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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Nintendo Power: The Final Issue

Well, here it is. The final issue of Nintendo Power. What began on July/August of 1988 comes to a close in December of 2012. We all heard the shocking news months back that Nintendo Power would cease publication in December. A few weeks ago images of the final issue's cover hit the web, which pays homage to the very first issue's cover. I went int my Barns & Nobles today before work and saw it sitting in the stands in the magazine section. Somehow seeing the actual final issue on the shelf and soon holding it in my hands reinforced that feeling of finality.

Nintendo Power's final issue is a tribute to it's loving readership and all the things that have made the magazine so great for the last twenty four years. The letter section is filled with heartfelt letters from fans saying how much they love the mag, how it got them through games and how they will miss it now that it's gone. There's even a section of letters from industry game developers.

The staff also selects their top 285 games on Nintendo platforms. Why 285? This issue's volume number happens to be 285. I have a hard enough time picking 100 games that I love. Choosing 285 would be murder, but it's a lovely list. I'm pleased to say Mega Man 3 made the top 50. This feature makes me sad that Nintendo Power didn't last 15 more issues to see 300. Can you imagine what their list of 300 greatest games would have looked like? *Sigh*

My first issue of Nintendo Power.
This was also my first gaming mag.

I wasn't there for Nintendo Power from the start, but I do own some early issues. My first issue of Nintendo Power was Vol. 13, which was their very first strategy guide. It was for Super Mario Bros. 3. This ended up being the very first gaming mag that I ever owned, so Nintendo Power got me into them. If an NES game ever deserved to have an entire issue dedicated to it, it was this game. Thanks to Nintendo Power, I learned every single secret there was to know about one of my favorite Mario games. I was bowled over at just how massive the worlds in Super Mario Bros. 3 got beyond World 4. Nintendo Power helped me make it beyond that world and eventually make it to Bowser himself. I once gave this issue away to a friend when I gave away my NES games, but it's now back in my collection.

The second issue of the mag
that I ever owned.
The commercial for Mega Man 3 (which makes no sense now that I see it with adult eyes) got me beyond stoked for the game. Mega Man 2 converted me into a Mega Man fanatic so I just had to have the third game. One Friday evening in November of 1990, my dad took me to Toys 'R Us, bought me Mega Man 3 and Nintendo Power Vol. 20 was out as well. Featuring large coverage on Mega Man 3, my dad picked this up for me along with my new game. I was giddy as a school girl the whole trip home. Nintendo Power's Mega Man 3 coverage is the reason I use the Robot Master order for Mega Man 3 that I use: Magnet Man, Hard Man, Top Man, Shadow Man, Spark Man, Snake Man, Gemini Man, and Needle Man. Every now and then I deviate from this order, but it's rare that I do so.

Strategy guides, walkthroughs, all of these things are common place today. Nintendo had reviews as well, but the main reason I picked up the magazine was for the extensive coverage on games. Long before the internet existed, Nintendo Power was more often than not my walkthrough for a plethora of games. These days maps and level lays out can easily be printed out from websites. Back then, getting that kind of stuff was like hitting the mother load.

"December 11, 2012, is a sad day in gaming history. Nintendo Power is dead. Long live Nintendo Power. "That's what I was originally going to say when I started this blog post, but then I read the final Nester comic. Yeah, you read right, Nester. You remember Nester from the early days of Nintendo Power, don't you? He's been absent from the magazine for quite some time. So long in fact that he's grown up and has a son of his own. Nester's feeling bummed about Nintendo Power's demise but his son, Max, assures him that as long as he keeps remembering and reading his Nintendo Power collection, it really won't end.

Max's words spoke to me, reminding me of a quote from the Sandlot. "There's heroes and there's legends. Heroes get remembered, but legends never die." Nintendo Power's legacy will always live on, which means we will always and forever be playing with power.

Nintendo Power, thank you for helping me out as young gamer, for entertaining me as a teen and for putting out one of the best mags to read as I started back reading again over a year ago. You may be gone, but you'll never be forgotten.

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