One of my favorite games and the follow-up sequel to Contra, Super C is a great two player game. If you’re a fan of Contra you’ll love the gameplay of Super C.
Some of the early released NES games from 1985 have a hidden treasure inside: Famicom to NES converters/adapters.
These converters will allow you play Japanese Famicom games on your NES Top Loader or NES Toaster.
All the early NES games are of the 5 screw case design so it’s easy to open them with a standard flat blade screw driver. This is a great reason to check your games to see if you have a surprise inside. If the NES game has a converter inside it’s going to weigh more than a regular NES game so you may be able to tell without even having to open it.
I’ve checked several of my games and was lucky to find out that my copies of Gyromite and Pinball both contain Famicom to NES converters.
The games you are most likely to find the Famicom converters in are in no:
(Note: this is from my own personal experience so use at your own discretion)
- Stack Up (All should have it)
- Gyromite (Some will have it)
- Pinball (Some will have it)
- Kung Fu (Some will have it)
- Excitebike (Some will have it)
- Wrecking Crew (Some will have it)
- Golf (Some will have it)
- Duck Hunt (Some will have it)
Nintendo NES Blue LED Console Mod
One way to make your Nintendo NES stand out is to remove that boring old red power LED and replace it with a different color LED of your choice.
I recently installed a blue LED in my NES so I took pics and figured I’d do a write up for someone if they wanted to do this mod. It doesn’t take a lot of skill and it’s very inexpensive to do. I hope you enjoy my DIY how to.
A Nintendo NES (duh)
LED (duh again)
About 20 minutes total time (or more depending on your skill level) to take apart the NES and solder in the new LED
Start taking apart the Nintendo NES:
1. Remove the 6 Phillips screws from the bottom of the Nintendo’s case.
2. Remove the top case and unscrew the 7 Phillips screws that attach the metal casing. Remove the metal case.
3. Remove the 4 Phillips screws that attach the game cartridge caddy. Slip out the caddy.
4. Remove the final 2 Phillips screws that hold in the NES motherboard.
5. Re position the motherboard out of the way and remove the 2 Phillips screws that secure the Power/Reset board.
Now plug in your soldering iron and get your de-soldering braid ready. Desolder the old LED and remove the plastic light spreader with it.
Make a note of the polarity of your new LED because it WON’T work if you install it the wrong way. The way you can tell the polarity of the LED is by looking at the legs. One leg will be longer than the other. The longer leg should be on the right side if your looking at the NES from the front. If you install it with the wrong polarity it won’t damage it or the NES it just won’t light up.
Insert your new LED into the light spreader and solder the new LED into the power/reset board.
Put the NES back together and enjoy your new colorful NES power LED.
I hope you found this DIY how to helpful. Please leave me a comment if you feel so inclined.
The NES MAX Controller was released in 1988 by Nintendo. Comparing it to the standard Nintendo NES controller it only has one thing better which are turbo A and B buttons. Everything else about the NES MAX sucks.
It seems the NES MAX was designed to be primarily used by young kids because the size of the controller is small. Width wise it’s shorter than the standard NES controller.
The worst part about the NES MAX is the “cycloid”. Instead of using the standard NES controller’s cross shaped four directional joypad Nintendo used a round disc called the cycloid. It wasn’t very responsive at all and it was uncomfortable to use for long gaming periods. Most gamers ended up using NES MAX’s 8 way controller ring that surrounded the cycloid.
A Nightmare on Elm Street was released in 1989 by LJN for the NES. It’s a side scrolling platformer game. The gameplay is based on two different Freddy Krueger movies, A Nightmare on Elm Street part 3: Dream Warriors and part 4: The Dream master.
The goal of the game is to collect Freddy’s bones and burn them in the boiler at Elm Street High School. Freddy’s bones are scattered all over the place in each level.
You start out on Elm street and your first goal is to go into a house (NOTE: not all houses are open even if the door looks open) . You need to collect all the bones in order to unlock a boss fight at the end of the level. If you have missed a bone or two and get to the end of the level you will have no choice but to go back through the level to find the missing bones. Once you fight the boss you will get a key that lets you in another house.
The gameplay also has a twist in that your character can fall asleep. In order to stay awake you need to find coffee. There’s a meter in game that shows how close you are to falling asleep. If you do fall asleep the gameplay shifts to the “Dream World”. In the dream world the monsters are more powerful but you also get to use your special Dream Warrior abilities. There are three different Dream Warrior abilities based on which one you have collected: A ninja who can throw ninja stars and jump kick, an Acrobat who throws javelins and does a jumping somersault and a magician who shoots fireballs and can hover.
The controls can be touchy but they’re pretty easy to master after some practice. Some of the levels have spots where enemies will spawn out of nowhere (bats mostly) and you can get some cheap deaths. It’s not a huge problem but when the screen gets crowded it can be frustrating.
The graphics are good for a 1989 NES game. The graphics for the Freddy boss fights are good for its time.
The music is well done. It’s catchy and it fits the mood of the game. Some have complained because LJN has used some of the music before in different games. I don’t see what the big deal is because it’s not bad music. I could see criticizing LJN if they reused bad music. That’s not the case here.
Another unique thing about A Nightmare on Elm Street is you can play up to four players simulataneously if you have a NES Satellite or NES Four Score.
Jackal was released in 1988 by Konami for the NES. It’s a port of the Top Gunner arcade game. It’s a run and gun shooting game. The goal of Jackal is to save hostage POWs that have been captured by the enemy army. You must battle your way through six levels of hostile tanks, soldiers, planes, boats, and cannons.
