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anne amère

Questions for OLDER GAMERS

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how the hell did you beat those old games on the NES

those games are so hard

battletoads is impossible without save states

the first zelda is impossible without a guide (the 2nd quest at least)

i can't imagine kids not GIVING UP for several of these games

HOW DID YOU DO IT

When you're a kid, you have huge amounts of time and patience, since you don't see yourself as having other things to do than play your (probably limited) game collection.

I beat a lot of hard NES games as a kid.

Never beat Marble Madness though, as you had to be perfect all the way through, merely passing the beginning stages is a sure way to lose on the later ones (leftover time carries over).

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I just remembered another really difficult game, although not as old: Panzer Dragoon (Saturn)

I used to be able to beat that not only on Difficult, but on the Expert mode that you had to input a code to get.

I'll never forget how I had no idea the second quest in Zelda 1 even existed until I picked up this paperback hint book for various popular NES games called "How to Win at Nintendo Games" by Jeff Rovin.

I actually had that book! It might still be at my mother's place at the back of some cabinet... I'm gonna have to look for it the next time I visit...

And to continue the nostalgia:

Does anyone remember when they used to make those small books for kids, about 150 pages or so, based off popular old Nintendo games like Metal Gear and Super Mario Bros. 3?

I had about 4-5 of the Mario Bros. CYOA books. Man, those were fun... little puzzles and everything, certain choices depended on if you were able to pick up power-ups or a certain number of coins earlier in the story... It was even better than the Super Mario Brothers Super Show.

Never beat Marble Madness though, as you had to be perfect all the way through, merely passing the beginning stages is a sure way to lose on the later ones (leftover time carries over).

At Katsucon this year, they had an original Marble Madness arcade cabinet set up. After playing that the entire weekend (we were making more of a commotion than the guys playing SF2), I went back and played the original NES version... and got to the last level on the first try. I only did that once back when I first had the game. (I only had, like, 15 seconds so I couldn't make it, but still.)

So, yeah, the arcade version is even harder than the NES one. KF

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I have an anthology book of the Mario comics (taking the 'best of the best' or something). Those are freaking weird.

On the playground, it used to be a badge of honor to say, "I beat that game". Now, everyone can crawl through most games. Better for sales, and widening the audience I suppose, but the prestige is gone, for better or worse.

Damnit, the prestige is obviously still there, somewhat - what are we doing in this thread if the prestige wasn't there anymore? It just applies to the older games, is all.

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At Katsucon this year, they had an original Marble Madness arcade cabinet set up. After playing that the entire weekend (we were making more of a commotion than the guys playing SF2), I went back and played the original NES version... and got to the last level on the first try. I only did that once back when I first had the game. (I only had, like, 15 seconds so I couldn't make it, but still.)

So, yeah, the arcade version is even harder than the NES one. KF

Oh snap, did your cabinet use a joystick, or did it use the original (and hilarious) trackball?

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how the hell did you beat those old games on the NES

those games are so hard

battletoads is impossible without save states

the first zelda is impossible without a guide (the 2nd quest at least)

i can't imagine kids not GIVING UP for several of these games

HOW DID YOU DO IT

I could never beat battletoads, but i remember beating zelda :P just played the crap out of it. The original Punchout was another really, really tough one, I couldn't beat Tyson until i was like.. 18? I beat him once. Never again.

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Damnit, the prestige is obviously still there, somewhat - what are we doing in this thread if the prestige wasn't there anymore? It just applies to the older games, is all.

I can't imagine too many groups of 10-year olds on a playground debating how hard NES Contra or Ninja Gaiden are nowadays.

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I can't imagine too many groups of 10-year olds on a playground debating how hard NES Contra or Ninja Gaiden are nowadays.

I can sure imagine a bunch of 20+ year olds bragging about their NES accomplishments to this day, though :lol:.

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I can sure imagine a bunch of 20+ year olds bragging about their NES accomplishments to this day, though :lol:.

Haha yeah. Unfortunately that kinda means we're a dying breed so to speak.

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Unfortunately that kinda means we're a dying breed so to speak.
I can sure imagine a bunch of dinosaurs bragging about their NES accomplishments to this day, though :lol:.

Fixed for you Gario. :mrgreen:

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Hold the phone... you're not implying that making games difficult is "bad game design", are you? I've yet to play Shadow of the Colossus, but imagine how un-engaging the experience would be if the game was as EASY as most games today. Several games I've played I feel have a weak story BECAUSE they are easy - most notably Windwaker and Twilight Princess, because the story revolves around a kid who single-handedly defeats countless enemies and bosses and the greatest villain in Hyrule's history, WITH HARDLY ANY EFFORT AT ALL. That's one reason why comparatively harder games like Ocarina of Time are remembered so fondly - the likely chance and the fear of actually LOSING was a major part of the experience.

