Video games, Where I Read

Where I Read – Nintendo Power #52

It’s been almost a month since my last Where I Read, so to make up for it here’s my Where I Read for Nintendo Power issue #52 for September of 1993. This issue’s cover game is Super Mario All Stars, with Mario jumping and hitting a block. However, the inside includes guides for Final Fight 2, Rock & Roll Racing, and Enix’s RPG The 7th Saga. Let’s read on, shall we?

Normally I don’t discuss the ads in the issues, because they’re generally for the magazine they’re in. However, I’m making an exception here, as we have an ad in this issue for the new model of the NES. For those unfamiliar with the NES’ redesign, it took the front-loading VCR-inspired model of the original NES and turned it into a top-loader like the SNES and the original Famicom. This actually solved some of the mechanical difficulties of the original NES, such as the contacts at the back of the cartridge slot getting bent, and similar problems with not getting a good contact when you pressed the cartridge down after inserting it. The fact that the contemporaries of the NES used top-loading designs, as do the NES clones like the Retro Duo and the Retron 3.


Anyway, a couple issues back they asked readers to come up with video game licensed merch we’d like to see. Now, aside from some the usual silly stuff (Ganon on Tax forms) we do get some good suggestions, like Mario Kart RC cars and licensed bubble gum. Also, I found myself noticing the game’s envelope art here, which is completely dominated by Street Fighter II art, particularly of Guile and Chun-Li. They’re next challenge contest is to find out if you’re tough enough to reach World 9 in the Lost Levels.

Final Fight 2 Guide

The fight, much like the fantasy, is not final. (See what I did there?) While the game lacks Cody and Guy, it does finally introduce multiplayer to the SNES Final Fight games, along with Maki and Carlos who don’t appear in any subsequent incarnations of the series (and who feel like knockoffs or homages to Blaze and Axel from Streets of Rage). Anyway, we get a run down of the enemies, and health and bonus point items, as well as maps ane enemy breakdowns for the first 6 stages.

Super Mario All-Stars

We get side-by-side graphical comparisons between the originals & the new versions. We also get a little picture of a Famicom Disk System disk here, when discussing the Japanese release of the lost levels. For those who haven’t seen them before, imagine a 3.5” floppy, except the size of a 5.25” floppy.

We also get a mini-guide to the Lost Levels, which warns the player of the infamous poison mushrooms, along with a breakdown of the number of power-ups per level of the game, along with info on how to get to World 9, so you aren’t going into the challenge blind. If you’re wondering how – just don’t use warp zones. If you use warp zones then you’re done. Now earlier levels grant you unlimited continues, but once you hit world 9, you’re stuck on skill alone. I may attempt the World 9 challenge, possibly for my Quality Control pick.

Anyway, if you accomplish this feat, you get a patch from Nintendo. Not if you’re the first, just doing it and sending in proof gets you the patch. You know, if I could get patches of select achievements, if I earned them, for Xbox 360 games from Microsoft that would be pretty cool.

The 7th Saga

Enix has a new RPG franchise with this game, developed by Produce, who also developed the Super Bomberman games. The game has 7 different characters that you can play as, and that the story may be altered depending on who you choose to play as. We get a a rundown of each of them: Kamil the human knight, Esuna the sorceress, Valsa Saizer the human monk, Olvan Juess the (presumably) Dwarven fighter, Lux Tizer the robot man, Lejes Rimul the evil monster man and @ Wilme Pelin the alien. We also get a map of the over-world and some general advice about getting through the game.

Rock ‘n Roll Racing

Presenting Blizzard’s next big game. We get a run down of the various drivers from the game, as well as highlights for most of the tracks in the game, and a poster for the SNES edition of Mortal Kombat (now with a 100% less fatalities!)

The Sports Scene

We have enough sports games coming out now that they’re getting their own section of the magazine. Electro Brain has the boxing game Legends of The Ring (endorsed by The Ring magazine). Tradewest has a port of Super Baseball 2020 (the original game having been developed by SNK). Konami has NFL Football, which Konami has their own challenge for – beat the unlockable Konami Pro Team with the weakest team in the game – the Seattle Seahawks. Succeed in this challenge and you can be entered in a trip to Hawaii to see the Pro Bowl. You know, I’ve never, ever watched the Pro Bowl.

Anyway, Tradewest also has another Super Off-Road game, this one covering the Baja 500, which means that they’re changing the game up from a lap race to a rally race. Finally, Atlus has a motorcycle racing game with GP-1, and Ubisoft has Super Pole Position.

