Now for a story from my youth. I remember the one kid down the street that could afford a Nintendo system. I used to go to his house and stay for a very long time. No I wasn't playing games.. I was watching them. You see if you didn't own a Nintendo you didn't know how to play and if you didn't know how to play then none of the other kids would want to sit and watch the loser play. So I sat and watched. Every once in a while I would get a few minutes but the other kids would quickly offer to "help me" get past a hard part. I soon learned that "helping me" meant them playing and me watching.

Anyway, the game I was really interested in was The Legend of Zelda. My god that game looked awesome. I really thought you could go anywhere and do anything in that game. So because I have very limited time playing the game and I was a resourceful kid I decided to do the next best thing... make my own. Yes, that's correct... I made my own. I took a new ream of paper and began by drawing one screen on each piece of paper. When I was done the entire map filled my living room. It was cool. Next I divided up each screen/sheet into a 10x10 grid. I then began to fill a notebook (paper notebook not electronic) with the game details. My idea was the when a player entered a certain grid of the map he would look up the coordinates in the notebook, scan across to the column that represents the an action ("drop bomb" for example) and it would list a reference number. You would then look up the reference number in a second book that would tell you the result of your action. Even if you looked at the adjacent paragraphs you would have no clue where or how to case that result. I think it was was a very sweet idea especially coming form a 12-year old. I spent months researching monsters and stories from Greek mythology to add to may game. Needless to say I never finished that project (I still rearly finish projects). It was too much for a 12 year old. But to this day I've never seen anything like it. It was something half way between the choose your own adventure books and a video game. I never did figure out how combat would work.

OK, so why am I bringing this up now. Well I discovered a program called Zelda Classic located here: This game is an exact replica of the Nintendo version. But not only can I finally play Zelda for more then 15 mins but I can finally bring my Zelda-like game to life. With the Zelda Classic's Quest Creator you can make your own Zelda like adventure in 8-bit color rather then pencil on paper.

I'd still like to make a paper based game like I came up with 20 years ago just to see if it could work. Might be easier now with word processors and Photoshop. It's been on my list of things to for many years now. But until then I'm going to be playing Zelda.