Nintendo Power #4 Cover
This week we move on to the fourth issue of Nintendo Power for January & February of 1989. Our cover story this issue is their coverage of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. According to the cover there’s also an feature about 3 upcoming football games, and the Captain Nintendo fanfic (I’m not going to dignify it as “serialized fiction” continues. This issue clocks in at, about, 110 pages, same as last issue.
Wrestlemania Strategy Guide: We’re starting off the issue with a strategy guide for WWF Wrestlemania, featuring basically most of the really major wrestlers from 1989’s Wrestlemania event (Wrestlemania V), and by really major I mean Bam Bam Bigelow, Andre the Giant, Honky Tonk Man, Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Ted DiBiase. Okay, not most of the really major wrestlers, but a lot of characters for a game on an 8-bit system. They have different power-ups for different characters, like Ted DiBiase’s money, Hogan’s crucifix (which is referred to as an “Golden X” because we can’t offend people with Christian imagery), and so on. Each characters also have their own different move lists, all of which have their own differences, that generally fit with the real-life wrestlers styles (Andre not having any top rope moves for example), through there are some odd elements like Hulk Hogan being able to do drop kicks but not having any leg-drops, Bam Bam Bigelow not having any front grapple moves, and so forth. Also, there aren’t any signature moves in this game, and no way to win by submission or knock out (which there was a precedent for at this time in the WWF – Ted DiBiase’s Million Dollar Dream).
Captain Nintendo – Part II: The bad self-insertion fanfic continues and, fortunately, comes to an end, with Captain Nintendo beating Ganon and Mother Brain. Unfortunately, immediately following the conclusion of the Captain Nintendo story we have Nintendo Power’s story submission contest, asking readers to submit short stories (1000 to 2000 words) for publication in Nintendo Power. Stories will be judged based on creativity, originality, and overall composition. Winners will get government savings bonds, with 1st place getting $500 ($859.84 adjusted), 2nd getting $250 ($429.92 adjusted), and 3rd getting $100 ($171.97 adjusted). So, we’ve go the potential for 3 more issues of this… stuff. I have hopes the fiction will turn out a little better, as there’s no age limit, so in theory people who have had time to put a little more polish on their fiction writing might have a chance, but we’ll see.
Sesame Street Game Previews: Being that at this time Nintendo of America’s target market was younger kids, the NES received a moderate number of Edutainment games, significantly more than later consoles would receive. Unfortunately, a lot of the more classic edutainment games from Home Computer systems (like Oregon Trail and Number Munchers) didn’t get translated over. Instead, we’re getting stuff like Ernie’s Magic Shapes which teaches shape and color recognition, and Astro Grover which teaches counting and some single-digit addition and subtraction. I have to say that these games are only particularly useful, education wise, for kids in pre-school and kindergarten, which only gets you a couple of years out of these games, so unless you’ve got 1 kid who is currently in pre-school or kindergarten, and one kid who isn’t old enough yet but will be in the future, you’re not going to get a lot of use out of these games, so I hope the games aren’t too expensive.
Zelda II: The Adventure Of Link Strategy Guide: Great art in this strategy guide by the way. We’ve got a basic bestiary, some maps of the first region of the map (and which towns have what items), descriptions of power-up items, and some in-depth maps of the first few palaces (Parapa Palace, Swamp Palace, Island Palace, Maze Island Palace). I do have a problem with some of the maps of the palaces not showing where the palaces really are. There is a larger, fold-out map with a bit more information, and does give a bit more information about locations of palaces and towns, but the map is slightly more abstract than screen shots.
Skate or Die Strategy Guide: This isn’t the first skateboarding game for consoles (California Games beat it a little bit with their half-pipe event) but this is the first console video game that was exclusively focused around skateboarding. That said, the game is basically divided between trick based events in the half-pipe, and downhill racing events on either a street or country course (both are road, but the scenery is different between the two), and just to mix things up, there is the “Joust” event, which basically has two people fighting over one little boffer thing while skateboarding in an empty pool.
Howard & Nester: This issue, Nester is playing Track & Field II. This one is probably one of the funnier of the lot, as we’ve got some humor outside of the interplay between Howard & Nester. I have to say, of all the attempts in other gaming magazines to convey game tips in comic form, Howard & Nester was the best.
Councilor’s Corner: We start off with some questions about Super Mario Bros. II, moving on to Golgo 13, Wizards & Warriors, and there are still some questions for the first quest of Legend of Zelda.
Classified Information: We start out with some strategies for Double Dragon, including being able to skip some of the bosses (Abobo and Williams) – though as the game has a basic leveling system, skipping the bosses rather then fighting them you won’t be able to get the points to “level up” your character and get more moves. There’s the Konami code popping up again in Life Force, and we also have the Nintendo Councilors pointing out a glitch in Track & Field II that can be exploited for a high score.
Marble Madness Strategy Guide: For those who don’t know, Marble Madness is a downhill racing game, with marbles. The game is interesting, in an almost-but-not-quite Chinese Curse sense. I’d played the game when I was in grade school, and it’s kind of hard. Basically, you control a marble, and you try to get to the end of a downhill course as fast as possible while avoiding creatures that want to eat your balls. That sounded better in my head. No it didn’t. It’s Super Monkey Ball, except you have no control of the angle of the track and instead control the movement of the monkey directly. Anyway, the game’s in a semi-isometric perspective, but it does give you a control option that reflects this – the problem is that this control option requires you to hold the controller on the diagonal, so the the D-pad is in an x-shape instead of an plus-shape. It’s awkward to hold, but it works the best for the game. Anyway, we get maps of tracks 3, 4, and 5.