The Famicom Turns 30. Share Your NES Memories Here.

Your carefree 20s are over, Famicom. No more gallivanting. It's time to settle down — find a nice wife, get a stable job, maybe put a down payment on a house. You're 30 now.

The Famicom — or Family Computer — first hit Japanese stores on July 15, 1983, and although it took a couple more years for it to make its way to North America (in a totally new form, as the Nintendo Entertainment System), today officially marks three decades of Nintendo console gaming.

I have vivid memories of my NES days — grinding for levels to get past the Marsh Cave in Final Fantasy; notebooks full of passwords for games like Faxanadu; impossible Battletoads levels and ridiculous Sesame Street mini-games. And what about you, Kotaku? Share your best NES/Famicom stories and memories below.

Picture: Wikimedia


    Incidentally, my NES memories are also my first video game memories playing duck hunt/super mario bros at my babysitters house in the morning and eating 2 minute noodles out of a cup after draining the water in them (which is commonplace now but back then it seemed an outlandish idea).

    Also, bubble bobble...
    hours and hours of bubble bobble

    I can still remember when I first got my NES. I must've only been 5, or maybe 6. It's still vividly there in my memory, having all the manuals and stuff strewn across the floor, my dad setting up the machine while I pored over them all and mum sat next to us with my little sister. Then playing Duck Hunt for god knows how long.

    Games were super expensive for the NES, but we used to go to civic video, blockbuster video, and video ezy to pick up rentals on the weekend. Anywhere from $2 per night ($8/week) to $3/night ($10/week) titles.

    Stand-out classics we rented multiple times but never bought: Elite, Kirby's Adventure, Trog!, Ultimate Air Combat, Mario 3.

    Some twenty years later when cleaning out one of the wardrobes, Dad uncovers a copy of Mario 3, which Mum had been saving for a Christmas or birthday gift, but never actually gave to us.

    (Edit: Tempted to crack out Nesticle in tribute.)

    Last edited 16/07/13 11:33 pm

      Oh man, Civic Video. Saturday morning soccer, winning the encouragement award for the match meant a voucher for Civic Video, which meant going around and hiring a game for the rest of the weekend. I know it happened a lot, though I can only remember hiring out SMB2.

      I miss hiring out games. I think the last one I must've hired would have been Spiderman The Movie for Cube back around 02-03 or so. The Video Ezy up near my Nanna's place was the only place I knew of that hired out Cube games, nowhere else near me had any. And it wasn't long before they got rid of them too.

        Always pissed me off how nobody hired out Cube games. Most of my SNES experiences were rented; hell, the local video ezy used to rent Gameboy games!!

    That I used to laugh at friends who were sad enough to have the NES and not cool enough to own a Master System. Like me. Because I was the coolest. Natch.

      I had a C64. Earliest version of the Master race :D

      Sega? You suck! Get out of my school you filthy turd.............Sorry, old habits.

      I recently uncovered an old diary which detailed the kind of savings and jobs I'd need to perform to buy a master system. My best friend had one, and we stayed on the opposite sides of the Console War (*hats off, moment's silence for poor, defeated SEGA*), but we'd go round each other's places to play the better exclusives.

        What do you mean by opposite sides? Did one of you have a Nintendo and you guys just visited each other to have the best of both worlds?

        If so, that was part of Nintendo and Sega's plan, :-)

        I miss the days when the console wars were fun. Sega V Nintendo was all about how much better your system was (ie: Blast Processing > All). Sony V Microsoft is just hate fueled denigration. It's not fun anymore.

          And let's not forget the awesome selling power (hah!) of the revolutionary (and absolutely underused) mode7.

          Those were the days though. Sides who had mascot characters to mutilate each other in the fan-art pages of each respective system's magazines. Oh yes. Print magazines which reviewed games and had cheat codes at the back.

    Christmas 88, NES with Punch-Out. I had been playing a Phillips Odyssey up until that point. Fun fact, to this day i still cannot defeat Mike Tyson.

    I remember getting my NES as a Christmas/Birthday present from my parents (when Mattel had a massive sale in their Clyaton warehouse) was a NES with Super Mario Bros/Duck Hunt, 2 controllers and the Zapper...I remember being a good boy during the week so I could rent a game from the video shop and later a local video game rental store for one night on friday and the weekend saturday (the video game rental store was great because they were closed on Sundays so my overnight rental became a two night rental).

    I can also remember the countless times when the NES would stop working (good old flashing red power light and the game looping)...and blow on the contacts on the NES catridges (and in the console) to get them going...

    Oh yes the games - SMB 3, Mike Tyson's Punch Out, RC Pro Am, Zelda 1 & Aussie Rules Football just name a few of my favorites

    Last edited 17/07/13 9:01 am

    Rygar (never got through that beast), Probotector (Contra), Marble Madness.... so many memories.
    The best memory was not so much of a game but my grandmother playing Duck Hunt for the first time and getting so overly excited she nearly fell of the couch.

    But most of all Faxanadu! the songs are still awesome and so are some of the remakes out there:

    Currently in the process of building a PC into the case of an old front loading NES (the mainboard was already dead, I wouldn't kill a living one) that when finished will run Hyperspin

    One way to re-live some old memories...good ol' Kirby

    Growing up my family did not have a lot of money.

    The house we lived in was half built with unpainted walls, concrete floors and some rooms that didn't working lights or doors where the handles stuck.

    I'm not saying my upbringing was horrible, my parents did the best they could and we were happy. We just appreciated what we got a little more than most.

    During the early to mid 90s when the Super Nintendo was all the rave, our neighbours found a NES in their cupboard while cleaning.

    It was originally a gift for her grandchildren that was not accepted due to parents not wanting "violent videogames inside the house".

    She offered it to us for $100. It came with Duck Hunt & Mario Bros.

    $100 was a lot for most children. $100 felt like an unachievable amount for me and my brother.

    Nonetheless we worked. Hard. We would go around the neighbourhood and do chores for family, friends, neighbours, anyone that would trade work for money. Sometimes it was a couple of dollars, sometimes it was less.

    No matter what, we took the job knowing it would bring us that little closer towards getting the console.

    I still remember the day we hit the $100 mark and picked it up. We sat down with our father and played Duck Hunt for hours. Soon after my brother and I were hooked on Super Mario and it was all we played.

    The upside to having a previous gen console is games were cheap. Extra controllers were cheap. Most stores were happy to get rid of old stock for the new, more expensive consoles that were coming out.

    We didn't care, it's actually something I do now - wait awhile for the price of things to drop and then get it. I'm only now playing many of the PS3 games that came out years ago at a fraction of the price.

    That NES was our first proper adventure into gaming and multiplayer gaming at that.

    I've never had a strong relationship with my brother but something we've always bonded over has been video games, and I have that NES to thank for starting that tradition.

    My Famicom memories are actually quite recent, since I only imported one of them a few months ago :P

    As to the NES, I never owned one when I was a kid, though my Mum's friend had one. Which I never really played, since I liked to watch other people play them instead. I remember hiring the NES a few times while on holiday, and that was kinda fun.

    Beating both Megaman 1 and Castlevania 1 for the first time ever only recently (without emulation or using holywater on bosses) even though I've been playing them for years.

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