Many games nowadays are usually easy enough to be finished by relatively competent gamers, but if your having trouble finishing certain classic games, then I'm here to help. Many games made back in the 80's and 90's were programmed with built in cheat codes and exploits to make your endeavor a bit easier (or harder if you're masochistic) and I'm going to tell you what they are, what they do and how you go about performing them. For this article, let's start small and just do Nintendo games.
Super Mario Bros.
There is a way to easily rack up lives in just about every 2D Mario that contains Koopa Troopas. All you have to do is find a staircase that has Koopas walking on them and jump on one when it is on the edge of a step, then jump onto its shell from the step below. If you did it correctly, you will jump on the shell repeatedly and start to accumulate extra lives. Don't go overboard though, going over a certain number will result in a game over when the timer runs out.
There is also a way to continue after a Game Over. At the Game Over screen, hold A and when the Title screen reappears, press Start. Do not release the A button during any of this or it won't work.
The Legend of Zelda
There is a way to start the game's Second Quest right off the bat. All you have to do is enter ZELDA as your file name. If done correctly you should see that Link is now holding the Magic Sword. Word to the wise, the Second Quest is not easy, so be prepared for the worst.
In Zelda 2: The Adventures of Link, it is actually possible to pass through a locked door without a key. If you recall playing the game, one of the magic spells you can get turns Link into a fairy. While in fairy form, you can actually fly through the keyhole of a locked door, but while this is helpful, using the Fairy spell drains a lot of magic power that could be put to better use, like healing, shielding or to activate the High Jump.
In The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, there is a hidden chamber under the castle that contains a large sum of rupees, but you cannot access it by normal means. What you need to do is start at the Sanctuary and use the Pegasus Boots to get to the bush that covers the hole that you entered near the castle at the start of the game as quickly as humanly possible. If you were fast enough to get there, you will enter a cave by falling in from the ceiling. A stone tablet in the back of the room will tell you that the room belongs to Chris Houlihan and asks you to keep it a secret. I guess the cat's out of the bag!
Donkey Kong Country
Quite a few cheat codes were programmed into the game to give you a much easier time with completing the game or just for fun. Most of the codes are entered on the file select screen when "Erase Game" is highlighted. They are as follows:
- Down, A, R, B, Y, Down, A, Y (activates sound test, press Select to cycle though them)
- B, A, R, R, A, L (start the selected file with 50 lives)
- B, A, Down, B, Up, Down, Down, Y (allows you to hijack control in a 2-player co-op game)
There are also a code that can only be entered on the opening cutscene. Press Down, Y, Down, Down, Y while Cranky Kong is on the screen cranking his victrola and you will access a room that lets you practice the animal helper bonus games.
A couple stages also have secret shortcuts that let you bypass most, if not the entirety of the level. In the first minecart stage, if you can manage to jump over the barrel cannon and land in the pit close to the cliff wall, you will be launched out of a hidden cannon and transported to the end of the stage. There is also a shortcut in Stop and Go Station. Just head left through the entrance to be warped to the end.
Well, that's it for now. If I find more tips or codes, I'll be sure to let you all know as soon as I can. But until then, I'll be seeing you.