16-bit Nostalgia

As a favor to a friend, I scoured the web for a Dr. Mario NES ROM. I found what I was looking for, but not before I stumbled onto this site: www.consoleclassix.com

I am old school. It is not retro because it never died on me. The best games were programmed on the Sega Genesis and the SNES. These software engineers were creative with their usage of the system’s capabilities and evidently loved their job. Who wouldnt, when you get paid to play? So I paid the memory lanes a visit. I dabbled in game after game. It’s not the same, clattering away at my keyboard. I’d settle for a USB controller. But what’s the point? Life is a three-year old who wants to romp through the park. Who am I to say no to my real live boy to appease my inner child?

Browsing the site, I stumbled onto this. I was surprised to find something like this on a NES instruction booklet; I spent half my childhood with this console, and these fucking instruction booklets were one bad plot after another. I’ve never heard of this game, which looks crappy and ultimately unplayable, but it sure packs a good story. Long live Mabu!

In the murky bars and filthy back alleys that the scum of society call home, a chant is whispered in dread from lip to lip: “Mabu is coming! Mabu arises to conquer the world!”


The old bag lady, pushing her meager worldly belongings in a broken-down cart, cannot help hearing these strange words again and again. Her bent frame straightens imperceptibly and her heartbeat pounds in her ears. She must find out more!

In the next few weeks, from the ravings of drunkards and slurrings of the down-trodden, she manages to piece together a picture beyond belief. Mabu is the leader of the mysterious Evil Society, whose charter is nothing short of world domination. Mabu himself is quite inhuman, an alien with supernatural powers. And his plans for the conquest of Earth are soon to be set in motion. Though the rest of her information seems jumbled, one piece proved invaluably concrete: The location of the entrance to the conspirators’ underground lair. With surprisingly youthful fingers, she reaches into her trash and pulls out a piece of hardware which no bag lady should own: a miniaturized radio transponder.

Speaking into the mouthpiece, she begins, “Agent Leila to Rolling Thunder…” As she continues with her report, her training fails her. She does not see the shadowy figures that silently approach her. Nor does she feel the blow that crashes her world into darkness…

Rolling Thunder: The name of the powerful international secret police organization.


You: Its best agent.


Your mission: Infiltrate the underground headquarters of the Evil Society, save agent Leila and smash the deadly plot to conquer the world by defeating Mabu, the alien leader.
–from the NES Rolling Thunder instruction manual

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