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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Donkey Kong Country Gets Remade as a Surreal Vaporwave Art Piece
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Donkey Kong Country gets trippy in this vaporwave homage.

Vaporwave’s not for everyone. This niche subgenre of electronic music can be described as dreamlike or downbeat, punctuated by the retro sounds of obsolete elements from ‘80s and ‘90s culture. But it’s more than just a sound; vaporwave culture also takes aim at consumerism and the mainstream through a mixture of nostalgia and surrealism. It’s also incredibly esoteric, and outside of its cult fanbase, many may find the whole thing a bit too impenetrable.

Still, despite claims that vaporwave is a dead genre (mainly because it got noticed by people), new projects keep spawning from it. This latest should be an appealing one to anyone who ever picked up a video game controller, as the SNES classic Donkey Kong Country has been transformed into a full-on vaporwave gaming experience.

This game, titled DonkeyKong.exe (or スーパードンキーコング D R E A M A K E), is a hypnotic reimagining of the original, complete with a lethargic version of the game’s memorable soundtrack and a dizzying array of retro screen effects and sounds. As Donkey, Diddy, and Cranky Kong traverse through this freakish experiment, players will notice that this isn’t quite the same game they grew up with.

Characters only have the ability to walk side to side and jump, and many of the title’s staples have been transformed to fit the vaporwave ideology. Memorable locations have been replaced with a neon landscape of geometric vector graphics, and robotic bleeps and bloops stand in for the game’s original sound effects.

One of the most interesting changes is the collectible letters from the original that once only spelled out “Kong.” Here they have much darker messages like “Consume” and “Obey,” as you’ll soon find that all you can really do in DonkeyKong.exe is collect bananas and watch as Cranky falls into an abyss of commercialization. The theme of consumption fits in well with the genre’s cultural outlook. In an interview with Kotaku, the game’s creator, Sebastian Strand, noted that he was drawn to vaporwave because of its "ambivalent relationship to commercialism and the notion of dissecting (often superficial) popular culture and twisting and redefining it into something new just tickles me the right way.”

For the most part, DonkeyKong.exe is beyond a written explanation. If you’re interested in this bizarre take on the beloved Super Nintendo game, you can download it for free.

[h/t Kotaku]

Target Is Getting a Mario Kart Makeover

The Mario Kart franchise is the rare example of a game series that reaches all ages, from grammar school play dates to dorm room tournaments and beyond. And with the April 28 release of Mario Kart 8 for the Nintendo Switch looming, Target has turned into a love letter for all things Kart.

The transformation begins at the very front of 650-plus Target stores across the United States, where the big red bollards that keep stray shopping carts in check have been turned into spherical Marios and Luigis. From there, the store doors are rigged with flashing lights as shoppers are serenaded by the Mario theme song as they enter.

The stores' shopping carts have also undergone a makeover to look like Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach’s karts from the game. (Though Target does sell bananas, you'll have to supply your own blue turtle shells and Bob-ombs for that authentic Kart experience.)

Target will only look like a real-world Kart track for a limited time, so if you want to feel what it’s like to race down the aisle as Princess Peach, you better head to your local store soon to see if they’re participating. And if you’re looking to ensure you land your own copy of Mario Kart 8, you can go to Target’s website to preorder a copy.

Unfortunately, if it’s a new Nintendo Switch you’re after, well, Target isn’t making any promises. While it's not as impossible to find as the NES Classic was (when it still existed), Nintendo’s latest console isn’t immune to the company’s infamous low supply and high demand model.

“If you’re still trying to get your hands on Nintendo Switch, keep checking your local Target store,” the website states. “We’re working hard with Nintendo to keep these crazy-popular consoles flowing in to Target stores throughout the year.”

For now, your best chance to play some Kart might be in the aisles of your local Target.


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