NESMania is TMR's quest to beat all 714 games officially licensed by Nintendo for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) console on Twitch.tv/themexicanrunner in front of a live internet audience. It began on May 28th, 2014 and ended on February 26th, 2017, totaling 3435 hours of gameplay.
There are 679 NTSC-US released games and 35 PAL exclusive games, totaling 714 games. When the project started, I referenced the Wikipedia list of licensed NES games and it had 708 games, but the viewers of my project uncovered some missing games over the course of the project. The total eventually ended up at 714.
When I started NESMania, when I said I was going to beat all the "games", in my head that meant all the "carts". In a few cases, games were rereleased in the same region with different names and were separately licensed by Nintendo (Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!/Punch-Out!! and Stadium Events/World Class Track Meet). The multi-carts (where multiple previously released games were repacked and sold as single cart) were also licensed separately by Nintendo. All those carts had their own license from Nintendo and therefore to me were "licensed games" that should be beaten in NESMania.
NESMania is a project to beat all the licensed NTSC and PAL exclusive games. There are many unlicensed games that were released for the NES, but they were not included in this project. This includes many of the games published by Tengen, Wisdom Tree, Camerica, etc. There were also many PAL games that were actually just NTSC games released under a different name, but were otherwise nearly identical to the NTSC release (Contra/Probotector). To keep the project scope well-defined, only the truly unique PAL exclusive games were included.
Almost! You can view my collection here. I am only missing 9 carts. Can you help me complete it?
For the first part of NESMania, I played on an emulator (FCEUX), because it gave me the best video quality for my stream. Eventually, I upgraded to an RGB-modded console, which could give me the same quality as the emulator. From that point on, I played on console only, except for a few cases where I did not own the cart and it was incompatible with the EverDrive. In either case, I did not use any features that would give me an advantage over using the original cart and original console. I also used all the original accessories, like the Zapper, Power Pad, ROB the Robot, and the Vaus controller (Arkanoid).
I conducted raffles after each game was beaten with the active viewers/chatters in my Twitch stream. The winner of each raffle was able to choose the next game to play, which decided the order. The first game was also selected by a viewer raffle.
A viewer was only allowed to win one normal raffle during NESMania. Since there are 117 sports games on the NES, I established a rule that every 5-7 games would be a sports raffle, where only a sports game could be picked. This was to prevent the end of NESMania being only sports games, so I noticed no one liked to pick them otherwise. Since the sports games were less popular, I changed the rules to allow viewers to also win one sports raffle in addition to the normal raffles. Also to help space out the RPG games, which weren't especially enjoyable for the viewers, I created an "RPG rule" that didn't allow an RPG to be picked more than once every five games.
A wise chatter told me when I started the project "you should reserve a good game for the finale, otherwise you'll have an awful game." I listened to him and I picked Super Mario Bros. 3 because it is one of the best games on the NES; I would've prefered to pick Battletoads (my favorite NES game), but it was already beaten.
No! No matter how long or difficult the game in NESMania, I did not move on from a game until it had been beaten. There were a couple of games that I could not play at the time they were picked, because I needed a required NES accessory, but those were completed as soon as I had the necessary equipment.
Some games have obvious endings, like reaching the end credits after beating the final boss. If there are credits at the end of a game, that is often the goal. Other games do not have an obvious ending, like the arcade ports which seem to go on forever and focus more on high scores. For those games, the game is usually considered beaten when the game loops or when it stops becoming progressively more difficult. Various sources, including AdamL's GameFAQ for NES endings, the advice of experts of that particular game, or even checking the game code in emulators have been used. Once a viewer even contacted a game developer (Elite) and he offered his input what a winning condition could be otherwise it wasn't entirely clear!
As a speedrunner, the most common term for beating a game is called "any%", which is reaching the ending of a game as fast as possible, so that was usually the criteria I would use when deciding the goal in cases of multiple endings or difficulty selections. However, there were many games where that condition was not very satisfying and didn't feel like beating the game, so I went beyond the normal any% condition either for fun, to get the best ending, or to challenge myself.
I used hints and spoilers only when absolutely necessary. There are some games that, in order to shorten the learning process of the brutal NES trial and error, I used save state practice, but when it came to the actual playthrough to beat the game, save states were not allowed or used. (For more info about why I used hints/spoilers more often later in NESMania, check out "The Drama".)
In no particular order, the hardest games for me to beat were:
You can view my game ratings (along with lots of other information) in the games section.
Almost certainly. I am definitely the first person to have documented it!
Unfortunately, I have no plans on doing any other game system challenges. Three main reasons:
There are several short videos and clips on my Twitch and YouTube channels, but there are some games that unexpectedly turned out to be a very fun to watch like: