Monday, January 8, 2007

Top 10 hardest NES games.

A while back I had started in my head a list of the top ten NES games ever manufactured and distributed in the United States. I think this would've been good but probably not too original. I mean everyones favorite would probably include Zelda, a combo of Super Mario1,2,3, Tecmo Bowl, RBI Baseball, Blades of Steel, Mike Tyson, Contra, Metroid etc etc. So as I was filtering through all of the games I owned or played throughout my childhood I realized that a lot of my favorite games were the ones that I left un-conquered with my own hands. I played these games feverishly into the late nights and early mornings and could never "Beat" them.

So this blog has two intentions: 1. to exorcise my NES demons that are still lurking in the crevices of my fragile mind. 2. to post out to the world in hopes that someone sends me an email or post claiming victory over one of the games that still haunt me. (please dont lie to me) Also, I will bashfully admit that I did, in fact, conquer a few on the list. I will start with those first and then work my way to my most agonizing failures.

10. Ghosts' n Goblin - I got hooked for a long time to this game. You start the game as the scrawny Arthur and run around in a graveyard fighting all sorts of undead creatures. I was able to beat the game to find that you had to beat the game again at a harder level to see a very pathetic ending. That suxed

9. Wizards and Warriors - I did beat this game and barely remember the ending. I do remember that I spent hours upon hours of jumping out of my chair and spinning around foolishly as my warrior lay slain on the bottom of a cave floor with his right leg dangling back and forth. I do remember the annoying, yet addictive theme song dun dunnah nah nuh.... dun dunnah nah nuh. Ah that music will forever be etched into the superstructure of my soul. If any of you have played this game please let me know. I've always wondered how many of yous (new york dialect) have played and enjoyed this treasure. 8. Metal Gear - I don't have too much to say about this game other than to display my utter disgust to learn that the radio code that I searched for in every chasm, nook and cranny, the
game's layout had available for me to learn, from word of mouth, that it was on the back of the box that I so foolishly ripped to shreds when I got home from the store. I've always enjoyed looking on EBay to see some guy's collection of Nintendo games neatly aligned on a dark blue cheap plaid bedspread. I love to imagine what kind of person I had discovered. Did he play the games all night as i did and then when finished solemnly place the cartridges back into it's perfectly crisp cardboard box? I find this person fascinating to imagine because when I finally, clumsily headed off to bed my entire nintendo collection would lay scattered on the hard tiled floor submerged in a dirty mess of socks, empty coke cans and other various teenage frills. Once I managed to obtain the code from a friend, defeating the metal gear was a matter of time.

7. Castlevania - This game is a classic. I remember the first time I made it to one of the final levels. I took a deep breath and calmly hit the pause button allowing me to walk a few quick laps around my room. Once I hit unpause I was immediately introduced to a world of jumping monkeys and spinning conveyor belts. The 3 lives that I had saved were quickly eliminated by careless frantic moves. But because I am not a quitter I labored onward and found my way back to these levels on a consistent basis. Pretty soon I was bouncing about the screen left and right slashing my whip about in every direction. I had a little trouble with that nasty Grim Reaper and Dracula was pretty tough but I was triumphant in the end.

6. Zelda II A Link to the Past - This is the best Zelda game ever. It was probably one of the first games to challenge people without losing some of its "playability". I must admit that I never owned the actual Nintendo cartridge. One of my childhood friends Jeff Huxen lent me this game when it was in it's absolute worst of conditions. I managed to work my way to the end of the game and was having a hard time beating those little bastard red armored knights on the seconde to last stage. After all that exhaustion I was deeply troubled to find the game's memory wiped after a few rigged attempts of getting the game to work. If you remember if the screen blinked while loading you risked an erasure of memory. I was re-introduced with Zelda II while in graduate school @ Ole Miss. I loaded an NES Emulator onto my laptop and this time I finished the deal.

5. Karnov - Let me start off by saying that with minimal reflection this game was Dee-gusting. I did not own this game but did play it quite a bit. The only playing time logged for this game was late in the night @ Mark Hemleben's house. I remember only making little progress in this game but for some reason it has always stuck out to me as a game that I would've liked to "beat". The farthest I ever made it was against the T-Rex shown on the box.

