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    The Winner

    Congratulations to omega_apex128 you are the Winner of Ben Heck's N64 Portable!


    You are biggest Fanboy of Nintendo!

    The Winning Entry

    omega_apex128 writes:

    Nintendo has been part of my life since about 1993.  I may have only been 3-years-old at the time but I have the fondest memories of it growing up.  We lived in a tiny little apartment on the campus of Oklahoma State University.  We could hardly afford food let alone a game console, but my dad got one nonetheless.  We only had 3 games for it at the time but they were mind blowing.  Naturally, we had the Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt cartridge.  We also had Super Mario Bros. 3 and Top Gun.  My dad would blow my mind by playing through Super Mario Bros. and Top Gun to near flawless perfection.  I absolutely loved Super Mario Bros. 3 but at that age was never able to get very much further beyond the 2nd world of the desert.  I was also confused by Duck Hunt being included on the Super Mario Bros. cartridge and could not ever figure out why I couldn't get the game to work as we did not have a zapper at the time.


    Fast forward a few years to about 1995-1996.  By this point in time, my game collection had begun to grow.  I now had my original 3 games but also came into owning Super Mario Bros. 2, NES Play Action Football, Back to the Future, Dr. Mario, Yoshi's Cookie, Slalom, and The Legend of Zelda.  I played every game with a passion.  I became as good as I could for only being 5 or 6 years old.  Each game fascinated me with how different they were from one another...especially Zelda.  I was constantly immersed in the land of Hyrule and would find myself pretending to adventure looking for dungeons at the local playground.  It was about this time as well that myself and my family went to a flea market for the first time and I purchased my first game with my allowance, Paperboy.  I played and played and played and was quite proud of myself when I finally was able to make it to and complete that Sunday delivery.  When my great grandfather passed in May of 1995, we went to western PA to visit the family.  It was a sad time.  While at my cousin's house, I was introduced to the Super Nintendo.  My cousin controlled a sprite in a world full of amazing looking graphics, totally different from that which I owned...he was guiding Link through the dungeons of Hyrule Castle trying to get Princess Zelda to the Sanctuary in A Link to the Past.  I was mesmerized and the game really helped me get through a tough time.


    Christmas of 1996 came around and by this time I was well versed in the 16-bit era.  I was familiar with the popularity of games such as Donkey Kong Country and A Link to the Past for SNES as well as Sonic the Hedgehog for Genesis.  That year, I actually wanted to make the jump from Nintendo to Sega because of having the opportunity to play Sonic at a friend's house.  I wrote a letter to Santa that year asking for two things, Legos and a "Sega."  Christmas came and to my surprise, I received a Sega...but it was the Game Gear.  Constantly needing batteries and unable to get popular games such as Link's Awakening, Super Mario Land, and Pokemon I was officially turned off from any other company other than Nintendo.


    When my birthday came around in 1997, I opened a gift of A Link to the Past.  It excited me but I quickly realized I did not have the SNES.  A few presents later and there it was, bundled with Donkey Kong Country.  Not a day went by where I didn't play Zelda or Donkey Kong.  I would have friends over to the house and we would play my games and their games which included Mortal Kombat and Donkey Kong Country 2.  By this point, I had discovered video rental stores also rented games so I would constantly be looking for change in the car or under couch cushions so I could rent a game to play for the weekend.  My SNES collection grew and I ended up with games such as Paperboy 2, Home Alone, The Pagemaster, and Wheel of Fortune.  I loved the soundtracks in the games so much I actually used to go into the sound test (if the game had one) and hold up my Talkboy recorder from Home Alone 2 to the TV to record the music so I could have it on cassette.


    The year 2000 came around and by this time I had firmly established that Zelda was my favorite game out of all my games.  A new student came to the school that year and after stepping on and breaking my pencil box, we hit it off and became best friends.  He came over to my house and brought along with him the N64 as well as GoldenEye 007 and Ocarina of Time.  Making the jump to 3D was a mind blowing experience.  I was able to control Link in a fashion I never thought possible.  My friend let me borrow the strategy guide for the game and I immersed myself so much I actually read the guide from cover to cover well over 20 times in a many times that when I would eventually go on to own the game, I easily completed it with 100% completion.  When recess would come around, the two of us would run around the playground pretending to gallop around on Epona going on epic adventures.  At the same time, my cousin who had introduced me to A Link to the Past had gotten a Playstation and was playing games like Spyro and Crash Bandicoot.  When encouraged to give the games a try, I absolutely refused and proclaimed I would never touch anything that wasn't Nintendo because of my experience with the Game Gear.


