It’s amazing that game consoles track your achievements automatically in this day and age. Why, back in my day, I had to document every one of my achievements by hand. And you’d better believe I liked it that way!
I was really proud when I won my first NES game (though I probably shouldn’t have been — it was Konami’s Life Force while using the notorious Konami code). No matter, I still remember it as the first game I ever won. When I had gone on to win my first 10 games, I had no trouble recalling their titles and the order in which I completed them. After about 10, it got harder to keep the list straight in my head, so I started to record the titles on these little yellow pieces of paper and hang them on the wall near my NES.
I recently came across the list neatly rolled up in a box. It’s time to photograph it, post it, and then let the physical item go.
Here are a few achievements that stand out now, especially since I have spent the last decade or so reading internet reviews about how ridiculously difficult certain games were (a.k.a. games that were Nintendo Hard):
- The Adventures of Bayou Billy
- Ninja Gaiden
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
I have read no shortage of retro-reviews indicating that anyone who claims to have won these games is a filthy liar. Well, I did win each one fair and square, back in the day. Never used a Game Genie, although I did often have Nintendo Power advising me. I’m not saying the games weren’t difficult. In fact, Battletoads had me downright stressed one summer as I was determined to win it and rented it 3 times in a row to achieve that goal. Afterwards, I wrote a letter to Nintendo Power with some tips and strategies I discovered along the way and they actually wrote a letter back, congratulating me for finishing Battletoads!
Another achievement I must mention is that I once made it to level 63 in Duck Hunt. Trust me, that’s the kind of accomplishment that comes from a hot summer afternoon of total boredom and nothing else to play. I wouldn’t recommend trying to beat that record.
On the flip side, I thought Mike Tyson was remarkably difficult to beat in Punch-Out!! Here’s a situation where most people I knew claimed they beat him on their very first try. Not me; I worked for weeks to beat him and I was briefed on all his tells and strategies well in advance.
Anyway, here are my achievements: 100+ games completed, mostly during a period of 3 years. Note that I counted the second quest of The Legend of Zelda as a separate game (#4 in this list). That’s controversial. It was certainly different enough to be a separate title.
Goodbye, little yellow list.