4. Ninja Gaiden - This game I did own and played soooo much. I remember staying in my room for hours upon hours, holed up in my closet panting and screaming at my little 10" screen. I was able to witness a genius defeat this game with little effort. His name was Chris Raggio. I remember going over to the Raggio's one saturday afternoon and was allowed to enter Chris's room. Neil and a few of his friends all gathered around as Chris casually "beat" Ninja Gaiden. I went home in utter disgust at my lack of talent with the game.

3. Tiger Heli - this game was HARD. I remember spending countless hours over at Jeff Huxen's house trying to beat this game. This is the all time best aerial helicopter / plane and probably the most frustrating. It was great fun but I must admit we never even got close. If anyone out there ever played this game please tell and let me know how far you were able to make it.

2. Rush N Attack - This game is also one of my favorites. I remember exactly the time I bought this gem of a game. It was, in my mind, the best "side-scroller" game for the NES. The tough part about this game was that if you got touched once you were dead. At times you could have a troop of parachuting, gun toting soviets tantalizing you from above as they landed. While dodging the bullets from above you were simultaneously dispatching jumping red men, persistent yellow gunmen and a bottomless gorge of mindless grunts. I never beat the game but, once did have the opportunity to fire a few mortars into the direction of the ICBM (Intercontinental Ballistic Missile) aimed at American soil before I was slain by it's protectors.

1. Jaws - This is another one of my favorites. It is a very simple game yet impossible to beat. You are Roy Schneider driving around in a sail boat looking for Jaws. You start off with a power 1 and no tracking devices and try to work your way up to a power 5 or 6 which makes it easy to beat. Your little Roy Schneider gets speedier by eating crabs. You get power ups by trading in conchs that you collect fighting off a host of jellyfish, stingrays and baby jaws. You can get conchs from the various bonus scenes where you drop coconut bombs onto dancing jellyfish as well. I still play this game from time to time on the computer and have yet to defeat it. I need help. I am always able to quickly build up a power level of 3-4-5 and then get a crack or two at Jaws. Once I reduce him to zero power and face him on the boat I have no idea what to do. PLEASE HELP.

If you want to play any of the games above check out the site a good friend Sir Chad Mars turned me onto this one and it has been a favorite site ever since.

One game that I feel I should mention this game Spyhunter, this game was a bunch of fun but IMPOSSIBLE. Anyone who says they succesfully beat this game is a liar. The game has no ending and that is what is so disappointing about it. I did not find this out until recently. I was always barely able to elude "The Road Lord" and "The Enforcer" but was quickly dispatched by "The Mad Bomber" the helicopter that followed your every move as it dropped precise bombs all over the road. If you were ever lucky enough to get a few missiles off you risked having one of the missed bombs falling back down onto your spy car. I was able once to get in the boat once and that was a real treat.


Clarence said...

tiger heli...what a memory. i spent at least 1000 hours in philip buchanan's playroom trying to beat this gem of a game. remember how, when you were fired upon but not quick enough to avoid it, if you had one of your big bombs remaining, it would automatically launch one of those to pick off the incoming missile before it could take you down? this was a nice feature in that moment, because it potentially spared a precious life, but down the line, when things got hairy, you would give anything to have that damn bomb back. after weeks of getting blown to pieces, i finally quit trying to beat the game and just flew around seeing how many holes i could blow in roofs and how many cars i could destroy, because i figured if i couldnt defeat their armies, at least i could ruin the lives of the civilians.

baxtermadux said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
baxtermadux said...

nice work keeps. i had completely forgotten about Rush N' Attack. That is one of my favorites. I cant recall any of the gameplay except that it was always a good game to play in pairs for major asskicking.
tiger heli is another obscured gem. there goes another weekend to playing NES emulators online

Humbert Humbert said...

One word...Rygar

jhs548 said...

You've left out Metroid. Surely you recall Nintendo's supposed million dollar prize for the 1st person to defeat the game (or so I recall being told). I never beat. In fact it was anger elicited by it that resulted in the ultimate demise of that ultimate childhood friend.

The Dizfactor said...

A link to the past isn't a NES game, its a SNES game. And all the Zelda games are pretty easy.

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Nice... I just hate that game! HAHAHA!

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