Yes, I'm well aware you've read about six trillion such articles in your lifetime, but I don't care. Michael Jackson has passed away, I just watched my brother – who's almost 13 years younger than me – graduate from high school, and I'm feeling a little nostalgic and melancholy. So I don't give a rat's ass if you're not down for this; I gotta ramble a bit, and I have a venue for it. …okay, that was mean. Sorry. 'sigh'

Game don't play? BLOW!

Oh crap; we got that silly lookin' green screen again. On some TVs it was blue, on some it was blank, and on others, it was a garbled mess. But we all knew the proper scientific procedure to make the game work correctly: blow on the cartridge. In some of the more severe cases, you also had to bend over to blow into the machine itself, but blowing on the cartridge usually did the trick. But only you knew the correct method of blowing on your game. "Nah, you can't do it," you'd say. 10 seconds later, there you two are, playing Blades of Steel .

…where do we go? Um…right.

With the exception of a few, we typically put in a game and knew exactly where to go. The question above is actually a joke; the point is that none of us ever asked a question that had such a ridiculously obvious answer. You may not know what you'd run into over there, and you may not survive the attempt, but you knew damn well you'd be moving right . Once you did this a number of times, you started to know what to expect, of course. It was all part of the fun.

Without quarters, a mall trip is a waste of time

When gamers went out, they went to these places called arcades. As malls basically exploded in the '80s, you'd be hard-pressed to find one that didn't include an arcade. And as kids in that era, especially those fascinated with video screens and poorly lit rooms, going to the mall without any quarters was like going to to the basketball court without a basketball. As far as we were concerned, the mall existed for one reason and one reason only, and remember, we were kids . The chances of us going to buy a $60 cartridge (yeah, that's what they cost back then , so stop freakin' complaining about the price today) were slim to none. Those were valuable Christmas and birthday presents.

2-hour games yield 200 hours of entertainment

Those who look back are often confused by the state of affairs regarding length in video games. We have to remember: those games would literally only take a few hours to complete, but that was the ideal; in fact, it was an impossible dream for most of us. See, it was technically two or three hours in length, but as you would die six million times before you ever even approached the end, it felt a whole lot longer. Furthermore, this inherent challenge meant you'd probably have to play the same levels over and over again for a looong time before you advanced. Some people just couldn't handle the pressure…this is why Nintendo made nigh-on invincible products.

We grin at Michael Jackson's Moonwalker

It's because we almost couldn't believe that an icon of MJ's stature would even be involved in any aspect of the gaming industry, and on top of which…it was just plain amusing. Making zombies dance until they die, following that little chimp to the location of the next hidden girl, spraying little twinkles of dust at invading creeps; it was all very humorous. See, this was back before there was any controversy; back before things started to go south. And to have Jackson associated with gaming was just plain huge.

"All your base are belong to us."

If you don't know, you're too young. Look it up, and learn of the story for yourself. 😉

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fatelementality
fatelementality
11 years ago

All I have to say is "Ninja Gaiden…….I love you……but I HATE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But I love you. Oh Ben, what about "I feel asleep" Know that one?


Last edited by fatelementality on 6/25/2009 11:10:23 PM

Willcome2Urf
Willcome2Urf
11 years ago

I remember trying everything from rubbing alcohol , to stacking games on top of each other, shifting the game from side to side. lots of fun.

games reminded me of music back then. songs only last about three minutes, but you want to share and experience them with everyone you know.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

A very true look back, for my part I'd like to offer up two of my own little articles from the forums:

1st) Why my NES Console only worked for me, a drama.

http://www.psxextremeforums.com/gaming-discussion/9633-why-my-nes-console-only-worked-me-drama.html

2nd) A tribute to arcades:

http://www.psxextremeforums.com/gaming-discussion/9667-reader-submissions-thread-5.html

(Scroll to the middle of the page)

Willcome2Urf
Willcome2Urf
11 years ago

they had some wacky peripherals then too. I remember a balance board attached to a ball. take that tony hawk. I think it killed some kids, I'll have to look into that one.

GuernicaReborn
GuernicaReborn
11 years ago

A pogo ball?!

Naga
Naga
11 years ago

AVGN reviewed some accessories for NES, I think he did the balance board that had ball in the middle??

Willcome2Urf
Willcome2Urf
11 years ago

consoles aside, I remember computer classes in my elementary schools were nothing but games we played "Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?" Damn it was tough. Carmen was helpful, she'd leave hints." I'm east of Algeria and west of Thailand" Oh, really. Are you south of the moon.Thanks for nothing.Why couldn't that game have been more region specific.Where In the Tri-state Area Is Carmen Sandiego? I'd always go back to kicking ass on the "Trail."

Buffalo ain't gonna shoot themselves.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

"Buffalo ain't gonna shoot themselves."

That should be a bumper sticker.

Jed
Jed
11 years ago

My god the time I spent on the oregon trail. I think I died of dysentery about 100 times.

