Douglas E. Smith, creator of the classic 8-bit computer game Lode Runner, which got a second life as one of HudsonSoft's most iconic Famicom titles in Japan, has died at the age of 57. [more inside]
Nintendo's Famicom (the Japanese counterpart to the NES) launched in Japan three decades ago this week. Ars Technica and NintendoLife have posted tributes and history lessons of this console.
The blog of video game journalist Jeremy Parish,
ToastyFrog GameSpite TeleBunny.net, has four in-depth, stage-by-stage, exhaustive examinations of classic 8-bit game design: Castlevania, Castlevania II, The Legend of Zelda, and Castlevania III. They are required reading for prospective game designers. (Complete links inside. Mega Man fans, look here.) [more inside]
Legends of Localization: The Legend of Zelda is a comparison of the Japanese and American versions of The Legend of Zelda. It highlights differences in music and SFX, why the intro story is in English in both versions and why Pols Voice supposedly hated loud noises, what some of those cryptic hints originally said and how Testitart became Manhandla. [more inside]
Here are fan-translated Game Center CX (previously) Episodes on YouTube: #1: Atlantis No Nazo, #2: Challenger, #3: Ghosts 'N Goblins, #4: Konami Wai Wai World, #5: Metroid, #6: Solomon's Key, #7 & #8: Prince of Persia: Part 1 - Part 2, #9: Mega Man II, #10: Super Mario 3. Much more after the break.... [more inside]
Chris Covell translated a Japanese social studies book about the making of Super Mario Bros. 3.
Today is the 25th anniversary of the release of The Legend of Zelda. Celebrate by learning about some of its oddities or watching some commercials!
Merry Christmas from lostlevels.org: An unreleased beta of The Legend of Zelda! Videos showing it off: 1, 2, 3. Cutting Room Floor has documented the differences from the release version.
Chrontendo is a video podcast in which a guy systematically described and discusses every Famicom/NES game released. Currently up to 33 episodes and counting, and covering hundreds of games. [more inside]
September 13, 2010 marks the 25th anniversary of the original Japanese release of Super Mario Bros, featuring the return of everyone's favorite sailor, Popeye. That's not right, he's the Italian carpenter, Mario. Wait, now he's a plumber with a brother (named Luigi Mario), and they're not normal, they're super! And they're fighting to save Princess Peach Toadstool from an angry ox king, who became the stubborn but cute turtle Bowser. [more inside]
Doctor Sparkle is in the midst of a noble endeavor: he's playing every single Nintendo Entertainment System, Famicom and Famicom Disk System game in chronological order. Not only that, he's recording himself doing it for hour-long episodes of gameplay and genuinely enlightened and erudite commentary. You can start with his recent re-recording of Episode 1 (Donkey Kong through Hogan's Alley) or the latest, Episode 30 (Battle of Olympus through Fuuun Shaolin Kyo - Ankoku no Maou). Want to find his review of your (least) favorite game? Here's a convenient episode guide (WIP). Doctor Sparkle isn't done yet, though. He's also chronicling the Sega Master System and PC Engine/TurboGrafx 16 as well in his parallel projects Chronsega and Chronturbo, respectively.
Takeshi no Chōsenjō: it came before the endurance test that is Desert Bus, and served as an inspiration for Janey Thompson's Marathon. In English it is known as Takeshi's Challenge. Released in December 1986 for the Famicom system, the game mechanisms include use of the Famicom microphone to sing karaoke for an hour. And that's after you drink to the point of blacking out, divorce your wife, quit your job, and learn to hang glide AND learn the Hintoba language, amongst other things. All of this takes place in lands populated with nothing but people that want to beat you to death. Of course, you can skip that all and complete the game in a mere 4 minutes by simply walking off the edge of existence, and magically ending at the final treasure room. [more inside]
Takeshi no Chousenjou may be the hardest videogame ever written. With a title screen warning that it was "created by somebody who hates videogames" (actually writer/actor/director/comedian Takeshi "Beat" Kitano) "Takeshi's Challenge" forces gamers to endure such tasks as singing karaoke for an uninterrupted hour and holding a single button for four straight hours. Players who endure to the end are rewarded by having to hit the final boss 20,000 times. If you don't speak the language, you might be able to enjoy the game as a Japanese precursor to Grand Theft Auto, but those who understand it more fully see it as "a videogame that riffs on human disappointment for as many hours as the player is willing to search for redemption." Warning: last link contains possible spoilers for Mother 2 and some of the Metal Gear Solid games.
Mario Adventure - SMB3 hacked into an entirely new high-quality game
His name is Mr Freetime, he has 2,967 copies of Moero!! Pro Baseball for the Famicom. He knows how to use them.