Told to me whilst I was buying stickers in Decalburg.
Batsly Adams, an electrical engineer, has coded and constructed an actual 8-bit breathalyzer game. You blow into a modified game cartridge that’s connected to an NES controller input. The best part: You get to enter your initials into the “Alco-Hall of Fame” afterward.
This just goes to show that the greatest home video game console ever made can be used for more than just gaming. My brother and I used to hide M&M packets in the cartridge slot (Mom, if you’re reading this, I swear we never spoiled our appetites—we merely enhanced them). The cartridge slot can also be used as a makeshift sandwich warmer. The only reason we made this discovery was because The Legend of Zelda wouldn’t work right (fuck the ZIF socket) unless one of us held the cartridge down during gameplay. We tried stuffing several household items into the slot; finally, someone suggested using a sandwich, and it worked like a charm—but only if the sandwich had been made with white bread.
It hit me that night my friends and I threw a dinner party with a box of day-old Little Caesar’s and a bottle of flat Pepsi: Present-day multiplayer gaming is lame. Why? Because the console kings hate people who have actual lives. David Wong pretty much sums it up over at Cracked.com:
…if you think “multiplayer” means inviting the gang over to play, get drunk, laugh and high-five each other until the break of dawn, too bad. You can’t do that. Want to play with friends, they must be kept at arm’s length, faceless at the other end of a broadband connection. Grand Theft Auto IV multiplayer is a world without hugs.
Likewise, on that night when my friends and I took an impulse drive down to the local video store with the intention of renting something the four of us could play while our bloated bellies processed vast quantities of empty calories, we were sorely disappointed to find that all of the PlayStation 3 games available at the time were online multiplayer. In a perfect Sony world, each of us would have smiled stupidly, gone out and bought his own PS3 and a copy of the game, gone home, hooked it up, and, eventually, jabbered about how awesome it was to be playing the same game at the same time without being in the same room. What really happened: We dug out my piece-of-shit Nintendo 64 and its four crusty controllers, and we knocked off a dozen rounds of GoldenEye. Fucking brilliant—not only because I was still able to kick ass at the game, but because, despite today’s cutting edge, gigabyte-wielding, coffee-making, cancer-curing gaming systems, it was fucking GoldenEye that provided the superior “party” multiplayer experience.
The console kings want us divided, split apart, separated into our individual, stuffy apartments playing our individual PS3s or Xboxes in our filthy underwear and believing, naively, that we’re networking, socializing, making friends. BS to that. I just fragged the dog shit out of some kid from Wisconsin—it means nothing if he can’t see me giving him the finger, if he can’t feel me raking my knuckles across his scalp, or if I can’t watch him flinch as I hurl the salsa bowl into his face during my victory dance. I can only feed the stereotype that gamers are stay-at-home losers whose only interaction with other human beings is through their TeamSpeak headsets. For this, Sony and Microsoft earn a big fat bag of flaming poo. (Not you, Nintendo; you’re golden, what with your darling Mario Kart Wii, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, and Super Smash Bros. Brawl.)
Now, get the hell off my lawn.
If I’d known as a kid the cheat code to unlock the shortcut linked above (which is not actually from the game, but still a way-cool vector job nonetheless), I would have been so pimp.
Does anyone remember being small with fireballs? How about the minus world, or any other noteworthy glitch, for that matter? My contribution: When my brother and I were kiddies, we were playing the first level of Super Mario Bros. 2 and one of us accidentally jostled the NES—thereby turning the waterfalls into blood and the falling logs into evil-looking uprooted vegetables. That’s totally true, I swear. What’s still up for speculation is whether or not it was the vegetables that possessed my mom several months later when she took a hammer to our NES, shouting “Evil! Evil!” repeatedly.
Here she is offering her apology:
In all honesty, it was probably better that the Nintendo went when it did. Otherwise I might have missed all those late night Star Trek marathons. That’s a good thing, right?
I was clearing out an abscess in my closet and found my old Game Boy, as well as a dozen game packs:
You’ll notice how much the Super Mario Land cartridge resembles a piece of spoiled fruit. That’s because I played the shiat out of it when I was a kid. I also dropped it in the toilet once or twice (who hasn’t?). Which begs the question: Why, in the middle of a bowel movement, would I need to switch games on the fly? Ah, well. It was my first Game Boy game, my first game period after several months of gamelessness (due to my mom’s previously destroying my NES with a hammer—true story). It was my initiation into the exciting world of monochrome, calculator-LCD-like portable gaming, and I was smitten. As primitive as it was, Super Mario Land was probably my favorite Mario game for the Game Boy.
Quite possibly the best overall game for the Game Boy was The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. Most ports or series installments on the Game Boy had less maneuverability than their NES counterparts, and were oftentimes visually inferior. Not so with Zelda, which utilized the Game Boy’s limited specs quite well. I was pleasantly surprised this afternoon when I tried the cart out and discovered all my saved games were still there.
There are other carts that I’m still fond of, like Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge and Ninja Boy…and that’s about it. Wizards & Warriors X: Fortress of Fear was a mere shadow of Ironsword. Speedy Gonzales’ soundtrack made me want to go to the dentist. Someone lent me Operation: C, and I didn’t like the controls as well as I did in Contra / Super C. But it wasn’t all crap during that gilded 1989-1990 period. TaleSpin was still on the air; Wesley Crusher was still aboard the Enterprise; Robocop hadn’t yet rusted through; the Ninja Turtles were still teenage. It was a good time to be a geekling.
(Random routine reminder: I don’t send spam from my Jessture.com e-mail address, nor from any of my other addresses. So, if you’ve supposedly received a message from me touting instant weight loss or miracle erections, know that it’s not genuine.)