By Andrew Liszewski
[Welcome to ‘The Games We Played’, a new weekly feature (I hope) that will feature my memories and experiences with a classic video game from the past 25+ years that I’ve had the opportunity, or misfortune, of playing.]
I’m starting ‘The Games We Played’ with a great title from the Commodore 64 called Law Of The West. It wasn’t necessarily my favorite C64 game, nor was it the greatest, but it does have an interesting back story for me. You see, like a lot of C64 owners, building my game collection involved buying a box of 50 diskettes and giving it to a friend of a friend who returned it a month later filled with countless games, but not a single instruction manual. In Law Of The West you played the local sheriff who was just trying to get through the day by keeping his tongue in check while he interacted with various townspeople. Of course some of the locals weren’t exactly the friendly type, and you had to choose your words wisely, lest you be gunned down in the street. And as far as I knew (without having a manual) the game was nothing more than a text-based adventure.
But one day while playing Law Of The West I accidentally knocked my joystick to the floor, which to my amazement, caused the sheriff to draw his pistol. Needless to say from that day forward the local sheriff went from being a kind hearted keeper of the peace, to a ruthless killing machine. Sometimes I’d let the locals speak a line or two before they’d feel the searing kiss of hot lead, and other times I’d lay them out as soon as they walked on screen. Of course my reckless ways meant I never successfully finished the game according to their rules, but I think my gun lust made the town a safer place in the end.