[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Model No. NES-001

October 18th, 2010 by Benj Edwards

Nintendo Entertainment System Face Front Scan - 1985One of the most successful consoles of all time.

Nintendo released the Nintendo Entertainment System 25 years ago today in the US. Here’s a scan of that famous console itself.

I first played a NES in 1986 or 1987, likely with Super Mario Bros. as my first game (as described here). What an amazing experience it was. To say that the NES defined video gaming for my generation is almost an understatement. From 1986-1990, the term “video game” was synonymous with “Nintendo” for kids in the US. From their perspective, there was no other.

Unlike many kids my age, I was aware of what had come before (Atari), and that made the NES all the more amazing. Happy 25th birthday, NES. My generation worships you.

[ Nintendo Entertainment System Console (face), circa 1985 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: How did you feel when you played a NES game for the first time? Tell us when/where it happened and describe the episode.

9 Responses to “[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Model No. NES-001”

  1. Eagles409 Says:

    I remember the commercials for the NES back in the day and they featured that robot R.O.B. that was only good for one game. They made it seem like the robot would actually play with you and was part of the system. My friend bought an NES with the robot and I was so disappointed to learn that it was next to useless. After the initial disappointment, I was blown away by the “life like graphics” of the system and we played duck hunt for hours.

  2. Matt Says:

    There are a number of titles that have lasting memories for me. But if I had to choose one I’d pick R.B.I. Baseball. The first time I played it was at a friend’s house during the summer of 1988, and we were all hooked from the first pitch. He had his NES running through his respectable home stereo (yes I realize we were splitting a mono signal…didn’t matter, it was still loud and immersive). We’d have four or five friends over and play round robin tourneys, and it was quite serious and quite competitive.

    Then that fall when I went off to JMU, the game became *the* most popular in our suite. I clearly remember the sweaty palms and nervousness when games were on the line. It was extremely disappointing to lose, and euphoric to win. Many games were addictive, but only R.B.I. Baseball (and perhaps Tecmo Bowl) incited such a rollercoaster of emotions.

  3. Multimedia Mike Says:

    It was 1989 when I got my NES. It was on a Saturday and I played all weekend. I remember having sore thumbs. I got over that pretty quickly and never had sore thumbs again.

  4. Lost Chauncy Says:

    I remember how some games didn’t have a built-in battery, or a password feature…so if you got really far, but had to go to bed or to school, the only way not to lose your progress was to just leave it paused (or running) for long stretches at a time. If you were at school you were just hoping no one would come along and bump the reset switch, thus causing endless hours of grueling progress to be wiped out in a fell swoop.

  5. TheSaintOfPain Says:

    My father bought a NES the day after they came out here in the U.S., making me a little over 3 at the time, and the poor thing almost got no rest. From Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt, to Final Fantasy, to Xenophobe, that console went through more playtime than any of the rest of the consoles I still own (SNES, Third-Generation Sega Genesis, PSOne, PS2, Dreamcast, Atari Jaguar, XBox, Xbox 360) combined. I actually still have that original console, and it still works just like the day it was first brought home, all with the original two controllers and the GRAY Light Gun. Those were very good times. 🙂

    My favorite game on the console, and one I still play to this day over and over, is Final Fantasy, and is the game that got me completely hooked on RPGs like a wino on boxed wine. I remember the day my father brought home an advanced copy of the game, one he acquired because he was good friends with the owner of, what was at the time, the only local movie/video game rental store (there wasn’t even a Blockbuster here until the mid-’90s), who in turn had gotten to know some people who worked for Nintendo at the time. This was at the very beginning of 1987, months before the game would officially be released. We all played it for hours on end, just simply and utterly enthralled with the game: The graphics, the story, the gameplay, EVERYTHING was just amazing at the time, and still draws me in to this day. When my parents got divorced in 1991, my father took the game with him, and I just recently found out that he lost it when his house flooded a few years ago, and ruined almost everything that he and his girlfriend owned at the time.

  6. DPenn Says:

    I played Super Mario Bros. first at a cousin’s house, probably around 1986, and that was my only exposure to the NES for a while. I remember being crap at it but entranced enough to mow lawns and collect spare change so I could afford my own console maybe a year later. I was 12/13 at the time, so it was a pretty big purchase.

    I think I eventually beat SMB, but it’s never been my favorite. I did, however, play the hell out of the Zelda games, Metroid, Castlevania, Kid Icarus, etc. Exploration games were always my favorite, and mostly still are.

  7. Zoyous Says:

    Happy birthday to the NES. But… “There was no other”? Really now, Benj. Don’t tell that to the Sega Master System fans. It’s true that the NES commanded a huge market share (due in large part to some shady third-party licensing practices later determined to be illegal), but the SMS had a significant following nonetheless, thanks to its own library of stellar arcade-to-home conversions. For example, if you wanted to play two player Double Dragon at home, “there was no other” way to play it than on the Master System!

  8. Benj Edwards Says:

    Heheh, of course there was “other” from a factual-history point of view, Zoyous. I was talking from the point of view of millions of kids entranced with the NES in the late 1980s. In their minds, no other video games came close — Nintendo WAS video games. Well, now I’m just reiterating what I said above.

    Also, awesome NES stories, everyone. I’d love to hear some more.

  9. Cody Says:

    SMS and MegaDrive was all the rage for sleepovers up until the 90s, then they disappeared. I think the problem was that we’d rent consoles from video stores and they usually only carried Sega… then when they stopped renting consoles and games they never really switched over to NES in the same way (I seem to remember being able to rent SNES but then it was too expensive).

    We’d played most of the cool games by then anyway and had started to sift our way through all the shovelware and were becoming bored with it, but I think it was really dropped because of the death of little video stores and takeovers by larger chains and franchises.

    My friend did have a NES though and I do remember playing quite a few games on it, especially Cobra Triangle and Super Mario Bros 3. I actually bought a Wii a few weeks ago, and I’m anxiously awaiting my copy of Super Mario All-Stars in the mail so I can replay SMB3 in all its glory. I did boot up an emulator but it didn’t seem the same without the gamepad and the ability to cheat or save my game. I won’t have that problem with Wii.

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