In all the time I have been a Zelda fan, waiting for a new game to come out has been an experience in itself. There’s always that excitement building up inside as the day gets closer and closer, and no game had me more exhilarated than Twilight Princess. 

The Wind Waker was my first Zelda title, so I haven’t had to wait for any new Zelda games until that point. I know in the time period between Wind Waker and Twilight Princess, Four Swords Adventures and Minish Cap also came out, but the one I was most excited for was Twilight Princess. Though I adore the cartoonish stylings of The Wind Waker’s art, the second I saw the more realistic fantasy style I fell in love. Literally. I had a huge crush on Link already, seeing this handsome installment of the legendary hero had my cheeks glowing red — but of course, I truly did admire this art style a lot more. Then came the trailers, and I still to this day prefer it and hope for another Zelda title with this style.

I used to get all the Nintendo Power magazines back in the day and I remember one of them coming with a special game trailer disc. It had Link on it in his new Twilight Princess apparel and I immediately shoved it into my computer. I would watch this trailer for hours at a time, observing something new to get excited about each time. This was the early trailers too, so you can imagine how delighted I was when the even more refined trailers released and whenever my magazines came in the mail showing off all the new features and events to come. I brought those magazines to school and read them at lunch with my friends almost every day.

At the time, I only had a GameCube, as it was all I could afford at the time. For a sixth-grader, $50 was a lot to spend for a game (and I would argue it’s still expensive, but I’m just cheap like that), so I had to wait even longer for the GameCube version. Luckily the internet wasn’t as prominent at the time so spoilers weren’t much of an issue (unlike with Breath of the Wild — man, you guys have no idea how hard it was to avoid those spoilers). However, it required much patience.

As the days grew closer to December, all I could think about was this game. I even dreamt of playing the game several times — and one of the dungeons in my dream was actually really close to looking like an actual room in the Goron Mines. I couldn’t stand it anymore, I needed this game!

Finally, the day came, but I had school. I gave my mom my money that I worked so hard to save up and she said she would go to Best Buy for me to pick up a copy. I got home from school that day and ran downstairs to the GameCube, hoping that my game would be there. My mom came into the basement with a blue bag in her hand and I rushed up to her with a huge smile on my face.

“They were all sold out.” She said. My grin vanished and my heart sunk. I had never even considered that possibility. She handed me the bag and said,

“I got you this instead.” It was nice that she bought me something else, but it was no Twilight Princess — or so I thought. When I pulled the game out of the bag it was none other than Twilight Princess. I was beyond ecstatic! I gave my mom a big hug as she laughed at her little prank. It turned out it was the last one in stock, but my mom snagged it for me, and I couldn’t have been happier!

I spent all night playing the game. It was really my first time pulling a late night game day as I stayed up til 12 playing it, and continued throughout the entire weekend. At the dinner table each night I would tell my mom all about my adventures as if I had gone through them myself. This game was everything I had hoped, and I loved every second of it. To this day, Twilight Princess is still my favorite, and I’m so glad I have those memories of it from all those years ago.