Nintendo Power In Memoriam: July/August 1988 – December 2012.
“Thank you all. Please be seated. *Ahem*. Ladies and gentlemen, like many of you here today I came across Nintendo Power at a very young age. For me personally, it was the third grade and I was eight years old when I first heard whispers of a magazine that was all about Nintendo and filled with maps, special codes and strategies. These rumors spread like wild fire across the black top during recess but that’s all they amounted to at first: Rumors. Some kid knew a guy from another school who’s brother supposedly had described some book he’d seen as having the small clay Mario you see beside me plastered across the cover. More words were spoken of free pull-out posters and comic strips as well as contests that gave away prizes like t-shirts, toys and most importantly: Nintendo Games. It all sounded too good to be true of course and these second hand (third and fourth even) stories were all I had to tide me over before the truth of the matter would finally be revealed to me. It was a cold, overcast October afternoon when this kid I knew opened his backpack to reveal the beautiful image of a grown man in full body armor holding the decapitated head of Dracula by his hair.
I was hooked.
Still, it would be quite a few years until I had a subscription to call my own. During this terrible time I was forced to rely on my most fortunate of friends and the school library for tips on how to snag near infinite lives in Super Mario Bros. or locate Level 9 in the first quest of The Legend of Zelda. Hell, even discover that there was more than one quest in that game. However I did manage to have a few copies to call my own here and there. Mostly through the library I mentioned with which I had no qualms whatsoever when it came to checking out issues without even the slightest intention of returning them. Now yes, I know theft is a sin but in my mind I wasn’t so much stealing as I was liberating these issues from their prison-like sentence of life in a public school. In my home they’d be taken care of and used to their full potential. It’s a testament to this rationale that I still own each and every one of these books.
Among them and by far and away my favorite is a special strategy guide completely devoted to Ninja Gaiden 2: The Dark Sword of Chaos. The second installment of my favorite non-Nintendo developed game series to appear on the NES. This guide was part of a brief run of Nintendo Power publications that were devoted entirely to a single game which while common nowadays, was quite a sight to behold for the first time as a kid in the late 80’s. But even with that (at the time) novelty set aside it wasn’t so much the information itself that while of course useful, was what made me carry this thing around everywhere I went. It was more the way the entire package was put together: lush, original illustrations were placed alongside exhaustively detailed maps in a manner that simply screamed “love and care.” A quality that to an extent still runs throughout the magazine’s pages to this day but was never more apparent than during those early years. As a result I did and still do love Nintendo Power and you better believe I have always taken care of my copies.
Well. Word broke of Nintendo Power’s passing just this afternoon and though it would be a lie if I said that I didn’t expect this to happen sooner or later (as I’m sure we all did), I’m still shocked and saddened by the news. Mostly because there’s still plenty of time left before I’d have to renew my subscription! No, no I kid. Anyway, I’m getting the signal to wrap things up here but I’d like to say one last thing: That while in recent years Nintendo Power may have drifted away from the spirit of its original incarnation as Fun Club News, it has never lost the creative essence of a publication that is by, about and for those of us that will always have a special place in our hearts for Nintendo.
Opening the mail box once a month to the sight of a new issue was a moment that I always looked forward to and is now a memory I will never forget.
Rest in peace, old friend.”