Childhood Favorites

January 04, 2008 | Comments (0) | by Rich Funk

We've had a bit if negativity here in the Saloon over the last few months, which is evident in the number of War Criminals we've named. From Black Friday to assholes that sit in front of a TV in hopes of winning a TV, nothing has escaped our wrath.

But now the holidays are over and the stress that cames with melts away. Sure, you may not be able to shake the thought that you aren't going to have another day off of work until May, but such thoughts are easily suppressed by hard alcohol.

Speaking of hard alcohol, I want to take a trip back to my childhood. What better way for all of us to take a post-holiday mental vacation than to look back upon our youth and remember a time when things were simpler. Keep in mind, I was born in the early 80's, so if you're much older or younger than that, the following things may or may not have brought you childhood joy.

So without further ado, I present to you...

Daft Funk's Random Childhood Joybringers

Super C

Man, did I play the crap out of this game. For a lot of people out there, the original Contra is their co-op NES shooter of choice. But if it's one thing we've learned from The Terminator, The Godfather and World War I, some sequels can end up better than the original. Super C, the lesser-known sequel to Contra, kept everything great from the first game, and replaced everything that sucked.

Remember those levels in Contra where instead of viewing your character from the side, you had to spend the level looking over his shoulder and the perspective used in each of the rooms made Salvador Dali paintings look natural? Super C chucks those out the window and replaces them with levels where you can actually see the action from above and move in all 4 directions. This is a huge improvement. If you have played both Contra and Super C, you know what I'm talking about.

And how about the 30 life code from the original? Not only does it work in Super C, but if you team the game up with the all-powerful Game Genie, you can put in a code that gives you an extra life for every bad guy that you kill. Considering there are approximately 845,962 bad guys in Super C, the chances of you making it through the entire game are pretty good. I've played this game so much that without having to look it up, I can still remember that this particular Game Genie code is AENTTTZA. Boo-ya!

(Looking back, I always thought that the spread gun in Contra and Super C was the best gun, but the lazer is also very useful. Sure, it's kind of slow, but the fact that it can cut through a bad guy and continue on to kill everyone standing behind him has massive potential. If I were to go back and play Super C again tonight, I'd want a team with one person armed with the spread gun and one with the lazer. Unstoppable.)

New Jersey

Bon Jovi's New Jersey was the first cassette tape I owned and I listened to it so much that it got worn out faster than Lindsay Lohan on a New Year's bender. This album comes out fighting, leading off with the underrated Lay Your Hands On Me and goes straight into the classic Bad Medicine. Owning this tape easily let to a purchase of the Young Guns II soundtrack, which led to the Crossroads greatest hits collection, multiple denim jackets and terrible hair.

Random note: I saw Bon Jovi in concert on their Bounce tour in Chicago and the band Less Than Jake opened for them. That was the strangest pairing of opening band and headliner I've ever seen in my life.

The Technodrome

Who cares if this thing was nowhere close to scale? Chances are only one kid in your neighborhood had this thing and that was the only reason you hung out with him. Usually the kid with the Technodrome was the only child that lived down the street and had a mom that thought good parenting was buying their kid whatever they wanted. This kid was a prick to everyone and always got to pick what the group was going to play because if he didn't get his way, he would threaten to take his toys and leave.

Putting up with this punk kid to play with his Technodrome proves how awesome it was.

A Stick

If you were ever an 8 year old boy, you know what I'm talking about. For young kids, a stick is the best toy you could ever have. It could be a gun or a sword or a staff used to beat Nazis. And if you could find a stick that was even remotely straight? Man, you were set. And since your mom would never let you bring the stick inside the house, you had to find a place to hide it so you could use it again the next day. Plus, you had to hide it well enough so that your rat bastard friends wouldn't find it in the morning and steal it. On second thought, kids are assholes. Especially the kid that had the Technodrome.


Good thing I didn't know what "selling out" was when I was little.

ProStars was a cartoon about Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretsky and Bo Jackson going around and fighting crime. That's it. Check out the intro clip here.

Hammerman was a little more...out there. There was this dude, Stanley Kirk Burrell (no relation to Pat) that was a good dancer. He spent his days helping kids learn how to dance at the local community center. Every time he needed help stopping bad guys or Communism or whatever it was he was fighting, the hammering beat of his rapping rhymes activates his magic dancing shoes and become the superhero Hammerman. Also, the shoes could talk. And when he danced, music notes would float out of them and subdue bad guys. Plus, his landlord was the stereotypical Jewish landlord that only an 80's cartoon show could get away with. Check out Hammerman here.

Tiger Handheld Videogames

I can remember playing these games for hours on end. I also remember that my grade school didn't allow us to have them in school, but we would all sneak them to school anyway. And then someone would get busted every few days because they would put their backpack down and it would sometimes turn the game on and make a bunch of noise in the middle of class. My two personal favorites were Double Dragon II and Wizards & Warriors. There was no memory card. There was no password. Hell, there weren't even pictures. You either beat the entire game in one sitting, or you walked away with your tail between your legs. There was no in between.