You drive a Jeep that fires bullets and you can throw hand grenades. Your Jeep can be upgraded which makes the gameplay much more interesting. Every time you pickup a hostage POW that’s flashing you will get a missile upgrade. The first missile upgrade will turn your hand grenades into a one shot missile. You can collect a total of four hostage POW powerups that will turn your Jeep into a multi missile launching machine! Once you fully upgrade the Jeep you will shoot a missile that when it explodes it will shoot in four directions killing anything in its path.
As you progress through the levels you will find a helicopter pick up for the hostage POWs. If you drop off enough hostages you will full max out your Jeep’s weapon upgrades.
Jackal is a great multi player game. Two player simultaneous coop mode is a lot of fun. You can really get on a roll once both players have their Jeeps fully upgraded.
Unlike other Konami games Jackal does not have the “Konami Code”. You have a limited amout of lives and continues. You can collect extra lives for getting high scores.
Game Genie codes for Jackal
SZPTSI Both players have infinite lives
PAPKXZ Both players start with 1 life
PAPKXX Both players start with 9 lives
GXZTSG Keep weapons after death
LEZTKG Full weapons after death
Super Mario Bros 3 (or SMB3) was released in 1990 by Nintendo for the NES. Super Mario Bros 3 was a huge success that was extremely popular and continues to be until this very day.
The story is pretty much the same as all the other Mario games in that the evil Bowser has kidnapped Princess Toadstool and it’s up to Mario and Luigi to rescue her. The gameplay is more like Super Mario Bros than Super Mario Bros 2 which depending on who you talk to is a great thing. There’s more powerups in Super Mario Bros 3 that allow you to do things like fly and turn into a statue.
There are 8 worlds to explore. Like in the previous Mario games you can warp to different worlds, only this time you need to use a whistle to accomplish this task. There are two different main screens for the gameplay. One being a map where you can move your character to go to different levels or mushroom houses, card games or castles. The other mode is the gameplay of each level. This is where the gameplay builds off of Super Mario Brothers. A fun feature is the ability in two player games to battle against each other in the original Mario Brothers mini game.
Super Mario Bros 3 was also featured in the 1989 movie titled The Wizard. It was basically an hour and a half long commercial about how cool Super Mario Bros 3 was and all the other Nintendo stuff back in the day. Even the crappy Power Glove makes an appearance. Who can forger the epic cheezy line from the Wizard: I love the Power Glove its so bad!
Super Mario Bros 3 is one of the best games ever released for the NES. It’s a must have if you have a NES.
Battletoads was released by Tradewest in 1991 for the NES. It’s is a beat em up platformer game.
The story goes that an evil woman named “the Dark Queen” is trying to take control of the universe. She kidnapped one of your toad buddies (Pimple) so you need to save him. You can play as either of the other toads: Rash or Zitz. As the story unfolds you learn more about the Dark Queen’s evil plans and how you can stop her.
This game has very good graphics for it’s time. Since it was released in 1991 a lot of gamers had moved on to other systems like the Sega Genesis or Turbografx 16. The gameplay is fun and very challenging. It’s really the best playing in two player simultaneous mode with a friend. It’s much more fun to play the game through in co-op except the only bad thing is that your friend can hit you so you need to be careful not to kill each other.
To me, this game is fondly remembered as one of the hardest games to complete for the NES or any system for that matter. It also has some of the best ever in game pause music. If you don’t believe me try it out!
Ninja Gaiden was released in 1989 by Tecmo for the NES. The gameplay is that of a side scrolling platformer game. The gameplay is addicting and challenging and that’s why there have been so many more sequels to this game. This is the one that started it all.
You play as ninja Ryu Hayabusa who has come to America to kill those who have murdered his father. As the story progresses you find out you need to help save the world. There are 6 main acts which comprise of 20 stages of levels.
This game received high praise for the get quality cut scenes it used. For it’s time it was well done and really added something to the game. It helped to better tell the story and make the game player feel more involved.
One of the negatives about the gameplay is how Ryu bounces back when hit. This can make some of the levels difficult especially when it’s crowded with enemies or there are pits nearby. Many games of this day used this type of collision detection schemes so it’s a small complaint.
When it was released it was well received and it soon become a favorite of many NES gamers. All of the sequels for the NES were also well remembered as quality games. If you’ve never tried this game you’re missing out on one of the best NES games ever!
Tetris was released in 1989 by Nintendo for the NES. This is the “officialy licensed” version of Tetris as there were two different versions of Tetris published on the NES.
The “other version” was released by Tengen (an unlicensed publisher that was owned by Atari). The Tengen version of the game created a huge mess of legal problems for both Nintendo and Tengen.
Atari’s version in a lot of ways was better than Nintendo’s version. In Atari’s version you could play two players cooperatively and versus each other, whereas in the Nintendo version it was only a single player game. Atari’s version was only on sale for one month before they lost the lawsuit and had to recall all the unsold games. Because of this Atari’s version is a collector’s item today. Anyway enough with the history lesson and I’ll get back on topic…
Tetris was one of those games that invited more than just the avid gamer. Adults and others who really didn’t play video games back in the 80’s started to play it and they quickly got addicted to the simple but challenging gameplay. This is something that made it one of the most famous games ever.
The gameplay is simple and fun: create lines using different shaped blocks called “Tetraminos”. Clearing 4 lines at once is a Tetris which you get the most points for.
There was a sequel on the NES but the gameplay was drastically changed so that while it still had the same name it really was an altogether different game.
Tetris is one of the best selling NES games of all time. It is a must have if you own a NES. It was so popular that it was the included add-in game with Nintendo’s portable system the GameBoy.