Family Feud

If there’s one thing that will never go away, it’s game show games licensed from TV shows. If there’s also one thing that will never age well, it’s game show games licensed from TV shows. The game supports carrying high scores from one game to another through a password system, but I can’t think of any real reason for that. You’d only be able to rack up your high score further through single player, because if you’re playing with your friends and used your password score, they’d likely punch you in the junk.

Classified Information

Our cheats include a quit-to-title screen cheat for several games (which is better then resetting the console how?), and a way to skip to the credits in Kool World. There is also a way to go through the character profile pages in Street Fighter II. Finally, we get a bunch of cheats for The Combattribes, along with the Game Boy version of Turrican.

Starfox Comic

Well, the arrival of Fox’s dad is something of a tease. We don’t see him and he doesn’t play much of a role in the plot. Anyway, Andross has another giant monster and Fox blows it up.

Final Fantasy Legend III

The Game Boy has another SaGa – er – Final Fantasy Legend game. The guide introduces the game’s new mechanic of the sliding scale of Monster to Beast to Human to Cyborg and finally Robot. You turn into robots by installing parts dropped by monsters, and turn into beasts and monster by eating meat “dropped” by defeated monsters. That’s actually kind of macabre.

Anyway, the game has a expansive setting, with three levels of the setting, split between 3 time periods. We get maps for some of the earlier areas in the game.

Felix the Cat

Remember Felix? No? Well his NES game has gotten ported to the Game Boy in a sightly shorter version. We get a run-down of Felix’s power ups, along with highlights of the first 5 levels.

Pinball Dreams

We get pictures of of several tables from the game, including Ignition, Steel Wheel, and Graveyard.

Counselor’s Corner

We get tips for Super Ninja boy, Shadowrun, Battletoads in Ragnarok’s World, and Battletoads and Double Dragon. We also get maps of parts of Chapters 2 and 3 from Starfox.

Behind the Scenes of Super Empire Strikes Back

We get something of a look at how this game was made. Now, this isn’t a proper Gamasutra postmortem (which, by the way, is something I’d love to read). Anyway, the article is still fairly in-depth, and gets how into some of the technological obstacles are overcome, like how the scaling for the asteroids in the asteroid belt sequence was done. Though, they were kind of helped by having access to the complete Lucasfilm Archive.

Top 20

Street Fighter II has finally been bumped by the Top 2 by two first-party titles – Star Fox and Legend of Zelda on the NES. Super Mario Land 2 and Legend of Zelda Link’s Awakening hold the top 2 spots on the Game Boy. Meanwhile, on the NES, the original Legend of Zelda holds on to the top spot for its fifth year now, with Mario 3 taking up the #2 spot.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Ubisoft (not Lucasarts) has their own Indiana Jones game adapting The Last Crusade on the NES. We get maps for stages 1, 3, and 4, plus notes for Stage 2 (the required train level).

Tiny Toon Adventures – Cartoon Workshop

Basically, this is like an 8-bit Mario Paint with the Tiny Toon Adventures characters.

Now Playing

In addition to the games covered in this issue, the SNES is getting Terminator 2 and Wing Commander: The Secret Missions, along with the Super Scope game Yoshi’s Safari. Virgin Games has Super Sloap shot, and Irem has the Mascot platformer Rocky Rodent. Seta also has a Wizard of Oz platformer.

The lineup of titles for the NES is getting slimmer and slimmer, and the Game Boy still has a sparse selection of titles as well. The NES has a Wayne’s World licensed game from THQ, and the Game Boy has Jurassic Park and the 4-in-1 Fun Pack (read: shovelware).

Pak Watch

For upcoming titles we have Cool Spot from Virgin Games, which I’ve heard good things about and may be a future Quality Control whenever that issue comes around. Storm has the Lawnmower Man game, and Sunsoft has a port of World Heroes. LJN (ugh) has a licensed Incredible Crash Dummies game. Remember them? Neither do I. Enix is working on Actraiser 2, and we get screen shots from Hudson their upcoming Inspector Gadget game. Nintendo is starting their Minis franchise with Mario & Wario.

On the NES, Taito has an adventure-platformer with Flintstones II, and on the Game Boy FCI has Ultima II: Runes of Virtue, plus a port of Lemmings from Ocean. Acclaim has a boatload of other stuff coming out.

Finally, next issue we have Mortal Kombat. For this issue however, I’m picking Rock N’ Roll Racing as my Quality Control pick. I may also give the World 9 challenge a try as well later.