The hype I had for Super Smash Bros. Brawl was immense. Every single Tuesday, I’d wake up as early as possible and check the Smash Dojo website, wondering what the next update would be. You couldn’t get me out of bed early for school. But checking the Smash Dojo? I’ll wake up early for that no problem! It’s always amazing what video games will make us capable of doing. Even if it’s as simple as making us willing to wake up early for once in our lives.

Realm of Memories is a series where we reflect on our absolute favorite moments in The Legend of Zelda games. These could be the times we first fell in love with a game, were moved by the events of the story or actions of a character, felt triumphant when overcoming a tough boss or challenge, or we had an experience so unique that the adventure truly became our own. The Zelda series has touched our lives in many ways, and just as Hyrule has endless stories to share, so do our writers!

As the time of the game’s release drew closer and closer, I had an idea: For the first time, I was going to throw my own party. This was out of left field for me personality wise, especially back in my high school days. The idea became more and more exciting the more I thought about it, so I finally decided to sit down and figure out a way to make it work.

First, I had to get parental permission of course. Luckily, my mom was more than willing to help out since her antisocial son wanted to do actual social things, so she was more than willing to help out. She bought the soda for all of us and even planned on making some food for all of us. We were pretty poor, and our house was pretty small, but we were gonna make do with what we had.

Next, I wanted to make special invitation fliers, except I had no real idea how to make one and my image editing and art skills weren’t up to snuff at the time. So, I decided to ask some online friends if they’d be willing to chip in and help out. They agreed, and slowly but surely this party began to feel more and more like it would become a reality. Unfortunately, those fliers have been lost to time and the original file for them has been lost so I don’t have them anymore, but I was very impressed with what my friend made.

After I printed a bunch out, I went around to all my friends at our usual table and handed them to each friend I wanted to invite. They all seemed pretty excited, which made me even more happy, and they all told me they’d be willing to go. I was so happy to have a group of people I could hang out and play games with again! I had recently moved to a new house, and I had no friends nearby so I spent a lot of my days alone at the time. Even before that, I’d play multiplayer games like Mario Party by myself, and the only friends I had were the AI. Although I’m pretty sure the way Peach treated me in Mario Party 2 proved she didn’t want to be my friend.

Finally, the day of the party came around, and I was doing everything I could not to bounce around my room in utter excitement. I waited in my room, playing warmup matches while I waited for my guests to arrive. And so, time passed. And more time passed. And even more time. And yet still more time passed.

At this point, I began to worry. I hadn’t gotten a call from anyone, and they said they’d show up, so I wondered where they were. Maybe they forgot the time? Maybe they’re on their way? That tiny shred of doubt in the back of my mind grew and grew and finally I came to realize that no one was gonna show up. The disappointment began to sink in and all the excitement was gone. I suppose this is something I should have expected.

But, to my surprise, a car pulled into the driveway and three of my best friends at the time all came in at the same time! All of my doubt and sadness faded, and we enjoyed some good old Brawl matches together, and everything felt okay again. Sadly they didn’t stay for longer than maybe 20 minutes, so it wasn’t really much of a party, but looking back on it now, I’m very glad they decided to even show up at all. At the time I was disappointed that they didn’t stay for longer, but I still had those spoiled child elements despite being 16.

This is a relatively simple memory, but thinking back on it and writing about it reminds me of how great the friends I had were back then. I didn’t really consider how distance was an issue or that they might have just been busy, but nowadays I think about it and it makes me smile. Them making an attempt was more than I was used to at that point, and nowadays I appreciate that memory more than I did at the time. Nowadays, I have a lot more friends and I’ve grown and matured a lot since then, but this memory is an important testament to me about friends who really didn’t need to show up, but still managed to find the time for me.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is about to come out at this time of writing, and I know I’ll have a lot of my own little parties with friends online in the future. But I’ll never forget the first party I ever tried to throw and the friends who, though limited with the time they could spend, made a day that seemed it was destined to fail a lot less gloomy than it could have been. Memories like this are important to me, and it’s one that I’ll remember as a lesson and a testament to friends I truly didn’t deserve to have in my life then.