The Save Point – Dino Fright
1999. A year that will live in hilarity.
Though it was 13 years ago, I remember this moment like it was yesterday. The survival horror genre was still cutting its teeth with the Resident Evil franchise when Capcom decided to nix the zombies for a bit and bring in the Jurassic Park crowd with Dino Crisis. I had tried Resident Evil a year or two prior, but my feeble pre-teen mind couldn’t handle the complicated two-button combat system, leading to one frustrated piece of zombie chow. By the time of Dino Crisis, I had finally learned to control the tank-like protagonists.
While games were usually restricted to the confines of my room, an earlier experience with Jurassic Park on my dad’s new home theater system made me insist on experiencing the game in full house-shaking surround sound, even though I knew being out in the open would leave me susceptible to any and all chores my parents could think of to get me away from the television. However, this time, my parents not only let me play the game undisturbed, but were generally interested in watching me play the game.
I wasn’t particularly far in the game, killing a few raptors, opening a few locked doors, and skipping through all dialogue in my wake. In retrospect, I wish I could slap my past self in the back of the head for my blatant disregard of storyline, but I digress. One room, however, kept alluding me throughout my speedrun: the Chief’s room, located on the second floor of the research facility. I frustratedly kept backtracking through the game, searching for that allusive key that would open the room. I must have been searching for at least an hour, my parents back-seat gaming the entire time, until I finally found what. Absolutely ecstatic, I made a bee-line right for the Chief’s room and typed in the decoded door passcode when…Mom wanted a shot at the game.
My mom has never been much of a gamer outside of the occasional adventure game at that time, so I was shocked to see her get an interest in what was easily my biggest hobby. Begrudgingly, I handed her the controller, preparing myself to back-seat game her until she got bored with it. If she only knew what was ahead of her, she probably wouldn’t have taken the controller.
In my mind, the giant pane of glass covering one side of the office was a red flag, but my mom didn’t pick up on it as she ran past it to get to a deceptively easy medal box puzzle. I winced as she ran by, knowing that window would not be intact for much longer. Sure enough, once she grabbed the card from the puzzle and began to run for the exit…
The controller flew in the air as my mom shrieked as a Tyrannosaurus made its smashing debut. Looking back at it now, this moment easily ranks in the top ten moments I’ve laughed my ass off. As for my mom, she never picked up the controller again.