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15 years ago today, the Nintendo 64 was released in America

N4Us

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Apr 4, 2009
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TheMan said:
Wait, didn't goldeneye come out way after the N64 had launched? I remember it getting delayed repeatedly.
If he said Christmas 97 he's correct, since Goldeneye came out in mid 97.

Happy birthday 64! I should hook mine up again and jam some F-Zero X to celebrate.
 

Loxley

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Jul 11, 2008
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It was my very first video game console
(I'm 22 since I know someone will ask)
, and I got Super Mario 64 and Pilot Wings with it, was a pretty awesome Christmas. Pile on top of that Rogue Squadron, Jet Force Gemini and Goldeneye later on and it became my favorite system between it and the PS1.

This is still my favorite Spider-man game of all time:

 

GodfatherX

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I remember it was about 2 weeks before launch and my TRU got demo kiosk, I played it for like an hour and was amazed, already had it preordered but my 14 year old self was hyped. Then a few days later I convinced my parents to let me go play the kiosk again and one of the workers asked if I had reserved it yet, after I said yes they said they just got them in and I could go ahead and get it if I had the money...went home and played Mario 64 for 9 hours straight (stupid school night) and bragged to all my friends
 

TheSeks

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Feb 14, 2009
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Pazuzu9 said:
Yep, I immediately thought of that kid too... but really... I wonder if he's on GAF.... someone that enthusiastic about a console is surely a gamer for life...
I've got some bad news for you...

Also I was a PSX buyer. No regrets.
 
Sep 13, 2009
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I still remember going with my dad and my brother searching so many stores trying to find one.
thank you based Sears, i got wave race 64 instead of mario 64 , don't regret it cause it was that good , of course i got mario 64 a month later :p


so many memories, god those WWF games were the best, no mercy B^) , angle slamming everyone haha


Loxley said:
It was my very first video game console
(I'm 22 since I know someone will ask)
, 1.
i'm 22 as well, you didn't have snes or genesis? hell i had NES lol
 

ShirAhava

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Jun 10, 2008
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I was a rabid Sega fan when this came out but Sega Saturn was dying a slow death in the U.S. and I hardly touched it....I was having a blast with my PS1 but for the first time in my life I wanted a Nintendo console....all the classic 4 player matches with friends, the game catalog, RUMBLE! real carts you could throw around the room! Only Nintendo system I loved...didn't care much for Nintendo before or after the Masterpiece that was the N64...And I was sooo PISSED when the "DD" was canceled I ignored the gamecube out of spite
 

Kai

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True Story....

Service Merchandise was closing down and I badly wanted an N64. A week before the release I was curious to see if they actually stocked the N64 even though they were "closing down" 3 weeks later. Much to my surprise they were. I went to the inventory area near the customer service return desk and saw behind the glass doors a stack of N64's. I asked the dude behind the counter if he would be willing to sell them early since hell, the store was closing down.

He lifted up his sleeve to show a huge Sonic The Hedgehog tattoo and said - "Anything to screw Nintendo!".... I biked home as fast as I could and begged my parents to buy the system for me. My dad cut me a deal that if I read the entire Time Life Science series and wrote a report on each book for him (I am Indian and this is how my parents worked - do reports and extra curricular scholastic work and he would reward me) throughout the next 3 months he would buy it for me. We went to the store and bought it that day - roughly 5 days before the "launch".

I was in heaven and got all 120 stars before the official launch even happened. I will never forget that launch.....
 

Madao

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Fernando Rocker said:
I still remember the images from the Club Nintendo magazine (Latin America) when it was named Ultra 64.

And I remember the first images of Super Mario 64 when it was still in development. Good times.

Does anyone know where can I find those images of Mario?
i have some of those magazines stored somewhere.

the pictures that caught my attention the most were the Mario Kart 64 ones (when it was still called Super Mario Kart R). i was hyped for the game already at that point and it was the first game i got, even before owning an actual N64. i rented the console but the blockbuster didn't have the game. i went and bought the game and played while i was renting the console. i got my own n64 like 1 month after that.
 

