What with the 25th anniversary of the release of the NES being upon us I figured I’d tell a story about the first time I played one. I don’t know how old I was, but it was at a friend’s house. His family had all of the game systems before mine. Before the Nintendo I remember he had something that you actually had to program in lines of code to play. Then a Colecovision or one of those crapboxes.
The NES was a different kind of animal. It was all very cohesive and streamlined. Like an Atari you had cartiges, but they went into their own little compartment. A compartment that wasn’t filthy looking no matter what you did to it. It was a clean, mostly white, box. The controllers had cross pads instead of joysticks, so they were much smaller and easier to deal with.
The games were something altogether different too. My friend only had Mario/Duck Hunt, but that was all it took. Super Mario Brothers was so much cooler than anything I’d played up to that point on a home system. Things actually looked like objects rather than colorful squares strategically arranged. They looked like something you might see standing in a convenient store. An arcade in your house… What could be better? All the fun of an arcade without all the bullshit of being around the kind of person likely to frequent an arcade.
I’m not sure, but I think I got an NES for Christmas that year. I got a stack of games with it too. Mostly Konami games for some reason. Some of the titles became franchises I still play today. Now you could try and blame the system for making me what I am today, but that’s backwards. It’s like blaming a gun for killing someone. I was always going to be a shy loner who couldn’t connect with people. The Nintendo just gave me something to do with my time. I probably learned more about the world because of video games than anything in school. Looking up the whys and wherefores of things I found strange, like names for swords and armors, which led me to ancient history, and on and on down the line of interconnected human experiences.
My original NES still works. I’ve had to repair cords I broke, and clean dirty leads, but it functions when I need it to. That’s something lost on new game systems. Part of the reason I haven’t downloaded many ports of old games is that if I really wanted to play them I could just turn on the Nintendo. That’s quality. 25 years or so of reliable service. There aren’t a lot of things in my life that can make a claim like that.
Will we be seeing the gang in Ghostbuster outfits later? That would be fun.
And I do wonder what Reggie’s training regime will be like. I remember I was half-trained by my first job, which didn’t make things productive.
The early days of a job are significantly improved if you get a good mentor.
Gotta say I’ve never liked Mario. That fat, smug little bugger always got on my nerves. Then again, my first computer game experience was playing Sonic on the SEGA Mega System.
And although my Mega System probably still works I have no idea, since my stepdad lost the power cable and, being one of those really old ones, none of the other cables would fit. I do still play Mortal Kombat on my Master Drive.
Or were they the other way around?
I honestly couldn’t tell you. I didn’t have a Sega till many years after they stopped production. I got a Saturn that had been stored in a bard for several years. Never have found any games for it, but as far as I can tell it still works. The music playing thing inside it functions at least. There’s a big hole in it that looks like something belongs in it, but I don’t know what it would be.
The Legend of Zelda.
The original one.
OMG I love that game.
For those that haven’t seen it, check out the Legend of Neil – http://effinfunny.com/legend-of-neil/seasons?vid=342&sid=1
I watched it a few weeks ago, and it made me reminisce so bad – but sadly, I don’t have a working console anymore.
Yeah, it’s getting harder and harder to find the old consoles. People are starting to hoard the working ones. I have a spare of all the Nintendo systems up to the 64.
Mega Man 3 all the way. I couldn’t get enough of the Mega Man games no matter how much I played them.
I liked 2 better. Played through them all except the newest ones though.
In my room we put the old family entertainment system which has the nes and snes as well as a sega genesis. The cords for the sega kinda suck but the other two work wonderfully, I do at times play some games and have a good time. I really like super mario world better than any of the nes ones. TMNT manhattan project for the nes is the one I really like playing. You really make a nice comic with some cool characters, sad that Reggie is back so soon but glad to see both Nina and Brooksie; those two are my fav unsurprisingly.
