News Article

Features: Things We Miss About the 8-Bit Era

Posted by Zach Kaplan

It's the little things that count

Today, the virtual reality experience of the Wii is as immersive as Lawnmower Man director/writer Brett Leonard ever could have hoped, with Mario as real and in-person as an actual member of our family and special effects so vivid that we compulsively hold our breath during underwater levels.

Okay, maybe things haven't changed that much. And with such advents as the Virtual Console and its predecessor, the Classic NES Series for Game Boy Advance, as well as the return of classic gaming in such titles as New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Mega Man 9 and Sonic the Hedgehog 4, it seems that either the nostalgic hopes of retro gamers have reached Nintendo executives' ears or that those gamers have begun to design games themselves.

But as reminiscent of the old days as Retro City Rampage and BIT.TRIP RUNNER are, there are some things they'll never be able to bring back. They're the little touches that, while seemingly inconvenient, make us feel at home. Here are the things to which, with a tearful eye and limp Power Glove, we've had to wave good-bye.

Blowing into the cartridge

Why is Paperboy missing a head? Is Mario supposed to be made of seemingly random numbers and letters? How long is this blue screen going to last before the game starts? In our more innocent days we asked ourselves these questions, but it wasn't long before we became familiar with the effects of dust on a disc. The solution? To forcefully blow into the cartridge, then the system, and then the cartridge again to make sure, and finish it off by clicking it into and out of the NES a few times. The scratched CDs of today just can't match the comic effects and homebrew solutions of the cruddy cart.

Many today remember this less as a preventative measure and more as an essential step of the process. It was necessary so often that it just became second nature to blow into the cartridge. It was almost as if our very breath, our inner essence, was the secret ingredient to make the magic of video games come alive. Perhaps we're waxing idealistic, but we'd like to think that this came naturally to our wonder-filled childhood minds.

The cartridge itself

Bulky. Sturdy. You could put it in your pocket, you could throw it around a room, and you never had to worry about a scratched data layer. You could stack them up and see all the names on the side – which, of course, you can still do with disc cases, but more often than not, space-conserving binders have made this a thing of the past. Nintendo would cling onto these through the Nintendo 64 era, while Sony and Sega had already switched to CDs, for their infinitesimal loading times – but we'd like to think that they were reluctant to let go of toss-the-cart a bit as well.

Holding down Reset to make sure that Zelda saves

You're done playing? You don't want to lose your file, do you? Then you'd better hold Reset down as you turn it off. Does it really work? Do you really want to find out the hard way?

Really, really bad translations

These days, one slip and the entire gaming community is laughing at you, but there was a time when this was far from the truth. Bad English was a common occurrence in video games, a fact that Nintendo arguably pays tribute to with the "Shine Get!" screen in Super Mario Sunshine. Here's some of our favourites:

"A winner is you"Pro Wrestling

"Congraturation. This story is happy end. Thank you. Being the wise and courageour kinght that you are you feel strongth welling in your body. Return to starting point. Challenge again!"Ghosts 'N Goblins

"I feel asleep!!"Metal Gear

"Conglaturation!!! You have completed a great game. And prooved the justice of our culture. Now go and rest our heroes!"Ghostbusters

"Contact missing our Grey Fox!" – Metal Gear

"On the planet 'Farmel' they had the gloriest days for two centuries, since the stardate had established."Air Fortress

"The truck have started to move!" – Metal Gear

Passwords

Done with Metroid for now? That's alright, just type in 018000 020000 04GA00 0000XG next time you start. Make sure that you can tell the difference between a zero and the letter "O". Is that a G or a 6? Is it exactly right? You got the right number of zeroes? Are you sure? You'd better quadruple-check, just in case.

Game Genie: The "Code" Part of Cheat Code

Before cheat codes were so much a normal part of a game as to appear in the pause menu, there was the Game Genie, a magical device that you'd attach to your game and plug into the console. Before it started, you were treated to a simple display of letters and three lines of blank spaces in which to put them. With your trusty Code Book at your side, as well as the supplemental issues that you could opt to have mailed to you when more codes were discovered, you'd input set combinations of characters and your game would magically become a lot easier. Infinite lives and infinite health were no brainers, but this little device could seemingly break into any area of a cart's coding and screw with it. Ever wanted to play Mario with moon gravity? Just input YAZULG. What about making it so that "Everyone can jump high!" in Friday the 13th, as the codebook put it? That'd be GAEUZIAE. Ever wanted to wear a red ring in Zelda? OSKUILTA.