Thank god for the computer lab

Doosharm
Doosharm
11 years ago

LOL! And there's your other bumper sticker: "I died of dysentery 100 times!"

Arvis
Arvis
11 years ago

Personally, I like "Where In The Tri-State Area is Carmen Sandiego?" 😀

-Arvis

Willcome2Urf
Willcome2Urf
11 years ago

it was like a pogo ball , but it plugged into the NES, you had to shift to go up,down,left,right..but you still had to play with a second controller attached to use the A, B buttons. it was crazy. So was the power glove. most awesome and useless thing ever.

fluffer nutter
fluffer nutter
11 years ago

I vaguely remember that, testing it out at a store and not wanting to get hurt or have the patience for this. We had a store over in south county that had several TVs set up with your favorite game systems to try out all of the games they had. They seriously had about six lockers of games and when the store went out of business, it was like Christmas for weeks because we got to buy loads of Nintendo and SMS games for the cheap. Ahh, the memories. Good times. Good times.

Willcome2Urf
Willcome2Urf
11 years ago

reciting codes was like knowing all the lyrics to a hit song.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
11 years ago

Ultimate nostalgia item

Nintendo PowerGlove.

Google it….

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
11 years ago
Willcome2Urf
Willcome2Urf
11 years ago

just excited about this topic, thanks Ben. I'm done now.

GuernicaReborn
GuernicaReborn
11 years ago

But it wasn't just blowing on the cartridge. In my hood, you were a God if you could blow in the cartridge and make it whistle.

And don't get me started on the abuse an NES could take. My friends little sister one day decided to open a bag of dry rice and throw it around the living room(we were supposed to be keeping an eye on her, but we were too busy playing legos). She decided to throw some into his NES and we didn't find out until we took the game out and found rice in the cartridge… we just tipped the NES over, shook it, and got out as much as we could. Then we popped a game in and kept playing.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

LOL Good one. 🙂

Ogibillm
Ogibillm
11 years ago

The President has been kidnapped by ninjas.
Are you a bad enough dude to rescue the President?

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
11 years ago

There a great article on Wikipedia all about the "All your bases are belong to us" slogan, complete with the game's transcript, & the game animation too….

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_your_base_are_belong_to_us

John Shoemaker
John Shoemaker
11 years ago

I remember the old Macs we had in school that had games on it. Now those were fun. Even if they were educational.
I could blow through Number Munchers on prime in no time.

And then there was my Genesis. Sometimes you had to blow on them to get them to work. Others, you had to hold the game down in the system to get it to work. Nothing ever seemed to break no matter how hard you pressed or slammed the game in the system.

IronFace2
IronFace2
11 years ago

Michael Jackson's Moonwalker was the best 😀
i had it on genesis. I spent hours trying to beat that game and it was fun 🙂
By the way, I heard that Michael Jackson died yesterday…

fatelementality
fatelementality
11 years ago

I remember losing my gameboy outside one winter during a blizzard and didn't find it until all the snow was gone two weeks later. It still worked. Nothing compared to the Atari 2600 that I found in a junkpile that was left out in the open for at least 5 years. After a few hours of tinkering, it worked!!!


Last edited by fatelementality on 6/25/2009 11:45:43 PM

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

LOL Awesome. You couldn't kill those things.

kevinater321
kevinater321
11 years ago

my cell is like that…..will not ide, i want to get a new one but it's industructable. It fell in the dishwasher and suvived…..i went swimming with it for 30 min and it survived…..it will not die!

556pineapple
556pineapple
11 years ago

I was pretty young at the time, but I loved playing the Super Mario games, Contra, etc…
My brothers coined a name for that green screen, we called it qaq (pronounced KAK). Don't ask me where it came from, just know that if you knew my brothers, it wouldn't be surprising…

Anyway, I didn't play it at the time, but what about the original Metal Gear. Freaking impossible on the NES. One of my housemates had it and I couldn't get past the dogs in the beginning and gave up right there. I beat it after only a couple hours on the original MSX version though.

Anyway now that my rambling is out of the way, thanks for bringing back a little nostalgia, Ben.

OriginalSin
OriginalSin
11 years ago

Kak is actually an Afrikaans word. it means "sh*t"…. I'm Afrikaans so I just thought I'd let you know. Btw we got the best swear words ever…

Willcome2Urf
Willcome2Urf
11 years ago

Number Munchers on prime, that is awesome!!

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

Oh man, I was KING of Number Munchers. I had the high score in my elementary school. 🙂

PSNclaw18
PSNclaw18
11 years ago

Nice..

I remember playing Ghostbusters on an old PC. Having to swap out 'floppys' was very suspenseful to say the least!

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
11 years ago

Best 80's game bar none = E-L-I-T-E.

