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1/23/12

Old School Gaming, and the Hidden Messages Within

I don't really have a lot of time to play video games, but when I do, I like playing the classics.  Don't get me wrong, some of the newer games out there are flat-out amazing, but I think it's more fun to play a 25 year-old version of Mega Man than I do fragging some newbs in Halo.

I have a Wii, and recently went on a buying spree for some old NES, Sega, and Super Nintendo games.  I picked up the original Legend of Zelda, Super Mario 1-3, a few SNES games, and one of the most difficult games I've ever played, Fantasy Zone.

Fantasy Zone is an old game for the Sega Master System (before the Genesis) and was one of the first games I ever played.  To this day, I still can't beat the game.  If you have a Wii (or an emulator on your PC) I challenge you to try it... it'll make you rage...

One of the fun things I noticed was the wonder of 8-bit games on a 40" Hi-Def television.  I was playing Super Mario Brothers when I noticed this:

At the end of the first 7 levels, you defeat the boss, and a little mushroom tells you "Thank you Mario, but the princess is in another castle."

I paused the game.

"Wait a second, is that little fucker flipping me off?"

And what do you know, he was...

Instead of being sincere and telling me to go to the next level, he's saying "BAHAHAHA, you got PUNKED, bro!  Try again!"

That mushroom bastard...

What's funny is I'm playing these games with no delay or interruption.  I remember being 8/9/10 years old and having to blow into the NES cartridges to make sure all the connectors were free of dust.  Then insert the game.  Hit power.  Wait.  Didn't work?  Pull out, blow some more, try again.  With the Wii, it's almost.... anticlimactic...

Half the fun of playing the games was getting your machine to work.  It made you feel like an engineer, saying "There.  *I* fixed it" when nobody else could...

Oh well.  Saved the princess.  Now off to Hyrule next, to see if I remember all the hidden things in Zelda.  Huzzah!!!
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18 witty retorts:

Martina said...

Oh sweet sweet 8bit graphics. I love me some NES games. I rescued an old NES console from some old ladies basement once upon a time and soldered the power cables back together just so I could play the vintage cartridges on more time.

Then I learned the magic of emulating & ROMS-- a hacked PSP with a memory card with every NES, SNES and SEGA game ever is my everlasting road trip companion. The graphics may not be up to today's standards but they still rule imo. <* /nerd>

A Beer for the Shower said...

Man, poor Mario. After fighting off monsters and jumping over pits of lava, he's greeted with a big mushroom that just flips him the bird. Maybe someone should tell him that a woman he's been chasing after for 25 years and still hasn't gotten probably isn't the best dating prospect.

Autumnforest said...

You are so going to love my son's blog about old-school gaming. http://yesteryeargaming.blogspot.com/

Pickleope said...

It's not so weird he's flipping you off, but more that he's wearing a diaper. Kinky lil toadstool.
The old school games were often impossible to beat. I defy anyone to claim they beat Contra without using the Konami code.
Ahh I just fell down a nostalgia rabbit hole.

Jessica Jenkins said...

Sometimes for fun I'll still blow in the Wii's slot, for old times sake. And yeah, I know that sounds dirty.

Matthew MacNish said...

The most difficult game I've ever played is Ninja Gaiden - Black. I eventually beat it, but only with the help of guides.

angel shrout said...

OH I LOVEEEED Super Mario and when I was pregnant with my middle son I ruled Zelda. To the point I bought poster boards and hand drew out the maps for each level of the game. Oh yeah baby I had all three ways to beat it mapped out in my living room. I went after them again when we got our Wii and still play them. My kids love them as much as I do..

Haven said...

Oh man I LOVE LOVE LOVE my old 8-bit games. I still have my original NES (the only gaming console I've ever had - sorry guys but I'm a superior PC gaming snob, hahaha). And let's face it, original NES is by far the best gaming experience EVER! Go go old school.

I had a point. What was it?

Oh! I also have a simulator for my PC and yes, it is a bit anti-climactic but at least I don't have to stress out over whether I'll get to play my game today haha. Cheers.

Crack You Whip said...

Oh, I might be older than everyone here, not sure, but I used to play Atari...ugghh...missile command. I broke a million easy, no sweat...oh yeah.

Sub-Radar-Mike said...

Oldschool games were so well designed, they could make even simple platforming an engrossing experience.

Lady Estrogen said...

@Matthew

The only reason I know Ninja Gaiden is because of The Wizard with Fred Savage. lol

@Lost

I played Mario (1,2,3) until I had bruised thumbs. Awesome.

Tony Van Helsing said...

New games are essentially the same gameplay-wise as the old classics. Just with more advanced graphics.

OKinUK said...

Dear sir,
I beg to disagree with your interpretation of Mushroom's hand gestures. Clearly, Mushroom is giving Mario a common Western hand signal of encouragement, the double thumbs-up.

It is also a common idiom in the Nintendo world of "one-up", the green mushroom. In the color scheme the double opposite of red is green, therefore, Mushroom is merely helping Mario realize, subtly, all that he can achieve.

Sincerely,
The Ministry of r/gaming

Alex D. said...

I laughed for a good five minutes when you said the part about the "little fucker flipping me off" haha

G said...

I remember Fantasy Zone and the hours of frustration that I lost from my life. Strangely that I had a lot more staying power back then...these days I tend to give up and trade it in for the next new title

Leon Kennedy said...

the double bird... what a troll toad is

Dale said...

hahaha, that's so funny about putting it on the big screen and the little guy looks like he's flipping you off. I actually know what you mean about keeping the old school games around though. I never played any video games since MarioKart. I miss those little races.

P.S. If you don't like the denim with wiskers, skip them. Or get a couple H&M pairs in different styles if you're getting talked into them. hehe :)
~Dale

Jessica said...

My husband and I own a bar and we keep an old school Nintendo there with a box of games. When a game doesn't work, and you're trying to make it work, all of the bar patrons suddenly become a game show audience - 50 people all yelling " Shake it! You have to blow in it! Press power and restart at the same time! "

We wouldn't give it up for the world.

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