Best of all, the more creative gamers could try their hand at inventing codes of their own by inputting random sequences of characters and seeing what they did. How else could you make Goombas act like weird springy Jellyfish, eliminate all of the game's moving platforms or end up in a mysterious set of levels that killed you automatically? Ok, so it doesn't sound like much, but it sure was cool when something worked.

The best part of this and of all other cheat codes was that they actually felt like codes. You weren't just unlocking a feature that the designers had intended to be in the game, you were breaking into the software itself, messing with the actual letters and numbers that lay behind the pixels. Today, everything fits together so tightly, perfectly and complexly that we simply marvel at the advanced technology rather than try to understand its ingredients, but back then, anyone could be an amateur hacker.

Tip Hotlines

"Hi, how do you beat Bowser in Mario 3? Oh, you just let him pound the ground and fall through? Ok, thanks. No, I don't mind the charge, my parents pay it. What's the difference between an 800 and a 900 number again?"

America Offline

One commonality of all the above features is that you had local knowledge, and only local knowledge, at your disposal. You heard from a friend that blowing into a cartridge was a good idea while another told you that it was actually bad for the game. You had to collect all of your custom Game Genie codes and passwords on actual, physical paper or in the standard "Notes" section of a game's instruction manual. Best of all, you would stumble on things, like the secret level select in Mickey Mousecapade or the Warp Whistle in Super Mario Bros. 3 (unless, of course, you saw The Wizard).

It's because there was no internet to rely on: no database of cheat codes, no message board of spoilers and no YouTube playthroughs. All you had was your down-home wisdom and the neighbour kid who knew about how to find the Warp Pipe. With global interconnectivity came the loss of a certain innocence and personal connection with your games, something that's sadly lost forever. How cool was it to be the only kid in your group of friends who knew how to beat a certain boss or which block contained a secret vine in Super Mario Bros. to take you up to a super-cool coin-filled area?

Some took advantage of strategy guides and gaming publications, and for these gamers, their sense of discovery lay somewhere between that of the connected Internet user of today and the adventurer described above. Between collecting bookshelves full of the stuff and waiting at the mailbox for the next issue of Ninendo Power, there was a lot more magic and joy than that of the person who knows that if they do happen upon something neat in a game, it's already been publicised a thousand times over on the web.

You just accepted it

Today, developers and publishers brag and boast about their advanced technological capabilities, so much so that any flaw, any stray pixel, inexplicable graphical effect or female GoldenEye 007 character with man-hands is immediately screen-captured and dispersed among the Internet.

Not so back in the 8-bit era. Back then, you never questioned why half of the characters in the Paperboy crowd scene were missing limbs. Or why the exact same villagers appear in every town in Zelda II. Or why all the characters in Punch-Out!! were over-the-top cultural stereotypes. Or why you were often forced to just go with no explanation at all of your objectives or a map to guide you. Or why every world in Super Mario Bros. ended with rescuing Toad, but seemed almost like Toad was playing a practical joke on you – how many times can Bowser kidnap this guy? Or why suddenly one of the characters in Double Dragon III was named Bimmy instead of Billy. Or why the characters on the box looked nothing like the characters in the game and, even when they did, they were often fighting monsters you'd never fight in locations you'd never visit. Today, the Mega Man box art is a running joke... but it wasn't back then. In retrospect we laugh, but back then, we just accepted it.

R.O.B.

We've seen some odd peripherals in our times, but R.O.B. takes the cake. This plastic disc-stacking robot would... stack pieces of plastic... in a way that kind of corresponded with what was happening on screen. We have to remember how cool it once was to even imagine that something you could do with a controller could affect what was happening on your television, but surely Nintendo could have thought of a better way to channel this. Not surprisingly, very few games took advantage of this odd little guy, and he soon faded into obscurity.

