Where I Read – Nintendo Power #34


On to issue 34 of Nintendo Power. Our cover story is, well, a game that they’ve been covering off and on for several issues now. The game is Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and since it’s probably one of the most highly regarded Zelda games up until either Ocarina of Time or Majora’s Mask (depending on who you ask). I frankly think it’s a step down from last issue’s rather impressive TMNT cover art. The letters being printed this issue relate to the question, “Tell me what you want, what you really really want.” Well, they’ll tell you what they want, what they really really want.

Yes, that’s right. I just referenced the Spice Girls.

Anyway, kids being rather selfish beings, they want lots of games or candy or cash, all that sort of thing. However, one reader can be trusted to be inventive – he wants Nintendo Power boxer shorts, he even came up with a design, which he sent with the letter.

Empire Strikes Back Guide

Now, as you may recall from several issues back, I wasn’t impressed with the NES Star Wars game. Well, now we have Empire Strikes Back, and it includes force powers, and it’s also not going to end up as my Quality Control pick. I’ll tell you what, when we get to the 16-bit Star Wars games, I’ll give those a try. Anyway, we get a run down of the force powers, and some level maps, starting off with the Wampa cave, and then the following Ice Cave, where you face the probe droid. After that, we get a Battle of Hoth level (not the first, the first was in the Atari 2600 Empire Strikes Back arcade game). Being that this is an 8-bit system without Mode 7 graphics, the level kind of controls like Jungle Strike, except you only have two buttons on your controller, instead of the Genesis’ 3 (or 6) buttons. We then get a map of the Echo Base level (which has you trying to escape the Imperials), before giving a few notes on the Dagobah, and Cloud City levels.

Terminator 2: Judgement Day Guide

The Terminator series is getting it’s second bad video game. We get notes on the moves in the game, as well as a heads up that in the game there’s only one life and no continues We get maps of the first few stages (the truck stop at the start of the movie) the driving stage where you rescue John Connor. We also get a note here that after stage 2 (which is also where the game’s only continue is), you can only kneecap enemies, which you do by crouching. We also get a map of the hospital along with notes that the elevator rescue card that you need to progress is located randomly. Did I mention that if you die once it’s game over and there are no continues unless you got the one from level 2, that’s hidden. I can tell right now, that’s bad game design. Anyway, we also get a map of the Cyberdyne building (which looks incredibly generic), and the the foundary, which is the last part of the game. At least they don’t have you play the driving sequence with the SWAT truck vs the Helicopter, followed by the taco truck vs. the truck full of liquid Nitrogen.

Nightshade Guide

This is a semi-super-hero adventure game, but with a new IP. The title super-hero in this game wears an over-coat and hat like Darkman, but he’s got a bit of the Denny O’Neil The Question vibe. However, as this is an adventure game, some of the segments are action segments, and some are more investigative segments. Anyway, we get a map of some of the early areas of the game, as well as a map of the game’s city, along with a few puzzle hints.

MC Kids Guide

McDonalds has an advergame! We get maps of the first 6 stages.

Legend of Zelda – A Link To The Past Comic

This time we go to Ganon who is chewing out his minions for not defeating Link last issue. Meanwhile, Ganon’s forces are attempting to destroy the library of the village of Kakariko, where the Book of Mudora is kept. The book is also the next item Link needs to complete his quest. Bravely, Link rushes into the blaze, saving the book and the Librarian. Link is also given a glider which will help him on his way. The glider journeys to some desert ruins, where he gets the Pendant of Power. Yes, they drop a Nintendo Power reference here (as in “Now You’re Playing with the Pendant of Power”). Anyway, as this installment of the comic ends, Link finds himself facing a Lanmola, a giant monstrous centipede.

Mega Man II (Game Boy) Guide

This is a little different from the NES version of Mega Man II. For starters, the Robot Masters are different. This also introduces Quint, the game’s Mega Man Killer. Considering that each of the Mega Man Killers is named after a musical genre–the others being Enker (Enka), Punk, and Ballade (Ballad)–I don’t know what genre he’s supposed to be. We get maps of the stages for the first four Robot Masters: Clash Man, Metal Man, Wood Man, and Air Man. There are also a few notes for beating the last 4 Robot Masters: Needle Man, Magnet Man, Hard Man, and Top Man.

Tiny Toon Adventures Guide

They’re Tiny, they’re toony, they’ve already been on the NES, so now they’re taking it on the road. We get maps for the first 3 levels of the game as well as a few notes for level 4.

