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ONM Remembered – #163

“(trust the French)”


from N64 Magazine issue 8 (November 1997)

A series of amusing letters!
N64 Magazine was unique in that it didn’t just accept fan-made game ideas – it printed fan-made peripheral ideas! Sadly, they weren’t always balls-to-the-wall insane; yes, a handheld console with the power of the N64 in 1997 would be utter madness, especially if it were battery powered, but come on, buddy, get inventive! The tilt controller is amusing. Back in those days, gamers were thinking up all manner of amazing new ways of playing games – now we just want a way to play games that works!

One letter proposes an incredibly be-laboured way of milking more entertainment out of Super Mario 64; abusing penguins, holding sports contests, and using it in a remarkably convoluted manner to choose lottery numbers.
It is kind of amusing, and the sort of thing if I were still a dumb youngster with friends who all had more spare time than sense I’d be willing to try… but man, Super Mario 64 is neat and all, but when a game is done, it’s done, man. There’s only so much more you can squeeze out of it.
(though that never stopped me from endlessly replaying 100% save files of Mario and Banjo-Kazooie, doing naught but run aimlessly around the levels, accomplishing nothing. childhood, eh?)

France was caught in Donkey Kong fever in late 1997, thanks to the bizarre CGI cartoon that I’ve managed to successfully avoid for over fifteen years now. The one mentioned in the letter seems to be La plan├Ęte Donkey Kong, a show I’d only just learned about, which seems to be a variety show with sequences involving DK characters dancing in front of live-action footage. It’s rather odd.

Andrew Mills from the last letter speaks about visiting the N64 Magazine as work experience, and defends the hard-working men and women behind the scenes against the crass demands of the letter-writing public. It’s a very unique letter, and a well-appreciated one. There must be mountains of pressure working in a magazine office, and the fact N64 Magazine delivered quality material ever month, as well as complete stupidity just to lighten things up, is to be commended. Hats off!
I actually highlighted this letter because I was almost sure an earlier issue had a contest to visit the N64 offices, and I’m wondering if Andrew was the winner of that or not. I could be remembering complete nonsense, though. See, this is why I’ll never be an internet historian, if I say things like “I think I saw it, but I can’t be buggered to scan it again”.

One Comment

  1. Phantom Dusclops wrote:

    The Mario 64 bit reminds me of the last page of the SSBM manual, proposing weird “alternative ways of playing” like doing marathons around the Hyrule Temple or using the rock on the side of Kongo Jungle for a “King of the Hill” mode.

    Saturday, October 26, 2013 at 6:39 pm | Permalink