We’re on to issue #10 of Nintendo Power, for January of 1990. It’s a new year, a new decade, but not a new volume, though we’ve got a new hand-held system coming out. Our cover story for this issue is for the Batman game, featuring The Dark Knight small and in the background, and Jack Nichelson’s Clown Prince Of Crime large and in the foreground. Well, much like in The Dark Knight, it’s the Joker who steals the show. This issue’s a little longer than the last one, about 100 pages long.
Letters: We’re starting off with letters about the changes to Mario’s nose – and accusations of plastic surgery? *headdesk*
Batman Strategy Guide: Excuse me for a minute while I break out my Danny Elfman playlist (a track by Mystic Knights of The Oingo Boingo starts playing) No, the other Danny Elfman playlist! (Elfman’s main title for Batman starts playing). Much better! Anyway, we get maps of some if the first few stages (1 through 3), as well as notes on the last two episodes (4 and 5). Not much else here. They don’t even have any notes on what the power-ups do. Admittedly, often times these notes will be included in the manual, but it’s still useful to have that information in the magazine article, as the magazine is physically larger than the manual, making it a little more difficult to lose the magazine.
Shadowgate Guide: Ahh, Shadowgate, one of the few NES games I actually beat on the NES. I died sooo many times on that game. It doesn’t get you all the way through the game, but it gets you a pretty good head start, which is nice for a game like this (where, otherwise, you would end up dying horribly over and over again.
The Making of Super Mario Bros. 3: We’ve got an interesting little article documenting the process behind the making of Super Mario Bros. 3, including interviews with Shigeru Miyamoto, who is the project head on the game. We also have discussions of some of the new costume power-ups (including the Tanuki Suit) and some of the new enemies (including the Chain Chomper). We also, in some of the pictures, have images of Miyamoto’s workspace, and of some of the design sketches for the game, along with a most of a full page profile of Miyamoto. Um… Nintendo, if you did a full coffee table book on the making of each of the Mario games, with images and translations of design documents, walking the reader through the steps of the design process of, each of the core Mario games for each system (plus, say, Doki Doki Panic/Super Mario Bros. 2 US), that would be great, and I would certainly buy it. (Hell, if I had a better grasp of Japanese, I’d be willing to write the book, if you’ll have me).
Willow Strategy Guide – Part 2: The Strategy guide basically picks up where I left off in the game, more or less (I didn’t video record my full run, because it took me several hours, and YouTube only gives you 10 minutes). This strategy guide almost takes you to the last castle, more or less.
Double Dragon II Guide: We’re starting off with our coverage of the sequel for Double Dragon. Well, last game you fought to rescue Marion the Shadow Master. Well, this time she’s been murdered, and now you must avenge her death. We get a bit of a move list and then start the game, giving maps for the first 5 levels, and some screen shots of mission 6.
Super Strike V-Ball Guide: It’s a beach volleyball game, and they hype the game being an exhibition sport at the 1992 Summer Olympics (and it’s now an Olympic Sport). They give a run-down of the basics of the game, and I’m probably not going to play this. I’m not a big fan of sports games in general, with the exception of current gen baseball games and football games.
Clash at Demonhead Guide: Well, we’ve got a strategy guide for the semi-non linear shooter game. Now, either the levels in the game are very short, or the maps for each of the sections are incomplete. We also get descriptions of some of the power-ups you can purchase in the game.
River City Ransom Guide: I’ve played this game before, and I’d say it’s pretty fun, and it could probably stand for a re-make for Wii’s Downloadable service, or XBLA or PSN (if not the PSP and/or DS). We get a map of the mall and what the shops do (as well as what the techniques you can get from reading do). We also get tips for beating Moose, Benny & Clyde, and Rocko, as well as advice for beating Turf, Mojo, and Thor of the the Zombie’s (the gang of the villain – Slick). Yeah, this is an brawler you will need to grind in, so you can buy a bunch of power ups to prepare for the final boss fight.
Top 30: Well, we’ve gotten some shakeups in the top 10 this issue, and a few new titles – though they’re not good about marking them.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (10,453 pts.) – Up 4 (5 issues).
- Zelda II (6,886 pts.) – Up 1 (9 issues).
- Super Mario 2 (5,992 pts.) – Down 1 (9 issues).
- Ninja Gaiden (5,262 pts.) – No Change (4 issues).
- Dragon Warrior (4,653 pts.) – Up 2 (2 issues).
- Mega Man II (4,339 pts.) – Down 5 (6 issues).
- Legend of Zelda (3,509 pts.) – Up 1 (10 issues).
- Bionic Commando (3,483 pts.) – Up 2 (7 issues).
- Faxanadu (3,124 pts.) – Down 3 (2 issues).
- Blaster Master (2,698 pts.) – Up 1 (7 issues).
- Tecmo Bowl (2,345 pts.) – Up 1 (5 issues).
