Our Nintendo Power recaps continue with issue #8, for September of 1989. Our cover story is Duck Tales. I must admit that I haven’t played any of the Disney platformers, and I’ve heard very good things about this one, so which gives this high marks early on for my Quality Control game. Now, we could get other games this issue which interest me even more. We don’t have a lot to cover this issue, as it’s only about 100 pages long. So, let’s move on, shall we?
Letters: We start out with a letter from a family who ran over their NES with their ’84 Cadillac, but was able to open it up, and the system still worked. Unfortunately, that doesn’t settle those problems with the pins getting bent, a problem that the top-loding systems didn’t have.
Duck Tales Strategy Guide: Well, after a very small letters column, we move on to our strategy guide for Duck Tales, and get maps for the Amazon Jungle, Transylvania, the African Mines (presumably meant to be King Solomon’s mines with the Serial Numbers filed off). We also get strategies for beating the Inca king (the boss of the Amazon level), the King of the Terra-Fermies (from the Himayalas stage – which we don’t get a map for), and Magica De Spell (from the Transylvania stage).
Dragon Warrior Strategy Guide Part 2: We have a continuation of their coverage of Dragon Warrior. This strategy guide still covers some of the basic elements of Role Playing Games – save your game when you level up, regain health by sleeping in inns, that sort of thing. We also get a basic map of the starting continent of the map, and that you’re going to need to grind to level your character up enough to allow you to continue without getting beaten into the ground. We also get some more game specific stuff, such as letting you know when you learn your first spells. They also hype hint books for later issues.
The NES Satellite: The NES now has an official first-party wireless controller. Well, sort of. What it really is, basically, is a base station that communicates wirelessly to a unit you can plug in to front of the NES. You then plug in the satellite unit to the wall or to a surge protector. The Satellite itself also doubles as a multi-tap. We also get a run down of some of the games that will take advantage of this, with titles of note including Ivan Stewart’s Super Off Road and NES Play Action Football (which I played a lot of as a kid).
Hoops Strategy Guide: The NES is getting a very solid one-on-one or two-on-two basketball game. Mind you, I’ve never particularly gotten into basketball games on consoles and hand-held systems, I could never get the technique down.
Councelor’s Corner: We’re getting some questions now for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, particularly for the later portions of the game, after the dam. This isn’t too suprising because those portions of the game are really freaking hard – I haven’t seen anyone whose made it through the dam with all their turtles. We also have questions about Zelda II, Castlevania II, Metroid, and Adventures of Lolo.
Fester’s Quest Strategy Guide: I’ve played this game. It sucks. The Angry Video Game Nerd agrees with me on this (again, NSFW). We get a map of the overworld map and many of the maze segments, as well as some boss strategies.
Who Framed Rodger Rabbit Strategy Guide: Another Disney game is coming out, this one based on the movie. As with many movie licenced games, this one isn’t very good either and was also reviewed by the Angry Video Game Nerd.
Game Boy Feature: Frankly, I would have put this article on the cover. The Game Boy is Nintendo’s longest running piece of hardware ever, outlasting both the NES, SNES, and the N64. The article describes much of the Game Boy’s features, without going as technically in-depth than coverage in, say, Electronic Gaming Monthly. This includes coverage of the one of the Game Boy’s launch titles – Tetris. I’ve already gone into the bullcrap going on around Tetris between Atari-Tengen and Nintendo of America. You could probably get an interesting made-for-TV movie about this, in the vein of Pirates of Silicon Valley, only with an unhappy ending. The article does include a short Nester strip that’s pretty cute, with Nester failing at Tetris and his mother (making, I suspect, her only appearance), borrowing the Game Boy while he does his chores, and becoming addicted to Tetris, as well as a brief Howard & Nester, with Howard beating Nester at two-player Tetris.
Previews: Our previews this issue are of the Willow Action-RPG for the NES, along with River City Ransom, as well as Sunsoft’s Batman adaptation, and NES Play Action Football.
