My childhood best friend loved animals, especially reptiles and all kinds of fish. I don’t know if he still does, as our relationship fell apart during the college years, and one day he just vanished from my life. I’d like to imagine he works at a zoo or is a veterinarian, but thanks to the magic of Facebook stalking…I know that’s not true. For most of his birthdays, I’d get him a couple packs of whatever new set of Magic: The Gathering was out (the Invasion block era if you want to pinpoint it), but one year I got him a videogame, one that I thought played directly to his interests–Treasures of the Deep.
I don’t think he liked it or played it very much, as eventually I ended up borrowing it from him–y’know, like people do all the time with the gifts they give loved ones–and then later traded it in with a bunch of my other PlayStation 1 games when it was clear the birthday gift was not missed, not a winner. Hence, it being a game I regret parting with.
In Treasures of the Deep, which kind of sounds like an Indiana Jones subtitle that I’m sure Shia LaBeouf would love to steal without crediting, you play the part of Jack Runyan, an ex-Navy Seal who has become, naturally, a freelance underwater treasure hunter. Your main objective is to complete 14 varied missions ranging from disasters, such as things going awry on oil rigs or a plane crash, to simple exploration type missions, like scouring the wreckage of a sunken ship for goodies. Along the way, you can pick up as much treasure as you can find; once a mission is complete, Runyan can use this golden booty to buy more weapons, equipment, and upgrades for SDVs (swimmer delivery vehicles) or submarines. By capturing rare sea creatures in nets, you can also earn extra money.
Similar to Colony Wars, another game I regret parting with (post still forthcoming), the game had a real sense of place. You’re underwater, and you felt that constantly. Plus, you’re not just in some ocean; there’s real-life locations to see, like the Bermuda Triangle, the Puerto Rico coast, and the Marina Trench. Dolphins sing, your radar beeps, bubbles escape, and the water swooshes to create a laid-back atmosphere, backed by a moody soundtrack-stirring ambience. I have both a fear and fascination with large bodies of water, able to find it extremely relaxing and also terrifying and full of unseen monsters. I don’t want to dive too deep, though I do want to know what’s down there. That probably explains why I can only remember the very early levels in Treasures of the Deep, as I played it extremely safe, keeping close to the surface. My recent time with Hero in the Ocean reminded me warmly of those early missions.
Unfortunately, the sad truth hidden in this post is that it’s currently a lot easier to get a copy of Treasures of the Deep back in my life, but it’s really the childhood best friend I want. Unfortunately, that priceless treasure sunk to the dark bottom of the ocean years ago, that fateful Thanksgiving break, and is now buried and irrevocable, with no radar map to help.
GAMES I REGRET PARTING WITH is a regular feature here at Grinding Down where I reminisce about videogames I either sold or traded in when I was young and dumb. To read up on other games I parted with, follow the tag.