Please correct me if I misunderstood your post o_o

No, I'm certainly not saying difficult games are bad game design. Difficult games and overcoming the challenges they present are very important aspects of feeling accomplishment in video games. Overcoming obstacles and overcoming losses are an integral part of games as a medium.

What I am saying though is that a lot of early games were often difficult and frustrating because of poor design choices, and weren't calculated to allow the player to overcome them. Like look at the first Ninja Turtles game on the NES (it was riddled with things like this). Why put an enemy at the top of a ladder where its virtually impossible to avoid? That's not making the game difficult so much as it is just punishing the player for wanting to play the game.

Yeah, it made the game hard, but it was hard for the wrong reasons, and a lot of early games suffered from that, you know?

Things that were just limitations of older consoles I'm often more willing to forgive, but it doesn't make it any less frustrating. Like AI. I mean, that could be a large part of why games feel "easier" now. We can have more AI going on to further control what enemies a player encounters. Again, on the NES we had a lot of instances of taking out an enemy and having another one spawn to keep the heat on the player. The problem is that you'll hit an occasional bottleneck where if multiple enemies are on the screen, they'll spawn in places (or do things) that are difficult to avoid and are just plain unfair. The solution usually called for either being a complete master of the game or (for most people and newbies) just eating the damage.

Kids today that are playing old NES games are of course not going to like them, because games today ordinarily try to teach the player what they need to know to before they proceed. Too much hand holding people will complain about, but too little and then you get frustrated. It's a tight rope game, and even the best games of older generations taught the player (to a certain extent) what they needed to know before they ramped up the difficulty, its just that, again, in a lot of older games the bar was set at really frustratingly hard levels that makes enjoying the game difficult, until you know what you're doing.

I'm willing to forgive easiness of games though. Sometimes I just want an easy experience where I can sit down and play through a story, and other times I want something really intense and precise, offering a real challenge that I can fight my way through. I think the current state of the industry is one of trying to appeal to both people that want a challenge and people that want just a story (like an interactive movie), and what we've got on a whole is an imperfect compromise.

... so yeah. I like difficult games, but games that are needlessly difficult, not so much. :)

And you really should play Shadow of the Colossus. I wouldn't call it difficult by any means. A lot of the time the game points you right where you need to go. And when you get stuck it gives you hints. That said, the sense of exploration is really immersive. It's still a wonderful experience when combined with the music and sheer sense of epic adventure.

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No, I'm certainly not saying difficult games are bad game design. Difficult games and overcoming the challenges they present are very important aspects of feeling accomplishment in video games. Overcoming obstacles and overcoming losses are an integral part of games as a medium.

If you look at Mega Man 9, you see an example of a difficult game that is very well designed. I would easily argue that its level design is on par with the older Mega Man titles.

I remember as a kid growing up in the mid-eighties to early-1990s, you'd sit there and play these things over and over looking for everything. Zelda 2 was a game that a friend and I sat there playing for hours on end trying to find all of the dungeons. The Fourth palace was particularly difficult to locate without guides or anything. Zelda games still keep me interested, but it's really just the side-quests like finding all of the heart pieces that make the games fun (they really aren't all that challenging any more).

I agree about the balance needed, though. Too much hand-holding makes for a boring experience. Not enough makes the game really frustrating. It's all about finding that happy medium. Nintendo is less consistent now, but on the whole, I would cite their Mario, Metroid, and Zelda series as generally good examples of the right balance.

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There are still some games I haven't beaten, like Ghosts and Goblins. The last time I tried to beat Blaster Master, I was near the last boss and the game froze, never to work again. I am still waiting for the right time, to execute my revenge. I still can't beat the first Ninja Gaiden without using continues.

I was never able to beat Blaster Master without using save states. The last time I played the game (ages ago) and didn't use any kind of save state or cheat, I got to world 8 and ended up stuck somewhere being constantly injured and couldn't get out in time :(

Star Tropics is still one of my favorite games today. Though (back then anyway) if you lost the manual you were screwed at one point in the game. There was a code on one of the pages you needed in order to start your submarine back up... so loosing the manual meant no more code 8O happened to me >.>

Just out of curiosity, did anyone ever play Robo Warrior? And if so, did you get as frustrated as I did trying to figure that game out? I eventually got the hang of it (still haven't beaten it though) but damn was that game hard.

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I beat Blaster Master with no save states, but it really took a while. Talking like two or three days leaving the Nintendo on while I went and handled my biz.

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I beat Blaster Master with no save states, but it really took a while. Talking like two or three days leaving the Nintendo on while I went and handled my biz.

You know those old NES machines were 3 or 4 ions away from being nuclear right? Do you have any idea how close you came to melting Knoxville down to the fake gold plating of the Sun Sphere?

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With a lot of the old games you honestly just didn't beat them. Or maybe that was just me. Armed with the turbo switch in the TG16, I only managed to beat a small handful of the games I had. Most of them were muscle memory and constant play to get as far as I did. Hard to say, really.

