Thursday, June 19, 2014


As I noted in the Final Fantasy 7 posts, I first played the game during my Gameshark phase which, really, was a part of a greater, more general cheating phase.

So, with that part of my life on my mind, I got to wondering about the differences between myself now and myself at the time--basically, why don't I like to cheat at games anymore?

Nowadays, there are many reasons I can think of to not cheat at games. The biggest reason is that I want to actually get good at the games I play; whether they're RPGs or action games, cheating isn't going to make me better at the game.

For instance, I'm currently also playing Mario Kart 8. After basically breezing through 50cc and 100cc, I'm naturally have a bit more difficulty with 150cc. Soon after entering that category, I got my first silver cup, then my first bronze, and I've even finished a grand prix with no cup at all. As I played and replayed those courses, though, I could see definite improvement as I got more familiar with the courses, the handling of whatever character I'm using, and the impressive (but not frustrating) opponent AI. As a result, I've not only gotten the gold in most of the 150cc cups so far, I've actually gotten several 3-star ratings, which you get if you come in 1st in all four races.

Coincidentally, I did the exact same thing for the original Super Mario Kart on the SNES: I decided to get good at the game, so I practiced until I achieved my goal.

Yet, for some reason at some point getting good at the game wasn't the point: I fell in love with the idea of the Gamesharks and Game Genies, and I used them to beat things like Final Fantasy II (IV), Final Fantasy VII, and Breath of Fire 3. And then there were in-game cheats: infinite lives codes, unlocking weapons, and all those sorts of things.

The funny thing is, I barely remember the games I cheated my way through. I remember the RPGs since I was invested in the stories, but then I would be more invested if I was also invested in the mechanics. Which is as it should be: if I was just there for the story, I should be just watching a movie or reading a book.

I think I just had very little confidence in my gaming abilities. Getting goodat games wasn't something I expected I could do, but I still wanted to play.

I wish I could say that I snapped out of it naturally after gaining some confidence or something, but that wasn't the case. Instead I stopped using a Gameshark when I was playing through Breath of Fire 3 again and it started to glitch out. Specifically, if I ever transformed into a dragon the game would freeze--an impossible situation to avoid.

I blamed the Gameshark for the glitch, which persisted even with the device disconnected. I ended up throwing the thing away before it could ruin any of my other games.

Looking back, there's no way the Gameshark actually damaged the game CD. Clearly there was just a scratch or something. I didn't realize that at the time, though, so my cheating days were over.

The funny thing is, it turns out I'm actually pretty good at games. I feel like I enjoy them at a much deeper level now that I'm playing them properly, too. So, thanks Breath of Fire 3 for getting messed up, I guess.

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