Friday, March 7, 2014

No. 90 – Natural Science

Performer: Rush
Songwriters: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, Neal Peart
Original Release: Permanent Waves
Year: 1980
Definitive Version: None, although I guess I prefer the studio version over the one on Different Stages.

OK, I will change the tone of the blog after yesterday’s long-winded—but obviously justified—rant.

As I mentioned way back in 2011 (good ol’ No. 967), I went through a big run of “middle-period” Rush at the end of 1996. Part of that was from catching Farewell to Kings on the radio; another was seeing Rush that year when they broke this song out for the first time in ages—the first time I’d ever seen them do it live. Natural Science then became a huge song in my Gahanna fun room.

The cornerstone of my fun room, aside from the burgeoning collection of baseball memorabilia, was my Super Nintendo. I bought a Nintendo system after moving to Flint, and I made the jump to Super Nintendo after moving to Columbus in 1994. Although a new Mario game was crucial to making the switch, the killer app—and my video-game obsession for most of the next three years—was Donkey Kong Country.

The first time I played DKC, I was stunned by the graphics, the game play with all the hidden platforms and secret tricks, and the music. It was unlike any other video game, and I was hooked. I remember at one point in 1995, I showed Scott the rollercoaster level in DKC and freaked him out to the point where he bought the game the next week.

For the next two years, a new DKC game came out around Christmas time. I’d have to wait for the frenzy to die down before buying and playing it. In 1996, I put DKC 3 on my Christmas wishlist. As good fortune would have it, I didn’t have to wait till Christmas to get it.

The Dispatch held a silent auction each Christmas to raise money for charity. In 1996, one of the items was … DKC 3?! No way! I ran upstairs and called Debbie. Have you bought me DKC 3? No, I can’t find it. Good, don’t. It’s here at The Dispatch. I’ll take care of it for a lot less than what you’d pay at a store.

Oh yeah, I was going to win the auction without question. The game cost $60 in stores, so I was willing to go that high. I didn’t have to. I bid $6 late in the day, bumped it to $10 after someone topped me and hovered close by to discourage others from getting any bright ideas. It was mine, all mine, I tells ya.

That purchase ended up being my farewell to things in the video-game realm. It was the last game I bought until Angry Birds when I got my iPhone in 2011.
Soon after DKC 3 came out, I was a homeowner and had a full Baseball Room that I had to stock. I had things to do. I moved on.

But I never forgot how much fun the DKC games were. They were, in my opinion, the greatest video games ever produced. In fact, I loved playing them so much, that when I went to Torch Lake in 2004, I dug them out of my storage garage to take with me. I knew Casey kept a Super Nintendo at the lake, and one day, I took a break from my research work and gave them another go. I don’t remember whether Natural Science was on in the background.

However, in doing that, I separated the DKC games from the rest of my Super Nintendo cartridges, and I’m not sure where they are now. I’m pretty sure I still have all my DKC games my storage locker, but I’d have to go through boxes to find them. Sigh … Now I want to find them and play them again.

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