100% complete? Does not compute!

We're going to let Philip J. Reed have the floor, as he's written quite eloquently on this subject.

I wouldn't beat every game. It just wasn't possible, sometimes. You'd resign yourself to the fact that you owned (or rented) a game that you would not, under any circumstances, be able to finish.

Eventually I proved myself wrong on many of them, but that's almost beside the point. There was no question. We all owned Mega Man as a kid, but we were all impressed with anyone who could make it to Wily's Castle, let alone finish it. It was enough just to play the game, and to enjoy it.

Today there's an inordinate amount of expectation placed on being able to finish a game, to the point that gaming forums erupt in arguments when people feel cheated by a game that they can't complete. For some reason, difficulty has become a crime in the gaming world...unless, of course, there's an easy mode included. It's bizarre. Bozos spit venom if you dare to suggest that completing a game is not a necessary component of enjoying it. To some, that closure is essential in order to feel satisfied.

That's a symptom of a much easier world of gaming that's evolved, I think. In the NES days, many games still didn't HAVE endings, and those that did... well... you weren't likely to see them. But that didn't mean we didn't love the games. If anything, we loved them more. The difficulty kept us rapt, riveted, and attentive in a way that games today (on the whole) simply do not.

The Power Glove

It's so bad.

If you thought today's commercials were poor...

This pretty much sums it up.

Thanks to Mat Allen, Darren Calvert, Jacob Crites, Ron DelVillano, Andrew Donaldson, Dave Frear, Damien McFerran, Philip J. Reed, Desiree Turner, Marcel Van Duyn, and Jon Wahlgren for contributing to this article.

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User Comments (73)

Alias

#1

Alias said:

LOL Commercial. I liked how you guys put time into this, because it is a really good piece I will go back to when I'm bored.

Supermegaman

#6

Supermegaman said:

I wish cartriges would come back! Its just not the same to blow on my double layered wii disks that it sometimes cant read :'(

KaiserGX

#7

KaiserGX said:

I hate CDs, they scratch up, break and smudge. DON'T SAY I DON'T TO TAKE BETTER CARE OF THEM, I DO.

SD cards are becoming cheaper, can't we use something like that?

leon_x

#8

leon_x said:

I miss to chat with your friends about video games without the presence of other consoles fanboys

ecco6t9

#9

ecco6t9 said:

There was something more to having zero power in system that brought out creativity in developers, plus developers actually developing a whole game and not just reusing the same engine for nearly every game.

But in terms of memories, playing a game with no battery or password save. Getting to almost the end and then your mom makes you go to the store with her, it will only be 20 mins and you pray that your game will pause for that long but 99 out of 100 times it won't.

NintendoNaut

#12

NintendoNaut said:

WHOA NICE GRAPHICS!!

But I loved this article. Even though I didn't grow up in the NES era, I did grow up in the cartridge period. I was always getting my hands on my cousin's SNES and N64, and my own precious GBC. I especially love the part about no internet--so true.

Cia

#14

Cia said:

What's that "Shine get" screen? When i get shine sprite in SMS it just says "Shine!"

DiggerandIndy

#15

DiggerandIndy said:

@Faron
That was based on the Japanese version of SMS. It also appeared on the demo for the game.

Good thing people still make codes for the Game Genie. Not to spam, but there's a real cool website for the GG (if you can get it to work).
www.thegshi.org

dings

#16

dings said:

One thing that really annoys me about new games is the stories! I know some people really like them but I hate if I can't skip through the videos. I don't care why you have to do things in video games as much as how to do them. I think that's why I've stuck with Nintendo as their games seem to be pretty thin on long, overblown, poorly acted cinematic scenes.

Kirk

#17

Kirk said:

I miss the simplicity and immediacy of everything.

Put in game, power on, press Start, and you're off.

Try doing that now and see how many more pointless steps and how many loading screens etc you have to go through just to get into the actual first level of any game.

I long for that level of simplicity and intuitiveness again.

