Sega Master System – Alex Kidd

Alex Kidd was before Sonic (Sega’s mascot) the first character created by developers like Sega Kotaro Hayashida and Rieko Kodama. Alex kidd appeared for the first time in 1980 in the game Fantazy Zone as the official mascot of Sega. He gets his first game in 1986; Alex Kidd in Miracle World. Interestingly, in the cartridge version of the game, the character has the head and fists disproportionate and feeds onigris (rice dumpling) while in the version included in the console he eats a hamburger. In fact, Alex is a 14 year old boy (manga style) from the 1980s inspired by Bruce Lee and Sun Wukong.

Unfortunately, the character would know have a few years of glory, too Japanese at heart, he was not really suited at the time for the international market. Moreover, with the onset of Genesis, Sega definitely wanted younger looking mascot. Alex Kidd was too childish and no longer corresponded to the image of the company. Sega had therefore created a new mascot able to seduce the North American market. Sonic the Hedgehog was born in 1991.

Sega – Master System

The third generation home console is launched in Japan in 1985, with Alex Kidd as its mascot. The console is latter redrawn before being sold in the US as the Sega Master System in June 1986, one year after the release of the NES. Its selling price is then $ 200. Although the Master System is on one or a few points more advanced than the NES, it does not reach the same level of popularity in the United States. This deficit in popularity is amongst others attributable to the larger quantity of games on the NES and to its additional marketing year.

The Japanese firm then has 90% of the North American market. Hayou Nakayama (CEO of Sega) decides to not deploy much effort on the marketing side. In 1988, the rights related to the console in North America are sold to Tonka, but the popularity of the Master System continues to decrease.

In the 1990s, Sega is successful with the Sega Genesis and redeems the rights of the Master System from Tonka. Sega then launched a redesigned version of the Master System, the Master System II. This new more compact version, no longer has a “reset” button or port that accepts cartridges in card format. These last two changes are made to minimize production costs.

Super NES – Secret of Mana

This is an action-RPG game released in 1993 for the Super NES. It is simply considered one of the greatest games in history. Today, it remains loved and played by the lucky ones who are fortunate enough to still own a SNES console.

This incredible game combines action with a sustained character evolution, creating real-time personalized combat​. The main characters can handle a variety of weapons: sword, spear, boomerang, ax, combat glove, javelin, whip and bow arrows, plus a variety of fate that will be acquired over the course of the story. Each character can choose their weapon according to their preference. Each weapon can be reforged to cause more damage when used and to also increase its combat charge level. A rich scenario that includes multiple twists with a touching soundtrack, this is what distinguishes this wonderful game from the others.

Super NES – F-ZERO

 

This game, launched the 23rd of august in 1991 for the Super NES was the first release of the F-Zero serie. This game takes place in the year 2560 where multi-billionaire decides to create a new kind of race based on the F1 series. It would be called “F-Zero”

You will need to race through 15 tracks over three championships : Knight, Queen and King.
You can chose one of the four available pilot: Capitain Falcon, Dr Stewart, Pico and Samurai Goroh. Be vigilant! These vehicles can reach over 500 km/h. The goal is to reach first place and this while evading traps like mines, slippery spots and magnets. Each vehicle has a life bar which can be regenerated through certain zones or decreased while hitting a wall or other participants. Three difficulty levels are available: Beginner, standard and expert. If you achieve the expert difficulty, a new one will be unlocked, it is the Master level.

Super NES – Chrono Trigger

Chrono Trigger, on the SNES, is a classic role-playing game created by Squaresoft. Their goal was to make the best RPG game of all time. It will be developed by a dream team, composed among others by the founder of Final Fantasy and director of Dragon Quest. This famous RPG shook everyone at its release in 1995 and had a runaway success.

The story follows a group of adventurers who are accidentally transported through time. During their journey, they discover that the world is on the verge of destruction. Chrono and his friends are looking for a way to save the world.

​​The combat mode is faithful to the RPG style, that is to say, each character can take an independent action in his round. A novelty that any good Chrono Trigger gamer particularly appreciated in the fighting style is that the characters have the ability to use collective fighting techniques.  That is, each character learns in the course of the adventure eight unique combat abilities that can be combined with other characters to create a duo or trio attack for maximum damage on the creatures.

​​Another aspect of the game is the time travel. The characters will be required to travel through seven periods: Prehistory, Antiquity, the Middle Ages, the Present, the Cataclysm, the Future and the End Times.  As an effect, the actions taken in the past will have an impact on the future.

Nintendo – Super Nintendo Entertainment System

 

In the early 90s, Nintendo and NEC decided to join forces to design a console that can overcome the “all-powerful” Sega Megadrive. They wanted to create a much more powerful system than the NES (which was only 8 bits) and which would be based on the Turbografx-16. However, the Japanese firm later decided to break the alliance and develop a totally new 16-bit console.

It is in November 1990 that Nintendo launched the Super Famicom in Japan. After ten years of success for the NES and 50 million units sold, the Kyoto company decided to embark in the Hi-Tech console market, while still maintaining affordable prices. Even today, Nintendo offers good and reasonably priced consoles to consumers.

It is therefore in August 1991 that Nintendo launches its new console in North America in a slightly modified form and now called Super NES. When released, the SNES is the most powerful console on the market, if we don’t take into account the SNK’s Neo Geo which had an exorbitant price. The only negative side of the SNES over the Megadrive was its slow processor. Fortunately, the problem was bypassed by adding, to some game cartridges, special chips that improved speed.

