The original Space Harrier holds a particular memory for me when I was a kid…
We were at my Cousin’s house for a family celebration of some sort. All the kids had congregated in the front room playing his Megadrive and Space Harrier was the game of choice. I must have been about 8 at the time but I was the oldest and therefore I was playing to my impressionable younger audience. To show my machoness (that’s a combination of words I have never written before!) I decided to drop a swear as I lost for the humptenth time – “you b*stard” I yelled at the victorious villain as he knocked me from my floating position. It was just at that moment that one of the Mums opened the door to check in on us all… I got in trouble to say the least.
Fast forward to the present day and I am in my local game shop ‘Outland’ and I stumble across a copy of Space Harrier 2 for the Megadrive. I’m a big boy now I thought, I can’t get into any trouble playing this and confidently purchase the game…
The wife went out for the night and I opened a few ciders and then some more, until the carpet was a sea of empty cans. It was then the Megadrive came out to play. Trust me, this game isn’t easy to play drunk! I did though and I cleared the first couple of stages, then I reach the 3rd… and this is one of the tripiest things I have ever experienced in my life and I’m a huge fan of early Pink Floyd records!
It’s about 2am and I am p*ssed off my face, then this level happens. It’s bright, it’s like an Escher painting that meets in the middle, it’s got giant star fish on star fish legs – I think I’m on an acid trip! I shake my head in disaray once I die and wonder what has just happen, grateful that the experience is over and I haven’t attempted to fly.
But then… I wanna see it again!! So I try and try and try until I live it again, take blurry screen shot pics and then fall asleep under the Christmas trees lights… dreaming of floating with a gun, blasting star fish with Syd Barrett sat on my shoulder.
Space Harrier has really got it in for me… great games though.