- Nobunaga’s Ambition (2,141 pts.) – Up 15 (2 issues).
- Super Mario Bros 3 (2,026 pts.) – New (though they don’t mark it as such).
- Marble Madness (1,992 pts.) – New!
- Strider (1,877 pts.) – Down 6 (2 issues – though they mark it as new)
- Bad Dudes (1,839 pts.) – Up 14 (5 issues).
- Robocop (1,836 pts.) – Up 11 (4 issues).
- Mega Man (1,832 pts.) – Down 4 (10 issues).
- Batman (1,825 pts.) – Up 1 (2 issues).
- Metroid (1,719 pts.) – Up 1 (10 issues).
- Castlevania II (1,508 pts.) – Returning (6 issues).
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1,507 pts.) – New (but not marked as such).
- Ghostbusters (1,483 pts.) – New (but not marked as such).
- Double Dragon (1,458 pts.) – Down 7 (9 issues)
- Mike Tyson’s Punch Out (1,455 pts.) – Down 12 (10 issues).
- Blades of Steel (1,382 pts.) – Returning (5 issues).
- Contra (1,338 pts.) – Down 8 (10 issues).
- NFL Football (1,252 pts.) – New (but not marked as such).
- Metal Gear (1,249 pts.) – Returning (6 issues – marked as new).
- The Guardian Legend (1,213 pts.) – Down 7 (3 issues).
Absent from the list: Double Dragon 2 (1 issue), Hudson’s Adventure Island (4 issues), Bases Loaded (6 issues), Baseball Stars (1 issue), Legacy of the Wizard (2 issues), Adventures of Bayou Billy (1 issue), Super Dodge Ball (1 issue). Following this we get our poster. Normally, I don’t go into the posters, but this issue we get a full map of River City Ransom (up to the school), as well as information on what all the items do.
Game Boy Section: We’re getting more information on the upcoming game boy games, incliding Golf, the puzzle games Boxxle and Kwirk, and the shump SolarStriker.
Previews: We get a preview of Super Mario Bros. 3 which has white text on light colors and thus is a pain in the ass to read. Taxan has Burai Fighter, a jetpack shump (a shump where you play as a guy with a jetpack – which thus has a larger hit-box). Jaleco has the fantasy action game Astyanax. There’s also the DinoWarz game, a mecha game that, supposedly, features giant robot dinosaurs.
Howard & Nester: This issue the game is Dragon Warrior. Nester is trying to find the Stone of Sunlight so he can complete his quest. He knows it lies beneath the castle, but he can’t dig through the courtyard. Howard helpfully suggests taking the back door into the lower levels of the castle to get it, but Nester, having to do it the hard way, keeps trying to dig, blast, and drill his way through the courtyard, without success.
Councelor’s Corner & Classified Information: We’ve got questions about Who Framed Roger Rabbit & Legacy of the Wizard, as well as Faxanadu and Ultima. Classified Information has, among other things, has a password that will give you Invulnerability in Kid Icarus, a continue code for Kung-Fu Heroes, and notification that a variant on the Konami code (A, B, B, Up, Up, Down, Left, Start) gets you 21 lives in P.O.W. There’s also a way to grind for 1-ups in the African Mines stage on Duck Tales.
Winter Game Previews: Apparently they’re not done with the previews yet. We’ve got brief previews (one page long) for Infiltrator, Chessmaster, and a couple more Power Pad games.
Video Shorts: Of note in these previews is a port of the home computer game Archon (which I played a lot as a kid), the combat racing game Road Blasters, Genghis Kahn from Koei (another strategy game), Dig Dug II, and the helicopter shump Twin Cobra.
NES Journal: Well, the winners of the Player’s Poll contest have been determined, and they were flown out to Seattle to tour Nintendo of America’s headquarters. We also have the first 7 locations for the Nintendo World Championship qualifiers, with two in Pennsylvania, and one each in Texas, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Massachusetts. We also get a profile of Stephen Furst, who was at the time the issue was published, on St. Elswhere, and would later go on to play Vir Cotto on Babylon 5.
Pak Watch & Howard’s Letter: Well, of note in Pak Watch is the sequal to Contra, Super C, Adventures of Lolo 2, Wall Street Kid. As far as Howard’s letter goes – he’s off to CES again in Las Vegas, and he’ll be bring back news to the pages of Nintendo Power (which goes to show that what happens in Vegas doesn’t necessarily stay in Vegas). Also, as the Nintendo Fun Club is no more, Howard’s gotten a new job title – Game Master. Sorry Howard, but unless you’re running the Nintendo of America in-house GURPS campaign (or some other RPG that doesn’t use the Storyteller system or isn’t Dungeons & Dragons), you might want to get something else.
Finally, before I rap things up, there’s the matter of my Quality Control game. I’m kind of torn between Clash on Demon Head & Batman. I’ll go with Batman.