About True Friendship, Life and Videogames

27 ago , 2014  

When video gaming is a factor of past, present, and future, you realize how important it can be in our lives.

By Matheus Goncalves

Para ler em Português, clique aqui.

First of all, please ignore my English grammar/vocabulary mistakes. That’s not my mother language, but I promise I’ll do my best.

Ok. Well, for awhile I’ve been reluctant to write about this story, but a few friends insisted that I had to publish it, so here it goes.

By 1999, I was living in a city on the south coast of Sao Paulo. Certainly I did not fit in that place. I’m not saying the city was a bad place to live, it just was not the best place for me.

Still, it was there where I met Guilhermo. I was 17. He was 16.

He was an introspective guy, also bothered by this seaside reality and usually preferred to stay in his bedroom, playing cards, video games, reading comics and listening to really good bands. The best ones, name it.

About True Friendship…

From the very first moment, we became really good friends. Hanging out together, making music and, of course, playing video games. At the time, he had a Nintendo 64 and we really enjoyed to kill each other on GoldenEye 007. Sounds fun, right? It really was.


He once told me he was about to travel to visit his family, for a couple of days. After much discussion I convinced him to lend me his game during those days.

Guilhermo had already finished the GoldenEye single player mode thousands of times, so I asked him to write down some tips and tricks that he could recall from the top of his head. God mode, access to all the weapons, what to do to enable some level, things like that.

He wrote what he remembered, then put the piece of paper in the middle of the game manual and gave me everything in a plastic bag before traveling.

I took it home, and I was really excited. And I played a lot, I used the tricks, spent several hours through the levels, but the truth is that I could not beat the game. We’ll get back to that later.

Well… Time to return the console to Guilhermo. I went to his house, then he told me about the trip, and we laughed a lot with the stories. We had a really good time.

And of course, we played some video game because, you know… All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

About life…

After some time I moved to another city. He moved as well, but we found a way to keep in touch. You know how this works. Eventually you make new friends, starts going out to different places, but we tried to hang out together every now and then.

On a holiday weekend, we had talked and he said he would stop by at my place, but he didn’t showed up. I tried to contact him, but the guy was not online on MSN and also he was not replying my emails.

In a time when cellphones were still not widespread as today, finding someone was not an easy task.

After three days we received news through his family. Guilhermo took a ride home with friends and the driver lost control of the car. And crashed. Badly. Somehow, he was thrown out to the vehicle.

We found out where he was hospitalized and doctors concluded he had suffered multiple fractures. For several reasons, we were told that a visit was not allowed. We would have to return some other day.

So, the other day, we were getting ready to go to the hospital when we got the news we feared most: Guilhermo had indeed passed away. 21 years old. He was 21 years old…

It was overwhelming. I cried a lot, it was like losing a piece of me, losing the ground under my feet. He was my brother, and he made an essential part of life for many people around me.

The touch of death is cruel and unexplainable in words.

About video games…

Time goes on. I’m 32 now and I’m living in USA. A different country, with different culture (not much, to be honest), and a different and amazing life.

In a quest to gather my own collection of retro consoles, I finally got a Nintendo 64!

I give you a Golden Gun if you guess which game was the first one I wanted to play and beat.

Of course! With the GoldenEye 007 cartridge in my hands, I did the only thing I could do. Millions of people grew up worldwide convinced the way to get a busted Nintendo cartridge working was to blow on it. That’s a scientific fact (not really). So I did.

With that dust back toward my face, also came the idea of ​​taking a look into my folder with old video game magazines. A call of the past.

By opening this portal of mites and crumbling publications of the 90s, I discovered that the manual of Guilhermo’s GoldenEye 007 game had stayed with me the whole time, since 99, inside my folder.

I took the manual, and man… I was paralyzed by a… tension, similar to Indiana Jones’s emotional strain when he was watching the Lost Ark being opened.

Within the manual I found the piece of paper, now yellowish, with all the tips that Guilhermo wrote to me.





Immediately I remembered a lot of happy moments, all the songs we wrote and composed together, his unique sense of humor, or our travels, and the things he would like to have done, his dreams…




Today, after 10 years you left us, with tears all over my face and my joystick, I’m playing Nintendo 64 with you again. With you and your words by my side, as if you were still here.

Even today I miss you, my brother. And you found a way to continue present.

It was very hard to finish this post, but still, it was worth it.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

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