Luckily starting and playing a game on my iPhone is actually pretty much as easy as that so maybe someone will have the common sense to try to apply that level of immediacy and simplicity back to the consoles again.

aaronsullivan

#18

aaronsullivan said:

I actually did laugh at the Mega Man box art. I was AMAZED that it was a retail box on a shelf. There was either no screen shot or a tiny, tiny one on the back. I immediately dismissed the game. (There was no where to find info on it.)

Months later, I noticed my best friend had the Nintendo Power Guide and it had several screenshots of the game and I couldn't believe how good it looked.

I rented it. At the time I felt like I was one of the few people in the US that actually played the original before the super popular Nintendo Power hyped sequel.

The sense of a having a small group of friends discovering the games together was what I miss the most. That's partly just the age I was at though. You can still get that feeling with the indie game scene. There's some great little fascinating games and developments there.

To this day, I love super-challenging games. I just can't devote the time to them anymore. Love those Bit.trip games for this reason. I don't know if I'll see the end of any of them, and I'm completely okay with that (mostly). lol.

aaronsullivan

#19

aaronsullivan said:

@Kirk
I was about to point you in the direction of the iPhone after your first few paragraphs, but you didn't need it. I agree with you 100%.

aaronsullivan

#20

aaronsullivan said:

@ecco6t9
Thankfully Castlevania NES was good at pausing. I stayed up at a sleepover in my basement and played for hours after I passed the Grim Reaper (which I had only done once before that time) and I eventually just had to pass out. I woke up and it was ready for me! I finished off Dracula in the morning. :)

Deviant_Mugen

#22

Deviant_Mugen said:

I never did own my own NES (still don't), but it was my first console experience and reading this article brings back a lot of memories and a lot of nostalgia. The cartridge era was a simpler time, but--in my opinion--a better time. Back then you could lend out your games more freely without having to worry about your friends returning your previously-immaculate discs to you all scratched up. That era was more about love of games, and not petty console "wars" and inane arguments about graphics...

Great feature, guys; a very good read...

fishman100

#23

fishman100 said:

"Shine get!"
~ Super Mario Sunshine

"Badger get!"
~ Kay Faraday, Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth

Anyone see a connection here?

Wesker

#25

Wesker said:

Very interesting article.

About finishing games; it reminds me of Altered Beast, a game i got boxed in with the Mega Drive. I could never get passed the 3rd level! I didn't know anyone that could! Naturally I thought that was because I was useless and lived in a backwards area with little skill.

Since you transform into a beast, dragon and bear in the first 3 levels. We could only imagine what happend later on. I miss those days of wonder...

Of course now I know that you simply transform into the same three alterations and the levels just become more and more unfair. But back in the day, my imagination was full and the game was amazing. In a way, I miss not finishing games, as finishing a game is hardly ever as satisying as wondering what could be on the road ahead. Just like good old Altered Beast.

Fwow13

#29

Fwow13 said:

Great article, really captures what how many of the retro gamers out there feel and why. It was such a great era for video games, and it's hard to let it go.
I still pull out my Power Glove, Robotic Operating Buddy, and my Gray-brick Gameboy to experience that simpler time again.

ogo79

#30

ogo79 said:

this article is beautiful
ive been thinking about how back in the day there was a lot of games people never finished and like Philip J. Reed said you knew you werent going to be able to beat a game. i cant count how many games id rent knowing that myself. i was just telling my friend a few days ago that back in the day we didnt have the internet for game info...the only resources were friends and magazines. and on the blowing in the cartridge part, i can tell anyone how to pro-clean your cart games right the first time.

pinta_vodki

#31

pinta_vodki said:

One more of such features and I might get an overdose of nostalgia for the simple times. =D

Great read, guys!

ogo79

#32

ogo79 said:

how to clean cart games without blowing in them

you order the special tools online that let you take apart nes, snes and genesis games, spray the contacts with contact cleaner and scrub them with a green scouring pad until the bronze coloring is off on both sides. you are looking for a silver color finish on the contacts. put the game back together, and dip 2 q-tips in 91% alcohol and rub the contacts again with the alcohol covered q-tips. 2 q-tips each side. take 2 more q-tips for each side of the cart and rub them without alcohol this time to make sure they dry. use 91% alcohol to insure faster drying time. this works for all cart games. all you have to do after that is before each time you insert a game in a system is rub the cart with alcohol q-tips. you dont have to repeat the contact cleaner and scrubbing part for a looong time.

