NES Quotes: 1-5
NES Quotes: 6-10
NES Quotes: 11-15
NES Quotes: 16-20
NES Quotes: 21-25
NES Quotes: 26-30
NES Quotes: 31-35
NES Quotes: 36-40
NES Quotes: 41-45
NES Quotes: 46-50
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Hello! You found my shop of strange and wonderful things!
What it's from: Super Mario Bros. 3
The context: Each of the first seven worlds of Super Mario Bros. 3 has a particular level which can trigger the appearance of a White Toad House. In order to make the house appear, you must collect a certain number of coins in the target level. Both the target levels and the coin triggers are unspecified by the game, so you'll either have to figure them out on your own or look them up in a strategy guide.
Comments: Like a Delta stewardess smuggling cocaine out of Columbia, Super Mario 3 had an assload of secrets: hidden rooms, hidden warp whistles, pink jump blocks, secret coin ships, and of course, the secret White Toad Houses. Revealing the White Toad Houses was arguably the greatest challenge the game had to offer, as the targets were often quite high and required you to flawlessly grab coins after activating a coin switch and/or while moving through an autoscrolling level. If you succeeded in collecting enough coins, you'd either be in for a major reward or a major fucking disappointment. That's because the White Toad Houses in odd-numbered worlds hold P-Wings, one of the most coveted items in the game, while the ones in even-numbered worlds hold Anchors, the absolutely shittiest item in the game. Strange and wonderful? More like wonderful or useless.
The game doesn't start until you say YES.
What it's from: Rambo
The context: In the opening scene of the Rambo's first and only NES game, which steals its plot from Rambo's second movie, Colonel Trautman visits Rambo in prison and offers him a deal: if he can find the American POWs who are being held captive deep in the jungles of Vietnam, he will get his freedom. You, the gamer, then get to decide if Rambo will stay in jail or answer the call of duty. Well, sort of.
Comments: These days, games like Fable and Mass Effect provide you with so many different plot choices that it's possible to play through them several times and have completely different gaming experiences each time. But back in the days when games had to fit on dinky little cartridges that rarely held more than 512 KB of data, there wasn't enough room for even the most basic of choices. So instead, programmers gave us the ILLUSION of choice by having the game ask us the same binary question over and over until we pick the intended answer, a trick that has been used as recently as Super Paper Mario. And while Rambo may not have been the first game to employ this tactic, it is the only NES game where Richard Crenna's Chinese cousin keeps asking some guy with Down's syndrome the same question over and over until he agrees to go on a suicide mission in Southeast Asia.
NOW IT IS THE BEGINNING OF A FANTASTIC STORY! LET US MAKE A JOURNEY TO THE CAVE OF MONSTERS!
What it's from: Bubble Bobble
The context: This is the written introduction to the game.
Comments: The inclusion of Bubble Bobble on this list was kind of a difficult choice. After all, no hardcore Bubble Bobble fan would ever consider the NES version to be the quintessential version of the game and including it would potentially open me up to undue criticism for not including quotes from other arcade ports such as Donkey Kong and Bad Dudes. The difference, of course, is that those NES titles were fairly inconsequential whereas Bubble Bobble helped to define the console. Sure, the graphics aren't as good as the arcade version. True, the sound is inferior. And yes, there are power-ups and secret levels that have been removed. But Bubble Bobble offered one of the best co-op experiences on the NES, and for that reason alone its prologue deserves inclusion.
LOOSE WEIGHT AND RIDE THE ELEVATORS
What it's from: Milon's Secret Castle
The context: If you buy the feather from Barnaby on the third level, he tells you it will help you "loose weight and ride the elevators".
Comments: Incorrect usage of "loose" instead of "lose"? Check. Awkward sentence fragment? Check. A great thing to constantly say to your dumpy friend? SUPER CHECK.
A WINNER IS YOU!
What it's from: Pro Wrestling
The context: When you beat an opponent in Pro Wrestling, then a winner is you.
Comments: Nintendo had a whole line of completely shitty NES sports titles that were simply named after the activities they were based on: Volleyball, Soccer, Golf, Baseball, Tennis, Slalom, and of course, Pro Wrestling. Only one game, Ice Hockey, managed to buck this trend and succeed at being fun. And while no one will ever remember Pro Wrestling as a good game, the gaming community will never let the game's one great quote be forgotten. Eighty years from now when everyone who remembers the NES console, let alone Pro Wrestling, is dead, trolls on the Penny-IGN-Spot-Informer-Taku.com forums will still be screaming "A WINNER IS YOU" at each other in all caps. In all fairness though, they'll have to use caps; lowercase letters will be completely wiped out in the Great Internet Fire of 2068.