For most children of the 80s, video games mean the Nintendo Entertainment System, or Famicom in Japan. Even if you didn’t have one in your home, you surely had a friend with one of those enchanting boxes. Ah, the thrills of 8-bit action, midi music, and blowing frantically on cartridges!

Though many parents might have written the devices off as mere toys, there’s an undeniable shared experience that the NES provided for children in many countries around the world. But have you ever wondered how your experiences with the system compared to those of kids in Japan, the console’s home? Well, wonder no more!

CuRAZY, a Japanese website not entirely dissimilar to BuzzFeed, recently posted an article with the 18 most common memories of using the Famicom for Japanese gamers.


Obviously, the first memory was blowing on cartridges, trying to get them to work. We’re starting to wonder if there were miniature wind turbines in the cartridges that used our puffs to power everything…

That’s if you can actually find your beloved console though. One memory that we’re sure a lot of our readers will sympathize with is having the Famicom taken away and hidden by parents. As if doing homework were actually important!

Of course, our parents might not have been hiding the console to motivate us to do homework. How many of you, like young Japanese gamers, had parents trip over cables, causing your game to freeze, while carrying laundry?

▼”Geez, mom! I’m playing a ga–no, you’re right, I’m hanging laundry now.”

catWikipedi (TWFHCOM)

Of course, blowing on your cartridge wasn’t the only way to try to get your games to work. Apparently many Japanese folks have less-than-fond memories of repeatedly smashing the reset button when the game wouldn’t start. You can laugh, but we bet you do the same thing when your smartphone freezes.

While having your game freeze can be quite the bummer, it wasn’t the only hardware failure that many Japanese Famicom gamers apparently experienced. CuRAZY says that many video game lovers were apparently foiled by the the buttons getting stuck down. We’re glad modern consoles never fail now.

▼Modern consoles are bastions of build quality!

red ringWikipedia (Droobey)

This is one memory that we suspect most non-Japanese gamers won’t have. Apparently inserting games into the Famicom needed precise finesse, requiring both edges of cartridges to be carefully and slowly inserted simultaneously.

Another disappointment of sorts that many Japanese Famicom lovers apparently remember is telling everyone about plans to stay up all night on New Years Eve…and then never making it. We’re not sure if spending New Years Eve playing video games is a hip thing to do…but it sounds like a good plan to us!

This isn’t really something exclusive to any game or even the Famicom, but many gamers from Japan remember their hearts pounding as the start screen of Dragon Quest 3 loaded. We’re sure you all had (or have) a game that sets your heart a-thumping just by loading it up, too!

▼Double points if that game has a dragon and/or sword.

dragonquestGoogle Play Store

Of course, staying up all night playing games is a lot easier if you have a friend! Sadly, according to CuRAZY, it turns out that most people’s memories of playing Famicom with partners always seem to end with fights.

Moving on from the frustrations of the cartridges, we get into some of the fun aspects of the Famicom: Bitter rivalry. CuRAZY explains that “At school, there was a DragonQuest group and a Final Fantasy group, and then there was just one guy who was really into Wizardry.”

▼What a geek. Our kind of gamer!

wiz2Faminkon Byukkii

There were other rivalries brewing in front of the screen too. The Japanese console had two controllers, but the second control was conspicuously lacking a “Start” button. Probably not a big deal, unless you were Player 2 and your opponent decided that poor sportsmanship wasn’t just for “injured” soccer players. Then they could just pound the pause button on and off until you either lost or strangled them with the controller cord. What court would convict you?

A related memory from the good old days for many Japanese gamers was being able to fly through a game by yourself with ease! Then a friend would come over and it’d be as if your thumbs had been magically turned into pickles. Well, performance anxiety can strike the best of us, can’t it?

▼”If you really want to see how great I am at Mario, put this on.”

blindfoldWikipedia (Dale Schoonover, Kim Schoonover)

This next memory is hardly exclusive to the Famicom, but it’s hilarious to imagine nonetheless. As anyone who’s ever played any racing game knows, players simply must lean with each turn. But with the short cord, it was apparently common to accidentally yank the connector out and freeze the screen. Still better than tipping the TV over on top of yourself!

Having never actually beaten an 8-bit game, this was one memory that I can’t share unfortunately, but maybe some of you can! Just like fans at a Marvel movie, apparently many Japanese gamers would sit and wait to see what would happen after the end screen.

Speaking of sitting and waiting, as we’re sure you remember, many of the NES games lacked much in the way of multiplayer. While every AAA game seems to have multiplayer tacked on these days, it used to be that you’d have nothing to do while your friend played a game. Except mess around with the microphone on the second controller! Which was probably about as much fun as actually doing your homework.

▼Oh! Look! It has a volume slider!

Famicom-ControllersWikipedia (Evan Amos)

This entry is less a memory from childhood and more a shocking revelation. How often did you read the manual before popping a game into the console? If you’re anything like us, the answer is probably “never.” That’s also apparently the answer for a lot of Japanese gamers, since, according to CuRAZY, one common “memory” is reading the manual twenty-some years after playing a game and then being shocked to find out what the game was actually about! Hmmm…someone should go find a Super Mario Bros. manual. Maybe Mario was actually the kidnapper!

Here’s one that we’re sure all our readers will remember doing: Writing your name on the back of cartridges! Hey, if you’re going to put your name on your shoes, why wouldn’t you put your name on your most prized possessions? We’re not saying we do it now…but we’re not saying we don’t either…

▼You should see what our laptops look like.

famicom2Freshmean no nikki

The final entry on our trip down memory lane is sure to be one of universal angst. How often did you wake up early to get in some quality gaming and then have to run to school before you could get to a save point? Probably pretty often, if you’re anything like Japanese gamers. And, if you had the bad luck they did, you probably came home more than once to find that your mother had turned the console off during the day.

▼You’re allowed to cry now.

crysmileyWikipedia (Pumbaa80)

So, dear readers, how many of these entries brought you flying back to childhood? Are these memories familiar for you? Be sure to let us know in the comments–and don’t forget to share your favorite NES stories, too!

Source: CuRAZY
Images: Wikipedia (Evan Amos)