High Stakes Guide

This is, frankly, a casino game. Short of giving you advice on counting cards in Blackjack (which wouldn’t be much good in a computer game anyway, come to think about it), there isn’t much good this guide can really do for you, aside from selling you on the game.

Super Mario Adventures Comic

Last issue they introduced Yoshi. This issue, with much fear and trepidation, Mario and Luigi get to know Yoshi and visit Yoshi’s village. Meanwhile, Princess Peach and her bodyguards are being attacked by Spinies.

Lemmings Guide

I will be frank, there are some puzzle games where I’ve found that picture guides are more useful than descriptive guides. I could see Lemmings being one of those games. We get notes on getting the most of each of the types of Lemmings, as well as notes on beating some of the levels.

Joe & Mac Guide

Let me check when Bonk came out. Okay, so the first 3 Bonk games came out before this. My guess then is this is the point where Caveman based platformers became a genre. We get maps of every stage in the game (and notes on some, but not all, of the boss fights).

Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past Guide

We’d gotten a shorter Link to the Past guide a few issues ago, which focused on the very start of the game. This one’s a bit more expansive. How more expansive? Well, we get a complete overworld map of the Light World, and notes on getting through most of the major areas in the Light World, as well as some notes on the Dark World as well.

Map of the Light World from Link to the Past
The map of the Light World

Nominees for the 1991 Nintendo Power Awards

We’ve got the official ballot for the Power Awards. I’m going to post an image of the ballot, and then give who I’d vote for in each category.

The Ballot for the 1991 Nintendo Power Awards
Here is your ballot.
  • Graphics & Sound
    • NES: Ninja Gaiden III
    • Game Boy: Metroid II
    • SNES: Super Castlevania IV
  • Theme & Fun
    • NES: Battletoads (Because, ultimately, you want to keep slamming your head against the thrice accursed wall for a reason)
    • Game Boy: Final Fantasy Adventure
    • SNES: Super Mario World
  • Challenge
    • NES: Battletoads
    • Game Boy: Metroid II
    • SNES: Super Ghouls & Ghosts
  • Play Control
    • NES: Metal Storm
    • Game Boy: R-Type
    • SNES: Super Mario World
  • (Skipping the Multi-Player)
  • Best Villain: Dr. Wily (why is Dracula not on here)
  • Most Innovative Game: Final Fantasy II (most innovative story for a US released console game for the time)
  • Best Overall
    • NES: Tecmo Super Bowl
    • Game Boy: Metroid II
    • SNES: Super Mario World

Nester’s Adventures

This issue Nester is playing Rampart. For some bizarre reason they’re in the Napoleonic era, with Nester facing Napoleon, instead of, say, the medieval era, with Nester facing barbarian hordes or something.

Now Playing

I’m only going to be giving notes for the games that catch my attention. We start off the article with the Fire-fighting game Blazebusters for the NES, which is a bit like breakout, except you’ve got a blanket and you’re trying to catch people leaping from a burning building. They like it though they don’t have a lot to say about it. Next up is Godzilla 2, which has become more of a strategy game, and one that’s sort of like a Tower Defense Game, except instead of fending off hordes of enemies, it’s just one enemy, and the one enemy is Godzilla, Ghidora, or Mothra. George likes the more strategic take, while Rob likes something more action packed. Both guys thought Square Deal was a decent puzzle game, they thought Terminator II was poorly designed. They thought Wizardry II was only for the hardcore. There’s a Star Trek game with on the ground adventure segments followed by shump stages. They think it’s okay, though as a Star Trek fan, I’ll probably pass.

Top 20

Mario is still on top of the charts on all 3 lists, with BattleToads right behind on the NES, F-Zero right behind on the SNES, and Metroid II right behind on the Game Boy.The Top 20 for Nintendo Power Issue #34

Celebrity Player Profiles

This issue it’s Coren Nemec of Fox’s sitcom “Parker Lewis Can’t Lose”, since this, Coren has had a recurring role on Stargate SG-1 as something of a semi-replacement for Daniel Jackson, which meant he went over like a lead balloon. Other than that he’s had a few guest starring roles and similar sorts of work since then.

Pak Watch

This issue the notable upcoming titles are Super Wrestlemania, Test Drive II: The Duel, and various stuff from CES.

My quality control pick for this issue is going to be, against my better judgement, Empire Strikes Back. While I wasn’t too impressed with the first game, hopefully the second game changes things up that I don’t want to throw my controller across the room.

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