Happy 30th Birthday Famicom!


By Darryn Bonthuys on Monday, July 15, 2013
"Affectionately known as the Golden China"

fami1

No matter where you started gaming from in life, be it the PlayStation One or the Xbox 360, chances are that you’ve played at least one Famicom game in your life. It’s the console that started a whole new generation for gaming. And today, it turned 30 years old.

Famicom_(Model)

The Famicom launched at a great time in 1983, July 15. While Atari had dominated the gaming landscape with their wood panelled platforms, the Famicom was a real revolution when it hit the Japanese scene. 8 bits of graphics powered the visuals of this console, graphics that were mind-blowing back then as third-party developers flocked to the system.

In the years to come, the Famicom gave birth to such great games such as Castlevania, Metroid and of course, Super Mario. And just two short years later, the console arrived in North America as the Nintendo Entertainment System, setting the stage for a culture revolution.

Heck, we even had our bootlegged version, which was affectionately known as the Golden China. Most of us grew up with it, and heck, still have one today. You all know the kind of console that I’m talking about.

super_mario_bros__3___famicom_cartridge_by_scoobydude51-d61tnz4

Some were blue, some were yellow and they all came with those marvellous 72-in-1 cartridges. But hot damn, did that machine have some great games that only needed four buttons with which to jam. In no particular order, these are my childhood top ten:

  • Rush ‘n Attack
  • Tetris
  • Super Mario Bros 3
  • Galaga
  • Spartan X
  • Donkey Kong
  • Road Fighter
  • Dig Dug
  • Excite Bike
  • Blowing the damn cartridge

For Geoff, who is just as stuck in 1985 as I am, that top ten list included:

  • Smb3
  • Mega Man 2
  • Castlevania 3
  • Kirby’s Adventure
  • Contra
  • River City Ransom
  • Adventure Island 2
  • Punch Out!
  • Link to the Past
  • DuckTales

But there were so, so many great games available. And that’s why the console has stuck around as a fond reminder of the past for so long. We could make a top 100 list, easy. But what were your favourite Famicom memories?

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Author:Darryn Bonthuys

Because he's the writer that Lazygamer deserves, but not the one it actually needs right now. So we'll hunt him. Because he can't take it. Because he's not a hero. He's a loud-mouthed journalist, a watchful procrastinator. A dork knight.

  • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

    O?

    Me love Golden China Long time :P

    • That Dark Twit

      Sweet mother of Hades, I can not stop laughing at that picture!

  • Hammersteyn

    My parents are 30 years old? Happy birthday Mom and Dad!

    • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

      Say what now?

      • Hammersteyn

        Substitute parents.

  • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

    SMB3 was the BAWS!

    • That Dark Twit

      CONTRA!

    • http://www.twitter.com/WobblyOnion Exalted Overlord Geoffrey Tim

      best. game. ever.

      • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

        I thought you said that new Mario you jammed was better-er?

        • http://www.twitter.com/WobblyOnion Exalted Overlord Geoffrey Tim

          Nostalgia factor included.

  • That Dark Twit

    I had that very same Mario Bros 3 cartridge.
    Remember the good ol’ times when if it didn’t work, you simply blew into the cartridge, and then it worked great!

    • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

      They actually determined that you damaged it further by doing that….remember reading about in when TEGATO still lived

      • That Green Twit

        Yeah, I remember hearing that too.
        Still can’t deny that it still worked. SCIENCE!!!

  • DieJason

    Oh I remember that one Saturday when my dad returned home from work with a surprise for my brother and I, a Golden China with a 42-in-1 cartridge. Blew my mind, everything from Super Mario, Baseball (pitching balls at 0mph, hahah), Excitebike and more.

  • That Dark Twit

    You guys should make a top 100 list, for shits and giggles sake. Would love to see that!

  • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

    Felix the cat , Toxic Crusaders, Battle Toads and Double Dragon, Tiny Toons,1943,Super Mario Bros 3 to name but a few

    • That Dark Twit

      Duck Hunt! That damn dog that laughs at you!

      • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

        Duck hunt you say?
        (this pictawr never gets old)

        • That Green Twit

          Bwahahaha!!!!!
          Must be a Facebook game.

    • RinceWind

      DON’T EVER MENTION BATTLE TOADS! You have already been warned on this!

      • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

        lol feel like co-op’n that game

        • RinceWind

          I’d rather remove my lungs and replace them with molten lead 0-O

          • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

            Lol no dude, funnest game ever, feel the rage, let it consume you!

          • RinceWind

            Frustration lv over 9000! But bloody fun ;)

    • http://lazygamer.net/ OVG

      Crystalis, My first RPG… I would spend an hour trying to think up the name input for my antag :)

      • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

        What would you end up naming him?

        • http://lazygamer.net/ OVG

          AAA :)
          As was always the name at the top of the arcade leader boards.
          Na… I think I settled with Odin.
          Kick as game, Then ZELDA became what GTAV is today.

          • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

            Oh man…AAA……too lazy to move the joystick up and down. But what name can you possibly give yourself with three letters?lol
            And oh the mighty Odin ! And zelda changed lives and gaming … now I’m just sad about wiiU:(

    • RinceWind

      Secret of Mana!

      • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

        Been meaning to start a playthrough of that on ma phone. Classic game!hopefully it will return one day

  • DarthofZA

    All I can say is that Geoff has a much better taste in great games than you do. :P

    • http://www.twitter.com/WobblyOnion Exalted Overlord Geoffrey Tim

      This is the truth.

      • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

        Seconded

    • Major Commodore 64 Darryn B

      Hey, I had a 72-in-1 cartridge on that list with ALL those games included, but that was cheating.

  • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

    Oh the nostalgia! What awesome gaming fun was had back then!

  • RinceWind

    I believe it was also Mario’s 30th yesterday?

    • http://www.twitter.com/WobblyOnion Exalted Overlord Geoffrey Tim

      Luigi’s actually. ;)

      • RinceWind

        Ah :) Why no cake for him?! Cus he’s green! You lacist!

        • Hammersteyn

          Who’s Luigi?

          • RinceWind

            Bwahahaha!

  • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

    Mappy, SuperMario Bros2, Contra, Excite Bike, Paper Boy, Milk and Nuts, Ice Climber, Twin B

    • Tbone187

      Can’t believe you said Mappy…hehehe…For me it was one of those annoying titles that took up loads of space on various compilations…Good call with Ice Climber and paperboy tho…

    • Hesperus Phosphorus

      Twin B… god, now there’s a game that ate up most of my Golden China time. It was awesome. Elevator Action was also pretty cool. Damn, getting all misty-eyed nostalgia.

  • RinceWind

    Tiny Toons! FTW!

    • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

      hehehehe indeed

  • RinceWind

    This was when they made games with LOVE in their hearts :)

    • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

      and you could feel the the love

      • RinceWind

        What do you mean man, what about CoD? They have dogs now! http://www.arwrath.com/content/9/98377.gif

        • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

          Lol I love COD as much as I love gaga….and before trolls start acting up, no I don’t like gaga….. that much

    • http://lazygamer.net/ OVG

      What is battletoad’s excuse ? :P

      • RinceWind

        A special kindda love?

        • http://lazygamer.net/ OVG

          Character building like National Service.

  • Hammersteyn

    I still fire up the old emulator once a month or so…

  • http://lazygamer.net/ OVG

    MEGA MAN 2 BABY!!!

    • RinceWind

      Exactly. Why the hell hasn’t there been a Megaman for that last thousand years?! (That’s what it feels like)

      • http://lazygamer.net/ OVG

        Timeless classic. 2 Buttons with some of the best honed hand eye coordination and you have yourself and addictive crack hobby.

  • Ricardo Harvey

    I know this is weird…but i can smell the golden china right now…it had a distinct plastic aroma to it.

  • Ricardo Harvey

    Can someone please explain to me how the tech worked with those duckhunt games

    • http://lazygamer.net/ OVG

      LIKE A BOSS :)

    • RinceWind

      Something to do with squares of light around the ducks and the gun picking it up…

  • Gareth L

    Chip & Dale: Rescue Rangers, Battle City and Double Dragon!! Why are there no current-gen versions of these?

  • Nathan Horne

    I really loved Gremlins 2, SMB 3 and the first Ninja Turtles game (the side scroller with the top down view when you are outside of the sewer).

    Ducktales was also really good – can’t wait for the HD remake.

  • Tbone187

    Contra Hardcorps, Battletoads& Double dragon, Rockman2, Darkwing Duck and Robocop1 to name a few…

    • Skyblue

      Hardcorps was the Megadrive version. Also a great game but not as good as the NES Contra.

      • Tbone187

        Oops…good call…

  • Skyblue

    Played Blades of Steel one night until my fingers locked up, great era.
    Some fav’s included Tetris, G.I. Joe, SMB2, Castlevania, Zelda, Metroid, Bubble Bobble, Megaman, Ninja Gaiden, Bionic Commando, Salamander, Duck Tales, etc, etc etc

    Damn those were awesome days!

  • Jonah Cash

    My older brother stole mine and sold if for booze money while at varsity!! Son of a b….. hey wait she’s my mother too!!

  • Johann

    Ah good times.
    Some of my favourites in no specific order…
    - Megaman 1-3
    - Castlevania 2 (Simon’s Quest)
    - Chip ‘n Dales
    - Mach Rider
    - Top Gun
    - Gargoyle’s Quest
    - Elevator action

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  • Helldriver Phoenix

    Sjoe genade,moenie vergeet van:
    Castlevania 2:Simon’s Quest
    Super Wonderfull Mario 5
    TMNT 1,2 en 3
    Miracle Stone
    Contra
    Friday the 13th
    Goonies
    ….ek kan heel dag aangaan

  • Leechie

    Brings back such good memories

  • Dooshe Nozzle

    Link to the Past was Super Famicom/NES.

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