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Dedicated Fan Spent Three Years Beating All 714 NES Games

Beating one of those old, deceptively hard NES games is an impressive enough accomplishment for most people, but one fan had bigger aspirations than that. Much bigger. Over the past three years, Piotr Delgado Kusielczuk—who goes by the Twitch handle "The Mexican Runner"—set out to complete all 714 games ever released on the NES. The journey started on Kusielczuk's Twitch channel on May 28, 2014 and came to an end nearly three years later on February 26, 2017.

The whole thing kicked off with the 1990 game Whomp 'Em, which Kusielczuko finished in two hours and 11 minutes, and it ended with a Super Mario Bros. 3 run that he completed in an hour and 43 minutes (Kusielczuk chose it because he says it's the best game on the system).

Watch live video from TheMexicanRunner on www.twitch.tvIn between, Kusielczuk finished each and every game to ever be released on the system, including the 679 titles released in the United States and the other 35 PAL exclusives, according to Engadget. The whole endeavor clocked in at 3435 hours, but it was helped along by the fact that Kusielczuk is a known speed-runner.

Speed-running is a video game trend where players attempt to complete a game in record time, with no attention paid to gameplay goals or other accomplishments. Times are often aided through glitches found in the game, which can significantly cut down on the length. The problem with NES games is that many of them—like Tetris—don't have traditional endings; they just keep going and going. For those titles, Kusielczuk played until there was simply nothing left to do and the game started going in a loop. That means he could beat a game like Battletoads in less than a half hour, but something more nebulous like Miracle Piano Teaching System took an astounding 91 hours.

Watch live video from TheMexicanRunner on www.twitch.tvIt's assumed that Kusielczuk is the first person to play and beat all 714 NES games, and he is definitely the first person to document it in such a public way. Don't look for Kusielczuk to follow suit with an SNES run, though. On his site, he said, "NES has probably the hardest game library of any other console, so it wouldn't be that challenging to me." That's the type of boasting you earn after 3400 hours with a controller in your hand. 

[h/t: Engadget]

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8 Clever Ways to Recycle Your Old Nintendo Equipment
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For retro game players looking for a simple fix, the recent arrivals of Nintendo’s official NES Classic and Super NES Classic game systems have been an exciting purchase. The systems—when you can find them in stock—boot up dozens of classic games via an HDMI port. That’s left a pretty big inventory of original consoles and cartridges collecting dust in attics.

If you’re crafty and you dig the Nintendo aesthetic, check out these ideas for how to repurpose your old game gear into something new. (A word of caution: Modifying electronic components carries risk of electric shock, so we recommend being careful and using good judgment.)

1. AN NES ALARM CLOCK

A Nintendo console is shown after being modified into an alarm clock

Instructables user arrmayr0227 uploaded this tutorial on a better way to wake up. You’ll be splicing together a gutted NES console with a digital alarm clock, then rewiring the controller to set the time. The reset button acts as a snooze bar and the power button sets the alarm.

2. AN NES LUNCHBOX

Video game artisan Fluctifragus offered a step-by-step breakdown of hollowing out an old NES console to make room for your tuna sandwiches. The interior components can be removed with a screwdriver; the remaining screw posts can be clipped and filed down with a rotary tool. Two small hinges will keep the top and bottom tethered together.

3. A CONTROLLER WALLET

(Or coin purse, if you prefer.) Instructables user Zenilorac detailed a controller hack that involves separating the part by removing the back screws and then gluing a fabric-based zipper around the edges.

4. A ZAPPER LASER CAT TOY

Lehmeier at Instructables perfected a new way of antagonizing your cat by rigging a laser diode and 9-volt battery into the NES’s light gun accessory. Pulling the trigger will allow power to pass from the battery to the diode.

5. A CARTRIDGE WALL CLOCK

For Mario, it’s always time to eat mushrooms. Your schedule is probably a little less predictable. He can still help you tell time with this tweak from Instructables user BeanGolem. The clock hands are spray-painted, while the cartridge is split in half to allow for a clock mechanism (available at most craft stores) to be installed.

6. ADVANTAGE CONTROLLER GUITAR PEDAL

A Nintendo Advantage controller is used as a guitar pedal
wenzsells, Instructables // CC BY 2.0

The joystick-equipped Advantage controller was one of the earliest peripherals available for the NES. Using this guide from Wenzsells, it’s the perfect size to double as a chassis for a pedal kit. The “turbo” knobs control volume, while the A button acts as power switch.

7. A SUPER NINTENDO CARTRIDGE WALLET

A Super Nintendo cartridge is used as a wallet
stalledaction, Instructables // CC BY-NC-SA 2.5

Who doesn’t want to show a bartender their ID by flashing a Super NES game cartridge? Instructables user Stalledaction crafted this conversation piece by fitting a transparent plate to the front and adding space for keys and a USB drive.

8. A GAME PAD MOUSE

A Nintendo controller is operated as a computer mouse
Courtesy of Ryan McFarland

Ryan McFarland came up with a novel use for an old controller: turn it into a PC interface. An optical mouse is inserted into the chassis, while the A and B buttons serve as the left and right selectors. You’ll need, among other things, a Dremel tool, a hot glue gun, and about four or five hours’ worth of patience.

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Mario Kart Is Coming to Your Smartphone
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Nintendo had a lot to boast about during its quarterly financial reports this week. The company’s latest console/handheld hybrid, the Nintendo Switch, has already sold more units (14.86 million) in its first 10 months than its previous console, the Wii U, did (13.56 million) during its entire five-year lifespan. That news was bolstered by the company revealing its two heavy-hitters, Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey, were massive commercial successes, with 6.70 and 9.07 million copies sold, respectively.

That’s great if you’re a shareholder, but if you’re just a gamer, the real news came when Nintendo revealed that Mario Kart will soon make its way to smartphones. Titled Mario Kart Tour, this will be the company’s fifth mobile endeavor, following games like Super Mario Run, Fire Emblem Heroes, and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, as well as the soon-to-be-defunct Miitomo app.

Since debuting on the Super Nintendo in 1992, Mario Kart has been one of the company's most reliable franchises. Even on a system that flopped like the Wii U, Mario Kart 8 managed to sell 8 million units on its way to becoming the console's top-selling game. And when that same title was ported to the Nintendo Switch, it moved another 7 million units. For both Nintendo and its fans, the mobile version is a no-brainer.

So what’s actually known about Mario Kart Tour? Well, it’ll be out in the fiscal year, which ends in March 2019. Other than that, you’ll just have to wait for Nintendo to release its patented slow trickle of news over the next few months (though you can expect it on both iOS and Android, like the company's other mobile titles). Until then, you’ll have to dust off that old copy of Mario Kart: Double Dash or splurge on Mario Kart 8 Deluxe to get your fill of blue shells and errant banana peels.

[h/t The Verge]

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