Tag - Nintendo Power

“This is the Part Where I Draw” Video Series

So check it, I made a “new” video series. Well, I sort of did anyway. See the post about the Ghosts N Goblins art below? I decided to take that idea a step further and add a bit more to it so I could make a video series out of doing drawings. I decided to (ridiculously) call it “This is the Part Where I Draw.” The title is so stupid I call it the wrong thing every single time during my own video. At least the title logo is correct!

Anyway, the idea here, as explained in the video, is that I’m still doing a “live” drawing and still throwing it up onto eBay afterward. However I sped up the footage, recorded some audio over top of it, and added a little intro footage so that I could make it a legit “series.” The idea is to hopefully do one of these every other week. I’m going to try and aim for the Thursday nights in between episodes of Elder-Geek Game Club. I’ll be drawing whatever I damn well feel like it, though I may even take requests! I decided to choose “Nintendo Power” this time as I’ve been kinda sad to see it go.

Also, I don’t think I ever posted this on the Nerdlog, but I did another Postmortem video too, this time on Pizza Links. I’m thinking the Postmortem videos might get a bit of an intro added to them for the next time too. Now that I realized I can make custom video title cards I also want to make one for these so I can remove my big dumb face from the thumbnails.

I’ve really been trying to beef up the Shamoozal YouTube channel, but in a way where the time I’m able to spend on the shorts isn’t compromised. There was certainly some setup time in getting this first episode of Where I Draw put together, but now that most of the kinks are worked out they shouldn’t be too rough to put together. Hope you like them.

The Magazine Treasure Chest – Part 3 – Magazine Memories

Assorted Game Mags

While going through my “Magazine Treasure Chest” I started taking some pictures of pages that caught my attention. After sifting through my photos, it turns out most of them are from Electronic Gaming Monthly, but that’s probably because I already wrote about early Nintendo Power in a previous post. Then there is GamePro, but lets face it, GamePro has nothing memorable going on despite the fact that I own tons of them.

I’m going to handle this one as more of a slide show, just a bunch of photos with some captions under them. Enjoy.

Final Fantasy EGM covers

I loved these Final Fantasy covers that were supposedly drawn by Yoshitaka Amano just for EGM, though I’ve seen the art elsewhere since then. I still really like Amano’s art, but at the time I was rather infatuated with his work, so I snatched these issues up and put them away in a different and safer spot for years. I loved the one of Tidus and Yuna so much that I actually bit off of it big time in a school project I worked on. Mine of course was no where near as awesome.

EGM size differences

In the mid 90s EGM did a handful of huge issues of the magazine. The one I still have in great condition features Doom for the 32X on the front. It’s pretty amazing they were able to put something like that out at the time, that thing was just packed with games and info (and of course ads). I suppose I see how it was possible, we were at what was then a height for video games as a medium and the internet wasn’t quite what it is today. How else would companies be able to reach interested players? Compare that to the July 2007 issues of EGM at the bottom of the stack which is about a quarter of the size of that beast. In the middle is probably the last “huge” issues of EGM from November 2002, but even that is dwarfed compared to the 1994 issue. Also, please excuse my gross finger nail in that shot. I cut them the next day.

EGM Donkey Kong map

The beauty of that huge issue is that they were able to dedicate pages to large maps like this. I always loved when magazines, especially Nintendo Power, would have huge maps on the pages. I love looking at game maps laid out like that, they give you a sense of how the developers are thinking along with the scale and scope of stages in a game. Today you can find tons of maps like this on vgmaps.com, but in those days this was the only way to see stuff like this.

EGM Arcade Game Coverage

EGM used to have a two to four page spread on Arcade games, which I always enjoyed seeing. Usually with games I would never get to play, but that was always the fun of it.

They also used to do big import sections and previewed tons of games that would never see the light of day in the US. This was another section I used to love looking at, and I’d always hold out hope that some of these games would eventually make it stateside.

