The darkened backseat of a cab may be, at first glance, one of the more ominous ways to introduce a video game. In Animal Crossing: Wild World, it is the beginning of something joyful.
“Rainfall taps at the windows and wipers groan against the glass as your driver, Kapp’n, seeks to discover who you are and just where exactly you’re headed.“
This sequence, although relatively short and unique in its atmosphere, immediately struck me upon playing it for the very first time. The calmness of the moment presents a distinct sense of comfort that only grows as you progress through the game.
This fresh start, albeit virtual, preceded so many moments of peace across my younger years, wherein I could sneak away to my little island and spend an hour or two (or seven) simply ‘being’ in a place that felt far, far away from wherever I was.
“Your brief journey concludes and the rain lets up as you arrive on your island, infinite adventures now waiting for you as you relish in this new beginning.“
Even when revisiting the scene all these years later, I’m still met with the same inexplicable calmness, but now the familiarity of it all blends with a sweet surge of nostalgia, a feeling that I have learned not to take for granted.
And so now, every once in a while, I think back to that darkened cab and the rainfall taps, and reflect on those little moments that evoke something you can’t quite describe and yet can’t quite forget.