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This Day in History

On Oct. 18, 1985, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) first went on sale in the United States

I would just like to take a moment to commemorate this historical event.

Happy Birthday, NES. I still love you now as much as I did when on the day you were born. Twenty years later, you still sit by my tv, right next to your offspring, the Game Cube. We anxiously await the next generation of Nintendo gaming. And while I may play with and bestow affection upon the other Nintendo systems, you will always hold a special place in my heart and forver remain my favorite. Thank you, NES. Thank you for Mario and Zelda, for Metroid and Kid Icarus, for Ninja Gaiden and for everything that came after you - SNES, Game Boy, N64, Game Cube - Happy Birthday.


Hang on, I'm getting verklempt.

Feel free to share your NES memories. What were your favorite games?


The Mario side scrollers are definitely among my favorites, especially the original and Mario 3. I also remember the hours of playing Rad Racer. Unfortunatly when I was little my mom got rid of our original NES. I guess she figured the SNES alone was good enough.

Oh how I loved Mario. But in truth, it's the SNES that does it for me. I think I'll go home and play tonite. :)

mmm...happy b-day nintendo!

One of my most frequently played games on my GBA is the GBA reissue of the original Super Mario Bros. Still one of my favorites.

Zelda. Forever and ever my favorite game. Possibly for the music as much as for the game itself.

the first Legend of Zelda. the Mega Man series. Contra. Blades of Steel. Tecmo Super Bowl.


No contest.

(Consolation prize Toejam & Earl though)

The side scrollers were by far my favorite. I preferred the adventure games - Legacy of the Wizard, Battle of Olympus (I've got this one, but no system on which to play it). I'm sure that at my parents' house, there are still pieces of paper floating around with long, incomprehensible codes written on them.

Though, back in 1985 had you taken that $200 and bought Nintendo stock instead of a Nintendo NES game, you'd have, like, a gazillion dollars, but a less rich life.

{I did a quick search on historical stock prices to quantify 'gazillion' but nothing came of it.}

The boys were just playing tetris on my cell phone and I was trying to explain to them what this system was!

Bionic Commando! (Come on, how many games had a final boss that was Hitler's head in a jar?

I was introduced to the crack that was the NES by my sister-in-law, who was writing for a games magazine in Japan. "Here," she said, "try this." I failed to notice the evil grin.
Four hours later I was forced to go buy my own system so I could finish playing Dragon Quest 1. I still have it in my office in Japan, loaded up with Shanghai for sanity breaks.

I remember wearing out our system to the point where we would have to jam another game on top of the one we were playing just to hold it down. And the dents the controllers used to make where your thumbs meets your palms...

Double Dribble Basketball.

Screw Madden!

The greatest football game ever was Super TechmoBowl.

The Dragon Warrior series from Japan was terrific. When a close friend died suddenly of a heart attack and I couldn't work for a week, I bought the first game in that series and named my hero Kirby after my buddy. At the end of the game, when I'd solved everything, the people yelled "Long live Kirby! Long live Kirby!" First time a video game ever made me cry.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms was a superb war/economy game. Solstice was my favorite jump & shoot game with the isometric 3-D effect. Zelda was terrific, Contra was a great side-scrolling shooter. Kid Icarus and Crystalis are two others I really enjoyed; in Kid Ic, I actually worked out what the code keys meant, so that I could restore my hearts from any position.

One game I enjoyed but never finished was one that involved a family going down into a dungeon to find four parts of a weapon. Each of them had some skills they could use; the dad was tough enough to fight, the boy had springy shoes, etc. Loved that game, but can't remember the name for the life of me.

Christmas of '88,we bought our first NES for the boys, who were 9 & 6. We didn't put it with the rest of the gifts under the tree in the living room; instead we hid it in the family room. The boys unwrapped their aunt's gift, which the first Zelda game. They looked at it and said "oh....". I told them, "Oh, I guess Jo thought you were getting a Nintendo this year....let's go in the family room by the fire and have some hot chocolate."

While we were in there, we did the "A Christmas Story" thing - "Hey...what's that over there in the corner??" The look on their faces when they saw they had actually gotten the NES was truly priceless.

Of course, after they went to bed, I'd stay up till 4, playing that game. Man, I loved it...."Bombs, I need more bombs" - and discovering the trick of going in the first level, coming out, and then going in again to get an extra key..

Best game ever.

I was stationed at Clark Air Base in the Philippines when I first played with one. One of the guys I worked with was married and lived off base. Whenever our flight was on break we'd spend one of the days at his house barbecuing and drinking beer.

Once the video game hit we'd have drunken contest, insulting each others play and having a grand old time. Soccer, hockey, Contras... burgers off the grill and beer from the cooler. My gosh those were great times. Were we ever really that young?

Oh, and don't forget:

Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start. 30 lives in Contras, baby!

Ah, it was my 14th Birthday. Santa brought me a Colecovision in 82 (I think) and I still played it at 14 (that speaks to the staying power of that system). Mom asked me what a good video game system for my young cousin would be and I told her the NES was the coolest, latest thing, but not to waste it on him.

She didn't. Birthday morning I opened up the NES and the game Top Gun. Unfortunatley I had to go to school and couldn't hook itup until I got home.

Favortie games: Contra, Tecmo Bowl (good Army times there), and Golgo 13.

Zelda--and Mario...oh, all of 'em actually! When NES came out I was just startin' as a teacher in CA schools (elementary). One day I made a crack to my fifth-graders about stayin' up too late playin'. INSTANT respect and awe. The boys 'specially couldn't believe their teacher played Nintendo!

Thank you NES. You made my job sooooo much easier!

I was the king of Super TechmoBowl! I also loved Contra.

I was the king of Super TechmoBowl! I also loved Contra.

I was the king of Super TechmoBowl! I also loved Contra.

Brainster -

The game whose name you can't remember is Legacy of the Wizard (one of my favs as previously mentioned). I was never able to solve it, though I spent hours upon hours playing it.

I'd forgotten about Solstice. That gamr drove me crazy!

1. Ninja Gaiden 1 and 2. The first Ninja Gaiden is the most difficult action game in the history of the NES. No cheat codes, no hope. Level 6-1 is the most imposing challenge ever offered by any NES designer. Plus, there was brilliant use of plot devices and cinema-like cuts that pushed the 8-bit technology to the limit. The second game was much easier, but had some dramatic stuff that made it a worthy sequel.

2. Contra -- GIven the different scrolling formats (horizontal, vertical) and the plethora of weapons, Contra is a worthy second to the Gaiden series

3. Castlevania II: Simon's Quest. Adventure gaming meets vampire-and-demon killin'. I knew codes in the past that guaranteed different endings after you defeat Dracula. I forgot them.

4. Legend of Zelda. In the opening sequence that lays out the three Link game save options, type in Zelda in each field. It gets you to the Second Quest automatically.

5. Super Mario Bros. 3 -- Give me a Hammer Brothers suit, I'm huntin' bad guys.

The "ok" ending in the new Castlevania on the NDS unlocks a mode where you basically play it as Castlevania 3 - you have 3 switchable characters (a Belmont, a female magic user, and Alucard) and remixes of your favorite NES tunes to keep you company. (And one of the bosses morphs into a Gradius baddie as an extra retro bonus). The past is still with us :-)

I still play and love Rygar and Dr. Mario. Happy happy birthday!

Thanks, No One, that was indeed the game I was talking about! I too never finished it.