).

I had a thought. “Is Fatal Frame scarier than any of these other games?” It was a Monday.  I decided I was going to try to get through Silent Hill 1/2 and Resident Evil 1/2 within 24 hours over the weekend. I made a list of fuel needed. I made my own Gamer Survival Kit.

  • Coca-Cola 24×355 mL
  • Twizzlers
  • Ringolos
  • Various random Canadian flavors of Potato Chips other than Ketchup.
  • Old Fashioned Taffy
  •  fuzzy-peachesFuzzy Peaches
  • cbCherry Blasters.
  • hot-tamales11Hot Tomale’s for the early morning hours.
  • Coffee for the morning.

Those are the ones I remember at least.  I’m sure a Mars bar crept in there or a pack of Pop Tarts.  Anything quick and bite sized I could swiftly eat.

I even streamed it live over the internet.  This was before Twitch mind you so you had to be clever with it. I set up a weak chat room and <iframed> the video stream into the webpage.

Noon came.  I started with Silent Hill. Crushed it.  Knew it by heart.  Decided to move on to something else I knew inside and out.  Resident Evil 2.  Beat it with Leon and Claire because I was moving through games too quickly. I remember gushing over the art direction of blocky pixels as they attempted to deliver horrifying images in Silent Hill.  I remember almost choking on a Ringolo when I forgot about the zombie arms busting through the window in Resident Evil 2

Then came Resident Evil… The one for Playstation. The one with Jill Sandwiches and blood on the floor which Barry is seriously hoping isn’t Chris’. It was around 2 or 3am when I finished Resident Evil.  I plugged in Silent Hill 2 which I was excited to play again because I hadn’t since I rented it.  Not only did I rent it, but it was a rental on a borrowed system.  Finally I had my own copy.  So I played it to get the water ending.


The sun hadn’t even come up yet and I was way ahead of schedule.  So then I thought… maybe… just maybe I could get through Fatal Frame one more time.  So… stumbling through it as I did almost as if it was the first time, I managed to squeeze it in there before noon the next day.  I wasn’t even tired.  I was too freaked out by staring at this for the last six hours.



In the aftermath of salt water taffy wrappers, empty chip bags and wall of soda cans I didn’t feel like some cellar dwelling nerd.  I felt like I accomplished something. I didn’t just accept the fact that I was a gamer, I jumped myself into the community like some tribal rite of passage.

I ended up doing something like this a few times but the first time stirred something deep in me.  I prepared for this.  I was focused the entire time. I cleaned up the aftermath with a sense of accomplishment. It was an ordeal just to play video games.

I look back fondly at the first time because that was the moment it all started for me because I became the friend that beat all those games in one night… which it was a day but who’s counting when people thought it was a little cool. So much so that I did it again about seven or eight more times with other people gaming along with me.

So… for a little bit in High School, I made video games cool.

That was a trip down memory lane.  I should never have scrolled up because now, I’m thinking about getting that Super Retro Man Crate.

If you could custom build a Man Crate, I’d definitely have the McCraw’s Taffy, Ringolos or Hickory Sticks. Chips can still get too messy. Fuzzy Peaches and Cherry Blasters are my mainstays. I’d use the licorice as straws if I wasn’t sucking on a Jolly Rancher.. OH throw that in there too. What the heck, it’s fantasy land. May as well toss some sugar sticks in there. No, wait, pause. Gotta go bigger than Pixy Stix.  Gotta go Fun Dip


In the perfect world I would get Chrono Trigger and EarthBound as the game bundled within but whatever. Be sure to check out the other crazy crates as well.  There’s a Zombie survival one.  Now I really just want to play Chrono Trigger again. Hmmm… But Dying Light though.


The Jaded Gamer