This weekend I had gone out of state to my good friend’s wedding. We’ve been friends since we were seven or eight years old, and seeing her walk down the aisle has brought back some fond childhood memories. One of them is a game that we used to play in the backyard for years that we called “Stranded”.

Stranded was a simple game of make-believe where we would pretend to be trapped on a deserted island. However, there was a twist– we would be Super Smash Bros. Melee characters. I introduced them to these characters at my house where we would play together as they didn’t have any consoles of their own at the time. They seemed to enjoy them so much that they thought we should act as them in our game. I chose to be Princess Zelda, my friend picked Kirby, and her sister would choose a new character every time we played. Sometimes even while we played she would change her mind, but whomever she chose it would always be a good time.

I always tried to portray Zelda as an elegant princess who was usually quite serious but had a huge secret crush on Link (though it was really a way for me to express my secret crush on him without them figuring it out). My friend, on the other hand, acted out Kirby as a goofy, childish “pink-thing”, as she would call him. The things she would say and the jokes that she made had me bawling. I would actually fall on the floor sometimes from laughing so hard! In our game, Kirby had a thing for “Pina Coleedas” (non-alcoholic Italian ices, of course), burst out into song, and had a huge crush on Zelda– or as she called her, “Ziti”. Kirby also couldn’t pronounce anyone’s name correctly.

The three of us would constantly play this game together and it was practically all we talked about for several years. The game also evolved as time went on. When it was summer, we would hit the pool and pretend to have not even gotten to the island and be lost at sea. In the winter we would have made a hut on the island. Though my younger friend would usually make a habit of changing characters, we all gave it a try every now and then as well, and we even wound up with a ZeLink wedding because of it. I still remember the pretend proposal; “Zelda Zelda Zelda, will you marry me?” (We used the Super Mario Bros movie logic for Zelda’s middle and last name).

As we got to the latter years of our game, we would stop being stranded on the island and take the characters into everyday situations. By this point, I had more or less permanently switched from Zelda to Link and my friend’s sister stuck with the Pokemon Growlithe. My friend chose to stay as Kirby, who we can all agree was the heart of the game, which is why it inspired me to write stories based off of it.

In my middle school years, I decided to write my own show based off of this make-believe Nintendo-land we’ve made called “The Kirby Show”. My friend’s hilarious rendition of this cute puff ball made such an impact that I actually started writing scripts of our games and even new ideas. (Okay, ideas I borrowed from cliche kid sitcoms, but it was a start.) I wound up with over 100 episodes of the series that I would bring to school with me and read at the lunch table. I had a huge, orange binder that I would bring filled with episodes. I would read out each character with their own goofy voice that we had made up for them. (And yes, Link could talk in this series, although you would prefer Wand of Gamelon over the cheesy tween dialogue I gave him). I even did a special “episode” based on the original game we played. Though now I’m certain I could do so much better, my friends all still really enjoyed it when I sat down to read these episodes that I had written, and I loved making them laugh.

All in all, thanks to Nintendo I could share their wonderful characters with my friends. With my friends, they have inspired me to write stories. Because I write, I became a columnist and features writer here at Zelda Universe. Little things can lead to big results, and I’m so happy that I got to go on this journey with my two dear friends.