    The years continued to go on.  In 2001, I made my first attempt to dress up as Link for Halloween.  In a most epic fail, I distinctly recall using a green rain poncho as the tunic and various pieces of armor out of a knight set that Link didn't even wear.  I even made a shield out of cardboard much too small to be the actual size I needed.  Nobody knew what I was going for and I constantly had to explain.  It was also by this time I had gotten my Game Boy Color and my first game for it, Q*Bert.  My Game Boy collection grew and I went on to own Wario Land, Austin Powers: Welcome to my Underground Lair, Driver, James Bond 007, Pokemon Yellow, and Taz Mania.  Additionally, my uncle got my the N64 along with Majora's Mask for Christmas that year.


    In 2002, I walked into our local mall and over to Electronics Boutique where they had put up a rather large display advertising the Wind Waker.  I took one look at the art and thought "this is not the Zelda I know."  I almost was not willing to give it a chance but I'm glad I did.  I got enough money that year for Christmas so I was able to purchase a console on my own for the first time...the console being the Gamecube.  I purchased it and the Wind Waker deciding to give it a chance.  I fell in love with the game but was very much confused as to why when I would save the game, it wouldn't seem to keep the save.  I was making the jump to my first disc based console and did not know I was supposed to get a memory card.  It was a whole month before I had saved enough money to finally get one and continue my quest.


    I got a subscription to Nintendo Power in 2003 and by doing so I was able to get the address to Nintendo of America.  I was so excited, I wrote a letter to them telling them of ideas I had for a Zelda game along with a few hand drawn maps.  A few weeks later, I received a response from them and they had thanked me for being such a huge fan.  It was in that letter that I was directed to the old Nintendo forums online.  I had never used anything like that before but when I began, I was delighted to find such a large community that shared in my love for not just Nintendo, but Zelda as well.  So much so that every summer, Nintendo would host a forum called "Camp Hyrule."  It was a virtual summer camp of sorts where we could play online games to earn points for our "cabins."


    In 2005, I was ready to get the Nintendo DS after reading about it over and over in Nintendo Power and Electronic Gaming Monthly.  I saved my lunch money for several months by taking my lunch to school with me so I could finally purchase the DS albeit used.  I loved it from the start and began growing that collection with Wario Ware: Touched, Sprung, Super Mario 64 DS, and Zelda: Minish Cap since it was backwards compatible.  By this point in time, I was living in Germany and I missed the Nintendo Live Forum.  Every weekday from 3 to 6 PM PST, the live forum would open and we could all essentially IM one another.  Because of the time difference, I was only ever able to join in on the conversations Friday nights and I would have to stay up until midnight to 3 AM just to participate...some nights to the point where I would continue to chat with other users by other means until the sun came up.  We would talk Zelda theories and strategies until we couldn't talk anymore.


    I graduated high school in 2007 and found myself receiving the Wii as a graduation present along with Twilight Princess.  I had already owned Twilight Princess on the Gamecube but the very thought of using motion controls to direct Link was what I had always envisioned.  It was at that point that I found I had owned every Nintendo console including portables there was to own at that point, so I started to tackle the various accessories.  Prices were far lower back in 2007 and I found myself earning paychecks just to spend every last cent on eBay auctions to get games and accessories.  I didn't actually break from owning anything other than a Nintendo console until 2009 when I finally got my Genesis and played a Playstation for the first time ever.


    Nintendo and The Legend of Zelda firmly remained in the forefront of my mind and as my passions grew, so did my collections.  I moved to WA in 2009 and remembering the address from the Nintendo Power letter, I drove to Redmond just to see the Nintendo of America HQ.  I was enthralled.  I started working on Link cosplay in 2012 and continue to do so to this day.  I attended the Zelda Symphony for the first time in 2013 dressed as Link and loved seeing all the other passionate fans.


