This is a momentous and historic, very sad moment in history as the longest-running videogame magazine of all time (barring possibly Electronic Gaming Monthly) comes to a close. Nintendo Power ran for a mind-boggling 24-years, from 1988-2012. Be sure to buy two issues of the sealed newsstand issues that are now on shelves. Open and read one, keep the other as a collectable that is sure to be worth money someday!
Rest In Peace Nintendo Power, you will be missed! The vast majority of my generation, who are just about to enter their 30’s, grew up on Nintendo Power as it guided them and turned them onto the videogame industry as they grew up through the 90s and as they were wee tykes in the late 1980s.
My earliest solid memory of Nintendo Power comes from 1998 or so, when Super Mario Bros. 3 came out. I was turned on to videogames when I was four or five years old, playing Super Mario Bros. I have a VERY specific memory of sleeping in my parents bed, getting up at 4 or 5am along with my dad who was going off to his construction job; going to the fridge and eating a piece of cheese (one of the square, individually packaged slices. Yes, I ate it plain) and then quickly playing a round of Super Mario Bros., and dying at the very first Goomba.
I then ran to the window and waved goodbye to dad, played again, and then went back to sleep with mom. I also specifically remember when Super Mario Bros. 2 came out, and it was the most mysterious game known to man. My tiny mind imploded at this eerie, strange dimension and secrets that were seemingly everywhere. A game where you could do anything… sink into the quicksand to access a door on the other side, bomb a rock so you appear BEHIND the boss! Leap over that waterfall and TO THE OTHER SIDE! My older cousin wrapped and gave me his copy of Super Mario Bros. 2 for my birthday, and I was over the Moon.
But my earliest specific NINTENDO POWER MEMORY came with Super Mario Bros. 3. By this time, I was a Mario master and could easily make my way all the way through the games (well, somewhat easily. Even today the games are quite tough, more so than people think they are, especially once you reach the dark levels in SMB and the ice world, for example).
However I was still a youngin, and my reading skills were not yet fully developed. Much less comprehension as a wee tyke. My older cousin, the aforementioned one, owned the SMB3 cover-story Strategy Guide issue, and was able to pull of an amazing, spellbinding, magical trick; one my wee brain could not comprehend. Somehow, my cousin had the ability to look in this majestic tome, and then successfully flip over every single card in the Mini-Game!
For the life of me, I could not figure out how my cousin was able to pull of this incredible feat. I remember looking at the chart myself, but it was all Greek to me, I could not make heads or tails of said chart, or how that somehow translated into you knowing how to pick all the right cards when YOU COULD NOT SEE THEM! How did he know which ones to turn over?! *mind wobbles*
Adding to the drama, my cousin had a smug look about him because he knew he contained the secret, and I didn’t, and there was no way I was going to figure this out. Only HE, held the key. If I wanted to get more extra lives through this mini-game, I had to go through HIM. And I’d stare in awe as he flipped over card after correct card.
Even now, as a 28 year old, that Nintendo Power memory sticks out in my mind very clearly. To this day I greatly regret never becoming a lifetime subscriber of Nintendo Power. I have no real explanation for it either, especially given that I was and have always been a Nintendo Fanboy (4LIFE!). The only explanation I can think of is that we didn’t have the money for it when I was young. Also my magazine of choice as I got older ended up being EGM (Electronic Gaming Monthly) so I suppose i was focused on that instead. Of course, I have a small collection of Nintendo Powers that I’ve collected over the years which I’m proud of.
And in more recent times I bought many collectable issues and now am the proud owner of the Ninja Gaiden II: Dark Sword of Chaos (NES. Volume 15 [SG2] 1990), Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES. Volume 13 [SG1], 1990), and Final Fantasy NES Strategy Guide issues, and several other great retro issues including the Cover Stories for Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES. Volume 34, March 1992), Super Mario All-Stars (SNES. Volume 52, September 1993), Super Castlevania IV (SNES. Volume 32, January 1992), Super Metroid (SNES. Volume 60, May 1994), Metroid II: Return of Samus (Game Boy. Volume 31, December 1991), Mega Man X2 (SNES. Volume 69, February 1995, Zelda: Link’s Awakening (Game Boy. Nintendo Power 50th Anniversary Issue. Volume 50, July 1993, Mario Paint (SNES. Volume 39, August 1992, Final Fantasy II (i.e. Final Fantasy IV. SNES, Volume 30, November 1991), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhanttan Project (NES. Volume 33, February 1992) and Kirby’s Dreamland 2 (Game Boy. Volume 72 May 1995).
I have every issue of Nintendo Power burned on some DVDs (it was released by Nintendo/Future themselves a few years back) and I still plan on owning every issue of Nintendo Power one of these days. One of my friends has been a subscriber since the first issue, and she has told me in the past that she would give them to me. However it never happened because of the difficulty of shipping. Now, she may want to keep them givin’ the fact that Nintendo Power has gone under, but I’m hoping that I can pay her a significant amount of money in order to get them. I’d LOVE to have every issue. It’s definitely a dream of mine!