EGM Import Section

Magazines like EGM and GameFan would have crazy cool ads in the back for shops that carried import games, along with anime posters, toys, and videos. I never ordered anything from these because I never had the money, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t read their huge release lists and salivate over the prospects of owning a Dragon Ball Z or Sailor Moon game for the Super Famicom.

Mario EGM cover

I included this cover for the headline that reads “Is 1999 the year Nintendo gets it right?” See, people think that the media has only started to beat up Nintendo with the Wii, but the fact is that they always love beating up on Nintendo. I suspect that same headline will be on the cover of some game magazine after this years E3. Some things just never change.

Panzer Dragoon Saga Ad

I thought this Panzer Dragoon Saga (Sega Saturn) ad was kind of funny, even though it’s a terrible ad. That game got a limit run of copies when Sega had already pulled the plug on the Saturn. This ad makes light of the limited quantities of the game and tells the person to cut out the mask and just pretend to be the character from the game to get your fix because chances are you’re not going to get it or play it.

First two years of Nintendo Power

I’m totally keeping these issues of Nintendo Power. You’re looking at almost the first two full years of Nintendo Power magazine (minus the issue that Simon’s Quest graced the cover of), which at the time was a bimonthly publication. These were the real reason I even started digging through all this stuff. You’ll see them in some capacity in ROM Vol 2.

First shot of TMNT in NP

There was a contest in the back of an early issue of NP where you could win tickets to see the upcoming TMNT movie. I took a shot of this image because it was the first shot I ever saw of the TMNT movie. I had heard the movie was coming but I didn’t know anything about it. In fact, I think I assumed that it was just going to be the cartoon. This single image was somewhat mind blowing to my young mind at the time. I just remembered staring at it for a long time wondering how that Leonardo worked and moved around. I was beyond pumped.

Assorted Game Mags

While NP, EGM and GamePro were my mains, I grabbed other mags here and there over the years. That’s the second to the last issue of the short lived Dreamcast magazine, along with a handful of Japanese mags, two from the N64 era that I bought from a shop in north Jersey that had a huge bookstore with lots of publications from Japan. The Weekly Famitsu I snagged on my honeymoon in Japan, because how could I not buy that week’s issue? And then there is the only issue I owned of Next Generation, can you guess why I bought that one?

So that’s just a couple things I noted while sorting through my magazines. I could probably find way more other odds and ends, but I thought this was enough for now.

Read the rest of the Magazine Treasure Chest

Part 1 – First Drawings of Jacquo
Part 2 – My work sort of in print
Part 3 – Magazine Memories
Part 4 – Old Drawings

The Magazine Treasure Chest – Part 2 – My work sort of in print

Giggas' Nintendo Power art

During my sorting of the Magazine Treasure Chest I came across two game mags that actually featured my work. Oddly enough, I’m not actually named in either of these minor accomplishments, but when you’re a youngster with dreams of writing for magazines like this, it doesn’t matter how you appear in them. First up is the October 1996 issues of Nintendo Power.

Okay it’s confession time. Back when Nintendo ran the Nintendo Power Source on AOL, I took part in an interactive story that was based in Hyrule. I don’t really remember much about it to tell you the truth, I just remember the rules were that no one could write about Link and Zelda. I’m sure there are hundreds of boards that still do this sort of thing to this day, but at the time it seemed kind of unique. Anyway I pretty much sucked at writing these stories, though I’m sure they were all absolutely terrible when you get down to it. Regardless, I enjoyed taking part in the first round of this new community feature (I never took part in any stories past the first, so I don’t know how long Nintendo ran these things).

During the course of the story, users were asked to hand in drawings of their characters so they could display them on a board for people to download. Since I loved drawing so much in those days, I of course took part in drafting a shot of my characters. The problem is that actually getting your pictures into the computer was kind of complicated! In those days it wasn’t common for someone to own a scanner, and no one was taking pictures with digital cameras. I actually had to go to a friends house to use his scanner so I could submit this thing to the site. I was happy to have been able to hand in my work, but I never would have imagined it would land in the pages of Nintendo Power. I wasn’t a subscriber at the time and I had found out that I was in there from others that I hung out with on the NPS.