    Now that we are up to the present day era, I will wrap up with a few experiences I've had.  I've attended the Zelda Symphony 3 times.  Last year, I visited New York City and got to go to the Nintendo World Store near Rockafeller Center and I got the chance to attend E3 as it opened to the public for the first time..  It actually brought me to tears of happiness.  I spent 3 hours waiting in a line to play only 10 minutes of Super Mario Odyssey, but it was all worth it.  I've spent the past 4 years running around trying to collect as many Amiibo as possible, to the point I own almost all of them.  I bought the Nintendo Switch on the day of launch (something I have never done for any console) and to the time of this writing own almost every game you can own for it both physical and digital.  My apartment is flooded with video games, Nintendo memorabilia, and Zelda collectibles.  The cornerstone of my entire collection is actually a TV manufactured by Sharp in the late 80s early 90s with an NES built into the excellent Goodwill find.  Now owning roughly 60 consoles and well over 1000 video games, Nintendo will always and forever hold a special place in my heart and I would not have it any other way.


    Meeting the voice of Mario

    Meeting the voice of Mario

    The Nintendo World Store

    An early version of my game room


    I love Nintendo to death and it will always be a major part of my life.

    The Highlights

    Here are some of the Highlights of Ben Heck's N64 Portable Competition.   This list does not do justice to all the great entries we received!

    bazzidazzle writes:


    My N64My nes and snesMy gameboy collection This is just a fraction of my collection that I have to plan and it's on display. I pretty much play each console daily especially my N64. 007 Goldeneye is problem my favourite game to play along with your classics Super Mario 64 and Star Wars Racer. I'm a big kid that will never grow up haha just brings back many memories of when I was a child. A portable N64 would be absolutely AMAZING to have and I would probably take it everywhere with me. I love being able to play my games while out somewhere boring and I would love to give the portable N64 a great new home.


    gingold writes:


    Hello Ben Heck! Heck, I've been a Nintendo fan since as long as I can remember (bad joke, intended)! Of course I'd jump at the second I'd hear, portable N64 giveaway! But now, you probably have a lot on your plate and the last thing you'd want to hear is some 14 year old ginger ramble on about how much they love Nintendo, that, or you welcome it. Either way, here is why I think the N64 should go to me:

    1. I have also considered this but have not tried it, check out my N64

    Now this is just it taken apart, well obviously you'd know that, but I do have plans for it in the future. Of course anything I'd do would never be as good as anything you and your team could do.


    2. I also love tinkering, one of my favorite hobbies, I've even tried powering a wii off of batteries;

    And here's the portables I've built, now please note, these are made with materials a 14 year old could acquire:

    This first one is your favorite, the Raspberry Pi 3B, put together with cardboard, electrical tape, and hot glue!

    This one, is my most recent one. It's not a Raspberry Pi, It's an Udoo x86 Advanced! This one has a Steam controller so I can high end game, on the go!

    Unfortunately the screen is busted, as you can see. But I'm getting my new screen in the mail sometime this week!


    3. Still don't think I'm a Nintendo fan, well why would I be wearing my Mario Jump-man hat, as I'm writing this?!

    Now, you may be saying to yourself, "Okay, okay, I get it, so you like tinkering, why should we just give this to you for that?!" Well, I love the N64, it's quite possibly the most revolutionary Nintendo console to this date! I've been playing N64 since I could hold a controller. Heck, my first Mario game was Super Mario 64! I know there are way better candidates than I to receive such a masterpiece of batteries, controllers, and the N64 put into one, but this is the best way I can convince you (If I do actually convince you) for the N64 Portable to go to me.


    Thanks for looking at this Heck Team, LoVe, Reilly Kauffman of Connecticut.


    ferryac writes:


    The Nintendo was my first console at the ripe age of 4 (thanks mom and dad) and lead to many great memories. My grandma was and is still a huge fan of Dr. Mario and Mario 3 which led to constant battles between us on who was allowed to play the Nintendo.


    In a rekindling of my enjoyment of the original Nintendo has led me to creating a full sized coffee table NES controller (full functioning) and of course made my Grandma test it out first :-D


    nes coffee table


    Additionally, now having kids of my own (4 year old twins) - i'm excited to start sharing with them the many joys that Nintendo offered growing up.


