Console of the Month (Dec 2016) – Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)

This month I am not going to bore anyone with previously well documented historical details, facts, stats and the like on the Nintendo Entertainment System. There are hundred of blogs and webpages and even some hardcover books devoted to this iconic console. Every0ne already knows of the NES’s impact on video gaming, the reviving of the home video game console and the plethora of iconic games that stand the test of time 30 years or more after their release. Everyone knows how IMPORTANT this console was to my generation. My memories likely mirror millions of other NES kids that grew up in the 80’s. What I am going to do is just go through my own personal collection and talk about any specific childhood memories I have associated with the NES and its games. This is the first of my monthly console blog posts that is going to highlight a system that I actually owned during it’s lifespan. The NES shaped my gaming future and the types of games I enjoy today all have something in common with games I enjoyed then. I own more titles for the NES than any other system so many of my games will be briefly highlighted and discussed to save time and space. Its also the console I still play the most to this day and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

29 years ago to the month (ok, admittedly not as cool as saying 30 years ago) I received my very first home video game console, the Nintendo Entertainment System, for Christmas. I will remember as a 12 year old, Christmas 1987 as the year I received the greatest present I had ever gotten and the one item that was on my wish list for the past year. Up until then I had been playing on friend’s NESs and getting my Super Mario Bros fix at the local bowling alley’s Playchoice 10 but after 12 long months, that was no longer going to suffice for me. I begged and pleaded but my parents weren’t exactly thrilled to spend close to $100 on a single Christmas gift. I somehow convinced them that it truly was what I needed and I explained to them that no additional gifts were necessary that year as long as I got an NES. I was with them the day they picked it up at the Kay-Bee toy store in the local mall and assured them I didn’t NEED the more expensive Deluxe set that came with R.O.B., the light gun, Duck Hunt and Gyromite. All I wanted was the control deck with SMB and I was good to go. The long 40 minute drive back home didn’t help easing my anticipation and by the time we arrived home it was much too late for me to open it up and play it that evening. I was forced to wait until the next morning before I could play and I recall it being a long, restless evening of sleep. I guess I should be thankful my parents didn’t make me wait until Christmas proper to open up my gift. I don’t remember exactly how many days prior to Christmas that I received my NES but it wasn’t Christmas Eve, that’s for sure. The next morning was filled by playing Super Mario Brothers over and over again. I had spent a lot of money playing it at the arcade and was pleased to find that the home version was a bit easier. I remember inviting my best friend over to join me in SMB marathons that first day as well since I wanted to share the joy of my new toy. Luckily, I had a birthday coming up in a few weeks so I was going to ask for a second cartridge but wasn’t sure which one yet. It didn’t matter…for the remainder of 1987, the arcades in my town would not see another quarter from me. I now had a potential arcade at home. I was playing with power.

Currently in my collection:

  • 2 original NES consoles complete with AC adapters & RF switches plus 1 composite cable – also including my original box and owner’s manual that came with the system.
  • 1 top loader I procured from a friend of my wife’s for a box of candy.
  • 5 regular NES controllers, 1 dog-bone controller, 1 NES max

 

This is my original NES from 1987. Kay-Bee toy stores at the Valley View Mall in Onalaska, WI was selling the control deck with Super Mario Bros for $79.99 that Christmas. The sticker is still on the box.
My back up NES I picked up at a garage sale in 2002 and the top loader I traded for around the same time for a box of candy.
The crack on the cartridge door from my brother throwing his controller in frustration. I do recall being royally pissed at him for messing with my previously mint NES.
The back of my original box. All I know is that those kids have NO idea how to actually hold the controller.
Oh why didn’t I pick up a R.O.B. back in ’87? Oh yeah, because he wasn’t any fun.
The original “black box” titles.
The poster that came with the console that I adorned (or bedazzled) with stickers. I had this on my wall next to posters of Michael Jordan & Dominique Wilkins. R.O.B. was still the face of the console at the time.
Various flyers and pamphlets I had as a kid. I sure saved a lot of shit.

 

 

 

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