The Forgotten Politics Behind Contra's Name by Matt Morey [Kill Screen]
Do a quick Google search of “contra.” Browsing the first few pages, you should see a saturation of links about the videogame—the now-primary version of the word—sprinkled with other definitions. Next in the deck is contra as preposition: “against, contrary, or opposed to,” suitingly enough. Then, a “contemporary New York cuisine” restaurant; contra-dancing, a folksy flirty form adaptable to many musical styles; the second album by Vampire Weekend; and eventually, peeking through before being closed out again, you’ll stumble upon the elephant in the room.
The always-excellent Shmuplations has translated a 2011 interview about the creation of classic NES game Rockman, known in the US as Mega Man, and its sequel. It's a great depiction of the creative process relating to game development.
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]
In 1975, the blockbuster movie Jaws was released. The series culminated in 1987 with a fourth movie, Jaws: The Revenge. The NES game Jaws (online) was released that same year, incorporating elements of both the original and fourth movie. But you probably don't know about the game that Mirrorsoft commissioned in 1984 from the husband-and-wife coding team, Dave & Sara Crud. They made a ZX Spectrum movie tie-in for the original film, only for rights holders to back out and leave it unreleased for nearly three decades ... UNTIL NOW! Or at least that's the backstory MeFite malevolent wrote. [via mefi projects] [more inside]
After the huge success of the NES, a whole host of bootleg consoles came out around the world. The Dendy console brought a new age of video gaming to the newly born Russian Federation. Kinaman presents a retrospective of the numerous pirate Mario games on the Dendy system in three parts: 1, 2, 3. (Russian with English subtitles)
Stephen Totilo of Kotaku tries to determine the correct chronology for all the games in the Super Mario canon.
What is Spelunky? Well, it's a game that's "as generous as it is bloodthirsty," with "astonishing creativity and spectacular depth." First appearing as a freeware PC game in 2008, Spelunky (previously) is a hilariously brutal and oddly addicting marriage of roguelike, platformer, and puzzler. A new version was released for Xbox Live Arcade on July 4th, with updated visuals and a warbly soundtrack that recall the days of SNES gaming, as well as a deathmatch mode that's been compared to the mayhem of Bomberman. If you're anything like me, you'll get hopelessly consumed. (Trailer. Original freeware version for PC and Mac.)
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)
Here is a video playthrough of The Legend of Zelda without a sword. It is possible to get right up to the last boss without one, although it requires knowing a lot of tricks. That is exactly what mev1978 does in his playthrough, without dying. And then he does it again in the second quest. First quest (1:61:31) - Second quest (1:13:18) [more inside]
Violinist plays the music and sound effects of NES games. Donkey Kong. Dragon Quest III. Super Mario Bros 3. [more inside]
Fire up your NES emulator and get ready to ROCK, chiptune-style. 4 whole songs! It's D-Pad Hero. [more inside]
Wonderful Nintendo art! A deviantArt user has taken action shots from NES games and placed them in real world scenes. Just a few: SMB 3, Streetfighter, and Excitebike. But be sure to check out the whole gallery.
Nes Micro To go along with your portable snes, playstation, and Atari 2600 of course. Want to do it yourself? buy the book. Lots more stuff on Ben Heckendorn's home page (how quaint!). (found all this googling for pictures of NES cartages)
Mario Adventure - SMB3 hacked into an entirely new high-quality game