My First Dreamcast Encounter

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June 27th, 2012

Posted in Features

This will be my first article for our website, It’s Still Thinking.

I remember the day I turned six, and walked out onto my back deck in summer of 2001. I was having a Dragon Ball themed party, because it (along with Sonic) was my favorite thing in the whole world. I had owned a Sega Genesis, a gift from my cousin who is the other editor of this site, and fell in love with Sonic at a very young age. But until this birthday, I had never seen any new games since the Genesis era and did not know how much they had progressed. It all changed that day, when after all my preceding presents, my parents pulled out a Sega Dreamcast from behind their chair.

The first game I immediately recognized they gave me was Sonic Adventure 2, and they had told me it was just released. Out of pure joy and excitement, I sprinted to my basement and had my dad help me hook up the system to the TV and I placed the game right into the tray the second I could. I saw the Dreamcast startup screen, with the dot bouncing on all the letters, then spiraling out; and I will never forget how cool I thought that it was. When the game started up, all I remember is a feeling in my body that I didn’t quite understand. As I saw Sonic jump from the helicopter and go “riding” down the hill in the highly detailed city, I couldn’t fathom what I was seeing. As a child, I didn’t quite understand the technicals of what was happening, all I knew was that I was playing a Sonic game in which you didn’t move sideways, but moved forward, and I remember nothing but joy when I saw it. I was feeling joy, bewilderment, and awe because I had never seen anything like it.

After playing a few levels of Sonic, I moved over to some of the other games I got, specifically Fur Fighters. This was the first introduction to a shooting game I ever had, as I didn’t even know they really existed. I instantly fell in love with the game, and it is one of those games that my connection hasn’t broke with since. I remember specifically playing “King Solomon’s Fluff,” the level that is based in an ancient civilization and has many secrets to it. I mastered that level. I would always grab the Freeze Gun and take out anyone who stepped in my way. It was these memories, that stuck to me, and made me feel connected to the console.

After a few hours of playing many different games (an extravaganza for my age) I finally had to go somewhere with my parents, and was devastated that I had to leave the system. But one thing I can recall profoundly, is me going to bed that night, with nothing running through my head but flashes of Sonic, with City Escape behind him; Nightmare lunging his massive sword at the enemies; and shooting other animals as Tweek the Dragon. All I could think about was going to my basement as soon as I woke up the next morning to go right back to playing. I had established a connection to a console that hadn’t happened to me before, and it felt as if it could never be broken.

  • Your first experience with Dreamcast is very unique Clark, going right from 16-bit to 128-bit like that.

    I remember for even someone like me, who was growing up with games as they evolved, I was blown away by what the Dreamcast could do. I can only imagine how you felt seeing how beautiful games could be.

    Dreamcast was the last system to really wow me in presentation, the leap that the DC took from the previous generation was so drastic and breathtaking, new consoles don’t do that to me anymore.

    • I agree. 16-bit to 128-bit is a MASSIVE leap. It must have seemed so extraordinary.

      My first DC encounter was at Toys R Us. I had a Sega Genesis at the time. Sonic 2 was what I always played. I wasn’t really into video games, however. Seeing Sonic R on the Saturn at Toys R Us was cool, but wasn’t enough to get me excited about video games (even at the time, I was confused why polygons were shifting and not keep perspective perfectly). Not to say graphics are everything, but they’re the first impression.

      When I saw the new Dreamcast station there… It was mind blowing. Sonic Adventure was playing (Emerald Coast). That 480i resolution seemed so detailed. HAHA. There was like this creaminess to the graphics. The edges seemed so smooth, soft, but sharp at the same time. Polygons never looked like this before. I didn’t really see them as polygons at the time. The textures were unbelievable. There is the part when you run side ways on a brownish rock surface. I could barely fathom the detail and seemingly tangible texture on it.

      The foot prints in the sand also amazed me. It just seemed like there was an attention to detail beyond what I thought video games would ever be capable of.

      Moving Sonic around a 3D world was also effortless and just plain fun. The controller was seemed so futuristic. The calm off-white of the system and controller were very inviting. The soft colors of the face buttons complimented the grey’s and white’s perfectly. I felt like instantly understood how to play a modern 3D game. The controller was just so inviting. Sonic Adventure started my absolute love for video games and Dreamcast.

  • Adam Hovey

    I remember being in I am not sure which grade, but in 1999 and talking to other kids about the Dreamcast and how I was excited about it coming out of course I didn’t own one until a few years after that and my brother ended up stealing pretty much everything I ever bought so there’s that surprisingly I still have my guitar maybe I should lock it up. It was a brilliant system though very underrated