Fwow13

#33

Fwow13 said:

If you are just dealing with dirt and gunk on the carts contacts, another easy way to shine them up is to take a rubber eraser to them once the cart is open and the contacts are more accessible. Obviously if there is a major issue with corrosion, then the contact cleaner is the way to go.

LoopyLuigi

#34

LoopyLuigi said:

One point missing from the article is this: Back in the 8 and 16 bit eras, there were far fewer games being made and released. Today, the market is flooded with games, most of them mediocre, but still lots of really good games, so many in fact, that very few of us have the time or money to play them all. But back then, everyone was familiar with the great games because there were only so many to go around. I find myself nowadays having to sift through the release lists and decide which games do I really really want now, and which ones I may get around to later. Also, because games have so much more content now, we spend a lot more time playing each title, which means good value, but also means less time to play more games. Remember when FF3 boasted 30 hours of gameplay?! That was a lot then...

ogo79

#35

ogo79 said:

@Fwow13 thats true as well, but the reason i use this method is because theres a retro game shop where i live and i used to pay them to clean my games and this his how they did it. so i just learned from them. ive had no problems at all. i know some people use windex too lol

JayArr

#37

JayArr said:

I miss laughing at people who physically moved the controller everytime they jumped. Now thanks to the Wii, you have to do that. :O

pureval

#38

pureval said:

It is possible for some of these to still exist if we pass them on. My 4 year old has started playing NES games (not Virtual Console) and part of our "Good Night" routine is "I love the Power Glove, its so bad".

Splat

#39

Splat said:

If the game doesn't work blow in to the cartridge and try again it will work...

BulbasaurusRex

#40

BulbasaurusRex said:

You know, most of those were also true in the 16 bit era while still having more power and better graphics than the 8 bit systems. Gaming didn't change dramatically until the 32/64 bit era. It may be because I was too young to remember much of the 8 bit era (I was born in 1984) or that I've never owned an 8 bit system other than the Game Boy, but I think the 16 bit era was the true golden era of retro gaming.

By the way, I MUCH prefer the way we've gone with easier games with save systems that allow me to make it to the end of most of my games, and having the Internet available for gaming news and strategies.

@22 There weren't any pretty console "wars" back then, because Nintendo had already won the "war" early with only minor "rebellions" from systems like the Sega Master System. Another reason I prefer the 16 bit era is that there was healthy competition between Nintendo and Sega to inspire better quality.

Fwow13

#41

Fwow13 said:

@oldsgameonly

I completely agree that your method would be the best to restore carts to their original condition. I was just offering a quick alternative for when a simple cleaning is all you need, but then if you are already opening your cart up you might as well give an intense cleaning if you have some solution handy.

MeloMan

#42

MeloMan said:

What an awesome article. Words can't even explain how just... ALL of this was my NES past. Great job guys.

That commercial w/ that over-the-top guy and whack Nintendo rap? Man, I remember being able to rap that word-for-word back in the day! LOL! :D

I give this article a 2010/10 :)

Moco_Loco

#43

Moco_Loco said:

I never experienced this era of home consoles, but I played lots of games at arcades whenever I could. I've always loved how with arcade games there was no question of ever beating them. You just kept playing until you died and/or ran out of quarters.

One of the problems with the Virtual Console is actually the suspend feature. I know it helps with the modern convenience thing, but the trouble is that unless you force yourself not to keep hitting "continue," you keep restarting right at the point that you're stuck at.

On my Apple IIe I used to play games like Karateka and Kung Fu Master, starting over from the beginning each time. And having a blast doing it.

That said, I always did appreciate that six level Conan the Barbarian game for the Apple IIe. I used to beat it several times a day!

kevohki

#47

kevohki said:

The older I get, the less I miss about the 8-bit era. Nostalgia creeps in on some 8-bit memories (first time playing SMB and The Guardian Legend, etc.) but I miss the PS1-N64 and (especially) the PS2-Dreamcast eras the most now. Those are the eras I got the most enjoyment out of the games and systems.

