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I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that a lot of our readers have fond memories of the glory days of the Nintendo Entertainment System. As nostalgic as the iconic piece of 8-bit hardware is for North American and European gamers, though, it’s even more so for Japanese fans, who got the equivalent Famicom years before the NES launched overseas.

Japanese humor website CuRAZY recently stopped to take a look back at all the time they spent with a tiny red controller in hand during their formative years, putting together this video of 13 Famicom experiences pretty much every Japanese gamer had.

1. Hit the reset button over and over again when the game won’t start

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Remember the good old days, when hitting the reset button would instantly restart games because they weren’t on discs? They were also the bad old days, since that was a legitimate trouble shooting method with error-prone cartridges.

2. Write your name on the back of the cartridge

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With so many copies of smash hit Super Mario Bros. floating around, this was really the only way to keep track of which one was yours.

3. Blow into the cartridge

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Many medical researchers have said that staying warm won’t do anything to prevent colds, since the sickness is caused by a virus, but most of us still feel more secure bundling up when we go outside during the colder parts of the year. Likewise, some modern scholars claim blowing into the connectors of a Famicom cartridge that wouldn’t load didn’t really do anything to clean them, and that simply removing the game from the slot, then putting it back in the system is what solved the problem. True or not, you’d be hard-pressed to find a gamer who never did this, and swears it worked at least once.

4. Say you’re going to stay up all night playing games on New Year’s Eve, but crash before you know it

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Even earnest, studious Japan lightens up on December 31, with many people staying up late to watch special programs on TV, then waiting to see the first sunrise of the new year. For a kid who’s not interested in the music programs or news retrospectives that most channels show, though, this is a rare chance to play games all night. Of course, just because Mom and Dad aren’t going to stop you doesn’t mean your sleep-deprived body is OK with this plan.

5. Get into a fight with the person you’re playing with

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Because seriously, who doesn’t get upset when their cousin keeps hogging the spread shot in Contra?

6. Have to search for your system after your parents hid it

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Because seriously, who doesn’t get upset when their kid argues with his cousin over something as trivial as video game power-ups?

7. When you’re about to lose as Player One, repeatedly pause and unpause the game

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This one’s unique to the Japanese-spec system. Like we talked about recently,  only the Player One controller had start and select buttons on the Famicom. This meant only Player One had control over the pause function, giving sneaky gamers a huge advantage they could exploit to throw off an opponent’s timing.

As a matter of fact, when two kids played together, Player One was referred to as the oya, literally “parent,” but also “dealer” in card games like the ones Nintendo got its start in.

8. Lean into curves on racing games

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This has been going on so long it’s sort of a surprise it took Nintendo until 2006 to design a system with motion controls.

9. Have your game come to a sudden end because one of your parents tripped over the cord while carrying laundry

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This was an especially big risk with the Famicom, as not only did you have to worry about the power source and connection to the TV, but the controllers themselves were hard-wired into the system, meaning there could be as many as four cords/tripwires stretched across the room. Of course, you could circumvent this problem by taking a break from the game and helping with the chores, but what were you supposed to do if you were stuck with the second controller and Player One wouldn’t pause?

10. Fool around with the mic on the second controller while your friend is playing

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Player Two not having a start and select button is pretty weird, but what’s just as odd is what it had instead: a microphone. The microphone was used to defeat an enemy in The Legend of Zelda, and, as far as anyone seems to remember, nothing else in the hundreds and hundreds of Famicom releases. The ability to amplify your voice did allow Player Two to exact some small measure of revenge for Player One’s pause-abusing shenanigans, though, by broadcasting “Player One is a stupid head!” through the TV speakers.

11. Get a stuck button

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Because if old school games were so difficult they didn’t care about your cramped fingers, you can be sure they didn’t care about your busted controllers either. Older consoles like the Famicom and NES often suffered from “sticky button,” wherein after prolonged use or extra-long presses, a controller’s button(s) would refuse to pop back up unless the owner jammed a pin or something similar down its side, rendering it pretty much useless.

12. Have a game totally wired when you’re playing by yourself, then screw up when you want to show off for your friends

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Back in the days before easy video capture and online streaming, if you wanted to show your ninja gaming skills, you had to do it in person. Some people just aren’t made for the pressure of a live performance, though.

13. When inserting a game, press down slooowly with just your fingertips on both ends of the cartridge simultaneously

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For a lot of kids, their video game system is their most prized, and expensive, possession. So while adults may see it as just a toy, to them, it’s a highly sophisticated piece of equipment, and deserves to be handled with the same respect and care as Dad’s Porsche or Mom’s diamond necklace.

After all, just like sports cars and jewelry, video games may be a luxury, but they’ve provided a lot of memories and smiles for their fans. Those of us who didn’t grow up in Japan might not have personally had all these experiences, but we did share of them that we feel a sense of comradery with the video’s makers, even if we don’t recall our own gaming days of yore featuring quite so much cleavage.

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Source: CuRAZY
Images: YouTube (CuRAZY tube)