Classified Information: Again, normally I don’t go too in depth for these Tips & Tricks columns, but this one caught my eye. It’s a tip on how to create your own password for 1943. This is rather impressive. Normally most Tricks columns that give passwords don’t go in depth into the syntax of the password, so this one is a nice change.
Howard & Nester: This issue, the game is Mega Man II, with Nester going up against Dr. Wily’s evil robot H.O.W.A.R.D in a challenge of video game knowledge. It doesn’t work out well… for Howard that is. That’s right, Nester wins!
Short Previews: Of note is previews of Sky Shark, Casino Kid and Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
The Top 30: Alright, here we go again.
- Zelda 2 (12,754 pts.) – Up 1 (7 issues).
- Mario 2 (9,587 pts.) – Down 1 (7 issues).
- Ninja Gaiden (7,057 pts.) – No change (2 issues).
- Legend of Zelda (5,551 pts.) – No Change (8 issues).
- Blaster Master (4,033 pts.) – Up 1 (5 issues).
- Castlevania II (3,268 pts.) – Up 2 (5 issues).
- Legacy of the Wizard (3,261 pts.) – Up 19 (2 issues).
- Bionic Commando (3,086 pts.) – Down 1 (5 issues).
- Guardian Legend (3,075 pts.) – New!
- Metroid (2,886 pts.) – Up 3 (8 issues).
- Tecmo Bowl (2,798 pts.) – Down 6 (3 issues).
- Mega Man 2 (2,788 pts.) – Down 3 (4 issues).
- Mega Man (2,718 pts.) – Up 3 (8 issues).
- Track & Field II (2,675 pts.) – Down 2 (4 issues).
- Hudson’s Adventure Island (2,645 pts.) – Returning (3 issues).
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2,580 pts.) – Up 2 (3 issues).
- Mike Tyson’s Punch Out (2,207 pts.) – Up 4 (8 Issues).
- Contra (2,190 pts.) – Down 4 (8 issues).
- Metal Gear (1,706 pts.) – Returning (5 issues).
- Super Mario Bros. 3 (1,685 pts.) – New!
- Adventures of Lolo (1,684 pts.) – Up 7 (2 issues).
- Bases Loaded (1,683 pts.) – Returning (5 issues).
- Double Dragon (1,633 pts.) – Down 13 (7 issues).
- Milon’s Secret Castle (1,600 pts.) – (3 issues).
- Blades of Steel (1,518 pts.) – Down 8 (4 issues).
- Ultima (1,456 pts.) – Down 15 (3 issues).
- Super Mario Bros (1,088 pts.) – Down 3 (8 issues).
- Castlevania (1,080 pts.) – Down 3 (8 issues).
- Bad Dudes (1,036 pts.) – Down 2 (3 issues).
- Double Dribble (1,014 pts.) – Down 7 (8 issues).
Absent from the list: Rampage (4 issues), Wrestlemania (1 issue), Operation Wolf (1 issue), Skate or Die (2 issues), RC Pro Am (7 issues), Robocop (2 issues).
Pak Watch: The notable games getting previewed include Shadowgate, Godzilla, A Boy and his Blob, and a few action games & RPGs I’d never seen before, including Code Name: Viper and Tombs & Treasure.
NES Journal: We start off with coverage of Captain N: The Game Master, Nintendo’s upcoming animated half-hour commercial-er-Saturday Morning cartoon show. I must admit that the design for Mother Brain looks like something Gerald Scarfe would have come up with (particularly for the Mother character in The Wall, during the Trial sequences. We also get some coverge from Winter CES, including images of the Power Glove (which I’ve already gone into at length, and already linked to the AVGN episode that covered it. We wrap up the issue with a letter from Howard, discussing Winter CES, Nintendo’s trips to Russia (which I have also discussed at length), and hyping the stuff to come in the pages of Nintendo Power.
Finally, as for my Quality Control game – I’m going to be going with Duck Tails. That’s the game that really caught my attention this issue.