Nocturnowl

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I was crushed around a year ago when my original N64 finally broke down after many years of glorious service, it always remained hooked up even through the years with PS2, GC and now with the Wii and PS3.
It was swiftly replaced by an Orange N64, makes up for that lack of an Orange Gamecube.
It still gets some use but I have to say it's reaching the end of its run as a permanent fixture of my TV setup.

As for when I got the console, it was completely out of nowhere. I got home from school and it was just sitting in the living room, Mario Kart for me and International Superstar Soccer for my brother. Don't get surprises like that very often.
 
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Kai said:
True Story....

Service Merchandise was closing down and I badly wanted an N64. A week before the release I was curious to see if they actually stocked the N64 even though they were "closing down" 3 weeks later. Much to my surprise they were. I went to the inventory area near the customer service return desk and saw behind the glass doors a stack of N64's. I asked the dude behind the counter if he would be willing to sell them early since hell, the store was closing down.

He lifted up his sleeve to show a huge Sonic The Hedgehog tattoo and said - "Anything to screw Nintendo!".... I biked home as fast as I could and begged my parents to buy the system for me. My dad cut me a deal that if I read the entire Time Life Science series and wrote a report on each book for him (I am Indian and this is how my parents worked - do reports and extra curricular scholastic work and he would reward me) throughout the next 3 months he would buy it for me. We went to the store and bought it that day - roughly 5 days before the "launch".

I was in heaven and got all 120 stars before the official launch even happened. I will never forget that launch.....
But... did you do the reports?
 

Gravijah

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Dec 7, 2008
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The first time I saw the N64 was Thanksgiving. Two of my cousins from both sides each had one. Seeing Mario 64 for the first time will always stick with me. Too bad I didn't get my own until 98ish.
 

Chittagong

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Jun 8, 2004
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Nintendo 64 had the most elaborate graphic identity system ever implemented in game box art.

Nintendo required that each side of the box not only has a render of the game, but also that render is turned into a duotone matching the N64 brand colours. The cover front would have a partial red duotone, and the manual cover would be full yellow duotone with logo on top.



To this day, it blows my mind:

1. What kind of graphic manual did they have to execute this consistently?
2. How did they convince *all* the licensees to agree kiddy up their art - NBA, F1, WWF, Star Wars..?
 

hatchx

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Jun 30, 2009
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Waverace blew me away the most. Turok, Blast Corps, Goldeneye....the system had a great follow-up year.

The OP really reminds just how terrible the Pilotwings boxart is. Really god awful stuff right there.
 

Pyrrhus

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Dad got me one of these at launch after the divorce. Man, I can still remember how shaky my thumb used to be when it came to controlling an analog stick on those first couple of days.

Quick! Name the best course in Super Mario 64. That's right. Hazy Maze Cave.
 

Jive Turkey

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Mar 10, 2005
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Kai said:
True Story....

Service Merchandise was closing down and I badly wanted an N64. A week before the release I was curious to see if they actually stocked the N64 even though they were "closing down" 3 weeks later. Much to my surprise they were. I went to the inventory area near the customer service return desk and saw behind the glass doors a stack of N64's. I asked the dude behind the counter if he would be willing to sell them early since hell, the store was closing down.

He lifted up his sleeve to show a huge Sonic The Hedgehog tattoo and said - "Anything to screw Nintendo!".... I biked home as fast as I could and begged my parents to buy the system for me. My dad cut me a deal that if I read the entire Time Life Science series and wrote a report on each book for him (I am Indian and this is how my parents worked - do reports and extra curricular scholastic work and he would reward me) throughout the next 3 months he would buy it for me. We went to the store and bought it that day - roughly 5 days before the "launch".

I was in heaven and got all 120 stars before the official launch even happened. I will never forget that launch.....
Oh my God. This...This right here. This is awesome.
 

I'm an expert

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Sold out everywhere. Had to buy Mario 64 first and wait a week for the system. Probably my favorite system launch as a kid but the PSX eventually took over playtime.
 

