Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dragon Warrior Nintendo Power Scans

I will never forget receiving my free copy of Dragon Warrior in the mail from Nintendo Power as part of a promotion. From that point on, I was totally hooked on RPGs. I'm reliving some nostalgia with these Dragon Warrior Nintendo Power Scans, from Issue #8 in 1989 (the year North America received Dragon Warrior)

Dragon Warrior (Dragon Quest in Japan, launched in 1986 and features sprites that always face forward, a technique I used in Star Quest) boasts character design from the legendary Akira Toryama of Dragon Ball Z and Chrono Trigger fame. The game was so popular that release dates would disrupt Japanese society in the 90s.

Dragon Quest started one of the best gaming franchises around, and it's still going strong. Even some spin offs are solid games. Dragon Quest 7, 8, and 9 remain some of the best RPGs on their respective systems.

Nintendo Power scans draw near!

Check out the second set of scans as well!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

VG Music: Sonic Spring Yard Zone

Spring Yard Zone always stood out as one of the best Sonic Tracks. Really the chorus is awesome, verses are kinda boring.

Still a great song though.

The Sega Genesis did just fine with its midi sound chip!

Thanks to Renegade466isback for uploading this video and not having a terrible version like everyone else on youtube!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Hazmat An 8-Bit Web Plaformer

Hazmat is a cool 8-Bit platform with simple mechanics, nice smooth controls, helpful signs, and a fun, addicting character.

The music gets grating, but you can easily mute with M. The signs in the game really explain everything, so these screenshots should give you an idea of what the game is about.

You can play Hazmat online at Free Web Arcade.

It's like Super Meat Boy! A great formula for a video game. Hazmat might not be original, but it's free and it's fun! The toxic waste theme isn't bad either, and actually goes along well with the jumping-based platformer.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Legacy of the Wizard World Map

I've been playing a lot of Legacy of the Wizard lately, and this map comes in handy.

The scope of the game is pretty obvious from the map.

Best NES Quadrilogy?

According to 8-Bit City readers, Super Mario Bros. and Mega Man tie for the best NES Quadrilogy!

Even though I voted for Adventure Island, I can't say I disagree with everyone's decision. Thanks for participating in the poll, a new one should be active now!

Adventure Island 1-4
3 (13%)

Dragon Warrior/Quest 1-4
2 (9%)

SMB 1-3 + Lost Levels
8 (36%)

Mega Man 1-4
8 (36%)

Adventures of Lolo 1-4
1 (4%)

Lolo never had a chance. If you've got a good idea for a poll, you can email it to me at

Play Missile Command Online!

Missile Command is my favorite arcade game. It's challenging, the graphics are awesome, it flashes a lot, and you don't kill on the offensive. Your role is purely defensive, and I like that.

The game has a really fascinating history, the developer even had nightmares about nuclear war during creation.

Originally, the game was going to be a huge cabinet with external LED boards like a pinball machine, but the design was scrapped in favor of the materialistic approach that the world would spend thousands of quarters attempting to beat.

The Atari 2600 version isn't bad, but why not head over to, the official site and play their web-based version? The controls are great; you can fire from any turret like in the arcade, or let the game choose the closest turret. I nice option addition for this web-release!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Pixel Art: Prism Creature

I got the idea from the cover of H.G. Well's The Time Machine

VG Music: Lufia and the Fortress of Doom 2 Versions

The theme from the actual Fortress of Doom in Lufia & the Fortress of Doom ranks among the most memorable video game tracks of all time.

sweetsweepbeat arrangement really brings the epic nature of the song to life!

But, of course, one can't go wrong with the original. I say, listen to them both!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bionic Commando Nintendo Power Scans

Bionic Commando was an arcade game first, in 1987, but its most popular incarnation is undoubtedly the 1988 NES classic. The hero, Ladd Spencer, can't jump; instead he uses his robot arm to fling around the stage and shoot Nazis.

In 2008, the series got an XBOX 360 Update that most people seem to enjoy, though I've never played it.

These Bionic Commando Nintendo Power scans are filled with some pretty cool artwork. This is from issue #2, when Nintendo Power and the NES were just getting started in America.

Click the images for the full-sizers.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Jim Power Turbo CD Cheats and Tips

Jim Power was release for the Amiga in 1992, and in 1993 Japan saw a release for the Turbo CD. While the game is slightly watered-down from the Amiga, the music is even better and the game remains fun.

You are 1990s Earth Hero: Jim Power. With the power of steroids and a laser gun you are personally going to kick an entire alien planet's ass.

One of the Turbo Cd problems is that Levels 2 and 4 are shmup flying stages, and basically impossible because your weapon does practically nothing. Use these passwords to skip those levels and you'll still enjoy the really, really long 1,3,5 stages.


Level 5 LAST ONE

Tips: If you scroll a monster off the screen, it's projectile will disappear. The Monster's health, however, will not regenerate! If you kill a monster, similarly, it's projectile will disappear.

Level 1 Miniboss: Pretty much a joke, but ducking can help to make this fight safer.