Of course it’s “By Giggas” and not my actual name, but like I said, that didn’t matter. All that mattered is that my drawing was in Nintendo Power. I remember running to a bunch of stores trying to buy a copy of this but I couldn’t find it. My cousin was actually nice enough to lend me his when he got it. I’m not so sure he thought I was going to keep it, but that’s kind of what ended up happening, sorry Brian. At least I took really good care of it! Ha.

Two years later more of my work would be featured in the now defunct Ultra Gameplayers Magazine.

A buddy of mine that I had met through the NPS actually collaborated together for years on lots of fun online projects. He used it as a means to teach himself web design and coding where as I mainly used it as an opportunity to crank out content. He was always good at coming up the big picture, and I was generally pretty good at giving it some substance.

One of our projects was a Nintendo 64 fansite, as if there weren’t enough of those already, but his nice designs and my desire to write about everything gaming related led to the creation of TGE Online (True Gaming Edge Online, how cool were we?). We actually weren’t running it for too long when we heard that it would be featured in Ultra Gameplayers. We were pumped and of course scrambled to try and make the site better. Since it was his baby, he decided that it should encompass all games, but since neither of us really had anything but Nintendo at the time, it was a strange idea that I disagreed with. Looking back, I had no right to disagree, it was his site that he was footing the bill for. He was a few years older than I, so I was a bit hot headed over the whole thing. He did put me in my place, and I deserved it. So the day this magazine hit news stands he updated the site to be more than the N64, we got into an argument and then that was pretty much it for TGE Online.

Still, it was cool being featured in the mag! We were only a small blurb in the back of the magazine, but for us it was enough. I’m pretty sure UGP came to an end itself not much longer. That was one of those ones that showed up during the 32-bit era and just never got to leave it.

So these two magazines will survive the great magazine purge. They’re such small little things, it’s hard to say if they were really even accomplishments, but they felt like it then. I wasn’t in any sports or anything when I was a kid, so I never got any trophies. Yes, I’ve never received a trophy in my entire life. I wasn’t an honor student either so I never got any certificates telling me how great my grades were. In my little world, these were my trophies and these were what drove me to keep doing the stuff I enjoyed doing. Insignificant in the long run, but still hold a lot of value regardless.

Also worth noting, my old Jacquo cartoons that I said I’d never show anyone again were featured in a handout that went to subscribers to EGM. Well they were sort of features on the sheet anyway. It was simply a list of links to sites they thought were worth checking out, and my Jacquo cartoons were cool enough to watch I guess! I have the paper somewhere, but that’s buried in a completely different area.

Read the rest of the Magazine Treasure Chest

Part 1 – First Drawings of Jacquo
Part 2 – My work sort of in print
Part 3 – Magazine Memories
Part 4 – Old Drawings

One man’s trash is another person’s treasure


A friend of mine was cleaning out his place and asked me if I would be interested in any old game magazines he planned on throwing out. Despite having two plastic bins of game magazines stashed away in my basement with an unknown fate in the future, I said “sure.” A few days later he brought me a big bag of gaming related magazines and books.

The big one for me is the very first issue of Nintendo Power, which is the coolest piece in this lot. There is just something really special about this issue, most likely because it helped feed a whole culture of Nintendo freaks. I remember holding this issue all those years ago and thinking how wonderful it was that there was a magazine solely about video games.


I think the most interesting thing about the old issues of Nintendo Power is how the layouts were obviously designed over in Japan. The gaudy but fun look of each page is surely what hooked all the kids back then, and it’s kind of funny that current Japanese mags, like Famitsu, still resemble this old style. The one thing I really liked about Nintendo Power back in those days were the tips and strategies. There was no internet, so aside from someone you would know, this was one of the only ways to learn a game. Take these pages for example, which feature full maps from the second quest in the Legend of Zelda. Another cool touch is that they never spoiled the whole game for you, so Level 7 and 8’s maps just give you a few tips instead of the whole layout.