    Sadly I never got to owning an N64 but was always playing my cousins upon multiple visits. I hope to have a chance to win this amazing portable and create some new memories.


    sonic7600 writes:




    Really love your shows as in my youth I did learn electronics through school creating making basic electronic circuits such as LED disco lights etc.  I haven't done electronics from over 20 years, but I am looking to get back into electronics as I have a project to create a Linux PC using an empty XBox case but I want to be able to connect XBox Keyboard, Mice and Joysticks into the front panel and have the system detect them as USB Keyboard etc.  I also do not want the back of the console hacked up, as I have seen on certain website showing the XBOX PC Mod.  If possible I want to re-route the existing back connectors to the mainboard of the PC to give display, power etc.  The display would be in HDMI at 1080p


    Also I want the system to detect an original XBOX game and will automatically launch the system in XBOX Mode either through emulation or through hardware.


    It is great that you are giving away your Nintendo N64 Portable, my childhood was using an Atari 2600 that myself and my sister got for a joint Christmas present, but I had friends who had Nintendo NES/SNES so I remember playing Super Mario Bros, Mario Kart, Donkey Kong Country etc.  My first computer was the Amstrad CPC 464 with Colour Monitor.  Thou I never owned any Nintendo consoles, I would love the chance to win the Nintendo Portable.


    Thank you for your shows, they are very entertaining and have given me the desire to get back into electronics and create my own projects.


    Once again thank you.


    From your UK Fan


    tony_hillis writes:


    Hello, my name is Tony! I am 32 and from The great state of Michigan, and Nintendo and I go back quite a ways. 1985 was a very special year... both the Nintendo Entertainment System and myself saw our North American release! Lol


    Born to a working class family and growing up in the 80's and 90's I learned quickly which stores had playable displays of the NES! Trips with mom, or jumping on my bike after school, I would seek out these stores and disappear into the fantasy worlds that were now at my fingertips. I'll never forget the excitement of finding out one Thanksgiving, my older cousin Charlie had bought an NES, and I held the Nes Zapper for the first time! Hours of Duck hunt, Festers Quest, and of course Super Mario Bros 3 were played that day. Playing that Nintendo became our tradition each and every holiday that followed. I asked Santa for a Power Glove that year, even though I didnt own the system! It was truly a magic time.


    I always dreamed of having my own, but on visits to friends home's, my cousin's, and those store displays, I got my fix. As the NES eventually made way for the SNES my passion only grew with me, untill the day my whole world was rocked. The owner of a local game store, Robert "Nintendo Bob" Grant, played me a VHS tape introducing the world to the soon to be released Nintendo 64!!! I was blown away by the graphics, the music, and the 3D worlds waiting to be explored... I remember that day like it was yesterday. I mowed grass, weeded gardens, dug holes, and painted fences to finally own what I believe to be the most important and influential system ever produced. Nintendo once again set the bar, broke through the 2D wall, and defined a generation. The N64 was, is, and will always be my favorite system.

    The thing I love about Nintendo is that they are like family. They have a passion for their products and the consumer. Not only do they focus on outstanding quality with that golden Nintendo seal, they continue to innovate and imagine, inspiring gamers world wide, and continually push us forward to greatness.


    I have continued to support Nintendo through every home console, and new venture... yes, even the Wii U (a very underrated system)! As I type this now I have Breath of the Wild paused on the family Nintendo Switch.


    Nintendo has been with me my entire life, been shared with my loved ones, and will be the legacy I leave behind for my children and future generations. If selected for this giveaway it would truly be a dream come true. To carry and play the gaming system that shaped my adolescent and teenage years...  I cannot truly express with words the joy that would bring me and my family. Good luck with your selection and to anyone who has taken the time to read this, I wish you all a Merry Christmas/Happy Holiday.


    Nintendo's Biggest Fan,

    -Tony H



    dwinhold writes:


    For myself, Nintendo entered my life in 1988 when I bought the NES. My family went to the United States for a holiday and I specifically wanted to buy the NES (I was 19 years old). Keeping up with Nintendo I bought the Gameboy (The one in the photo) then the other consoles in order as they came out. I got away from gaming when I got married and didn't bother with it until I had my son and he got interested at age 4. We got the Wii first and that got him hooked. Suddenly Mario was the game and character he loved. Whenever we went shopping he looked for anything Mario or Nintendo, our collection and addiction grew. Over the years we have collected a lot of rare Nintendo pieces and are still looking. Nicholas (my son) has gotten heavily into retro gaming and is focusing his collection on original Nintendo cartridges, games and consoles. We both are Nintendo addicts always looking for that special item we need for our collection. The N64 Portable would be a great addition and will be well used by both of us.


