My NES History

I can't remember exactly when it started for me, my earliest memories of the NES come from when my family would rent the system and Super Mario Bros. from a small-time video store and we (me, my older brother and 2 sisters) would play it non-stop until we had to take it back. My neighbors were really big on the NES, they got thiers as soon as it came out, the entire family played, even the parents. Me and my brother would go over there and that's where I first heard of things such as Zelda and the Nintendo Fun Club (later Nintendo Power).

Finally we got ours in 1987 for Christmas, when I was not even 5. It was an action set, the deck 2 controllers, a zapper and Super Mario Bros. I spent the next months playing SMB and perfecting my game. I remember all of the rumors about how, if you beat SMB 5 times in a row without warping, you got to play a couple levels of SMB 2, so one time I had beaten it 4 times going on my 5th when the screen froze! By the time my SMB "era" ended, it was 1988 and the NES was in full swing. Everyone on the block had an NES, I could attain any game I wanted basically by borrowing, in this way I was introduced to games like Blaster Master, Robo Warrior, SMB 2, Skate or Die, Punchout!!, the list goes on. It was also around this time that my brother got really into Castlevania 1 and 2 (2 especially), and watching him play is one of the most nostalgic memories of mine. We would rent Castlevania 2 ALL the time, it was as if we owned the game. When he wasn't playing I would try my hand at it, and it soon became my favorite game. It was over a matter of months, but my bro beat CV2 with NO help (and I did the same a year or so later).

I don't remember how many games I actually owned, it was about 6 or 7. SMB, Tetris, Ironsword, Contra, Ikari Warriors, SMB 3, that's about all of them I can remember. I was introduced to my favorite game of all time in a strange way. I found a Contra cart just lying on the side of the road. I brought it home and soon me, and all my siblings, were all over it. Of course I had to hide it from my parents who would wonder how I had gotten it. My brother found out later that one of his friends left the cart on the back of his car and drove off, so that's how it got there, but he didn't want the game anymore, so we traded for it.

Eventually the good times came to an end. I still remember the dreaded day, it was Christmas 1991, and like everyone else on the planet, we got the Super Nintendo. "This is cool", I thought, "now the NES and SNES can live together in perfect harmony". But such a fate was not to be. I remember walking out of my room, fresh off of a game of Super Mario World as I witnessed my brother giving the NES to my older sister (who was visiting from college), saying "Merry Christmas". She hadn't played NES a day in her life! I was distraught but I kept my feelings hidden (as always). I found out later my sister gave away the NES and all the games about a week later to some frat-boy, and now my NES is God-knows-where. At least I still have my original box, the one that caused so many rumors amongs the nations pre-teen society because it showed Mario with "angel wings", and the box still has the brand-new-system smell!
Well that's the end of my original NES. As sad as that is, I managed to go on, and I got into the SNES, which was pretty fun, but there was never the sense of homeliness you got from playing NES. Many, many times me and my siblings would say to each other "Remember the NES?", "Remember Contra?", "I really wish we still had our Nintendo", and the like. Towards the end of the SNES's life cycle, when the Playstation was new and the N64 was creating hype, I got out of videogames altogether, for a while. I took up skateboarding and got to be pretty damn good at that. Then when the other skaters I knew either quit or turned into bickering shitholes, it was only a matter of time before I turned back to my former passion, games.

I soon bought a N64 and a Gameboy Pocket, and these brought a lot of fun-filled hours, but in a way it seemed like I was only going through the motions of videogaming and not truly enjoying myself all that much. I still thought of my NES often. I would talk about it with some of the other kids in my neighborhood, and soon found out they all agreed with me. We made it our goal to get a working NES, one of us had a NES with the top taken off, exposing the metal and connectors. Another had a sweet collection of games, a powerpad and an RF switch. All we needed was the A/C adaptor. We all feverishly tried to plug in A/C adaptors from things like hairdryers, or playstations, but they ultimately didn't work. Our project was halted, until we heard they had the part up at the Goodwill store, and we walked all the way across town and back to get the adaptor. FINALLY we played some NES (after a good 5 hours of trying to get the POS to work), I had the honors of playing first, and I put in Punchout!!. As soon as the title screen came up a nostalgia wave hit me like never before, as that was the first NES I'd played in 7 years almost. I was also reaquainted with games like Zelda 2 and SMB 2, and first got to play other games like Star Tropics, Zodas Revenge and Jackal. Life was good for the next few weeks.

After a month or two we unhooked the NES, I had my thirst for NES quenched, the kid with the POS NES moved away and I got back into N64 heavily. The next big event to happen comes in February 1999 when I get online. Before that I had always shunned internet junkies, and I was about to become one. The first thing I did was go to and there I got deeply burrowed into the Nsider crowd. I searched for NES one day, and got hundreds of pages of confusing emulation and ROM issues, but no true NES sites, so I thought the presence of the NES online sucked. That summer, finally, after years of anticipation, I bought my own NES, for $15, with a copy of Contra that didn't work and had "Fuck You" written on the inside. The only game I had was Pac Man, which was given to me, and SMB which mysteriously just popped up in my house one day, I seriously don't know where the hell it came from. I soon bought a couple of games, among them one of my favorite games to play as a kid, Wrath of the Black Manta. I soon became frustrated because I couldn't beat the last boss, so I searched for WOTBM online and I found the ONLY DAMN strategy guide on the entire net, which happened to be on Alan the Ogre Hombre's Planet NES. After taking a look around this site, I was mesmerized, I looked at every facet of the site, and from there I found all of the other NES sites, but that one is still my favorite.

After becoming an invisible member of the online scene, I soon had a yearning to start my own massive collection, and that's when it began. I went to my local flea market, one of the biggest in the entire nation, and jump started my collection with a massive haul including a dog-bone controller (which broke, damnit) and like 10 games. And from there I lived happily ever after, and have been collecting and playing ever since, and that's my story.