Kai

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Jive Turkey said:
Oh my God. This...This right here. This is awesome.
I just posted this on my facebook and my friend that biked down there with me 15 years ago just messaged me about that guy haha. Will always remember that die hard Sonic fan.
 

Pyrrhus

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Do you guys remember the absolute hell it was trying to find a second N64 controller available for sale that first Christmas? I ended up having to settle for a blue one instead of a black. That one's my Mario Kartin' stick.
 
Apr 18, 2010
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The Nintendo 64 was the console that made me the gamer I am today.

Story time:
I was never current with video games when I was really young as my parents weren't willing to spend a lot of money on it. So my brother and I had an NES but concurrently with the SNES and Genesis. I am still trying to catch up with the 16-bit generation (married someone with a SNES) to this day. We didn't really care as we loved the NES and the games we had (which weren't a lot either).

Flash forward to 1997. We didn't ask for it but my parents got us an original Playstation for Christmas (with Crash Bandicoot and a football game). We were very excited and played the crap out of it for a few weeks. A friend of mine had a birthday party early in the new year where I was introduced to Goldeneye 007. I went home that night, boxed up my Playstation and had my mom return it to the store in exchange for the 64 and have been a full-on Nintendo gamer since then (I do own a 360 but will always support the big N).

Being over a year late to the party allowed me to not be affected by these droughts I hear about. In fact, I was never aware of any drought until a few years ago lurking around these parts. It is hard to pick my favorite console but the 64 is very near and dear to me. It is home to my favorite game of all-time (Ocarina), the best multiplayer of all-time (split-screen Mario Kart, Goldeneye, Vigilante 8 etc. FTW), and numerous others I would put on my all-time list. The heyday of Rare, new takes on Nintendo franchises, and the best reason to own 4 controllers. I am currently packing to move across the country and I am definitely making room for it.

Nintendo 64 for life.
 

Andrex

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N64 didn't exist to me until Smash Bros. Sad but true. :( But also awesome.

That game... <3
 

Anth0ny

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Kai said:
True Story....

Service Merchandise was closing down and I badly wanted an N64. A week before the release I was curious to see if they actually stocked the N64 even though they were "closing down" 3 weeks later. Much to my surprise they were. I went to the inventory area near the customer service return desk and saw behind the glass doors a stack of N64's. I asked the dude behind the counter if he would be willing to sell them early since hell, the store was closing down.

He lifted up his sleeve to show a huge Sonic The Hedgehog tattoo and said - "Anything to screw Nintendo!".... I biked home as fast as I could and begged my parents to buy the system for me. My dad cut me a deal that if I read the entire Time Life Science series and wrote a report on each book for him (I am Indian and this is how my parents worked - do reports and extra curricular scholastic work and he would reward me) throughout the next 3 months he would buy it for me. We went to the store and bought it that day - roughly 5 days before the "launch".

I was in heaven and got all 120 stars before the official launch even happened. I will never forget that launch.....
LOL

Probably the darkest time to be a Nintendo console owner especially for me since I like RPGs and Fighting games a lot.
This is funny. I grew up with N64, so I was obviously not exposed to RPGs or fighting games. Yet, I love both genres now. Was it Pokemon? Playing Street Fighter II on SNES or Marvel vs. Capcom at the arcade? Cause it sure as hell wasn't the N64 :lol

Unlike the GC and Wii generations, I was completely and totally content with my N64. I never really wanted a PS1 or Saturn. Saturn was dead, and PS1 just looked boring.

Years later... I kinda feel the same. The two games I can honestly say I am sad that I missed as a child are Metal Gear Solid and Symphony of the Night. I played MGS1 for the first time in... 2008? And Symphony of the Night just last year. Both masterpieces. I plan on playing FFVII soon. But besides that... I don't really see anything all that interesting on both the Saturn (besides ports of old fighting games) and the PS1.