    Below is a photo of part of our collection:


    mariojacob7red writes:


    This is an image of me dressed up as Mario standing next to all of my Nintendo products I own along with having Mario Party 7 on in the background.


    Hi. I'm Jacob. When I was 3, I got my first ever video game system, the Nintendo GameCube. I got Namco Museum 50th Anniversary and Mario Party 7 with it too. Ever since that day, I have been in love with Nintendo games and I've been practicing to talk like Mario too since then and a lot of my friends even say I sound a lot like him! I don't have tons of money but when I do get money, I try and buy more Nintendo systems. I currently have a GameCube which still looks brand new since I got it in 2002, an original Nintendo Wii, DS Lite, original 3DS, 2DS, and a GameBoy Color with PacMan. If you were to see what games I currently have for all my systems, about every single one of them have Mario in it.


    Just like anyone else, I want my systems to last forever and my GameCube still runs today and so does my Wii. My DS Lite needs a little top screen fix and hinge work but, it still works.


    Someday, I plan on owning as many Nintendo products as I can. I'm glad I was able to find some discontinued products at a place called Vintage Stock in Springfield, Missouri (I live in Branson). I was also able to find a Nintendo Wifi Adapter and got it to work, a LAN adapter, and the first Nintendo Zapper that was gray (I hope I'm not rambling on too much ).


    I've only ever played on a Nintendo 64 once in my lifetime and that is when I went to a friend's house about 3 to 4 years ago. I've never held a N64 controller before so it felt a little weird the way we had to hold it but we tried playing Mario Kart 64 which is extremely hard to drift in compared to Mario Kart Wii's drifting. It was still fun though to try it out. It would be very cool to someday own one and buy Mario Kart 64, Super Mario 64, and other Mario game that came out for the Nintendo 64.


    Even if I don't win this giveaway, I'm glad I got to talk about Nintendo to you guys. Nintendo has been and will always be special to me. Good luck to all of you guys who entered and "Thank you so much for-a reading my story! Bye bye!"


    In the comments below let us know what makes Nintendo special to you!


    The biggest fan of Nintendo Wins Ben Heck's Portable N64!



    Every generation of gaming consoles involve something related to Nintendo.   Even if you stopped playing games after the Atari 2600, you have Nintendo to thank for classics such as Donkey Kong and Mario Brothers.  During the video game crash between 1983 and 1985, many analysts at the time expressed doubts about long-term viability of video game consoles and software.  Revenues for video games peaked at around 3.2 billion in 1983 to $100 million by 1985, a drop of almost 97 percent.  When the North American video game console industry recovered a few years later, it was due to the widespread popularity of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).  You could argue that video game consoles as we know them would never have existed had Nintendo failed to single handedly bring the industry back to its feet and save many companies from going bankrupt in the process.





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    Gunpei Yokoi: The Engineer


    PlayStation, released a console after Nintendo pulled the plug on a collaboration with Sony on a CD version of the Super NES, and their console still uses a shape that's based on the Super Nintendo controller.  The dpad that you see on almost every modern game controller, that comes from Nintendo's Game & Watch Series. The analog sticks and rumble features, found on both PlayStation and Xbox controllers, they were introduced on the N64 controller.  Its not just the hardware, seemingly every console manufacturer has tried to reproduce what makes the Nintendo special to people.


    When Super Mario Brothers was a hit, Sega answered with Sonic the Hedgehog. When Microsoft needed to wrestle dominance away from Sony after the release of the Xbox, they took a page out of the Nintendo playbook with Halo.   Even the look and feel of the controller on the Xbox, with its triggers, feels like it was made for a first person shooter like Halo, just like the controller on the N64 felt right for a first-person shooter game like Goldeneye. Nintendo has been the sole link between every generation of game consoles since the NES.


