Lessons Learned From N64

This past week my girlfriend’s little brother was in town. Many times in the past him and I have joked around about all the great one-liners that come from games in the N64 era, so naturally we wasted no time this week and did some serious 90’s style gaming while we had the chance.

Last weeks article about ‘10 Things Christians May Believe, but Aren’t Necessarily in the Bible‘ was a doozey to write. It was over 4000 characters long, it was challenging to write, and thought provoking to research. All of that is good, but this article is going to be quite “lighthearted” in comparison.

I started gaming on the NES, and eventually moved onto the Gameboy and Sega Genesis. Sometime in elementary school my mom surprised my brother and I with a brand new N64. I didn’t know much about it, but my older brother seemed very ecstatic, so I was too.

Over the years I invited classmates over to duke it out in Smash Bros, blasted my mom with red Koopa shells in Mario Kart, and watched in wonder as my older brother Joshua explored mysterious dungeons in Zelda.

Sometime close to the release of the N64 console was the birth of my little brother Samuel. I fondly remember learning what it meant to be an older brother. I experienced joys like laughing hysterically in excitement the day he learned to walk, and trials such as guarding the “reset” button on the N64 as I watched the ending to Mario 64 (He liked pressing buttons and stuff, it’s a baby thing).

Long story short: N64 is more than just a gaming console. It is something that brought me closer to those around me, and was present in a stage of life when God was helping me to grow up. Most games didn’t have a mature rating. Games were made for kids and families. So what can we learn from N64? Keep reading to find out…

Note: These aren’t really things that we “learn from N64”. These are Biblical lessons. They are things that God teaches us. The N64 illustration is only a silly side note.

Watch the companion video for this post, from the GamerfaithVlog

No no no! Wrong Way!

(Diddy Kong Racing)

Diddy Kong Racing

Diddy Kong Racing was where it was at in 2nd grade. At lunch classmates would compare notes on level locations and difficult silver coin challenges (I’m looking at you, Greenwood Village).

The goal of Diddy Kong Racing was to blast though stages in karts, planes, and hovercrafts in order to collect balloons (which opened up boss races that scored you amulet pieces). With enough balloons and amulet pieces you could face the enemy Wizpig in a racing showdown.

Defeating Wizpig was no easy task. It took painstaking persistence, pinpoint accuracy, and the will to fight on. You would fail time and time again at the same level, but still you would continue racing so that you could stop the evil Wizpig.

What is your Wizpig?

We struggle with sin. Sometimes they are giants, and other times they are barely noticeable sinful status ailments that slowly tick away at our well being. Wizpig laughs in your face and calls you a “worm” almost every time he shows up. What is making you feel like a “worm” right now?

Lust? Anger? Fear? Not forgiving others? Gossip? Don’t know Jesus? (click hereGod can help you overcome those things.

Are You Going The Wrong Way?

In Diddy Kong Racing you sometimes get slipped up and start driving the wrong way down the track. At this point you’ve not only stopped, but have turned around and started driving away from the goal. Thankfully a loud voice instructs you by saying “No no no! Wrong way!”

We don’t get a big flashy notification when we are going the “wrong way” in life, but we may get a nudge from God. We can choose to ignore God when He speaks to us or shows us things, but we shouldn’t. God knows better than you do what the best path to take is.

When racing through tracks in Diddy Kong we not only have to go the right way, but often times the tracks branch off into multiple routes. In some areas we have to take the difficult narrow pathways in order to win. Most of the other racers stay on the big, obvious, easy to navigate roads.

Followers of God need to take the narrow path too. Don’t follow the road that the world has paved for you.

(the [fn] icons mean that there are footnotes. Click them and scroll to the bottom of the page to find the verse number and read the notes)

Matthew 7:13-14 (ESV)

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy [fn] that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.

For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

What if Wizpig Returns?

After defeating Wizpig, Diddy Kong and his friends throw a big party to celebrate. What they fail to anticipate is that Wizpig is still at large! He crashes the party with his high-tech ship and blasts into space shouting, “See ya later WORMS!”

If you are able to overcome a sin that you struggle with, don’t be foolish in thinking that you don’t have to take precautions in the future. Be prepared to keep taking steps to avoid falling back into that sin. Spend time with God. Use “Futuristic” Christian Technology.

I’ll Take This One, Get the Ones Behind Me!

(Star Fox 64)

What makes Star Fox 64 so special is the focus on teamwork. When Slippy the toad radios in “Whoa help me!” you drop what you’re doing and blast the ship that’s on his tail. When there’s an enemy ship behind you Peppy Hare tells you, “You’ve got an enemy on your tail! Use the brakes! (C Down)”

Proverbs 27:17 (NKJV)

[As] iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

“Sorry guys! I’m gonna have to sit this one out!” Isn’t something you want to hear from Falco, or any of your other fleet members. If a comrades ship is too heavily damaged, they have to go get repairs done before they can return. This means that the levels become much more difficult, because you have one less partner to help you accomplish your missions.

