Gaming Memories – VVVVVV

Format: PC
Release date: 2010

VVVVVV is one of the only 2D platform games that I have completed from start to finish, which makes it special to me. I became obsessed with Veni Vidi Vici, an entirely optional sequence of deadly traps that teases you with a collectible orb right in the very first room, which is blocked off by a tiny box. You can’t jump in the traditional way as most other platformer’s, so the only way to overcome the box is by leaping up through the ridiculously cruel chambers above, navigating your way to the top…and then back down again.

Here’s a video of someone completing Veni Vidi Vici. Watch them fail a few times at first, but finally succeed about 1 minute in. You have no idea how good it feels to complete this bastard:

I think it took me over a week to beat it. And because the game worked on Mac, I sneakily played it at my old workplace, when I thought no-one was looking. After hours of repeating the same rooms over and over and over again until my fingers had memorised the precise movements down to a tee, I FINALLY beat that horrendous level and got my orb. I did one of those restrained cheers for joy, desperately trying to hold back an outburst so nobody in the office heard me and realised I wasn’t actually working. Pretty sure Paul knew exactly what had happened though. He was sitting next to me at the time, probably playing Minecraft.

I listen to the soundtrack to VVVVVV quite regularly because it is a fantastic example of chiptune music, mimicking that retro sound but with a contemporary flair. Every tune is just so bloody catchy, and it’s one of only a select few game OST’s that has made it into my mp3 collection of ‘normal’ music. It goes well with the Bastion soundtrack, and both albums helped me to train for my first (and so far, only) half marathon. ‘Pushing Onwards,’ the song from the video above, is a real motivator for going just a little bit further… I have since completed a few other 2D platformers, but I haven’t enjoyed any quite so much as Terry Cavanagh’s VVVVVV.

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