Last week, Nintendo announced that they would be reissuing their flagship 1985 NES system as the NES Classic Edition. Given that it was everywhere for a good decade (it wasn’t discontinued until 1995, and was in 30% of U.S. households by 1990), several generation of gamers grew up on the console.  We asked some bands and musicians what their favorite game for the system was, and we received an outpouring of responses from nostalgic gamers that spent as much time with the console as they did with their instruments. After we published the story, we got a few longer responses from members of The Absence and Black Crown Initiate, so here are their choices:


super-mario-bros-e-european-coverSo many thoughts and emotions come to mind while contemplating this question. I mean, at the time, within my tiny circle of friends, collectively we had a seemingly endless supply of games; between interacting with each other on a daily basis, to our dealings with various acquaintances via lunch time trades & bus stop transactions, there was a boundless circulation of those little, grey squares that contained so much joy (and sometimes, pure fucking rage!) passing from hand to grubby little hand.

I could go on and on with any number of games that stayed the course for me: Double Dragon 1&2, Wizards & Warriors, Mike Tyson’s Punch Out, the ever-infuriating Tetris, etc, etc…. but right here, in this moment, I’m going to have to go back to the very beginning; back to a game that, to this very day, I can still play with child-like enthusiasm; yes indeed, I am talking about the flagship game for the Nintendo Entertainment System: Super Mario Bros!

It seems as if hundreds, if not thousands, of hours were spent searching for various mushrooms, fireballs (that looked like bloody boogers that were being shot out of Mario & Luigi’s noses), hidden warp pipes, and a princess that was always in “another castle.” It might seem remedial, even for back then, but I couldn’t disagree more. Between squashing killer mushroom Goombas & hurtling Koopa Troopa shells back and forth; dodging Piranha Plants, giant grim faced Bullet Bills, Hammer Brothers, & flying fishy Cheep Cheeps; dealing with a never-ending supply of pit falls, lava pits, flying fireballs, hidden coin rooms, wonky spring boards, platforms to land on with near impossible gaps to jump, onto the final showdown with the dreaded Bowser: King of the Koopas. There is enough going on in here to keep you busy for the better part of, oh I don’t know, thirty years or so, hahaha (and let’s not even get started on all of the cool glitches in the game’s system and the fact that you can obtain up to three hundred lives at two different points in the game!)
To this day, I still cherish the game and I have many a fond memory (and a few indignant words hurled at a couple ‘game over’ screens, along with a controller or two) of playing with my buddies in-between daytime BMX adventures & secret night time viewings of Faces of Death! I will always remember it as time well-spent with good friends and I look forward to playing it for many, many more years to come!!
– Jamie Stewart, The Absence, Disevered

metroid-nes-cover-front-41960This is cool because Nintendo has always been my favorite game system. Out of the games on the classic Nintendo I would have to say my favorite is Super Mario Bros. 3.  I have loved platformers since I started playing video games as a kid. Mario Bros. 3 was fun enough to enjoy as a kid, but as I grew up you get better at it and find all the little boxes and secret areas. It is just a fun game with it of character and endless ways to play.

Another one of my favorite games is the original Metroid. The expanse and isolation that you feel as a lone bounty hunter on an estranged planet is incredible. The non-linear feel of the game just adds to the feeling of adventure. There are tons of upgrades and secret areas within the planet Zebes and finding them all is really challenging. The game itself is one of the most difficult I’ve ever played. For that reason, it can be frustrating and unenjoyable. Its far from my favorite Metroid game, but it undeniably set a standard.

– Jesse Beahler, Black Crown Initiate