Table of Contents:
Best Technical Achievement

The Legend of Zelda (for its battery back-up)

Most people tend to remember Zelda for the little things, like how it defined a brand-new genre and spawned six excellent sequels. What tends to be forgotten was that it was also the very first console game to allow saving via battery back-up. The battery opened up a whole new world of complexity to games, allowing RPGs and sophisticated strategy titles to be executed on dinky game machines for the first time. If it wasn't for the little buggers, we'd still be typing in long, hard-to-read passwords that never work. The two-fold problem with batteries? Their price and the fact that they would eventually run out (Nintendo often stated that battery-backed games would last for five years before needing to replace the battery). Considering the age of most NES games, a lot of Zelda games are probably lost by now. Still haven't played it? Better hurry up! 

Hardest Game


Perhaps the reason that many of us toiled for countless hours to perfect our skills at the excruciatingly difficult Battletoads is because it's just such a darn good game. It was a mockery of those popular ninja turtles, and had the graphics to carry the caricature convincingly. Whether you were rappelling down a mine shaft, surfing down a dangerous river, or riding giant snakes over a minefield, Battletoads threw some of the hardest challenges we've ever experienced in a video game. Part of the reason is that there are a myriad of opportunities for instant death; fall off a hill, crash into a wall, set off a mine, etc. On top of all that, the game has a two-player system where you can easily injure your teammate, entire levels that call for lightning-fast reflexes and straight-up memorization and you've got yourself one huge challenge. Don't believe us? Try it. 


Rush 'n Attack

While its cleverly disguised anti-communist cold war paranoia brought smiles to our faces, Rush 'n Attack turned our mouths quickly into scowls at its difficulty factor. Well, of course it's going to be hard when you parachute into a heavily guarded enemy base with only a knife and your stylish beret. Still, the fact that one bullet, one kick, or even one brush against an enemy soldier meant instant loss of one of your three precious lives made this game maddeningly difficult. Which isn't to say we didn't try -- the mention of this game invariably brings memories of entire afternoons sacrificed to beating even the very first level. 

Blaster Master

The reason why Blaster Master is on this list isn't because it's a relentless tooth-and-nail struggle, but rather due to its long, drawn out quest. Blaster Master is a whole different beast; the game isn't always nerve-wracking, but it is quite long, and features very difficult boss figures. Another challenge is protecting yourself when you exit your tank and are a funny little bigheaded guy, succeptible to the horrors the game world presents without the protection of your trusty vehicle. Suffice it to say that if you want to get your froggy friend back, you're in for a hell of a ride.

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Did You Know?
Nintendo's first electronic toy was the "Love Tester," designed by future Game Boy mastermind Gunpei Yokoi in 1969. After squeezing the receptors, this device gauged just how compatible two would-be lovers were. 

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