Nintendo Power #11
Issue 11 of Nintendo Power features the game that would launch Nintendo’s popularity in to the stratosphere…Super Mario Brothers 3. I really like the cover of this issue as a throwback to the first issue claymation cover for Mario 2 but I personally like this one better and don’t think this cover gets the recognition it deserves compared to the first issue. Mario is clearly more defined as the modern Mario and I would lover to have any 4 of the characters from the cover sitting on my shelf at home.
This issue announces the addition of 6 bonus strategy guide issues of the magazine each year to go along with the regular issues which essentially turned the magazine in to a monthly magazine compared to the bi-monthly schedule the magazine had employed since the Nintendo Fun Club News days. The strategy guide issues would only last for a few months before the magazine did become a proper monthly magazine but the first strategy guide issue was for Mario 3 and I remember reading that guide many times to unlock all the secrets of the game.
In the mailbox section there is a letter from someone who had their Nintendo go through a flood and come out still working on the other side. The early years of the magazine saw a big portion of their letters dedicated to stories of how Nintendo systems, and especially Game Boy systems, would still work after going through some heavy weather related damage. Is guess Nintendo really wanted to sell the full value of their products to parents? Imagine an Xbox One or Playstation 4 going through a flood today and I’m betting they wouldn’t have as much luck surviving. We also get the first piece of reader art in this issue which would go on to become a very popular addition to gaming magazines in the years to follow. There were some pretty amazing pieces of art submitted over the years but this was a first for Nintendo Power.
After the first few feature games, we get our next update from a CES show. For those who may not remember, the CES was a big trade show for game developers to show off their new and upcoming releases before the introduction of E3. I really like looking for references for games that either were not released or were much different than what was eventually released. In this report you will find a brief reference to Street Fighter II being under development. This would have been the sequel to the NES title Street Fighter 2010 as the Street Fighter II that would eventually release wouldn’t have been released in arcades for well over a year and wouldn’t be seen on a home console for more than 2 years.
The top 30 list gives you an idea of the popularity of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles back in the late 80s/early 90s. The first TMNT game is ranked #1 on the list above NES classics Mega Man 2, Zelda 1 & 2 and Mario 2 & 3. It’s amazing what a phenomenon the Turtles really were but we all bought in to the marketing hype.
The previews section gives us a first glimpse at the next major RPG coming to the NES, Final Fantasy. Dragon Warrior was out by this point and given the fact thousands of copies of the game would soon be given away due to poor retail sales, they started hyping Final Fantasy as their next chance to bring the RPG craze of Japan over to the US. They even hyped it as better than Legend of Zelda and The Adventure of Link! Not to leave out the Dragon Warrior fans they did have, this issue includes a ‘Chose your own adventure’ story in the Dragon Warrior universe. If only gaming magazines had continued unique features like this once the internet age took over perhaps they would have stuck around for a few more years.
Finally, the special insert in this issue is a 36 page list of all the NES games that were available on the NES along with a small tip for each game. The tip is in a lighter color to prevent people from making copies and passing it to their friends since copiers of the day wouldn’t have been able to pick up such a light color in black and white. Sneaky trick Nintendo!
This was a dense issue with lots of great information and games to drool over. Enjoy issue 11 and remember to Play with Power!