I remember renting that Turtles game. I think I jump kicked every enemy to death. XD
Oh shit…new trainee with a slight attitude meeting up with ultimate dick. We’re going to something 10 times greater than the flaming display Nina mentioned that Reggie was involved in at one point. =3
The potential for disaster is great.
I think I was like 6 or 7 the first time I played and NES and I’ve been hooked ever since. I actually had a Atari first and it’s weird because I can remember playing that better than I do playing my Nintendo. Probably because the Atari games were more frustrating a left a lasting mark on me. I don’t think I’ll ever forget what it was like to play E.T. without therapy…
I played Food Fight for hours at a time. Looking back I’m not even sure if I actually liked it, or if it was just better than Yar’s Revenge.
I was born in ’88, so I wasn’t around when the NES first came out. I did first get to play the original Zelda at a cousin’s house when I was four, and because my parents didn’t let me get a console until fifth grade I often had to go over to friends’ houses to play. Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, I’m now able to play many of the games I missed. I think the fact that my old gaming experiences basically meant I had to take whatever chances I was given is what prevented me from becoming one of those obnoxious fanboys who hates all systems beside their arbitrary favorite.
That kind of zealous brand loyalty stems almost completely from poverty. As a kid you have to convince yourself that whatever game system you have is the best one, because you can’t have another one. Once I had my own money that Nintendo VS Sega bullshit was out. I had me a Dreamcast, a Playstation, an N64, and I played the crap out of all of them.
My first proper console was a Sega Mastersystem that I eventually sold to pay for games for the Sega Megadrive that replaced it. Eventually I sold that and stopped playing games.
…which was incredibly stupid, like selling my lego I went through this silly phase of “growing up”. Now I have a smaller, more modest lego collection that has in pride of place three figures that will be staying complete, the only three left from my original collection. I also have (or more the case we have) a megadrive 2, a genesis 2 and a modded megadrive 1 to play Japanese games. Why did I ever get rid of my original one!?
We have a PS3 as well and several things from inbetween that we got cheaply second hand and strangely the PS3 is probably my least favourite of the lot. Jess likes it even if she does swear at Sony a lot over the thing and its updates that kill off features and take three hours to download when our connection is slow.
Me, I’m happy with the older things and the DS (also second hand) because for the most part we jus have platformers and puzzle games on it, exactly the things I like to play.
I think almost everyone goes through that misguided time of “growing up” and getting rid of shit we then end up trying to get back the rest of our lives. For me it was a stack of M.A.S.K. toys. I don’t even know what I traded them for now. XD
I’d like to get a 360, since it seems to have the most games I’d like to play, but these horror stories about system failure really put me off. I mean it’s already expensive AND it breaks? What’s that about? I mean really. It’s basically just a computer on the inside. You’d think they could keep them from burning out. I’ve never had a PC melt down like that.
It goes back to that lasting 25 years thing with the NES. I’m spoiled by super high quality olden time stuff. XD
Well, the RROD (Red Ring Of Doom) problem was mainly in the first generation of XBox360s being rushed, and any refurbished or brand new 360 has dealt with that problem. I too have my NES, but I don’t know if it still works or not. I remember the days back when being a gamer required you to have good lung capacity because we didn’t have compressed air to blow dirt/dust out of the contacts on the cartridge.
That was the worst way to clean those leads. I always used a clean Q-Tip and some cleaning fluid that wouldn’t degrade the board.
Actually, blowing was better than compressed air. That’s because the problem wasn’t that the contacts were dirty.
When you inserted or removed a cartridge, it bent the upper row of contacts out of the way inside the slot. After a while, this caused metal fatigue, so that they didn’t make good contact with the cartridge. Blowing on the cartridge contacts deposited a fine spray of saliva, which acted as a bridge between the cartridge and the console. Compressed air would be too dry to help.
But, yeah, cleaning fluid was probably best.
I felt that way about Nintendo 64. It was like.. woah… magic… y’know?
