i had spinal surgery in the late fall of 1990 after being hit by a garbage truck riding my bike home from school.
after a grueling 72 hour surgery and several weeks stay in the hospital, i was released, taken home and put into the bed i was to be trapped in for the next few months. the summer of my 13th year was not to be spent in the sun, going to the community pool with friends and eating ice cream in the dairy queen parking lot; it was to be alone, unable to escape the four walls around me...until i was introduced to obelisk.
my uncle ray worked at the amiga store in the local mall. knowing that my nintendo, as well as most things of value in our household, were sold off in order to help cover the cost of my incredibly costly surgery, he was able to snag me a very expensive floor model of the amiga 500 and a copy of the game. as he set up the machine he assured me that my summer wasn't going to be as bad as i had dreaded.
i was enthralled immediately. i was lost in the world and the hours flew by as i explored the amazing landscape and got to know some of it's denizens. i quickly forgot about the world i was missing outside, spending all of my time in this new land.
several days in, i was tasked by kantartha, the old crone, to retrieve the amulet of gestortion, so that i could enter the portal of the 9 stones. she explained that i would have to take a job from migtax, the kindly old shopkeeper, who would give me the amulet after i gained his trust.
i went to his shop and after speaking with him for some time, was offered a job helping around the store. it wasn't exactly made clear, but after accepting the job i realized this was to be done in real time, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, with weekends off. i figured this wouldn't take too long, and began my first day, cheerfully sweeping floors and stocking items (excellent game mechanics on both). it was on this day that i met gelfenia, the comely daughter of migtax. she was shy, but we slowly began getting to know each other and were soon comfortable and chatting like we had known each other for years.
days passed and i came to enjoy the satisfaction of a hard days work as well as getting to become closer to gelfenia and soon the days were flying by.
i even found myself in the store on my days off, enjoying the company of the old man and his daughter.
this had become the whole game for me, the outside world was now just a blur.
i had been working in the store for 3 months when i finally gathered the courage to ask gelfenia to marry me to which she replied with an enthusiastic yes. migtax was so overcome with happiness and pride, he gifted me the amulet i had sought after. after several more hours of celebrating, i turned off the game, exhausted, my head rushing with thoughts of would it would be like when gelfenia and i entered the portal of the nine stones, hand in hand.
i was abruptly awakened the next morning by uncle ray, who had been fired from the amiga store and had to return the console. i screamed in protest, but there was nothing that could be done... obelisk was gone. my life was gone.
when i found out the new version was imminent, i immediately quit my job and cleared my schedule in anticipation. i was ready to relive that magic summer and finally find out what would come next.
as soon as the game loaded i quickly set off for migtaxs' shop, anticipating my reunion with gelfenia and the possibilities that might follow.
as i travelled, i slowly started to notice the world didn't enrapture me as much as it had all those years ago, but i chalked that up to being older and more used to polished gameswith outrageous budgets.
you can imagine my dismay as i approached the shop that i had spent blissful months in that was now just a wall with migtaxs' name and a crude door lazily drawn on to it. i saw the old man first and gave a hearty hello. "my son sold our floor and left.” was his reponse. i tried to ask about gelfenia, "my son sold our floor and left", he answered again. "migtax! what happened to the shop? where is gelfenia?" i implored. again i was treated with the same response, "my son sold our floor and left”.
it was then i saw gelfenia approaching, smiling and as lovely as i had remembered. i was hopeful, but knew in my heart what was to come next.
i cried out to her, she calmly walked to me and said, "my son sold-“
i turned the game off, and i won't be turning it back on.
you have ruined my childhood mr. wiggins. worse than a broken spine did.
you have taken what was an incredibly joyful video game experience and turned into a heartbreaking loss that will take me some time to recover from. damn you for what you have done.
i hope this game bankrupts you and that you die in a house fire.