Given the craziness and violence this world, and given my recent blog posts… This is more like subversive joy in the midst of the mundane than anything else. And I think there is more to this post than meets the eye… Perhaps…

Battletoads has no ending. I don’t care what you say.

I know YouTube will show otherwise.

I don’t care. I don’t care if it has an ending.

Battletoads has no ending.

The Snake levels. The Racing levels.

Some games were manifestations of Clubber Lang and as I stuck the cartridge in and hit “power” I could hear the game say to me…

I pity the fool who doesn’t understand…

If you grew up in the 8-bit era, you grew up with games that were sadistically hard.

I wonder what the coders were teaching my 10-year-old self about life.

1) you will lose

2) you will lose repeatedly

3) even if you get further than most you will still lose

4) find a cheat code, warp zone, or glitch and exploit the system…

5) life is hard, challenging, and sometimes there are no passwords or battery saves…

6) you are Vegeta and no matter what, the game is Kakkarot (Goku). Even if you beat it, you know you were lucky and it will own you again.

7) Mega Man 1 on NES without the Elecman pause glitch is impossible. And even with that glitch, without straight memorization, extreme hand-eye coordination, and blades–I mean–nerves of steel, you won’t get past the block puzzles or moving platform challenges. (Quick side note. That game has no password or battery save and one time my bro, Malcolm and I, paused the game for over 5 hours while we ran errands because we finally made it to the last board.)

8) life is Hard, Mean and Clever like Mega Man 3. Luckily the second player could manipulate things using the 2P controller to help Mega Man navigate the spike and enemy-filled technoscape. Yes, Capcom; in life, two is always better than one–unless you are playing with a slack jackleg novice who keeps leaving you in Contra. O Konami, you trickster!!! (BTW I still think Mega Man 3 is near impossible without that cheat… Though I beat it a few times…)

9) if you’re ever in trouble, call on Tecmo Bowl’s Bo Jackson. Samus’ Screw Attack might be the ultimate video game move. But Bo Jackson is the greatest and most powerful 8-Bit character ever. Don’t believe me? You don’t know Bo.

10) my love for impossible games should have told me a lot about my life choices. In the words of Snipes’ Blade, “Some mutha—– always wanna ice-skate uphill….”



Hard like Ghosts’n’Goblins. Like Ghouls’n’Ghosts. Nightmarishly hard. Like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Dam(n) Level. Hard as LL rockin’ the bells. Hard as hell. Battletoads Hard. Insane, inane, and a GOTdern shame hard.

Adamantium Hard. Berserker-Rage-Inducing Hard.

Hard like Ninja Gaidens 1, 2, & 3. Not only did each game have insane boss fights. All three games had the “jump from hell.” This is the jump where you must land on a miniscule pillar while a enemy materializes out of thin air and your slash must be perfect or you get knocked back and die. And when you die–and you will surely die--you will hear…

 Again. And again. And again. Ad infinitum. MIDI was never so cruel.

If I were a Saiyan, I wouldn’t have needed a fierce battle or ki blast competition to awaken my hidden Power…

Nope. I don’t need Dr. Wheelo. The simultaneous rage, frustration, and joy of playing Castlevania 3 was all I needed. At least the soundtrack was baller.

And then there was good ol’ Star Wars on the NES. This game stole hours of my life, bludgeoning me mercilessly and pimping my love of Star Wars for an impossible, subpar game. The level design was hot boo-boo, and the stage where you’re trying escape to the Millenium Falcon… Just plain mean. I  ain’t gone lie. I cussed and threw my MAX controller fitty ‘leven times because of this stage. I cried. A tear fell from my cheek and I shook my fists cursed the hell of 8-Bit Gaming.

And I kept coming back for more.

I entered the 36 chambers of Death, kid… as a kid. Shoot. Method Man shoulda used these games on the Wu’s “Torture” interlude.

If you played games from that era, you know what I mean. So what say y’all? What games had you wanting to break a controller into 8 bits and go Super Saiyan?

© 2016 M. J. Sales

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