Tasuki

#48

Tasuki said:

Great article it brought back alot of memories. Every once in awhile when a disc doesnt work I often say if this was a cartridge I could just blow in it and it would be fine lol.

MasterGraveheart

#49

MasterGraveheart said:

I miss the simplicity. I miss the music. I miss the graphics. I miss the controller. ...I'm gonna go sneak in a quick round of ImageFight before I go to bed.

GamesX99

#50

GamesX99 said:

Lol I wonder what if i take a kid who loves graphics like that into the future, show him a PS3 and his brain would explode!

mjc0961

#51

mjc0961 said:

Sonic 4 is in absolutely no way, shape, or form a return of classic gaming. It doesn't play like the old Sonic games. It doesn't even play like the new Sonic games. It's a completely brand new playstyle, and when it's completely new, it's obviously not the return of something old.

Also, I have to ask what drugs you are on if you miss passwords.

Victoria

#52

Victoria said:

I miss playing with my young nephew. I used to have him come over to help me get through trough spots in the game. It was the only way I could get anywhere in them because so many were really hard to beat!

JimLad

#53

JimLad said:

I miss pressing the power button and being taken straight to the menu screen.
No publishers logo, no licensing disclaimers, no health and saftey notice... just BAM and you're playing.

odd69

#54

odd69 said:

The Game Genie, ah what wonderful memories i had with that thing. I could beat so many unplayable NES games with it.

LuWiiGi

#55

LuWiiGi said:

LOL, even I'm feeling the nostalgia, and I never even had a NES.

Also, that translation problem in SMS reminds me of the bad grammar in Scribblenauts. When you get a merit it says 'Merit Get'.

kimaster

#56

kimaster said:

The part about the local gaming community really holds true for me. My roommate and I have been friends since sixth grade (fifteen years) due to video games. He was having trouble beating the boss of the third dungeon in Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. A mutual friend knew I had beaten the game and introduced us. If online guides had existed then, we never would have met.

Taya

#57

Taya said:

Great article! It makes me feel good that I grew up in the NES days. I got a NES in 1988 when I was 5 years old. I fondly recall blowing in the cartridges, never finishing a game, and somehow knowing the secrets of Mario 1 without having the internet or a Nintendo Power subscription.

Peppy_Hare

#58

Peppy_Hare said:

My two year old son prefers to play NES (especially Duck Hunt) over PS3 or Wii. I believe it has to do with there more immediate ability to generate joy. At any rate his preference for older games speaks volumes.

WanderFan91

#61

WanderFan91 said:

@piguy - Zero Wing is a 16-bit title, though, not an 8-bit one. I'll bet the Engrish from that game gave everyone in England (and the world eventually) a laugh the first time around.

SuperLink

#64

SuperLink said:

I belive the section about the Power Glove sums up everything we've known, know, and are ever going to know about that device.

Zach

#65

Zach said:

To everyone who posted nice comments, thanks very much. It warms my heart to read them. I had a lot of fun writing this article (with the indispensable help of my fellow staffers, of course), and I'm so glad you guys had fun reading it.

carson

#66

carson said:

i remember pushing the power button on...and off...on...and off...on...and off...on OH IT'S WORKING NOW WOOHOO!

Rerun

#67

Rerun said:

This brings back memories. I remember having to go around the neighborhood showing off my Contra skills (beating the game without 30 lives), finishing Simon's Quest and Mega Man (showing off the "pause bug").
I miss all the dumb rumors that would come out that you simply couldn't dispute unless you went to someone's house and proved it to him!

Lotice-Paladin

#68

Lotice-Paladin said:

I remember borrowing Toy Story from my neighbour as he was stuck on Pizza Planet...before even watching the film I pressed down by accident when a kid walked past and shown him my skills in beating the game in an hour! Was very impressed back then to have done it.

I also remember having a Game Genie for my Mega Drive...it was essential for Desert Strike and Hellfire...both VERY hard games.

