In a spontaneous fit of impatience and retardation, I recently reformatted my GameCube memory card. Tales of Symphonia, which I picked up after not having played in two years, insisted the card was corrupt and needed to be wiped clean first by the GameCube’s internal mechanism, then by being throw into a wall. Instead of thinking it through and realizing I’d just been playing Metroid Prime and it saved fine and fearing I’d lose my 30 hours of Symphonia-ing, I hit “Sure, erase all of my saved games, it’s not like I put any time or effort into them” then practiced my pitching for 15 minutes.
The bad news is it was for naught as I had no clue what I needed to do next in Symphonia. After reading all of the back story (nice feature by the way) and then wandering and sailing and giant monster riding around the map for an hour I gave up knowing it was just as well. My plan of finishing it so I could play the awesome sequel was ruined by the sequel being not awesome, and so now Symphonia will join the growing legion of games I have not and never plan on finishing but refuse to let any one borrow because having material possessions enriches my life.
The horrendous news is I lost hours upon hours of saved games. Finished save files of Baten Kaitos, Fire Emblem, Resident Evil 4, and Eternal Darkness; some scatterting of hours invested in Paper Mario, Pikmin, Luigi’s Mansion, Wind Waker, Cubivore; and even effort wasted in crap I never planned on playing again like Geist, Phantasy Star Online and Second Sight – all of these lost in a split second decision. Losing my Metroid Prime save probably hurts the most. I had been actively playing it and it was as good as everyone said. I also happened to be on the final boss, though I can’t remember it’s name.
This horrible experience has elucidated some important things. Most significantly, I hate Namco and all of my problems in life are somehow their fault. Secondly, and immensely less profound, is that I now value time over money. Growing up it seemed like all we had was time and no money to buy new games, but these days I have a backlog that could fulfill my gaming desires for multiple lifetimes. It’s a shame this lifetime allows for so little time to enjoy our hobby.
If someone held a pointy stick to your face and demanded, “Your memory cards or you games,” which would you choose? (I’d wrestle the stick from him, place him under citizens arrest, be rewarded by the police and use the money to buy more games and memory cards, but assume you are less awesome and can only choose one or the other.)