Can’t get enough Nintendo from your Nintendo? Me neither. Fortunately, Scholastic Books has us covered. Meet the Worlds of Power series of Nintendo game novelizations!
Ghost-written by several authors under the pen name “F.X. Nine”, the Worlds of Power series was
created by Seth Godin in an attempt to pull kids away from video gaming and into reading. There were eight books in the series, all based on third-party Nintendo games (Castlevania II, Ninja Gaiden, Shadowgate, Wizards and Warriors, Master Blaster, Metal Gear, Bionic Commando, and Infiltrator) and two junior volumes (Mega Man and Bases Loaded II). These books not only told stories related to the game (some were the games’ backstories, others the games’ stories, and still others were side-stories), but they also gave some tips for playing.
Did they pull kids away from video gaming? I don’t know. The books weren’t released until the early 90s, at which time I was no longer reading young adult material nor ordering from the Scholastic catalog. I didn’t find them until just a few weeks ago. What I do know is that the books aren’t that great. Mine wasn’t, anyway. I got Castlevania II. I had been greatly confused both by the mechanics and the story of this game, and I thought the novelization might shed some light on it. Unfortunately, it didn’t. Instead, Simon comes to our world, gets a kid named Timothy Bradley, and takes him back to Castlevania (which in the book is the name of Simon’s world) to defeat Dracula. I didn’t like that set-up. I also didn’t like all the corny jokes and broad characterizations. Surprisingly, though, I did enjoy reading it. Even though I hadn’t read it in the day, it still took me back there. For that reason, and because I hear the others are better, I plan on looking up more of the Worlds of Power books.
Reading Worlds of Power is certainly not better than playing Nintendo. It’s not even better than watching Captain N. But the books do have some of the spirit of that time, and that alone makes them good.