However the game that I personally consider to be one of the most underrated gems of the first wave of cartridge driven game consoles – Haunted House on the Atari 2600. Even though it used really simple graphics, they were very effective and the sound was awesome. Looking back I played this game as much as Invaders, PAc-Man, Missile Command, Night Driver, or any of the other 'classics' on the 2600.

Oyashiro
Oyashiro
11 years ago

I'm only 21, I grew up in the 90's. But due to money problems I became a retro lover. When every one had a PS1, I had a NES. And you know what? I'm glad that's how I grew up.

Jed
Jed
11 years ago

I'm only 23 but until I got a ps2 I was always years behind the popular stuff.

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
11 years ago

Ah! The dusty cartridges 😀
Man SNES was the best, imo

But yes those were the glory days….
I remember more 'bout the games I played those days than ANYTHING school thought me in those years.

The best thing 'bout those days is that it wasn't 'bout graphics. It was ALWAYS more important what the gameplay was like than anything else.

Those games will live forever though.

PS: Damn…a lot of "pending moderator approval" :O

Kangasfwa
Kangasfwa
11 years ago

Who's with me on Lost Vikings 3?

My first game I ever played was Super Metroid. I picked it out from this huge wall of color because I spotted a guy shooting a dragon in the face. Still the best cover art I've ever seen.


Last edited by Kangasfwa on 6/26/2009 12:13:09 AM

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
11 years ago

And when the blowing wouldn't do it, I used to break out my secret weapon to make my games work,
It was a Genesis games cleaning kit that cost about $5 back then, with 4 pieces of felt you put on different sized ends of a flat plastic wand, with a 2oz tube of cartridge solution(plain old rubbing alcohol).
I'd put a drop of alcohol on the felt end & then rub across the game's copper electrodes about a dozen times.

The kit also came with two different game sized dummy cartridges that had dual ends that I could interchange for either Sega or Nintendo's machines. Each end had a long rough nub sticking out that I'd rub back & forth inside the console's opening to clean up those electrodes too.

The kit worked on all the old Sega & Nintendo games & consoles up to, and including the N64, as well as the Genesis, and Game Gear system too.

BTW, I still have, & use, my kit whenever I get the urge to play on one of my "golden oldies" systems.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

OMG, you had that thing?! I think my friend had it, too…I had forgotten all about it. 🙂

Lenoxseer
Lenoxseer
11 years ago

Oh man, Gauntlet Arcade was awesome, but hated it for eating my allowance!

Anonymous
Anonymous
11 years ago

I found Doritos lodged in my family's NES once, have no idea how that happened.

but removing it (and blowing in both the cartridge and the slot) returned me to my gameing experience.

wich was probably either Mario bros. Mario 3. or Double Dragon II

zerostar39
zerostar39
11 years ago

GAME GENIE!

I would put random codes in to see what would happen. one time I got a level in super mario bros with all vines

Jed
Jed
11 years ago

"Blow on it. BLOW ON IT!! Your doing it wrong, give it to me!!"

Damn those were the days. If just blowing didnt work then my secret was to put my shirt over it, and then blow into it. I'm sure that it had no effect, but I always had to try. Otherwise we had to bring out the alchol and q-tips.

I remember a game called Dinopark Tycoon that we played at school. That was about my most favoritest game evar.

All your bases are belong to us – classic

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
11 years ago

I usually would do the pound on knee followed by hard blow, followed by smack against palm. All this while listening to Selena on the radio.

Jed
Jed
11 years ago

Oh my god selena. I lived in El Paso when she got really popular and then killed. People in that town worshiped her.

Jed
Jed
11 years ago

For those of you who dont get that last one,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qItugh-fFgg

dhall0749
dhall0749
11 years ago

yeah im 19 but had nes as first console with genesis after but I remember whenever I got done blowing the cartridge I would line it up in the slot and hammer fist it in just to make sure it was reading the cartridges or hitting the reset button about a million times if the game didn't load, and who can forget those toga like game sleeves the cartridges had.

commando on the nes = win

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
11 years ago

Sega CD amazed me for 2 summers, I didn't care that a majority of the gameplay was simply poorly made CGI. Ground Zero was such a fun shooter and REALLY hard too.

Jed
Jed
11 years ago

I remember renting a sega cd from blockbuster, back when they did that stuff. I wanted one of my own so bad.

LowKey
LowKey
11 years ago

Naw, dudes in computer class when I was I kid it was all about where in Time is carmen sandeago, and MISERS HOUSE, loved that text only game, but lets go back even further to the likes of Altered Beast, Alex Kid in Hightech world, and Wonder boy in monster land and Ghostbusters all for the Sega Master System. Loved those 3d glasses sega made for that system for use with Posiden wars. And Nintendo's Power golve??? whaaat? that was sooo sick. thoe were the good ol days *sigh*, *tear*

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
11 years ago

When I was in grade school we used AppleII computers and played Oregon Trail on 5inch floppy disks. I swear no matter what when I chose my profession as a doctor I never made it to the end.