It blows my mind when people say the games catalog on PS1 and Saturn are so much stronger than the N64. What are the must play games on PS1 and Saturn? RPGs and fighting games, no? :lol
 

Seik

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friskykillface said:
I still remember going with my dad and my brother searching so many stores trying to find one.
thank you based Sears, i got wave race 64 instead of mario 64 , don't regret it cause it was that good , of course i got mario 64 a month later :p


so many memories, god those WWF games were the best, no mercy B^) , angle slamming everyone haha




i'm 22 as well, you didn't have snes or genesis? hell i had NES lol
I'm 22 here too! :D

I had a NES, Genesis and SNES before having a 64...My parents convinced me they would not buy one for christmas the year it came out because it was way too pricey. Guess what...they tricked me!

'NINTENDO SIXTY FOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUR!!!!!'

It was such a massive graphical change, I'll never forget how awesome this console was for its time, I spent so much time on it!
 

JazzmanZ

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jooey said:
The last Nintendo system to launch with a [brand-new] Mario game.
Luigi's Mansion doesn't count?

Also I will always remember my 64 and playin Super smash bros. all night long.
 

celebi23

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Here's my story: I never owned an N64 until I got one for my Bar Mitzvah in April of 2000 (I know late as hell). But, I did play it over and over at friends houses. Mario Kart, Goldeneye, Smash Bros, Wave Race, Perfect Dark. So many awesome memories. I vaguely remember a store (shortly after the N64 launch) in my town that you would pay them in order to play the games in the store. I know, weird. Still have it hooked up next to my Genesis & Xbox 360
 

Esiquio

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Wario64, that is awesome, man. This thread fills me with nostalgia. I remember I was so hyped for the N64 that I even laminated the cover of the Nintendo Power issue that had the big reveal info on all the games. I still never played some of the games that I was super-hyped for back then...Body Harvest, Hybrid Heaven (is that right?), and some others I'm forgetting.

Man, I literally ripped apart every newspaper clipping and magazine that had N64 info on it, cut it out, and organized it into a plastic bin with my brother. I had stacks and stacks of ads from Target, Wal-Mart, GameStop, etc., all basically selling the N64 for the same price. For Christmas, my brother and I took all these ads, used a glue-stick and put them on a poster board, comparing driving distances, bundle deals, and prices. I probably worked harder on that board than any project from school that year. I memorized all the specs, the controller...EVERYTHING before it even came out!

This also reminds me...when Rare was the SHIT back in the day, I even worked out some crazy deal with my parents to let me dip into my savings account and pre-order Banjo-Kazooie, Perfect Dark, and Jet Force Gemini. I had to get good grades and behave and all that crap. Probably the only time of my youth where I did so.

Wow I'm getting nostalgia overload right now, so I'll just drop this story: So, like I said before, I was super hyped for Mario 64 and fantasized about just touching the controller so bad for months, and then the day came where I hear rumors from friends at school (the old-school way of getting info on video games :D) that Toys 'R Us had a couple of consoles to test out Mario 64 that anyone could play. I begged my mom for hours to take me after school, and she agreed, with a condition: I had to mow the lawn immediately. So it started to rain and all we had was an electric lawnmower. I looked up at the sky and was like, "WHYY??!", but then I just plugged that bad boy in and knocked it out in what is still probably a World Record.

We get to Toys 'R Us and I was shaking as my fingers touched the control for the first time. The joy of just running around with Mario in 3D is truly one of my best childhood memories.

Man I'm smiling just as I write this...life was so much better as a kid...
 

Andrex

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Although the N64 was the first console I ever owned, I didn't have many games for it and I wasn't a born-again Nintendo console fanboy until the GameCube, the release of which I was hyped beyond belief.

Gonna be a few more years before we have this thread for the GC. <3 Hang tough little guy, you are the meekest of your console brethren yet you will inherit much respect.

corkscrewblow said:
but Star Fox 64 and SM64 were the best games on the console?
I didn't have many games for the N64. My first exposure to Mario 64 was the DS version, and my first exposure to SF64 will be on 3DS.
 