JustanotherGamer

#69

JustanotherGamer said:

"Beating" an NES game such as Skyshark. A very hard shoot them up. The graphics were lesser than the arcade version. But Nintendo got the difficulty right. The game just "scrolls threw" from the last Boss back to the beginning stage. Your victory is to continue to rack up your high score. One point shy of 10 million if you can get it. The 8-bit N.E.S era had some of the hardest games to "complete"/finish ever. Blaster Master is another epic chore to finish. If you have played it you know exactly why...

therpgmaster

#70

therpgmaster said:

This article has touched my heart quite deeply. I'm glad to see that my generation as well as past and future ones feel the same way as I do.

My introduction to videogames happened when I watched my mom & dad play with their Intellivision when I was 4. Me, my older brother and my twin sister (fyi, I'm a boy. Well, a man now.) asked them if we could play. They both said yes, and we proceeded to have fun, playing such games as Night Stalker, Las Vegas Poker & Blackjack, Donkey Kong, Major League Baseball and, yes, a game called Kool-Aid Man.

In 1987, my old man bought the Nintendo Entertainment System, or the NES as most gamers called it. Needless to say, I was captivated by the music, the graphics and the controls. We spent literally HOURS playing Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt, using the screen cheat with the Zapper on Duck Hunt. Other games we played were Tetris, Dr. Mario, Guerrilla War, Faxanadu, Gyruss, 720° and Double Dragon II: The Revenge (me &my brother played that into the ground).

Most hardcore gamers never forgot their first game they ever bought with their own money. My first game was Punch-Out!! (not the Mike Tyson one), and to this day, I can only get as far as Mr. Dream.

In Christmas of 1990, We got the SEGA Genesis, aong with Home Alone and Spiderman Vs. The Kingpin. When me & my bro rented Sonic The Hedgehog 2, we were SPELLBOUND!!! Fast graphics, cool backgrounds and awesome music! When Sonic 3 came out, we tried to rent it. However, every rental place was out of stock (there were 6 in my area, each with 8 copies, 24 total), but you could put reserves on it, so I got to play it! Other games we played were Bio Hazard Battle, Fighting Masters, Forgotten Worlds, Toejam & Earl 2: Panic On Funkotron, X-Men and Rocket Knight Adventures.

In Christmas of 1993, we got the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (Super NES). I got Mega Man X, my bro got the Victor Maxx Stuntmaster VR Headset and my sister got F-Zero and Sonic & Knuckles, now in me & my bro's possession. I actually wanted the Super NES instead of the Genesis, but I digress. The Super NES was a fun system, and it was my bro that turned me on to RPGs via The Secret Of Mana. I loved the graphics, the music, the story, the battle system and the humor they infused into the story. other games I've played for the Super NES were The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past, EarthBound, Chrono Trigger, Clayfighter: Tournament Edition, Killer Instinct, Tecmo's Secret Of The Stars and of course Super Mario World.

I've bought numerous video game systems after that, including the Sega CD, Atari Jaguar, Turbografx-16, SEGA Master System and The SEGA Dreamcast, totaling over 22 systems (not including portables). Even with the PS3, XBox 360 and Nintendo Wii in my posession, I still like to play the games that got me to that point, in their original format (no Roms or Emulators). Life was fun growing up, and I owe it all to the systems that got me hooked: The Intelltvision and the Nintendo Entertainment System.

jwon789

#71

jwon789 said:

Stacking a second cartridge on top.
Just finished final fantasy, reliving my childhood and this time finally beating it. Perfectly nostalgic, but using walkthroughs made the victory hollow and meaningless.

Shiryu

#72

Shiryu said:

I miss nothing because I never really let it go. There doesn't go a day that I don't replay some of my old games. I'm so glad I never sold anything of the old systems to upgrade to new ones. I do miss the lack of friends for local play. We all grew up and have our professional lives now, so it's not easy to set up a Street Fighter / Mario Kart marathon. Even so, it's a fact that I prefer the games from the 8/16 bit era to the new ones.

taps

#73

taps said:

for post # 71, according to wikipedia Spider-Man (vs Kingpin) and Home Alone were released in 1991 (the movie was released in November 1990.) Also, Mega Man X apparently came out early 1994.

Thanks for all the great game recommendations and I love the Tecmo Secret of the Stars reference, I thought my friend Dave was the only one in North America who played/beat that game, well done!

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