Many readers know that I have a deep love for Capcom’s Strider, but not everyone (unless you read issue 50) knows why that is.
When I was young I was a bit of a loner and had very little to do with my peers, mainly because I’d be beaten up for enjoying nature and going bird watching. I was a loner and I was happy to be a loner. I was also tiny, which meant that I didn’t excel at any sports at school. Hell, I had trouble trying to simply climb to the top of the ropes that swung from the ceiling of our gym/assembly hall.
One year on holiday in Wales I discovered Strider and it blew me away. Aside from being one of the first games I had ever seen using a 28-inch monitor, it looked absolutely breathtaking thanks to Strider’s incredible animation and the sheer amount of imagination that had been packed into each stage. It was a massive crow puller at the arcade and people were always flocked around it because it was such a good game to look at.
And I was good at Strider, like really good at it. I’d always been pretty good at arcade games, but something about Strider just clicked in me and I could get further than anyone else who played it. And all on a couple of ten pences as well.
It got to a stage where many of the older boys (I was 15 when I first played Strider) would actually stop playing the game, removing their coins so that I could play. I actually managed to complete the game in a packed arcade, everyone hanging on for my final fight with the master. When it actually happened everyone went crazy, slapping me on the back and saying how great I was. A fine thing to hear for someone who never really excelled at anything.
And that’s why I love Strider.