Mappy-Land: The Game That Killed Our NES
Editor’s Note – The following is a story as my shaky memory recalls it from my childhood. All factual errors are due to mankind’s ongoing struggle against an imperfect mind.
Around the time that Jesse started grade school, our mom finally noticed just how much he had been playing the NES. It was a LOT. Basically, any waking moment that he could get his grubby little mits on it, he would throw down with some “Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!”.
The rule was put in place that he was only allowed to play on the weekends. The up side was that we had just found a video store that did 99cent rentals on all their NES cartridges. For a couple years, we had a great time trying out lots of different games. Usually they were ones we saw in Nintendo Power or EGM, but every once in a while, we would choose something completely at random that caught our eye.
I can’t remember which one of us decided to pick up “Mappy-Land”, the console-only sequel to the arcade game, but I’m pretty sure it was Jesse. We booted up the game to find a cheesy platformer in which you were a cartoon mouse trying to collect ice cream cones or other various objects depending on the level, then reach the end of the stage with said collected objects. When you got to the end of the level, if you hadn’t collected every single ice cream cone, or didn’t do it fast enough, you would get a message that said, “Sorry Mappy, but you are late for the Birthday Party.” Replace “Birthday Party” with various other obligations the mouse-cop was probably dreading attending in the first place and you get the gist of what was a terrible game.
The next game we put in did not boot. Instead, the console would reset over and over again.
Nowadays, we know that replacing the PIN connector on an NES is a cheap and simple way to make it run like new again. As kids, we knew nothing about that. All we knew was that from the time we rented “Mappy-Land” onward, our NES never worked the same. Looking back, it was probably just a dirty cartridge, being a rental, but we could rarely get it to boot up in such a way where it wouldn’t get stuck in a reset loop.
For years, we hated Mappy and all (both) of his gaming titles, blaming him for the destruction of our beloved console. Even today, we joke about how horrible his crimes against our gaming youth were. The moral of the story is, keep your gaming gear in good condition so you don’t have your own “Mappy Incident”.
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