Mega Man Tape
May 9, 2012 7:12 PM   Subscribe

From 1990: A 12 year old, armed with an NES, video camera and VHS recorder, films a walk through on how to beat Mega Man. (SLYT)
posted by reenum (16 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
Indistinguishable from a modern 12 year old explaining how to play a video game.
posted by TwelveTwo at 7:23 PM on May 9, 2012


How to beat Super Mario Bros. 3 in 11 minutes.
posted by John Cohen at 7:30 PM on May 9, 2012


More coherent that a lot of LPs I've watched.
posted by figurant at 7:32 PM on May 9, 2012


Considerably better than most webinars I've seen.
posted by oddman at 7:37 PM on May 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's kind of like a TEDx talk.
posted by DoctorFedora at 7:51 PM on May 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


Collect the crystal.
posted by Arthur Phillips Jones Jr at 8:14 PM on May 9, 2012


It's probably just nostalgia, but I love VHS artifacts.
posted by Doleful Creature at 8:30 PM on May 9, 2012


Thank you for this find. Listening to our narrator, I am reminded how much gaming has changed in the last twenty (!) years. Something about the way he talks makes me think I'm hearing a recording of the last speaker of an extinct language. It's sad, and somehow a little life-affirming.
posted by Nomyte at 9:18 PM on May 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Don't get hit. It will deplete your health and you will eventually die.

Shoot an enemy until it dies.
posted by Redfield at 9:40 PM on May 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is great. Thank you!

Renting a whole Nintendo system from the video store was cost-prohibitive for us except on special occasions, so when we could only afford to rent a movie, I'd often (re-)rent one of the Vestron Video series "How to Beat Home Video Games," just for the pleasure of watching someone play video games.

This kid could've practically sold this tape to Vestron to use as-is. How'd he record his voice and the game audio to the same VHS tape? I couldn't have figured that one out.
posted by churl at 10:40 PM on May 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


Mega Man games are still being released. Several have gotten bad reviews for being too similar to the old installments. Mega Man 10, which even used NES graphics, was released on Xbox Live two years ago.

"Gaming" has changed a lot in the sense that there's more of it in more varieties, but I don't think there's much of it (much of the "video" kind, anyway) that we've lost in any meaningful way.
posted by LogicalDash at 4:27 AM on May 10, 2012


I was 10 years old in 1990. This kid could have been my older brother, or that guy a grade or two ahead of me in school. Man, what a nostalgia kick.

I remember renting stuff like the Vestron Video series. I also remember reading Jeff Rovin's How to Win at Nintendo Games over and over again. Then there was the Nintendo Power's Video Game Atlas, where I stared at maps of Super Mario 3 levels for ages and then tried to create my own on pencil and paper. The real kicker was Electronic Gaming Monthly's sneak preview of that game Super Mario World that had just come out on Famicom in Japan and was about to hit the states on this console called Super Nintendo... we were seeing glimpses of a whole new world, weren't we?
posted by pianoblack at 5:48 AM on May 10, 2012


Then there was the Nintendo Power's Video Game Atlas, ...

pianoblack, I had that atlas, as well. I discovered that every time I wanted to renew my Nintendo Power subscription, I could use one of those "Subscribe for 1 year and get Bonus Magazine X" cards that they slip inbetween the pages of the magazines. I didn't actually have a subscription until the early 90s, but I did collect plenty of those bonus magazines. I remember the Atlas specifically because while the monthly magazine would sometimes get torn in my house, the Atlas was the one book that I actively repaired, and it was pretty much held together by packing tape by the time I reached highschool. Considering it had maps for the Super Mario Bros series, the Castlevania series, and the Legend of Zelda series, it got more use than nearly any other video game magazine I owned. I feel kinda sorry for future generations, because with the Internet, there is very little need for things like a shelf of well-used gaming magazines full of maps, codes, and secrets.

...where I stared at maps of Super Mario 3 levels for ages and then tried to create my own on pencil and paper.

For some more nostalgia, I remember early on a friend telling me about a game called Wrecking Crew. I had heard that it had Mario and Luigi and had a level editor. While this is all true, the game itself isn't exactly what I expected, which was being able to create SMB1-style levels using an editor similar to Excitebike. I had pages and pages of graph paper filled with my own SMB levels. I remember pausing SMB1 and counting how many blocks high the level would go, even. You know, for accuracy. This was before I ever got a subscription to Nintendo Power or the Atlas, but my pages resembled the maps found in such magazines. This was also before SMB3, though I am sure I had seen SMB2 at that time (to this day, SMB2 is my favorite NES-era SMB game). My levels were somewhere between SMB1 and SMB3 - something akin to the Lost Levels, I suppose. I had vines that would go up to full levels in the clouds (not merely bonus areas, but areas with actual obstacles), secondary exits from underground coin areas, etc. I wish I still had those pages, because they would be an interesting look into the mind of younger me.

Now, with all of that in hand, imagine my disappointment when I finally got around to renting Wrecking Crew.
posted by mysterpigg at 9:23 AM on May 10, 2012


Mega Man games are still being released. Several have gotten bad reviews for being too similar to the old installments. Mega Man 10, which even used NES graphics, was released on Xbox Live two years ago.

"Gaming" has changed a lot in the sense that there's more of it in more varieties, but I don't think there's much of it (much of the "video" kind, anyway) that we've lost in any meaningful way.


I wasn't talking about "loss." What I wrote is that the way he talks, and the way he plays, and the way he talks about how he's playing, somehow sounds subtly antiquated. It was the way he talked about lives and tricky jumping sequences and enemies that he called "guys" because they had so few distinguishing features. And "collect the crystal," that just sounds like it came out of a magazine walkthrough.

Today, few games count "lives," and jumping sequences are far less ubiquitous, and most on-screen enemies are detailed enough to be called something more specific.

I also wonder if children are really the main audience for the XBLA Mega Man 10.
posted by Nomyte at 9:58 AM on May 10, 2012


This kid could've practically sold this tape to Vestron to use as-is. How'd he record his voice and the game audio to the same VHS tape? I couldn't have figured that one out.

He could have sent his microphone to the left audio channel and the gameplay to the right. Or he could have just used a Y-adapter.
posted by parliboy at 10:26 AM on May 10, 2012


> Today, few games count "lives,"

Definitely.

> and jumping sequences are far less ubiquitous,

Sort of. Platforming games now always seem to have you climbing up the sides of buildings/walls/ruins, basically playing out the same kinds of jumping puzzles except vertically (and usually with fewer repercussions for failure).

> and most on-screen enemies are detailed enough to be called something more specific.

On the contrary, I think the enemies from the classic Mega Man games show a huge variety in design and behavior that's missing in my favorite games of the current generation. We've traded a plethora of simple enemies with distinct looks and behaviors for a glut of soldier (or zombie/other template) enemies with sophisticated behaviors but who are only really differentiated by what weapon they carry.
posted by churl at 10:43 AM on May 10, 2012


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