Today I paid Nintendo for two games that I finished over a decade ago.
Back in the late 90s and early 00s, there were a lot of Super Nintendo (SNES) ROMs floating about the still-kinda-new Internet, along with emulators that allowed you to play those ROMs. I think eBay mostly didn't exist yet, so it was difficult and probably expensive to acquire and play these games legally if you didn't already own them.
A good friend of mine had been talking for a year or more about how much she'd enjoyed Final Fantasy III
(aka Final Fantasy VI, in the 'true' continuity), and after doing some poking around, I found an emulator and a ROM online. And played and played and played and played and played. I must have sunk eighty hours or more into that game on my first playthrough. Some years later, I played the first half again, though never quite bothered with the second half the second time. It was my first experience with a JRPG, and I loved it. (Mostly. The dratted Mages' Tower or whatever it was called I could have done without. The multiple 'freeze states' that one could have with the emulator sure helped, though.) From the dates on my freeze files, I probably finished it in April of 1999.
Once I'd finished Final Fantasy III/VI, I of course looked around for similar high-quality games to sink some hours into. I found this thing called Chrono Trigger
, which was even by the same company (Squaresoft, back when it was still Squaresoft and turning out quality titles) as had done FF3, so I was in. Only much later (years upon years later) did I discover that I'd discovered another JRPG that was considered nigh-on sacred, so high a pillar did it occupy. It was good! I piled a lot of hours into it. I remember playing it at 6 AM when I had bronchitis and honestly couldn't sleep anymore because I was coughing so much. Time travel. Cool characters. Unique multicharacter combo attacks, which were completely new to me and pretty interesting. And the amazingness of having wandering monsters visible on screen which you could avoid if you were so minded, as opposed to random battles every three to ten seconds. Wow! No idea how many hours I put into it, but I finished it in probably August of 2000.
Nintendo's finally made both these SNES classics available for $8 apiece on their Virtual Console shop, normally filled with titles that most people look at and either go "huh, what was that?" or "why did they release that, it's crap" (with a few exceptions of course). Yes, I'm lawful good. I bought both of them. I probably won't play either of them on the Wii (no freeze states, for one thing), but I can finally say thank you for inventing these games in the first place.
Thanks, Nintendo. I got way more than $8 of pleasure out of these games years ago.
(Now will you please reconsider your decision not to release
current-gen JRPGs in the US?)