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Best Zelda Game Ever?

zelda

Possibly the best game Nintendo has released, ever. Yeah, I know, that’s a heavy claim. But it might be true.

Now for years, I’ve been a staunch supporter of “A Link to the Past” as the best Zelda game ever. There are plenty of people that say that “Ocarina of Time” is the best. I’m not even willing to entertain those people. I will accept arguments for other Zelda titles holding spots above “A Link to the Past”, but not Ocarina. The problem with “Ocarina of Time” is that it’s a flawed game, development-wise. A Link to the Past has no flaws (we can argue that another time).

But that’s not what this is about! This is about “Breath of the Wild” being the best Zelda game ever made. Is it? I don’t know yet. But after only playing for about 30 minutes, I found myself uttering that statement to myself. I couldn’t believe the thoughts and feelings I was having. I felt like I was cheating on myself somehow; that somehow these thoughts weren’t true and were simply alien in nature, placed there by outside forces. After 25+ years, has something finally trumped the vaunted The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past? I don’t know. I’m still figuring it out. Either way, I can’t get enough of this game.

 

NES Pinball w/ Famicom Adapter

I know there are about 20 of the original NES games that came with built-in Famicom converters. For those of you that weren’t already aware of this fact, basically, what Nintendo of America did was take the original Japanese PCBs from the Famicom games and add them onto an adapter that contained a lock-out chip so it could only be played on North American system. And is also essentially why American NES carts are so much bigger than Famicom carts. Anyway, of those original games with the adapters, the Japanese PCB would contain either the standard CHR and PRG mask roms, or black blobs – the latter I tend to see far more commonly. What I have never seen, until now, was the picture below.

 

pinball-pcb

I opened up my Pinball because I wanted to use the adapter for something else, but I immediately changed my mind once I saw the board. I have never before seen a Famicom board that looked like this, let alone any Nintendo game that had 2 PRG mask roms.

I did a little research and checked around to see if good ol’ Google would turn up anything, even just a picture of a similar board. Couldn’t find anything, so I just figured I’d share. I guess I’d like to know if anyone else has any games like this and just how common/rare these are.

Mother Coming to Lock City CC

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Been putting together some Mother 25th Anniversary carts to come with me to the Lock City Comic Con in CT this July. Hopefully a Slurpee will be coming with me as well. Mother 25th Anniversary Edition is basically a big overhaul of the Mother/Earthbound Zero prototype that was never released for the original NES.

Come check out the GamesquadSquad booth if you happen to be in the area. I’ll have this and a bunch of other NES repros, custom cases, and perler art and hopefully a special guest with some hand-made, knitted, wearable nerdery.

Fire Emblem for NES

Perfectly timed completion of this project with the release of Fire Emblem Fates on the 3DS. I finally got my famicom converters so I could assemble some Fire Emblem repros for the NES in english. I’m far from the first to have done these, but I’ve wanted to for some time now and I just finally got around to it.

This series had been around in Japan for over a decade before it finally saw an international release on the Game Boy Advance. There were two for the Famicom – Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, and Fire Emblem Gaiden. I just finished the original today and I’ll be wrapping up Gaiden soon.

I’ll be making these by request if anyone wants one. Though the cart will be standard grey. I just used this clear one for myself to show all the nifty bits inside.

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Fire Emblem: Dark Dragon and the Sword of Light

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cart top

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I also put one of these together just because I felt like it.

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X

I’ve been playing Xenoblade Chronicles X a lot lately and I think it’s a great game, though not without its flaws. But that’s not what I’m here to talk about today. Today, it’s about censorship. There’s really no point to anything I have to say. It’s just some stuff that crossed my mind, so if you’re busy, or looking for a more socially relevant story, feel free to go read something else. But if you came on the internet today, like so many others, to waste time, then please, read on.

Now when a game gets localized here from Japan, I expect there to be a good deal of changes and aspects censored because of this country’s outdated puritanical beliefs that the human body is shameful and that seeing any parts of it exposed is a corrupting force.

Typical mother of an 11 year-old boy – “Oh no way! This game has nudity in it. You can’t play that. What about this one though? This just has offensive language and mindless violence. That is far less offensive than the body nature gave us”

Anyway…the 2 main things that I discovered they censored are what drove me to write this.

