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Our NES Memories: 30 Years of Famicom

Becky Hollada, Staff Writer

by Becky Hollada - July 23, 2013, 8:09 am EDT

The beginnings to the obsession.


A game that promotes vandalizing people’s homes who refuse to subscribe to your paper? Oh yeah. For a port of an old Atari arcade game that I probably only played half a dozen times on the NES, this one stuck with me. Despite being easy as pie for some people, I can remember how much time I wasted on this game, determined to make it past a tricky dog or homicidal maniac in his car. I loved it so much that I eventually spent an entire camping trip during my teenage years playing a remake on my old Gameboy Color.


Another arcade port that I probably played only half a dozen times. But this one I actually fondly remember playing late into the night with my dad. We would rotate the controller between my dad, my sisters and I. Usually it fell upon him to actually make it to the next level. The rest of us fell prey to Coily more often than not.

TMNT III: The Manhattan Project

This game is possibly the first one I ever beat, which was an accomplishment back when I was five and couldn’t play almost anything without losing eight lives in the first level. It’s even more of an accomplishment considering that I could only play it at my cousins’ house a couple times a year since my family’s NES died early in my childhood. My sisters and I would plunk in front of the TV the second we got to my aunt and uncle’s and rotate controllers based on deaths for hours until we could beat it. We also had to play without being able to cause damage to one another because half of the time we would end up killing each other out of spite or because it was funny.

Duck Hunt

With one of the first real steps away from traditional controllers, the NES Zapper and Duck Hunt provided me with hours of solo entertainment shooting at ducks and skeets on a screen. It was a great time for someone with little talent at video games, especially when there was no one around to pull the weight on more difficult titles. To this day I hate that dog, and I’m sure not the only child who wasted bullets on his smug little face. A lot of bullets.


Aside from Super Mario Bros 1, Contra was the only cooperative game my family owned for the NES. For a family with three little girls, this game lead to a surprising amount of shouting matches as a result of one player dying because the other was too slow. And like a lot of people, no, I never beat it.


CericJuly 16, 2013

I played To the Earth with the Zapper Headset that you spoke to activate.

StrawHousePigJuly 16, 2013

I heard he was a total Star Wars nerd.

A nerd! :o

ejamerJuly 16, 2013

I remember buying To the Earth due some confusion. We were supposed to buy Solar Jetman, but hey, the games are probably almost the same right? Both involve... well, space.

After the initial disappointment, I sat down and started playing To the Earth. Eventually we could get through the first 3 or 4 levels, which seemed pretty substantial. Even though the game was tough, it was really quite enjoyable once you had enough practice. I liked how you were forced to be accurate with your shots since every miss was costly and would reduce your fuel level. The one downside is that Duck Hunt became almost unplayable - the pace was just so slow.

Have thought about reacquiring this game now... but not sure my adult self would have the persistence (or time) required to build up the skill and memory required to get through each level.

Quote from: StrawHousePig

I heard he was a total Star Wars nerd.

A nerd! :Q

This is another true statement. But that didn't happen until 1994! I send out a big "Thank you" to USA (the TV channel) for having marathons of the movies around Independence day back then!

You know, apparently The Lone Ranger also used the zapper in the first person areas, but we could never get the thing to work properly.

xcwarriorJuly 19, 2013

Top 4 all worthy selections. Never played Darkwing Duck. But the omission of Legend of Zelda/Final Fantasy/Tetris/Baseball Stars 2/Duck Hunt/Mega Man 2/MM3/Double Dragon II and probably others is sacriligious!

So many good NES titles.... I normally am for NES games being on Wii U VC and not 3DSVC, but I would pay $5 in a heart beat for Baseball Stars 2 on 3DSVC.

Ian SaneJuly 19, 2013

I like Brian Davis' story about the parental network in the neighbourhood making sure that their kids each had a distinct library of games between them.  In the NES days I figured that in regards to videogames parents fell into two categories:

A: parents that thought videogames were evil.
B: parents that would buy their kids games but had a knack for zeroing in on the worst game in the store 99% of the time.

With videogames it seemed like us vs. parents.  So Brian's story was refreshing, showing that that wasn't the case every time.

TheFleeceJuly 21, 2013

Justin, our stories are so very similar it's almost scary! I always think about that event almost everyday, it's one of my favorite memories. These stories are awesome, I've enjoyed them all.

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