    Nintendo has proven to have had more staying power than any console on the market.


    Not only that, consoles such as the N64, a portable version of which was the most requested Ben Heck build on the community, the NES and SNES, mini versions of which have flown off the shelves in recent years, prove that Nintendo is perhaps remembered more fondly than any gaming console in history. That's not to take away anything from the Atari 2600 (a favorite of Ben Heck), the Sega Genesis, and the Sega Dreamcast; all of which are remembered fondly by a passionate following event today; but Nintendo has a type of mainstream appeal that those other consoles can't touch.


    Is it because Nintendo leads while others follow?  Nintendo beat other consoles to the punch with a slew of beloved first-party game franchises such as Donkey Kong, Mario Brothers, Super Mario Brothers, Metroid, and Pokeman.   Sega answered with Sonic and Xbox with Halo; but would those games even exist without the influence of Nintendo.    Then there is the hardware, Nintendo not afraid to innovate, while features such as the dpad and analog stick find themselves copied on systems as Nintendo looks internally to change things up with every console down to the Switch.



    Nintendo bets on an Engineer Working a Dead End Job


    If you don't get what gaming consoles have to do with an online community for electronics engineers, then you don't have to look any further than Gunpei Yokoi, a maintenance man with a background in electrical engineering to find your answer. Although Gunpei Yokoi majored in electrical engineering from a famous university in Japan, the only company that offered him a job was Nintendo, a company that at the time hadn't developed any electronic toys nor did they have the capability to do so.



    There his job was to maintain electrical equipment in its playing cards factory, where he was only the second employee who had a college degree. Nintendo can be roughly translated from Japanese to mean "leave luck to heaven", was founded as a playing card company by Fusajiro Yamauchi on September 23, 1889. The reason Gunpei Yokoi was hired for an entry level role in company that hoped to groom him for a role that would be required because of any planned changes with Nintendo's business models.  It was a seemingly dead end job that was given to Gupei Yokoi because of law that took effect in 1965, the year he graduated, forced Nintendo to hire a qualified electrical engineer for their plant.



    The job he was given didn't require him to use any of his problem solving skills that he had honed in his training as an engineer, he had no regular duties outside of periodically checking equipment. Having plenty of time on his hands, he'd make his own toys using the factory's machine tools, even when he was on duty. Building things was something Gunpei liked to do as hobby since his childhood, but he couldn't see a path forward to do this in his chosen profession.



    One day, Hiroshi Yamauchi, the third president of Nintendo, caught him making one of these handmade toys, and summoned him to his office later that day. Gunpei expected to be reprimanded for not doing job, but to his surprise he was being ordered by the president of Nintendo to develop a commercial product. No one, not even the president himself thought Nintendo was ushering in a new era that would completely transform how Nintendo into a manufacturer of electronic consumer products.



    Immediately following this meeting, Yokoi, who had always dreamed of building his own product, spent months on the project, making improvements mechanical design and preparing it for mass production. When the project was completed, it was named the "Ultra Hand" by the president, which hit the market in 1966, was a commercial success, selling over a million units.  The success of the Ultra Hand" was enough to convince Yamauch to establish the company's first ever development division.

    Nintendo Enters Video Game Industry

    Nintendo Enters Video Game Industry


    After moving from assembly line to research and development, Gunpei Yokoi teamed up with Masayuki Uemura, Hired away from Sharp where he worked on solar cells, and the two teamed up to develop the Beam Gun, a plastic gun that shot a beamof light with solar cells as targets.  It would be the predecessor of the "zapper" included in the NES console in the mid 80s.


    In the mid 70s Nintendo moved into the growing video game market with Yamauchi creating three departments that competed against each other. Their first venture into the video game market involved securing the right to distribute the Magnavox Odyssey video game console in Japan in 1974.  In 1977, they began producing their own hardware in 1977, with the Color TV-Game home video game consoles.  Yokoi tasked a student product developer named Shigeru Miyamoto with designing the casing for several of the Color TV-Game Consoles.


