Every now and then Amber decides she’s curious as to where I first got my fascination with transformations and whatnot. Between the two of us we’ve put forward a few possibilities, including some involving early imprinting on the films The Little Mermaid (1989) and Aladdin (1992). They both featured magic, transformation, and attractive females during what would have been the beginning of some formative thoughts in my development, and Amber has been satisfied with this theory.

But while I will always acknowledge that those films probably put down the foundation of my fascination, I always knew there was something more. Something that had actually flipped the switch. And I finally found it. Recently I decided I wanted to read some of Piers Anthony’s Xanth series, and while looking for a nice bunch of books to buy off of ebay, I stumbled across this;

The front box art to my copy of the Companions of Xanth PC game.

Holy crap. I never thought I’d see that slightly cross-eyed face again! Although Companions of Xanth is from 1993, the moment I saw this box art again I knew it was the trigger – and I knew I had to buy it. Holding it in my hands brought back the entire memory; as a kid, I had been taken to CompUSA with my mother. We were looking for something, I forget what, when I saw that box on the shelf at the front of the store. For years I thought it was some sort of Ultima or early MMORPG box, but I remember specifically realizing; this doesn’t have my attention because of whatever game is inside. And I was certain from that moment forward that I had an especially heightened interest in the fantastic.

We didn’t have a very powerful computer at the time, and I never even picked up the box to look at the back. I couldn’t bring myself to make mention of it, given the reason for my interest. My last memory of this artwork is making every effort to catch a glimpse of that shelf everytime my mother and I walked back down the aisles. I remember seeing it from the checkout line. And then we left, and like most PC games it quickly got swapped out for something else, never to be seen again on subsequent returns to the surprisingly long-lived CompUSA.

Since it was 1993 I wasn’t even able to look it up on AOL at the time, because we didn’t have that yet, so my ability to further pursue the amazing box was completely stymied. The experience faded into the back of my memory.

Until now.

Speaking of which, let’s finally take a look at that rear box art (I apologize for the fuzziness, there’s an issue with the box and my scanner);

The rear box art to my copy of the Companions of Xanth PC game.

Looks like there’s some sort of sexy lingerie devil girl. Can’t imagine what that image would have done to me back then.

Now, thanks to Irony, I have a computer that’s too powerful to run the game…let alone accept diskettes. Although I’m aware Companions of Xanth was re-released later on as a CD, I’ve always found ways to get antiquated tech to run on things before, so I want the challenge of getting this version working and having a play. Anyone who’s played it before feel free to chime in on it, and I’ll let you know my impressions once I get it running…