Millennials Playing Nintendo NES Classic Are Missing Out

Nintendo NES Classic Released, Record Levels of Nostalgia Reported

Nintendo caused quite a stir earlier this month when it released the NES Classic, a mini version of the system many Millennials and Gen Xers grew up playing. The system was released in limited quantities on November 11 and sold out within days. The need for nostalgia is clearly in high demand this holiday season. Still, there are certain memories that anyone over age 30 or so has about the NES that might not necessarily translate to the kids who are playing it today. Do any of these experiences sound familiar to you?

Calling the Power Line

Landline Phone
Source: Flickr

The Power Line was a phone hotline Nintendo gamers could call for help. Experienced players, or “game counselors”, as they were called, were ready to help. Yes, that’s right — in the pre-Google days you could actually call and talk to a real person for information.

Game counselors also had access to behind-the-scenes information about the games and could help fans determine the best strategy for beating a certain level or boss. The service reached its hayday in the early 1990s and was discontinued in 2010.

Nintendo brought back the Power Line for one weekend to celebrate the launch of NES Classic. However,  it was an automated recording with tips and stories from original game counselors.

Blowing Into the Cartridge

The NES Classic comes preloaded with 30 games, including Super Mario Bros and Pac-Man. While it’s great that so many old school games are available, there’s a key piece missing.

In the old days loading the cartridge into the original NES was a battle in and of itself. Sometimes you would load it and the game could not come up on the TV screen or the picture would be garbled? The solution? Blow into the cartridge and try it again, and repeat until it worked.

While this tactic was later debunked as being harmful to the games, it’s a memory that NES Classic users just won’t have.

Shooting in Duck Hunt

James Bond Nintendo Zapper

The NES Classic does not come with some of the cool add-ons that were part of the original version. One of the most loved was the NES Zapper, which was used primarily in Duck Hunt.

The gun worked by causing the entire TV screen to go black for one frame and placing white boxes around available targets, then determining whether or not a target was successfully hit. It’s primitive by today’s standards but was pretty cutting-edge technology in the 80s. Nintendo even patented the Zapper in 1989. Sadly though, the Zapper only worked with old-school CRT TVs. It wouldn’t be compatible with the LCDs and flat screens of today.