1) During character creation of a female avatar, in the Japanese release, aside from changing their height, you can also adjust their bust size. Why remove this? Why have it in there in the first place for that matter? Well that one I can answer rather easily – It’s either fan service or if you’re creating an avatar for a game where you have a ton of customization options, why not have a wider range of options you can customize? But in this case, since there are really not too many options for character customization I would say it’s purely for fan service. Still though, why remove it? Probably because someone out there would complain that it “gives girls an unrealistic image of what the female form is supposed to look like,” or some other BS like that. Whatever. Get over it. It’s a video game. It’s a fantasy world where people can escape to. If some lonely, “hopeless romantic” gets his or her (let’s not discriminate now, women love tits too) jollies by running around an alien planet as a big busted bombshell, then let them have their fantasy.

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Japan – that 2nd bar is for the bust size

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America

2) The female characters in the game all have “armor” sets that are basically strips of fabric passing for underwear. One of the main characters in the game, Lin, is a 13 year-old, young girl. In the Japanese version, she, just like the other female characters, has this revealing armor. Her avatar was censored so that when equipping these particular pieces of armor, it would have a more modest appearance. As much as I think that censoring things is stupid, I also think that sexualizing 13 year olds is awful. I don’t see the point in censoring something in a video game, but then again I also don’t see the point of programming young girls to have sexy clothing unless you’re a sick pervert….but #japan

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Etsy Store Up And Running

Gorilla Games on Etsy

Finally got the Etsy store up in full swing for the NES reproductions; making selling them much easier for both the buyer and myself. It still needs some work, but it’s up. I’ve even got my first sale and review already.

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Chorus of Mysteries – Castlevania Hack

This hack has been out for some time, but only just recently finished a custom label for it. I rather like how it came out. Possibly my favorite one yet. I always enjoy the classic Konami style NES labels though. Click on the image if you want to check out a gameplay video.

Chorus of Mysteries

Oh! Also, I finally opened up my Etsy shop. It’s still a little sparse at the moment, but I figured it would make things easier for anyone interested in purchasing a cart. Not sure why I didn’t do that earlier. Laziness or foolishness. Both probably.

Gorilla Games on Etsy

Adventure Island IV & Donkey Kong Pie Factory

Two more completed carts ready to roll out. Took me forever to make the label for Donkey Kong. Not that it was hard or anything, I just couldn’t land on a design I liked for it. Eventually landed on the classic arcade image and I think it fits rather well.

Adventure Island IV was never released in America. It came out in 1994 for the Japanese Famicom and by that time, the Super Nintendo had already cemented itself as the preeminent system. So this, like many other games that were developed late in the life of the original NES, was never given its fair shake on the American market.

Adventure Island IV

Not sure how to accurately label this one. I would call it Original Donkey Kong, but they already have that for the NES, but it’s not an entirely accurate title. So Donkey Kong Pie Factory I suppose would be the best choice, but it makes it sound like an entirely different game. What it is, is the complete arcade version of Donkey Kong with the extra level that was removed from the NES console version.

Donkey Kong

 

Homemade Mother 3 carts for GBA!

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Decided that I wanted to make some GBA repros as well. There’s a few GBA games that never came out here that I’d like to have a cart for; not too many, but enough to make me interested in the endeavor. What better one to start with than Mother 3.

That being said, they’re kind of a pain in the butt to make and I don’t think I’d ever really do this in any sizable quantities, unless of course someone has a stock of blank GBA PCBs out there.

So obviously Mother 3 is one of the hot ones, but what’s next? Anyone have any suggestions? Anything they know of they’d like to see in cart format? There’s a Suikoden card game I was thinking of doing…

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An Ice Hockey RPG?

Certain games never make it past development for stupid reasons. I can’t find a good one for Hit the Ice not being released. A hockey game with RPG elements and slap-stick humor (pun intended!). You can’t miss (also pun intended?). Anyway, it’s a silly, fun game that never made it past the prototype phase. They had the rom and the cart out there, but no finished product. Click on the picture below if you’d like to see some gameplay footage and send me a message if you’d be interested in owning your own copy!

HITtheIce

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