Level 3 Miniboss can be defeated with no danger to yourself if you stay on the upper platform.

Learn how to control Jim, the physics are very unique. I would consider this a precision platformer, and a very fun game. I'd like to play the Amiga version...

Know some trick I didn't mention? Post it in the comments. I'll add more cheats or glitches if I discover any.

Pixel Art: Pond

A line drawing of a pond.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Pixel Art: Adventure Island

A sprite from the rare, never-release Apple II version of Adventure Island.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Adventure Island Nintendo Power Scans

I had to upload the Adventure Island scans from the 5th issue of Nintendo Power (March-April 1989).

Another classic article, NP covered the first few stages in-depth, but most of the game goes unmentioned. What is here, however, really typifies the early Nintendo Power layouts: entire stages, marginal artwork, tips, and secrets. I always enjoyed the half-pages with enemies and powerups and little story explanations, but the main attraction here is the artwork. Some of these drawings are really good, and everyone should definitely check this one out!

Nintendo Power has a habit of breezing over games which offer direct competition for Nintendo franchises. Adventure Island sold over 1,000,000 copies in Japan; I would have thought the spread to be a little larger.

Adventure Island NES Manual

Adventure Island


Hudson's Adventure Island


Operation Manual


The Story & Controller

Hudson's Adventure Island

Game Story: The Evil Witch Doctor has kidnapped Princess Leilani from
Master Higgins and taken her to Adventure Island in the
South Pacific. It is your mission to help Master Higgins and save Princess
Leilani, but it's not going to be easy. On the island, there are forests,
mountains, caves, many enemy characters, and traps waiting for you. Can
Master Higgins save Princess Leilani from the Evil Witch Doctor?

Control Functions:

Control Pad: moves Master Higgins left and right

A Button: Master Higgins jumps

B Button: shoots weapons or push while running
to make him faster

Energy Level: Master Higgins' energy level is displayed on top of the
The level will decrease as the time passes by.
By catching the fruits on the screen you will be able to add a little bit of
energy back or get a bottle of milk to fill them all up. Of course, loosing
all energy means the game is over.


Power Up Items

About the game: At the beginning, Master Higgins has nothing with him.
As he explores the island, he will find eggs that turn into
bonus items such as axe, skateboard, flower, milk, honeygirl, etc. to power
up Master Higgins.
However, there is an item which won't help Master Higgins but will lower
his energy level rapidly. All together there are 8 areas and at the end of
each area awaits the BIG BOSSES.
You must destroy them to advance to the next area.

Stone Axe: Use "B" button to throw them

Skateboard: Will move you faster but can't stop

Flower: Doubles the points of energy fruits

Milk: Fill up the energy of Master Higgins

Honeygirl: Make Master Higgins invincible for a while

Eggplant: Master Higgins' most unfavorite food. Takes energy
away from him rapidly.

There are many hidden items or stages/Find them by exploring the
Adventure Island!

Characters of Adventure Island

Cobra (100 pts)
Sneil (10 pts)
Fire (unbeatable)
Pooter (100 pts)
Coyote (500 pts)
Skeleton (10 pts)
Basser (50 pts)
Cavas (100 pts)
Zigmo (50 pts)
Ice (20 pts)
Waler (100 pts)
Red Oct (100 pts)
Blue Oct (200 pts)
Kello (200 pts)
There are brown Kello and
green Kello. Be careful as
brown Kello jumps.
Boss Area 1-8
King Quiller (5000 pts)

"Continuing Option"

You can access this "Continuing Option" by pushing the right side of the
movement control button and the START button. However, you are only
allowed to use the "Continuing Option" after finding an egg which contains
the BEE somewhere in Round 1 of Area 1.

Error message

No idea what this says...

VG Music: Adventure Island Remix

I love Adventure Island. As I've said many times before, growing up, Adventure Island II was hands down my favorite platformer. I player a good deal of Sonic and Mario as well, but nothing compared to riding around on dinosaurs and throwing hammers. Every video game allows the player to throw fireballs, how boring.

Super Mario Bros., and especially SMB3 made throwing hammers a desirable commodity. Adventure Island gives the player hammers left and right.

Plus, it's an island of adventure. If you don't love that, you don't love life.

Alexcze does a nice job with a minimalistic remix of this classic track!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sonic the Hedgehog

I was 7 years old when Sonic the Hedgehog launched in North America. Vividly, I remember playing the game for the first time in KB Toys on a display TV.

I was blown away.

Never had I played a game with such amazing graphics. In my mind, the Super Nintendo games didn't even come close to match the cool, futuristic look of Sonic. The music as well, like Mega Man, hinted at the great electronic music that would proliferate over the next 20 years.

Specifically, I noticed how the several different background layers created a 3D effect that I'd never before seen (Super Mario World, by comparison, features 1 parallax background; Sonic has up to 4 depending on the level.

But Sonic didn't even have levels, it had zones and acts. It didn't have enemies, it had little bunnies inside robots. It had rings, which were like coins, but they were also Sonic's HP. Sega did everything they could to distance their mascot from Nintendo's--and it worked. I also remember, at 7 years old, having serious discussions with my friends over who was cooler: Sonic or Mario. While we all grew up playing Mario, the consensus was, of course, that Sonic ruled.

