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How did we ever keep Giga Pets alive?

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So, I was hitting a garage sale on the way home, because the “Huge Sale” signs were the most alluring siren call ever. Except they were a lie, and the dude had serious spacial interpretation issues if he considered six tables of junk “huge.”

I was about ready to leave, ready to deface a few signs along the way, when two precious babies caught my eye. I came face-to-face with two Giga Pets, a cat and a frog, and I couldn’t look away. I had to take them away from this place, so $2 later, I was home with new toys with fresh batteries. (I forgot to “fix” the garage sale signs on the way, but my faith in humanity assures me that someone must have righted that wrong.)

I was a master of the Giga Pet back in the day. I don’t want to brag, but I not only had a menagerie of Giga Pets, but at least 4 different varieties of Tamagotchi, a Nano Pet and a Digimon. I think it was due to a parental guilt thing. My dad wouldn’t let me have a pet dog or cat, so my mom got me some virtual playmates. Now, I may be getting old, but I distinctly remember keeping some of these digital babies alive for at least two or three weeks straight.

giga pet catWhich makes the fact that I can’t keep a Giga Pet cat live 24 hours now, at the age of 30, even sadder.

My tale of sadness and woe begins last Thursday night, around 8pm Central Standard Time, as I inserted batteries into Giga Pet Cat and Giga Pet Floppy Frog. I dubbed them Kiaz and Dude. (Kiaz was supposed to be Kia, but I’m an old, grown woman and the buttons were small, so she just got a little more unique.) I was enthusiastic, as my love affair for these little baubles rekindled, and may have even cooed at their digital cuteness.

Then Dude turned into the most demanding little jerk ever. Every five minutes he wanted something. Food. Love. Clean water. He was being totally unreasonable. Kiaz was much more tolerable, only peeping demands every 15 minutes or so, but Dude had found my last nerve and was flopping all over it. How could a tadpole need so much? He’s a freaking tadpole!

Fortunately, both critters went to bed at 9pm, so I only had to deal with their needs for an hour. I figured it would be much easier the next day, and went to sleep assured that I had this. I was a former Giga Pet master. I would raise the best virtual frog and cat ever!

Then, Dude woke up sometime before 8am the next morning. 8am on a day when I was supposed to be able to sleep in until the crack of 9. I was woken by the sound of faint beeping, fell back asleep and entered into a pattern of waking and sleeping every 15 minutes until, at 8:45, I finally mustered the strength to silence both Giga Pets. Kiaz wasn’t starting anything (yet), but I figured you can’t be too careful.

It was then that I decided Dude the Floppy Frog had to die. I was humanely going to completely ignore him, in the hopes he would swiftly and sweetly pass away into the great digital beyond. I put the sound back on for him at about 10am.

giga pet floppy frogBesides, I wasn’t just doing this for me. This was for the good of Kiaz the Giga Pet cat as well. One would be far easier to care for than two, which means her survival and well-being was practically assured. So, for about four hours, I listened to Dude’s death knells. That is, I heard a brief chirp alarm about every half hour or so, as he begged for salvation. Instead, I let him drown in his own filth, as seen at the right.

I’m a monster.

Yet, I still believe my intentions were good. Kiaz, the Giga Pet cat, should, would and could have thrived as a result of my actions! You know, had I remembered she existed.

See, the problem is, Kiaz was the quiet type. I went out with friends to bum around and have dinner on Friday night, and I left the Giga Pet home alone. I figured that Dude could survive about six hours on his own, before he turned into a virtual, tadpole angel. Kiaz could deal until I got home.

Except, I completely forgot about her. Didn’t even remember to turn off the lights in her little, virtual room when I got home at 10pm-ish. In fact, I totally forgot I was even caring for a Giga Pet until about 9:20pm on August 17, 2013 – a full day later. Naturally, Kiaz had passed onto the other world as well. Maybe. When I checked her plastic home, the screen was only displaying my final score. I had earned 13 out of 100 for my care of Kiaz. There was no image of a kitten angel, like there was for Dude.

Which makes me wonder, how did any of us ever manage to keep these characters alive? Could the creatures’ survival been due to divine intervention from our parents? Did we have better memories? Or maybe we had more spare time? I don’t know.

What I do know is, two Giga Pets couldn’t even survive 24 hours in my care, and I’m almost afraid to try playing again, for fear of a repeat of last week’s events. I suppose I should be content in the knowledge that I could do this when I was a kid, and I have managed to keep a real cat alive for the last five years.

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