I avoided the bandwagon, and it changed my life.
One of my all time favorite games is Chrono Cross. It was my first RPG, so, naturally, it holds a special place in my heart. But here's the kicker - most of my friends hate it.
Elementary school me, looking for a way to challenge my creative energy, sought inspiration in all worlds beyond our own. The very first time I set foot into a GameStop, I locked eyes with Chrono Cross, completely taken with its blue-eyed cover characters. My mother saw my excitement and agreed to purchase the game for me. I couldn't have been happier.
Serge and Kid, my first RPG travel pals.
I spent countless hours with my blue-eyed companions. They kept me entertained and I kept them alive. We were pseudo-symbiotic for years. Still, despite our fabricated interdependence, my deepest connection to Chrono Cross was not with its story, but with its music.
One of the game's world map songs is called "Dream of the Shore Near Another World." This instrumental track single-handedly prevented me from ever completing the game in my younger years, as it could easily lull me to sleep. There was something so comforting about the strings, I was unable to willingly part with them. They kept me safe, somehow, from my most childish fears.
Wanting to express my gratitude for the track's impact on my life, I wrote an email to the soundtrack's composer, Yasunori Mitsuda. I told him how much I loved the game and his music, completely unaware of the fact that he'd require a translator just to read what I'd written. I just about died when I saw that he emailed me back.
Mr. Mitsuda thanked me for my support and expressed his hopes that it would continue on in the future. I was starstruck. That simple interaction spurred me into pursuing the arts, hoping to be as big an inspiration to another as Mr. Mitsuda was to me.
Here I am today, a person who found my start in a game that many people hate, simply because it wasn't the sequel they'd imagined. Even now, at 21 years old, I often revisit this soundtrack when I'm having trouble sleeping. The nostalgia is one of my most prized possessions and the gentle push that spurs me on.
Do you have any games that you love, but everyone else seems to hate? Any similar experiences you'd like to share? Tell me about it in the comments!