It had to be the speed. Mario created good hop-n-bop game play, but nothing as extreme as Sonic had yet existed. Mario requires that the player actively hold B to run; Sonic doesn't need to. Sonic doesn't even need more than 1 button, and the player cannot hide behind any sort of projectile-powerup.

But, the graphics and environment probably had something to do with it. The world of Sonic teems with movement. Environmental effects, spinning thorn bridges, falling terrain, bumpers, springs, swings, loops, and lava. The flowers spin; the backgrounds flash. The sun reflects off the water in Green Hill Zone--the place shimmers with fun. Sonic felt like the future.

I was equally impressed with Sonic 2, 3 and Knuckles, but, unfortunately, watched the series degenerate just like everyone else after that--with only the occasional title being playable (Sonic Rush, anyone? Sonic Rush was amazing). But despite the awesome co-op and great music, I still feel like Sonic 1 remains the best game in the series because it focuses on platforming more than the other titles. Real dedication was put into every level, and each level has multiple paths. While Sonic 2 continued this trend, the levels never felt quite as big as they did in the original. Eventually, it was all about the loops and going ridiculously fast. Somehow, Sonic 2, 3, Knuckles, and Rush pull this off okay, but at some point the loops simply failed to impress me even slightly.

Additionally, all the cool Sonic zones (watery ruins, pinball bumpers, green hills, big cities) were set in the first game--everything else is, to an extent, a rehash. Not that I don't love Hill Top, Chemical Plant, and Oil Ocean, but those ideas came out of (were inspired by?) Sonic the Hedgehog.

Sonic 2, admittedly, fixed many problems with its predessor: better bonus stage, co-op gameplay (several modes), spin-dashing, and a cool new sidekick. But while these improvements were welcome at the time, in retrospect they can't hold up to the absolute brilliance of the original.

I didn't own Sonic when it was new; but I did finally get a Sega Genesis 1997, when my neighbors grew bored with their old system in favor of their N64 and PSX. Excitement made my hands shake as I hooked up my new Sega Genesis: I could finally play Sonic anytime I wanted! And I basically never stopped.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Adventure Island Game Genie Codes

You can jump in midair with these codes, very fun and certainly makes the game easier to beat.


To double jump. This code is pretty new, I saw it post only a few days ago on Youtube.

You've also got the standard Hudson's Adventure Island Game Genie codes:

PEEEPALA Start with 1 life
TEEEPALA Start with 6 lives
PEEEPALE Start with 9 lives
SZOEGPVG Start with infinite lives
SXKKIAVG Stop energy bar counting down
GXNGLAKA Become immune to rocks
GZXEAPSA Keep weapons
SPEEIIEG Can mega jump while at rest
SPEETSOZ Can mega jump while running
AAEAYIPA + AEVEZGPZ Multi-mega-maxi-moonjumps!
AEKAPIPA + PEEEZIAA Hudson can moonwalk!

Anyone have any more?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Adventure Island 4

Adventure Island: Wonder Boy 4, or something like that. Adventure Island has always had areas similar to Wonder Boy. Without getting into the history too much, Adventure Island 4 was also the last Famicom game to be released in Japan, and a worthy end to a great console.

Adventure Island 4 delivers what you'd expect: and Island of Adventure. It's a basic Metroidvania done right. You have over 15 items and powerups plus 5 Dinosaurs you can use. There are 6 bosses, 7 "areas", and tons of secrets and fruit to be found.

The timer is gone, but Adventure Island 4 still demands significant skill. The player can earn heart containers, but every hit takes away a full heart. 8 pieces of fruit will restore health, and you can hold a couple potions.

I just finished replaying this game, and it's my favorite of the NES Adventure Islands. It's the kind of game you'll want to play over and over.

I took a considerable amount of screenshots on this last playthrough:

It's dark in here.

The torch can light the way.

The second area has some volcanoes, this reminds me of other Adventure Islands AND Wonderboy games.

The blue dino can walk well on ice, and he gives you the snowboard as well.

Found a spear. The spear sucks and you only need it for 1 jump. You don't fight with it. I guess you could...

Underwater passage that reminds me of The Dynastic Hero.

Crazy mechanical spider boss.

Walking with my new umbrella.

The ice block at this spot melts eventually, and you can explore this area.

Swimming is part of island adventuring.

A cool crystal area.

Four dinos rescued, 1 more to go!

Got the Star dinosaur. He's difficult, but fun, to use.

Tina got captured after I rescued the Dinos, better go get her out of the final dungeon.

Finally! The tomahawk/hammer. This motherfucker will be essential during the fight with the Eggplant Demon.

Skateboarding through the final dungeon :D Some difficult jumps like this require you to use it.

Here's the final password! There is still 1 Heart Container to collect, but everything else is good to go. I like a challenge, so it's time to head to the final boss.

The final boss.

I finally win and gtfo with Tina!