    Shigeru Miyamoto was hired as an apprentice in the planning department by Hiroshi Yamauchi in 1977, following an interview arranged by mutual friend of his father's. He helped the company develop the game Radar Scope in 1980.  It achieved moderate success in Japan, but by 1981 it had failed to break into the North American Market. To keep the company afloat, Yamauchi decided to convert unsold Radar Scope units into a new Arcade Unit. Gunpei Yokoi supervised the project, and Shiguru Miyamoto was tasked with doing the conversion because as he put it "no one else was available" to do the work.


    Miyomoto originally conceived a Popeye story that revolved around the rivalry between Bluto and Popeye for the affection of Olive Oyl. However, Nintendo couldn't secure the rights to a Popeye adaptation.  He'd eventually settle on a different love triangle, this time between a gorilla, a carpenter, and a girl; calling the game Donkey Kong while citing "Beauty and the Beast" and "King Kong" as influences.  Donkey Kong was the first time that a video game's storyline proceeded the actual development of a video game. The playable character, originally "Jumpman" the Carpenter, but would later be renamed Mario, after Mario Segale, the warehouse landlord.


    Donkey Kong was a success and spawned the sequels Donkey Kong Jr. and Donkey Kong 3. Miyomoto's next game Mario Bros, formally renamed Jumpman to Mario, gave him a brother named Luigi, and turned him from a carpenter to a plumber to better suit his appearance. When the NES was released, Miyamoto contributed the second game on the system, Super Mario Brothers, and the third entry in the Zelda Series, Zelda: A Link to the Past on the Super NES, dropping the side scrolling elements found on its predecessors and adding elements that are now commonplace in games today.

    Shigeru Miyamoto and the N64

    The N64 Produced Some of Nintendo's Most Iconic Games



    When the Nintendo 64 was released, Shigeru Miyamoto was responsible for several games on it, including the first game on the system, Super Mario 64. He guided the design of the Nintendo 64 controller in tandem with the development of Super Mario 64.  Using the lessons he learned from developing Super Mario 64 and Star Fox 64, he produced one of the most iconic games found on the system, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. He also produced an N64 Zelda sequel, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, reusing the game engine and graphics from Ocarina of Time, as well as contributed a variety of Mario spin-offs such as Mario Kart 64 and Mario Party.




    Ben Heck Portable N64

    As for Gumpei Yokoi, in 1979, he conceived the idea of a handheld video game while observing a fellow bullet train commuter passing the time interacting idly with a portable LCD calculator.  This gave birth to the Game & Watch series which he launched for Nintendo in 1980. The modern "cross" D-pad design was developed in 1982 for a Donkey Kong version of Game & Watch. In 1988 Gumpei Yokoi and his team at Nintendo R&DI conceived the Game Boy hand held system. The Game Boy became one of Nintendo's best-selling products, selling over 118 million units worldwide.



    Ben Heck Portable N64

    However, while most people fondly look back on the NES released in 1983, the Game Boy released in 1989, The Super NES released in 1990, and the N64 in 1997; its a system rarely mentioned by Nintendo and all but forgotten by most that would lead to Gumpei Yokoi's fall from grace with Nintendo. Designed by Gunpei Yokoi, and released by Nintendo in 1995 Nintendo, the Virtual Boy consisted of a head-mounted semi-portable system with one red-colored screen for each of the user's eyes. It's the first portable console capable of displaying true 3D graphics.


    Exactly 14 games were released for Virtual Boy in North America, with only a few being met with positive reception.  Critics complained about how the lack of quality of the games and the red-colored graphics combined to create gameplay-induced headaches.  It sold poorly and was discontinued quietly. Yokoi retired from Nintendo following the systems failure and was tragically killed in a car accident the same year the N64 was released.



    Share your Nintendo story in the comments below. Feel free to talk about anything related to Nintendo and share your memories with the rest of the community. You can talk about a high score, a level or game that was difficult to beat, or games you enjoy playing to this day.  We want to know what makes Nintendo special to you.


    Bonus points if your retro gaming experience includes a Nintendo64.



    Step 1:  Log in or register on element14, it's easy and free.

    Step 2: Post in the comments section below and tells us what makes Nintendo Special. Videos, pictures and text are all welcomed forms of submission.

    Step 3:  Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!  We will accept entries until 3:00pm CDT January 28, 2018 and announce our winner February 7th, 2018. If you need something to do between now and then make sure to check out what is happening This week on element14 Community, or watch more Ben at