As a child of the early 90s, every Friday night in suburbia was a mixed bag of excitement and choice anxiety. My parents would haul me and a friend to Blockbuster Video in our spacious, maroon Toyota Camry to pick out some mindless entertainment for the evening. I was allowed to rent one film and one video game and there were no exceptions.
The film was an obvious choice, as I was quickly becoming a horror connoisseur and I could always find a forgettable, disgustingly bloody cinematic masterpiece to fulfill that quota. Whether it was something from the Children of the Corn, Halloween, Friday the 13th, or Nightmare on Elm Street franchises, it always proved a great accessory to a bag of Doritos and a two liter bottle of Mountain Dew.
However, I faced many a bout of choice anxiety having to pick out the video game. There were too many options and game types available to choose from. SNES was home to quite a few pieces of vaporware as well, so you didn’t want to make your decision too rashly. The consequences could be dire.
I believe it was the giant sword on the cover and the simplicity of the design that made me first delve into the realm of RPG goodness. While some may consider lands full of dungeons, dragons, ninjas, monsters, and magical crystals a geeky endeavor, they’ve obviously never had the masochistic pleasure of playing through Final Fantasy II for the SNES.
I know it’s been awhile, and I apologize. Real life obligations, laziness, and beautiful weather have been pulling me consistently away from my responsibilities as a 90s culture nerd. There’s nothing I can say that will make up for my month of absence, but perhaps some content will satiate your current needs.
The state of humanity and the world in the future has always been a constant point of discussion for politicians, scientists and children who love to hypothesize about its possibilities. Flying cars, hover bikes, Judge Dredd, and lots and lots of aliens are just a few of the crazy things that come to mind when thinking of the distant future. One franchise, however, captured the hearts and minds of a nation with its dystopian view of the future.
At the center of the Terminator legacy rests visions of time travel, robots, and a naked Arnold Schwarzenegger. In this particular series, machines from the future make it their goal to return to the past and kill or protect certain people in order to change the future. Humans, on the other hand, want to live out their pointless, mediocre little lives under the blanket of the status quo. They’ll give anything to keep the world as they know it, free of machines.
While The Terminator was a huge hit for James Cameron, I feel that Terminator 2: Judgment Day was the true blockbuster. It took everything fans loved about the original film and improved upon it. Arnold’s terminator was now a hero and protector figure instead of the scary robo skeleton man from the first one. Sarah Connor was no longer a pathetic, scared diner waitress and had morphed into an insanely masculine badass. John Connor was the portrait of innocence in the face of world destruction. And T-1000, well T-1000 was LIQUID FUCKING METAL.