One of the first successes on Super NES, was probably Zelda 3: A Link to the Past. Another successful titles from over 2500 games released on this console was Street Fighter II and its many plus versions, premium, champion edition, etc. Not to mention the inevitable games like Star Fox, Donkey Kong Country, or the many RPGs.

NES – Final Fantasy

Virtually the entire world knows the legendary RPG series Final Fantasy. Today we can count sixteen different versions of Final Fantasy since 1987. Today the game evolves in parallel with each generation of home console. At the time there was a decline vis-à-vis the interest Famicom Disk System known internationally as the NES or the Nintendo. Convinced that this project would be the last before you drop everything, Square named it Final Fantasy. To the surprise met the games a success and saved the company from bankruptcy in giving it a second wind.

The game makes you take place in a world divided into three continents. You play the roles of four warriors of light. The games really offered a lot of opportunities for players eg each character could be customized as if you wanted it to be from the following classes (Warrior, Rogue, Monk, Red Mage, White Mage and Black Mage), moreover, once having been a class long enough, the character may retain certain abilities of this class, even if you decided to change. The game also offered a wonderful style of fighting, the side of vision, or the monsters on one side and your team to the other, each chose a strategic action in turn in order to prevail over the other. Many game players RPG have the famous habit of going round in circles for hours, to reshuffle again these watches that continues to recur and that make you gain experience, to combat more easily the next upcoming monsters in this story Hanging. The game also contains some secrets I’ll let you discover, however if you still have a chance to NES.

Mario Bros. series

Mario first appeared in 1981, in Donkey Kong under the name of Jumpman. He was then a carpenter. The famous plumber arrives in 1983 in Mario Bros which is developed and published by the equally famous Nintendo. Mario Bros is imagined by the great Shigeru Miyamoto, who is behind the Nintendo’s successes, such as Donkey Kong, Super Mario, Legend of Zelda, Pikmin and Star Fox. Mario Bros is ignored at its release in the arcades, but finds success in 1986 with its reissue on the NES that sold more than 2,279,000 copies. During the development of the game, Mario dies if he falls from too high, Yokio (second creator of Mario Bros) suggested to Miyamoto the idea that Mario should fall from any height. Miyamoto was not warm to the idea, but he was finally convinced that it was ok for his character to have a superhuman ability.

According to Miyamoto, Mario’s appearance has nothing to do with chance. He confessed that he drew Mario with a cap because it was difficult to draw hair and because you would not see his hair if he passes in front of a black spot. To avoid drawing the Mario’s mouth, an element too thin for the technical limitations of the time, he added a big mustache. We will have to wait until 1988 for the US and European versions, where the color of the overalls becomes fixed, red top and blue overalls.

The game features the plumber Mario and his brother Luigi, who must fight the creatures of the New York sewers. The goal is simple, eliminate all the enemies on the level scoring the maximum points and then move to the next level. There is a multiplayer mode, where the second player controls Luigi and competes with the first player. Levels are fixed and small. They have several floors on which the enemies use the pipes to move to the upper or lower floor. The game’s mechanics involve running and jumping. It is possible to get out of a side of the screen and walk out from the other side. To defeat the enemies, Mario and Luigi must strike the bottom of a platform by jumping from the floor bellow. The enemy will turn on its back and becomes vulnerable; to be eliminated, its just need to touch it. There are three types of enemies, the Shellcreeper (not Koopa Troopa, which will appear in Super Mario Bros.), the Sidestepper, which requieres two hits to flip overt, and Fighter Fly.

NES – Zelda

The Legend of Zelda was released for the NES in 1986. It was, by the way, the first of a large and indispensable saga much appreciated by all. With Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword launched on the Wii, there are now Fifteen games that are officially part of the Zelda series. The series has a total of 14 world records. The Zelda game is known for its unique atmosphere, its little charismatic character and its overall quality. You will surely fall in love with this game series that is considered to be one of the most important video game franchise ever.

Zelda is like a “miniature garden” brought to life, with which we can play. It is an action-adventure game where the player controls Link, a young man armed with a sword and shield, that has to save Zelda, the princess of Hyrule. This game is a mixture of puzzles, stages of exploration and combat. When a riddle is solved or an area is thoroughly searched, the player is frequently rewarded by the acquisition of a new objects. At the exact moment of the reward, you will hear the famous sound known by all. What a feeling of happiness! The dungeons hide special items such as the famous boomerang, which immobilizes enemies at a long distance. Link must conquer the eight dungeons to gather the eight pieces of the “Triforce”. He will then have access to the ninth dungeons where he save his princess. To save her, he will have to face his nemesis Ganon, which in this old version, was in the form of a big pig. This is a game that was loved very much. It was so much loved, that more than six million copies were sold. This was the beginning of the millions of fans who, even today, remain true to Link’s adventures.

NES – Rad Racer

I present to you a game developed and published by Square Co, Rad Racer a racing game for the NES. Should we call it Rad Racer or Highway Star? Indeed the first version launched earlier in Japan in 1987, was called Highway Star. But why had its name changed? Simply to avoid being homonymous with the famous song by Deep Purple: Highway Star.

A choice of two cars is offered, a Formula 1 or a Ferrari 328. The game features a series of 8 races where the players must pass through several checkpoints, within a time limit. In case of collision, your vehicle will be immobilized for a set amount of time before resuming the race. The animation of accidents is pretty awful, to say the least. Watch out, opponents become increasingly aggressive over time, they will then attempt to get in your way. The graphics offer a beautiful colour palette and a sense of speed very well managed; even the scenery in the background changed and gets closer as you progress. It makes the game even more interesting. Did you also know that the game also offers a “3D” mode? Yes, even at that time, thanks to the provided bi-color 3D glasses, players could experience a three-dimension image.