MikeE21286

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Got mine for Christmas the Year Ocarina of Time came out

Got;
Zelda OoT
Goldeneye
WCW/nWo Revenge

and later bought Turok 2

Probably the best Christmas ever. Played Zelda with my younger sister and Mom watching me. They still always get so excited whenever a new Zelda comes out
 

EvilMario

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An amazing console. Four controller ports really made this take over the Playstation as our must play console with friends. Smash Bros, Mario Kart, StarFox, Goldeneye, Perfect Dark, Killer Instinct, Mario Party, Bomberman. Many of the games are butt-ugly, but there are a few standouts (StarFox, Majora's Mask) that hold up.

And of course, it has my favorite Ogre Battle title.
 

Ranger X

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Grinchy said:
Makes me feel kinda old....

I begged and begged for one of these. My parents brought me in their room one night to let me know that they just couldn't get one anywhere so I should come to that realization before I got my hopes up and subsequently spent Christmas morning let down. I gave up all hope, but little did I know they were trolling me. Really nice move on their part, and I just about pissed my pants when I opened it up that morning.
old??

I begged my parents for a NES...
 

Kai

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Beyond the amazing games exclusively for the system and the analog controller - the most genius thing I think the system did was 4 controller ports out of the box. Was so smart and made the barrier for entry of playing with 4 people at home so much lower.

Think about it - out of the box that was the reason games like Goldeneye, THQ Wrestling games, Star Fox, Mario Kart, Mario Party's and Smash Bros. just worked so well.

*edit* EvilMario beat me to it! I totally agree man!
 

Sophia

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Andrex said:
I didn't have many games for the N64. My first exposure to Mario 64 was the DS version, and my first exposure to SF64 will be on 3DS.
You poor child. Feel free to come to Michigan and play the real deal any time. >_>
 

Combichristoffersen

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Anth0ny said:
It blows my mind when people say the games catalog on PS1 and Saturn are so much stronger than the N64. What are the must play games on PS1 and Saturn? RPGs and fighting games, no? :lol
PS1 overall had a more varied library than the N64 (a ton of it was pure shovelware, but still..). If you weren't a fan of Nintendo's first party stuff, the weak third party support for the N64 left you with little to play compared to what the PS1 was offering at the time.
Crash Team Racing is also better than Mario Kart
 

WillyFive

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Marrshu said:
You poor child. Feel free to come to Michigan and play the real deal any time. >_>
Probably too late now. He was robbed of the freedom of running around the castle courtyard with full analog controls, and now it is lost forever.
 

Sophia

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Willy105 said:
Probably too late now. He was robbed of the freedom of running around the castle courtyard with full analog controls, and now it is lost forever.
Can try to mend at least some of the damage, at least. Thankfully Super Mario 64 and Star Fox 64 hold up very well.
 

Deadstar

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These were great times. I remember playing Mario 64 and having a blast. I enjoyed life and was happy. :(
 

EvilMario

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Combichristoffersen said:
PS1 overall had a more varied library than the N64 (a ton of it was pure shovelware, but still..). If you weren't a fan of Nintendo's first party stuff, the weak third party support for the N64 left you with little to play compared to what the PS1 was offering at the time.
Crash Team Racing is also better than Mario Kart
Specific genres (RPGs) maybe, but the Nintendo 64 did have many quality 3rd party ventures:

Beetle Adventure Racing! (better than Crash and Mario Kart :p), Bomberman 64, Body Harvest, Harvest Moon 64, Ogre Battle, The New Tetris, a slew of wrestling games, Sin and Punishment, Shadowman, Space Station Silicon Valley, Rogue Squadron, Shadows of the Empire, Tetrisphere, and Turok titles.

I even think games like Chameleon Twist and Snowboard Kids were awesome for their place in time.

But don't forget one of the real reasons for the Nintendo 64 being mildly successful outside of Nintendo own titles was Rare. They were really in their prime this generation and released almost a dozen really quality titles.