Nintendo Entertainment System

NES hardware  -   NES software

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The topic has been going in and out of public minds for several years now. The two most recent occasions - Congress' picking on Sega CD Night Trap and now the news media's picking on Doom II - both essentially dealt with the same problem; are video games bad for your children?

As us NES children know, the answer is: Definitely!

Some of us with good memories might remember the news stories that came along with the NES craze. I remember Philadelphia's NBC local news station running this wild advertisement for its own "video scare" segment, showing a kid playing through world 8-3 of Super Mario Bros. while an announcer blared on about "The new Nintendo mania! Your children are crazy about it - but is it safe for them? Find out tonight at 11, only on KYW Eyyyyyye.. WITness News!" Guess what - I think they used the same recording for "The new Internet craze" and "The new violent computer games craze"...

But couldn't you see some of the ill effects on the kids you hung out with? Especially if you were like me and went to a day camp with a few NESes set up in the rec-hall building. The counselors all had a sheet of paper discussing the special needs of the children in their domain.. and there would always be one child with the subheading "No Nintendo - encourage outdoor play".

And you could guess what kind of kid he (always he) was. Short, wore tank tops or Vision Street Wear, double chin, maybe a cool "buzz cut" that looked more like his mother simply took a razor to his head, maybe some Jams that didn't match his shirt. If everyone was playing soccer, he would always try to be goalie so he wouldn't have to run around as much. And, of course, he would always be trying to sneak into the rec hall to play some Nintendo.

Remember back when your toaster NES worked? None of the ones at this camp ever did - you, the player, would have to do a big bad wolf impersonation on the cart connector to even have a chance. Naturally, the camp had the same old games, year in year out - Gotcha, Stinger, Star Voyager which no one could understand. But this kid, the kid who was supposed to be outside playing, would bring his own carts (I imagine he had his NES taken away at home). That's how I got introduced to games like Castlevania and, you know, WCW Wrestling, and other sports games that were taylor-made for that atmosphere. Even Major League Baseball is fun when playing it with 6 other screaming kids.

When camp ended, though, no noticeable effect could ever be seen on the No NES kid. If anything he seemed slightly pudgier as you never saw him in the pool and he always skipped out on canoeing trips and the like. And although no one such kid stayed another year - presumably his parents devised some other torture for him - there would be another of the breed to replace him next summer.

People in the US can talk about guns and crap being a major problem, but I think - and this will probably be the NES' greatest legacy - the number one problem is that the kids of today are getting fat right from the start via video games and shit food. That's |tsr's One Point Advice for this column - While playing your NES, try to keep it to three slices of pizza a night, OK?




The current NES Game Spotlight is:

Legendary Wings
from Capcom

Nintendo World Championships 1990

Tetris from Tengen

Hot Slots from Panesian
All 3 Panesian boxes

About Active Enterprises
Action 52 from Active Enterprises
The Cheetahmen ][ from Active Enterprises

Action 52 (Box) from Active Enterprises

Double Strike from AVE
Dudes with Attitude from AVE
Venice Beach Volleyball from AVE
Wally Bear and The No Gang from AVE

About European/Australian releases

Super Mario Bros., Asian Version from Nintendo

Duck Hunt, Hong Kong Version (box) from Nintendo
Super Mario Bros., Hong Kong Version from Nintendo

About Color Dreams/Wisdom Tree
Menace Beach from Color Dreams
Operation: Secret Storm from Color Dreams
Bible Adventures from Wisdom Tree
Joshua from Wisdom Tree
Spiritual Warfare from Wisdom Tree
Sunday Funday from Wisdom Tree

Six Games in One from Caltron/Myriad

About demo carts and prototypes
World Champ demo cart from Romstar
Major League Baseball demo cart from LJN
Miracle Piano hardware prototype from The Software Toolworks
Motor City Patrol demo cart from Matchbox
Pyramids of Ra/Scarabeus from Matchbox
Shockwave "proto" from AGCI
Terminator 2 prototype from LJN
Several AVE demo carts

Control Deck Test Cartridge from Nintendo


New-style NES from Nintendo

Aladdin Deck Enhancer from Codemasters
Game Action Replay from STD
NES retail demo unit from Nintendo
PlayChoice-10 from Nintendo
Honey Bee from Honey Bee Soft
Game Genie new style NES adaptor from Galoob

Duo FC computer from Duo Computers

You may already own a Famicom-to-NES adapter! Check this handy guide to read about the adapters inside certain old NES carts!


Selections from the Nintendo Power catalog

Kirby's Adventure store hanger from Nintendo

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