Also in the pile was the issue of Nintendo Power with Track and Field II on the cover, one of the few early issues I don’t have. It follows the same crazy layout that the other issue has, but I thought this spread was kind of funny.


I like how Nintendo is blatantly selling kids on both the Advantage and the Max, showing people why they would want these additional controllers in place of their original pads. I personally love the fact that the D-Pad on the Max is called “The Cycloid.” I never really “got” the Max, it just didn’t seem to have any real advantages over the standard pad. Though according to this article, Ice Hockey and RC Pro Am aren’t the same without a little Cycloid action.

Another book in the pile was “Video Games & Computer Entertainment: Complete Guide to Nintendo Video Games.” I had a handful of issues of “Video Games & Computer Entertainment” growing up (I remember a Star Fox cover issue in particular) and always thought it was a snoozer. Looking back, they were probably one of the few magazines that really wrote about games instead of just trying to sell them. What I love about this Guide from that group is that it reveals to me that angry cynical gaming bastards existed back then. Take this snippet from the Guide that has reviews on TMNT 2: The Arcade Game and Wrath of the Black Manta.


Reading his review, it’s obvious this was a grown man that hated TMNT, so as a result the game gets slammed out of his hatred of the franchise. Sure, TMNT 2 is repetitive and does get boring, but he seriously docked the graphics and music of this game? The graphics, while no where near arcade quality, were fantastic for the NES, which he gave a 5 out of 10. He also awarded the music a big 3 out of 10. It’s almost a disgrace, that soundtrack rocks even today. What a turd. By comparison, he sung some praises about Wrath of the Black Manta, one of the biggest stinkers from those times. The fact Wrath of the Black Manta scored better than TMNT 2 in every area blows my mind. The review for Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse is good too, ending with the line “Castlevania III is a definite winner, though this might be a good place to end the series with dignity before it becomes a redundant joke.” Man, if people actually listened to this clown, we wouldn’t have Symphony, Super IV, Bloodlines, X, or any of the DS games. Nice to know game reviewers haven’t changed their tone in the last 20 years.

Another magazine that caught my attention was the Super Gameboy Players Guide, which I actually used to own but lost through the years. This is an odd ball Guide that I’m kind of positive was sent out for free to Nintendo Power subscribers when the Super Gameboy came out. It triples as an advertisement to buy the Super Gameboy, act as a dummies guide to selecting color pallettes for particular games, and also offers some tips for the games they cover. As we can see in this picture, Nintendo shows players not only how to get the best ending in Metroid II, but how to make the sexiest colors for Samus once you earn the ending. As stupid as this guide is, I actually did use it a lot for different color combos. Yikes.


The most strange of the lot has to be “How to Win At Nintendo Games.” This is actually a small little black and white text book with zero pictures about winning at video games. So it’s kind of like the closest thing to GameFaqs as you could get in 1989. That would be fine and all, but having skimmed through it a bit, it doesn’t really seem to offer the greatest of tips, though it does include some button codes. My favorite part of this book is how they “classify” game genres. In this example, Castlevania is under the genre of “Horror search-and-destroy.” I think “action” would have worked fine to be honest. I also love the “scroll” bullet point, which explains how the screen scrolls on each game. Good thing Castlevania only includes “limited amount of top-to-bottom play.”


Then there was a somewhat more recent book called Game On, which is just a simple history of video games with lots of cool pictures. It’s a decent coffee table book, even if it’s a little out dated now.

I sometimes find it strange that I enjoy collecting old video game magazines and books. I guess because they were the only documented gaming related publications at the time, so to me, they’re each kind of like a small slice of written gaming history. Plus, as a rather big retro gamer, it’s a lot of fun looking back and seeing how people wrote about video games and what they thought about them.