When The Legend of Zelda was released to the Nintendo Entertainment System, it was a game changer. At least in terms of console gaming. With its addicting gameplay, numerous secrets, and to say nothing of the then sprawling map. It was in fact a really big deal. As well as being an absolute success for Nintendo of America – The Legend of Zelda sold two million copies that year alone!
Designers Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka really knocked it out of the park. I know I have in fact shared this story on The Retroist before. When I first rented the game at my local video store. There were no instructions, so I didn’t know about the Second Quest. Which happened to present the Player with tougher enemies and different locations of items and dungeons.
So I did in fact beat the harder quest first before I purchased the game for myself. Try to imagine my confusion when the dungeon maps I had made weren’t matching up. Thankfully for many of us it was Nintendo Power that really helped out when they published a map!
Image courtesy of Gamasutra.
It looks like a fan of the game went above and beyond the call using a 3D printer to create The Legend of Zelda map. Furthermore the creator spent 6 months designing it in the popular Minecraft game. After that they ported the work to a file for the 3D printer. Which just happened to take 24 hours to create, in addition to the six hours of painting the model.
Map images courtesy of Mike Matei.
It was collector Willard McFarland who purchased the 3D map and shared images with Mike Matei. Who in turn shared high resolution images on his Twitter account.
Now that you are drooling over The Legend of Zelda 3D map – why not check out the original commercial?
I should point out that this ad features John Kassir as the man searching for Zelda. You might know John’s voice work on Tiny Toons Adventures, the Crypt Keeper from Tales from the Crypt, and Avatar: The Last Airbender to name a few.
About a week ago the news broke about Nintendo releasing the NES Classic Mini to we fans of nostalgic and classic gaming later this year. While thanks to that announcement we learned what 30 games were going to be built-in with the console’s release – and just follow that link up top to see what an amazing roster of titles has been chosen…we didn’t know the price of the NES Classic Mini nor it’s release date.
That has been rectified with this delightfully charming commercial from Nintendo itself…the NES Classic Mini is going to be affordable at $59.99 and will be available on November 11th.
If I could only ever play one video game for the rest of my life, I would unquestionably pick the first Gradius game. It isn’t the best shooter ever created, nor the longest, deepest or most challenging, but it was the first to truly captivate me and I’ve been a die-hard fan of the series for almost 30 years now. All that said, until recently I was not aware that the ship I’ve always known as the Vic Viper was called the Warp Rattler when the NES version hit American shores. I also didn’t know that the ship’s best power-up, the dopple-ganger Option was called a Sidewinder!
I discoverd this new (to me) information in a PDF file of the original NES game manual that came with the US release. The Americanized guide also has some great hand-drawn sketches of the game levels and info about what to expect from those stages. For example, the second “Stonehenge” stage is an artificially constructed asteroid belt created as a galactic fighter base. The fourth “Moai Head” stage proves most interesting – I always believed that it was the heads that were firing at me as I flew through the level but this guide suggests that the heads are merely statues, utilised by the attacking forces as bases for their own deadly ion guns!
Here is what your screen will look like:- complete with the “Enemy land fortress”.
The best part of the guide has to be the Characters and Components of the Game which names many of the enemies you’ll encounter in-game. The Pride of the Gradius Defense Force will take on Fan’s (the neutral zone patrol crafts!), Rugurr’s, Garrun’s, Dakker’s and Jumpers – and that’s all before you’ve left the Volcanic stage! The real threat of course comes from the Big Core Fighters at the end of each level.
With all those enemy units in your path, I’m just pleased that the writers of this manual took the time to highlight the placement of both your search and navigation lights. I’d have been lost without those…
Two years after Rampage “hit” (pardon the pun) arcades, Midway’s big monsters made their way to the small screen in Data East’s 1988 version of Rampage for the NES. Rampage was ported to most home computers and game systems, each of which losing details (some small, some large) along the way. The NES version dropped Ralph the werewolf, retaining Lizzie the Lizard and George the Gorilla. It also dropped a bit of quality. The game is playable, but it’s not the best home version by far.
Unlike the arcade version (which required quarters to continue) or some of the other ports that limited the amount of times a player could continue, Rampage for the NES allowed players to continue as many times as they wanted, until their their thumbs went numb or the played through all 128 of the game’s levels.
One of the classic video games I most closely associate with summertime is Toobin’.
Released in 1988 by Atari, the goal of Toobin’ is to navigate your way through a series of white water rapids on innertubes while avoiding everything from snakes to whirlpools, sharp sticks, mines, alligators, errant fishermen, dragonflies, stationary rocks, falling rocks and natives with blowguns. Whoever did their research on picking this as a vacation spot did not do their research.
Score is achieved by picking up floating treasure as well as navigating bonus slalom checkpoints whose value decreases each time you bump into them. Players can also pick up soda cans and throw them at one another, temporarily stunning their opponents.
Toobin’ was ported to several classic video game systems and computers. I recently found this Nintendo boxed copy of the game in the wild for $5. The box is not in great condition but the game works great and since it will be 100 degrees here in Oklahoma this weekend I will hopefully spend my time indoors in the air conditioning while playing this game.
Toobin’ is a 16-bit arcade game and, as such, shares many of the same sound effects as other Atari games from that same era. You’ll notice the game’s “bong” that plays whenever coins are inserted is identical to the noise that appears on other Atari games from that same era including Gauntlet, Paperboy and 720. The sound chip used by Atari during this time is one of my favorites and I love the music contained within these games.
One thing that made Toobin’ unique was its control panel. Instead of a joystick, to control your player in Toobin’ players had four different buttons: a left and right for paddling forward, and two more for paddling backward. A fifth button allowed players to throw cans at one another and other river obstacle. Home ports of the game typically modified the control scheme so that it was easier to play using a standard joystick.