Working together is crucial for Christians. When we are getting blasted by struggles, sometimes we need a Christian friend to tell us to “Do a barrel-roll!” 

In the same way we need to help our friends in need. We need to be careful not to do this in judgement though.

Matthew 7:1-5 (NKJV)

“Judge not, that you be not judged.

“For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.

“And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?

“Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank [is] in your own eye?

“Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Bring a Friend

(Banjo-Kazooie)

Banjo-Kazooie

On a similar note, Banjo-Kazooie is all about companionship too. It doesn’t matter whether it is an accountability partner, a best friend, or your significant other. Having other Christians in our lives that help us along the way are important.

Banjo and Kazooie both have different ‘moves’. Kazooie can run fast, fly, and shoot egg bombs. Banjo is slow, but has strong attacks, and carries Kazooie around in his backpack. Without one another they would be in a lot of trouble. We can be the same way.

Different Christians serve different roles. We work as different parts of one body.

Reading Assignment! 1 Corinthians 12. Click here to read it in ESV!

Collect 30 Fruit and Be Super Happy

(Yoshi’s Story)

The baby Yoshi posse in Yoshi’s Story is a pretty happy bunch! When the evil Baby Bowser steals the “Super Happy Tree” the Yoshis could have gotten super bummed out, but they didn’t. Instead they remained happy, and Baby Bowser hated it!

“If we grow super happy,” the Yoshis thought, “We’ll spoil Bowser’s evil plot.” Their mission then was crystal clear. They had to go and spread the cheer!

The baby Yoshis knew what to do. The enemy wanted to bring them sorrow, but they weren’t having any part of it. There is a time for sorrow, but when we let God take control in our lives we can find peace. Continue to persistently rejoice in God. Keep praying and spending time with the Lord.

Proverbs 17:22 (ESV)

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

On a side note: Yoshis love eating fruit! It’s one of the things they do to stay happy. I’m a huge fan of getting proper nutrition and sleep. Feel free to read my article Should Christians Work Out? If you aren’t “Super Happy” make sure you’re:

  1. Spending time with God
  2. Praying
  3. Not letting sin control your life
  4. Getting exercise
  5. Getting proper sleep
  6. Eating right
  7. Not watching too much TV/video games

Hey! Listen!

(The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time)

Zelda Ocarina of Time

If you’ve played Ocarina of Time, chances are you’ve been annoyed to some extent by Navi the fairy. When the adventurer Link travels through the land of Hyrule he often gets distracted by games in the market, looking for rupees in bushes, or just downright wandering around aimlessly. Around this time Link’s fairy starts chiming in “Hey!”

You can ignore the fact that Navi has something to tell you, but that doesn’t make the message go away. If you continue wandering she will eventually shout “listen!”  You can certainly continue on your jolly way but at the top of the screen is a blinking notification that Navi has something to tell you.

When you finally decide to listen, you are often given advice on how to complete the challenges ahead of you. Other times Navi suggests that maybe you ought to go to a certain place. Following that advice gets you through the game. Navi knows how to help you, but you have to listen.

God is infinitely more wise, and less annoying than Navi. God knows where you need to go, and how to overcome the challenges that you face. Why is it that so often we try and find our path without His help? Why do we keep our Bibles shut? Why is it that we let distractions get in the way of listening to Him? When we finally stop what we are doing, humble ourselves, and listen: He can show us amazing things.

Something great to read, that is sort of related, but is mostly just awesome: John 8:47-59

If You Can’t Beat the Level, Go Level Up!

(Paper Mario)

Paper Mario

In Paper Mario you get whooped by Bowser right at the get go. You just simply aren’t strong enough yet! After around 20 hours of leveling up, collecting items, and getting team mates to join your cause… you are finally ready to go whoop Bowser for real.

Sometimes in life we try to tackle things outside of God’s timing. Sometimes we try to overcome giants without being truly plugged into God. Christianity is like an RPG, and when we stay focused on God, He will continue to level us up.

What are your favorite N64 memories? Leave a comment below!

Nintendo 64 reminds me of a simpler time. A time when games were bright, funny, and new to me. So what have we learned from N 64? Nothing by itself, but when we let it remind us of some of the many truths in God’s Word we can remember to:

  • Persistently go the right way
  • Let your Christian friends help you
  • Be who God made you to be
  • Rejoice in Christ
  • Listen to God
  • Allow Him make you a better person

With love,

-90’s Kid Caleb

How to overcome lust Biblically

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Photo Source:

N64 Controller, Yoshi’s Story, Star Fox Landmaster, Diddy Kong Racing, Paper Mario, Banjo-Kazooie, Zelda

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