In May of 2014, right before NESMania started, I was speedrunning Super Castlevania IV very intensely for a whole month and I felt burnt out and wanted to take a break from speedrunning. During that period many ideas came to my head regarding what to stream, but most of them were not very meaningful to me since they involved casual playthroughs. At that point, I really hated casual playthroughs, because I like to play games with a goal in mind, like racing against a clock. Around that time, I was on a Skype call and had the following conversation with some Chilean speedrunning friends:
-Lepi: Why don't you do the A-Z that Big Jon does? (sarcastically)
-TMR: It looks nice, but I don't like the fact that you only play the games for only a few minutes.
-Lepi: Then beat all the games. (sarcastically)
-TMR: Well that can be something.
-Lepi: But you are crazy, I was just joking ...
After that unexpected conversation, I started to think very seriously about what he had said. Since I had previously beaten what were considered to be the 30 hardest NES games (according to electricfrankfurter.blogspot.com), I thought "It shouldn't be that hard, right?"
Without hesitation, I found myself thinking about a name for the project. The name was very easy for me to pick because when I was a kid, I used to love a TV series in Mexico called "Nintendomania". That was the big inspiration behind the name of NESMania.
Within the next few days, I did the big announcement in my Twitch stream of the project I was about to start. Almost immediately, a lot of people began offering to help me out with refining the details of the project, such as the stream layouts, official game lists, game length estimates, stats, etc.
NESMania officially began on May 28th, 2014 by playing Whomp 'Em live on my Twitch stream. During the next couple of weeks, there was a whole new gaming world for me to explore. I was simply impressed by how vast and rich the NES library is. I got to play many kinds of games that I've never seen before in my life and if that wasn't already scary enough, I was also trying to beat them without taking any hints or spoilers from my viewers watching live in chat, instead using only the information solely within the instruction manual.
Many games were beaten during the next two years and the viewers were very satisfied with the progress of the project, but around game #395 I had to make a very difficult decision. I had been told that I wasn't the only one trying to beat all the NES games. There was another person attempting the feat and he had beaten almost the same amount of games that I had at that time, but he was approaching the games differently than I was. He was looking up guides and speedruns prior to beating the games, which made the completion time much shorter in comparison. I thought that if I kept beating the games without using guides or help myself, I wasn't going to be the first person to ever beat the entire NES library.
With that in mind, I sadly had to start accepting hints and spoilers for some games. Many viewers were very upset with the decision, but that was the price for glory. It became not just a challenge to beat every NES game, but also a race to be first!
the last stretch
Almost three years had passed and what had started as an impossible quest had become an achievable reality. The list of unbeaten games had shrunk to only a few titles and the excitement for the last games had been growing. The closer I got to the end, the more nostalgia and responsibility I felt. I wanted to make sure this epic quest had a proper ending that could honor how big and how important it had been in my life.
The idea of NESMania has inspired many gamers and people around the world to begin similar completion projects of their own on Twitch, exposing people to many retro game catalogs that would have never been experienced otherwise.
My stream during NESMania has also been a place for people to bring back to life their childhood memories of playing and struggling with some of their beloved titles. It has created a community for fellow retro fans and people new to retro games to explore the NES library.
What started like a dream now has become a reality, I did it! I’ve beaten all 714 licensed NES games becoming the first gamer in the world to complete such a ambitious project. It’s a lifetime achievement that never will be taken away from me and I’m very proud of it.