Today. I had another awesome day with my son, but I felt like we had to brave the rain and get out of the house. Beware the wall of text that follows...
I went to the local thrifty store today. I went and checked the usual spots: records, gadgets, bikes, misc stuff, books, etc. I ended up with two awesome blue ties, an Elton John album, and a very old, near mint copy of Nintendo Power. It is the May/June 1989 issue with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on the front cover. When I came home and flipped through the issue, it brought back some great memories about the NES which I'll talk about later... But yeah- the magazine previews the first TMNT game, Mega Man II, and other things. I found it funny that people would actually write the magazine for tips on games like The Legend of Zelda, Metal Gear, and other classic video games. An eight page strategy guide for Ninja Gaiden totally made me smile.
I also forgot how awesome some of the artwork was. The magazine extensively used the talents of Katsuya Terada and others to bring some... life to these 8-bit games. His creative concept art for The Legend of Zelda is some of the best:
This was kinda brought on by my recent re-interest in chiptune music.
I'd like to get my grubby hands on an original NES, as I believe that my old Nintendo was probably thrown away a long long time ago. I'd also like to get a Commodore 64 (and I almost did... but chickened out at the last moment). All these old consoles and computers are put to good use by new music software that take advantage of the sound chips found within. blah blah blah. Here's a song from BitShifter:
In my research I found out that the Japanese Famicom had extra sound channels that were utilized in many games, but it was not used in the North American version of the NES. The Famicom Disc System had an extra sound chip. Did you ever look on the bottom of your Nintendo and wonder why there was a unused adapter on the bottom? Yep. That was it. Never used.
Disappointed? Yes I was after I found some sound examples that showed that some of my favorite games had inferior sound quality and music when compared to the Famicom versions. The solution? Get a Famicom of course. ha.
Here are a few examples:
Here's the Japanese version of Metroid.
Here's the American NES version. You'll notice a difference.
One more example. A mix of both versions:
Castlevania 3 is one of the best examples of the sound quality differences between Famicom and NES. After watching footage of other games, it just makes me sad. Sound effects, and the sonic components of the games are no where to be heard. I would definitely go back and play the Japanese versions of these games just to see the differences. I just need a plane ticket to Tokyo where all this stuff sells for a few hundred yen.