On the occasion of the fifteenth anniversary of the release of the Nintendo 64 and the groundbreaking Super Mario 64, it's time to share the story of how I wound up with the oft-misunderstood console and smash hit game. I was fifteen years old when the system debuted in 1996 and, like everyone else in my generation, was extremely curious as to what Nintendo had planned for Mario in his latest adventure. I'd been following the Nintendo Power coverage for months ahead of release (even if the coverage was vague and cryptic as the magazine was famous for at the time) and finally found a demo unit showcasing both the system and the flagship title at the local Blockbuster Video one September afternoon. While my parents picked out a video to rent, I held the trident controller and realized that all of the previews hadn't prepared me to play Super Mario 64. Not that I was blown away by what I saw or overwhelmed by the moment, mind you (though I was), but I honestly had no idea how to hold the controller. I ended up trying to maneuver my way through the Bowser In The Underground level by pinching the control stick with my thumb and pointer finger as if it were an old fashioned joystick. That didn't work so well, and by the time I figured out how to actually play the game it was time to leave, so I had to walk away unsatisfied. I wanted more! I knew I had to have a Nintendo 64 and Super Mario 64 of my own.