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There was a code on one of the pages you needed in order to start your submarine back up... so loosing the manual meant no more code 8O happened to me

Haha, oh man! I had almost forgot about those games that had hidden trivia questions that required the game's manual to play. lol. Copy protection my ass!

I specifically remember Street Fighter 2 for the PC doing that.... and so did the ancient EA racing game Indy 500: The Simulation. Man... what a load of crap that was. lol. haha.

Edit: I guess the last game I remember doing that was the original Metal Gear Solid making me check the back of my CD case.

Does anyone know any modern games doing this?

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Yeah, Stunt Island did that - it was the only way to get into the game...

Wait, modern games? Modern games just aren't cool enough to incorporate manual trivia and quizzes :tomatoface:.

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how the hell did you beat those old games on the NES

those games are so hard

battletoads is impossible without save states

the first zelda is impossible without a guide (the 2nd quest at least)

i can't imagine kids not GIVING UP for several of these games

HOW DID YOU DO IT

There were guides out almost as soon as the games were out honestly Nintendo was damned good about that. To my credit zelda castlevania 2 and many others were beaten without those guides simply because i just had those reflexes from Atari games.

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You know those old NES machines were 3 or 4 ions away from being nuclear right? Do you have any idea how close you came to melting Knoxville down to the fake gold plating of the Sun Sphere?

I lived in Africa at the time sugar. Does anyone remember that really annoying 'Bomberman' game where you played this crazy blue alien guy who really sucked at bombing and was constantly trying to get to the right side of the screen for gods only knows what reasons.

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as a kid, I found the quick pace of old games to be more fitting of my childish attention span. Also, I prefer the unrealistic looks of everything back then. It really put me into this fantasy world where I could imagine so many things. I would always think "man, what's beyond that ocean" in Zelda or "man I bet there's an extra, hidden, world in Mario 3" just because you could imagine these crazy scenarios. That really kept me playing the game. From there, it was mostly memorization. By the time I had beaten Ninja Gaiden, I had every single level memorized down to exactly when I would jump and slash. I could beat the game in 20-30 minutes without a continue and that was almost all memorization.

Personally, games nowadays don't hold my attention, part of that is 'cause of my busy schedule, but it's just not as fun to me because everything resembles reality now. Physics and stuff are cool in a game, but I just can't find myself getting immersed in the world anymore. Games like Shadow of the Colossus are the exception though; definitely sweet.

Plus, like one previous poster mentioned, there were no sweet gadgets back then and no internet. Once the sun went down and you couldn't go skateboard, ride your bike, and cause mischief, you were like "aww man... time to play some Solar Jetman" (which if anybody has been there, knows that is like punching yourself in the face with difficulty).

I miss the good ol' days haha.

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you were like "aww man... time to play some Solar Jetman" (which if anybody has been there, knows that is like punching yourself in the face with difficulty).

I could never get past that "level" after the 12th world... there's something seriously messed up about having the last (or nearly the last) part of a game be completely different in gameplay from the rest of the game.

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I have fond memories of the Commodore 64, but some of the games that were released on that system were just plain EVIL.

Waiting ten minutes for a game to load and then losing all your lives within thirty seconds of starting it (sometimes even requiring you to rewind the tape and load everything again if it was a multiload game) could drive the most patient of people insane.

Oh well, at least we were treated to some awesome SID tunes while waiting for the torture to start :)

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Does anybody here like the Monkey Ball games? Those can get ridiculously difficult.

These are the most recent games I've played that I'd put on a difficulty level with NES games. Getting the Master levels in the first game is damn hard and took me weeks, and the only way I'd have been able to beat the Master levels is with unlimited lives, which you are thankfully given. Master 3 took me upwards of 200 lives I think.

Then in Monkey Ball 2 I remember getting to the Master levels but giving up on some level near the end out of frustration, even having dozens of lives left. Yeah, just insane games.

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Is it just me or is Shinobi for the PS2 more like what Ninja Gaiden Xbox should have been if Ninja Gaiden Xbox had wanted to be a 3-D translation of the quick, hard as hell, platforming gameplay of Ninja Gaiden NES? I tried out the Ninja Gaiden Sigma demo and it just seemed like Devil May Cry with ninjas.

On a related note, I got in Ninja Gaiden III earlier this week making me the proud owner of the entire trilogy. I also got in Final Fantasy I for the NES as well. I've heard that it is the version to play if you want it to be fun, since the GBA version has been nerfed.

Does anybody else here still try to play games on a real NES/SNES instead of emulating? One of my gamer quirks is that I like to play games on the original hardware if at all possible. That's right, I have an NES plugged into an HDTV. They usually don't look too bad. You can E-bay most NES games for <$20. I recently played through Link's Awakening on a Game Boy and Super Game Boy. Damn, Game Boy's have shitty lighting.

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