25 years of the SNES: our favourite memories of the Super Nintendo
Japanese gamers were playing until their thumbs were sore two whole years before us. Americans had a year’s head start. We Europeans, however, had to wait until 1992 to experience the magic of the Super Nintendo. We certainly did our best to make up for it. Here are some of our best memories of the great grey console.
Unfortunately, my parents never bought me and my brothers a console, so there were only two ways to satisfy my need for gaming. I went to department store Vilan (now Manor) and hogged their Super Nintendo for hours, mostly playing The Lion King, Street Fighter or Super Mario World. I had to start from scratch each time because I couldn’t save my progress. The second way to play was to go to a «friend»’s house. I say it like that because he wasn’t really a friend, but he had generous parents and a Super Nintendo with countless games as a result. Zombies Ate My Neighbours was one of my major highlights. I can still hear the soundtrack now.
When I was at primary school, I used to play in the basement at a friend’s house (her dad’s man cave). He had his own craft room with workbenches, a small TV and an SNES. Her dad was one of the only ones with a console at home back then. We spent countless afternoons in that room. Our favourite game was Donkey Kong Country 2. The multi-player mode made for endless fun. One day, when we were up against the bee boss, her dad said «Whoever beats the boss will get a new SNES». That was obviously a massive incentive for us. Despite hours of trying, we never did manage to beat the boss.
Ah, long days in dark rooms with the curtains drawn to block the sunlight. Most of the time, I was relegated to spectator because I had three older siblings. When I actually managed to get my hands on one of the coveted controllers, I thought I would soon emerge victorious. I would just stare at the wrong image. In reality, I was running about in the middle of nowhere…good times.
I remember the sounds too. There are so many, like when that stupid, annoying Baby Mario is overtaken by Yoshi («heee heeee heeee heee»), which only stops when he is caught. Or the joy of the bell-like sound when collecting coins or when Mario climbs onto Yoshi. I’ll never forget them.
Using the feather to jump into a pool in the water park on Super Mario Kart and smugly heading to the fridge under a barrage of complaints from other players – without the feather, you had no chance.
My grandmother (the ardent Tetris gamer played to the point of carpal tunnel syndrome – gaming runs in the family) proposed a deal when I was four: «Give me your dummy and I’ll buy you an SNES». That was that. If only I’d have got the SNES…only kidding :D. I still have it and it works perfectly.
Whenever I go to my holiday home in beautiful Graubünden, I open up this box and start playing shortly after I arrive. So it’s not a memory from the past for me, it’s something I still do :).
I don’t remember release day, as I was only one when the SNES came out. My dad bought or was given it by a colleague a few years later. It was our first games console, and my brothers and I mainly played Super Mario World and Donkey Kong Country. My favourite memory of Donkey Kong Country was the Mine Cart Carnage level. One of our greatest successes was coming across a shortcut, which allowed us to virtually skip this level. We didn’t always use the shortcut, though, as it was fun to zoom through the mine in the cart.
My dad gave me my SNES, which I hooked up to the TV in my room immediately. The first Super Nintendo image that appeared on the monitor was the Donkey Kong Country intro. Cranky Kong (Donkey Kong’s uncle) winds up his gramophone with 8-bit acoustics before Donkey Kong pushes in with his boombox. This scene was iconic, as it showed how the sound evolved from 8-bit oscillator to polyphonic MIDI acoustics in that you could clearly hear specific instruments.
So I was puzzled by how vivid and yet partly plastic the graphics were. As the SNES was able to depict figures and backgrounds in much higher resolution than its predecessors, game developer Rare had the unusual idea of creating 2D worlds and animation from pre-rendered 3D graphics. I obviously didn’t know that at the time, but I vividly remember how I racked my brain about why just the palm trees looked like you could reach out and touch them. The leap from the console generation to the next was somewhat magical back then.
The SNES was the first console that my parents bought me and my brother. After we had played Street Fighter at the arcade every day of our school holidays, our parents were finally talked into getting an SNES and the cult combat game. It was the highlight of our childhood! The only downside was that it was bought in France - and stayed there for a whole year! On our next holiday, we smuggled it back and the door to the gaming world opened up before us.
I associate the SNES with my early childhood. Well, kindergarten actually, and the start of my gaming career. I still remember playing Super Mario World or Donkey Kong Country with my cousin and Super Mario Kart with my mum. The SNES is really important to me and I still have one today. That’s why I’m so excited about the SNES Mini, which is coming out soon and will get hours of use! :D
There was a boy where I lived who had a Super Nintendo. He was the only one with a console for miles. All of the children in our neighbourhood were always at his house to play on it. At some point, my parents bought me a Nintendo 64. I was over the moon and so were the other children. The boy with the Super Nintendo was suddenly no longer the coolest kid in the area. Everyone was at my house now; all the time, every day. Alas, my time as king of the hood didn’t last. Soon, another boy was given a PlayStation, and I had to give up my crown. And so it went on. When a new console came onto the market, the balance of power in our neighbourhood shifted. All hail capitalism.
I used to watch my brother play for hours as he tried to save Princess Peach. I wanted to be a princess myself when I grew up, but I was never allowed to play. My brother said I would ruin his score. He only let me play Tetris every now and then. I couldn’t mess that up.