Yeah, it was pretty awesome. Smash Brothers took a huge bite out of my time, along with Vigilante 8, and that Castlevania everyone else hates.
I must say, that as Awesome as Brooksie and even Reggie is, I wanna see more Ed and Nina ~
We have to remain patient. If I blow it all at the beginning there won’t be any story left to tell.
My sister and I had my mom’s Atari and a SNES growing up and I still go back to play them even though I have an X-box360 and a PS2.
My favorite game was Mystic Quest and it was the first RPG I ever finished. Right now all three of the save logs are before the final boss and at least one of them has every available item. Ah well nostalgia is nice to indulge in.
As for today’s comic I have to say I agree with Nina that when the a-hole is not your problem it is usually a better day.
I don’t remember that game. I must not have ever played it…
Oh wait… You must mean Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest! I DID play that game a bunch of times. The America specific Final Fantasy that everyone forgets about. I still remember the ending to that game.
Yes, it’s much better not being responsible for problem staffers.
Did they ever do a sequel to it?
No. I don’t think they ever did. The two American titles: Mystic Quest & Secret Of Evermore, didn’t do very well. I’m not sure how long it was before the U.S. team was allowed to make a game again.
Damn it, Mystic Quest had fantastic music.
Alright, way to get half your point across, self.
Cont: I miss that damn game–or at least, I miss the game my damn nostalgia tries to convince me I played.
It’s on the Wii download service. Just added coincidentally enough.
…Frame 4… is this a movie quote… or dyslexia… it makes no grammatical sense… to me…
It’s just a different way of saying Thomas has to watch Reggie and not me, but that’s not how Jo talks.
I still have the picture of the christmas i received my NES its framed becuse it was such a defining moment of my life! nothing beats an old console game they just have a diffrent feel to them then these new games.
There have been some really nice throwbacks recently. Shantae on the DSI is really solid platforming in the style of the SNES, for example.
I imagine having Reggie around would be a great help in case of ghosts. No one would argue to sacrifice him first, and there’s always a chance he will set the ghosts on fire! :D (That is assuming you can set ghosts on fire and not just guys in sheets with eye holes cut out.)
I doubt Jo is so desperate for sacrifices that she would even consider asking Reggie, but he’d certainly be the first one left behind if she did. I think it would be unwise to take Reggie anyplace where the timbers are potentially old and dry…
No doubt BUT I imagine Reggie as the type who would crash the party and then make a fuss about why he wasn’t invited.
That does seem like something he would do.
Guess I’m old. I officially started playing video games back in ’77 with one of the original Pong home machines. Then an Atari (Coleco had better games, but the damn control was either ahead of its time or behind it. Sort of like a one handed mouse attached to a remote control with a wire leading to the machine.) A few years later I wanted the next Atari system, but that was about the time that particular company started going under, making it hard to find, expensive, and with almost no games. Which is all part of why Nintendo almost never got the Famicon into the U.S. in the first place. Fortunately, there was Super Mario Bros., which looked and played JUST like it did in the arcades. And of course the light gun and Duck Hunt (although Hogan’s Alley was the better game). A friend of mine had one of the earlier releases with R.O.B. (a largely pointless peripheral, but DAMN! It was a robot! A household robot and it came free with a game machine!), only to replace it with a second controller, usually at his feet, occasionally in a friend’s. Didn’t have a steady job at the time of the Super Nintendo/Sega Genesis so I was almost late getting those, then afterword had cash to get my own Playstation. My one comment for every system AFTER the NES… THEY didn’t come with a frakkin’ Robot, bitches!
I still own a NES. Of course including a 4-player adapter.
World Cup and 4-player adapter. So yeah.
And I kinda feel reminded of this one: http://www.xkcd.com/218/
Panel 3: “Bustin’ makes me feel good!”
Hah, what a dork.
Reggie, Reggie, the point of training is exactly so one knows what to do with oneself.