[RetroPicks] Straight from the basement: my original NES!

NES made me happy a lot of times: the first one was when I fist got it as a Christmas present in 1991, the second one, the third one, the fourth one and the trillionth one were all the times I turned it on and, watching that small red light, I started playing.

NES made me happy for the last time last week.

I thought it was lost forever. After the holidays I thought it could have been a good idea to go to my parents house and check in their basement if I could find my old loved NES I didn’t used in the past 15 years. I checked everywhere, really in every single corner: nothing to do. My NES wasn’t there.

I came back home a bit sad thinking abaout all the hours spent on it, all the times I played Super Mario and everytime I went to bed keeping it on just to avoid to lose data and keep playing the day after from the same point I was the night before.

And so I started to look online to find another one. I knew It wouldn’t have been the same, but it could have been a NES anyway.

Then a couple of days ago I was in MY basement looking for something else and…SURPRISE!

My NES was there along with part of my games, the original controllers…and the ZAPPER!

You couldn’t imagine my happiness seeing it! I ran quickly upstairs I threw my girlfriend off the sofa (this is a poetic license, I haven’t done it really, she saw my eyes full of joy and she understood I needed the TV and the sofa), I hooked up my precious treasure on the TV and I put on the first cartridge I’ve ever owned, Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt.

Then I was like Kevin Bacon in Apollo 13 when he had to turn the LEM on after days and days of shut down and everything was covered with condense: I pressed the power button…and it was still working!

I figured out that I put my NES in a bag when I left my parents home to go to the university more than 10 years ago and it remained there everytime I had to change home during those days until my last relocation but I completely forgot to have it.

So I’m proud to show you my man in a picture I like to call “the family portrait”


Even if it was in the basement with a lot of humidity, damn cold in winter and fu**ing hot in summer it still works perfectly, has no sctratches and no yellowings. Even the pins inside were perfect, despite all the times I blew in the cartridges and inside the console. Not bad for a 25 years old boy…

Unfortunately I do not have the original box anymore (and as I remember I’ve never seen it…) but all the cables, the controllers and the zapper are original and in perfect conditions.



Ok, almost perfect. If you see some signs on the controller it’s because it’s bit…bitten. Yes even when I was a child I went mad sometimes and I bit (a bit) the 8-bit controller (stupid wordplay, I know). Sincerly I didn’t remember the controller was so tiny; when I was young it looked like a normal one but now I’m adult I realize it’s perfect for child’s hands but not for a grown man ones. If you compare it with the PlayStation one for example, it’s way smaller. Maybe it was intentional, since NES was primarily a console for young boys without violent games while PlayStation featured a lot of “adult” games. I have to check this out…


Even the Zapper looks great. The only problem, and this is a common problem, is that it doesn’t works with modern TV. Fortunately I still have in my bedroom an old CRT TV, my little alien, 26 years old (and still works great without any problem). This is an historical piece too.


Along with NES I found also three cartridges: the one which came with the NES itself, Super Mario Bros. together with Duck Hunt of which I already wrote a review in the past.


Then there was my loved one, Super Mario Bros. 3 that is still working even though if you shake it you can hear a maracas-like sound. For sure there’s something broken inside.


Finally there was Jackie Chan’s Action Kung-Fu; I talked a lot about it, I wrote the review and a playthrough in six parts (you can find them here).


Sincerely I don’t know where’s my copy of Dr. Mario but I think I borrowed to a friend like 15 years ago and she never returned it. We used to share our games and I played a lot with her copies of Nintendo World Cup, Tetris and Tiny Toons. The only thing I have related to it is the manual


Look, the’re now happy again together


This discovery boosted my desire to improve my collection so I hope I could write here again about some good deal for games and consoles.

Talk to you soon!

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21 Comments Add yours

  1. itsonlyleggy says:

    I’m so happy you found it, and it still works! A great story. You have the Mattel version, just like me! Those seem to be getting rarer these days. (The “NES Version” has a slightly different finish to it and doesn’t look as nice!)

    Will you keep it hooked up now? Will you start collecting games again?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. benez256 says:

      Yes sure! Now that I found it it’s time to start collecting games! For sure I will keep it hooked up (I replaced PS2 with NES). Sincerely I didn’t know Mattel version were quite rare, I thought it was common. Now I will start to check.online shops for the games, if you have some suggestion you’re very welcome!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. hungrygoriya says:

    Yay! I couldn’t click on this fast enough to read your story about finding this! I’m so happy for you! I know how sad you were feeling and how frustrating it can be trying to find something to replace what you’ve lost (especially a childhood thing)! Everything looks like it’s in wonderful condition, too. This was a lovely surprise this morning. I hope you will enjoy playing your lovelies again!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. benez256 says:

      Yes, it was amazing! I already played with it a couple of days ago for a whole day! 😀 Playing SMB on a 40″ TV it’s a strange experience, since the graphics tend to be a bit blurry. To see correctly I had to stand like in the corridor outside the living room! 🙂 🙂 🙂 I didn’t remember I left my NES in such good conditions and I’m really happy about it! Except for the bites on the controller obviously… 😉

      Liked by 2 people

      1. hungrygoriya says:

        The bites give it character, I’m sure! :)!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. benez256 says:

        Yes, they give them a vintage touch…

        Liked by 2 people

  3. So happy your found it! The NES was a tough system. I think they made them a bit sturdier back then. Even though ours DID break a few times and needed to be replaced, though at least one of those times was due to water damage. I remember the corners of the controller being much less sharp when I was younger, and definitely much smaller so I agree with your sentiment sir!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. benez256 says:

      Whoa, so I’m not the only one who thinks the controller is very small!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Nope! Small and sharp, like kitten teeth 😀

        Liked by 2 people

  4. retr0pia75 says:

    Congratulations on your rediscovery, bud!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mr. Panda says:

    Awesome! It must be such a joy to hold an original NES controller in your hand and play such great classic games! I owned an NES but never had a Zapper, so I bet that was really fun too! Very happy for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. benez256 says:

      Yes no emulator can let you live the emotion to hold a real NES controller and play such historical games. Ant the cool thing is that the Zapper still worked great! Now I’m looking to find the grey version of it, even though for me the real Zapper will always be the orange one…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. One of my biggest regrets is not hanging onto every piece of retro hardware I ever had – someday, when I have the budget, I’m going to have to track down the ones I traded away and rebuild the collection!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. benez256 says:

      I hope you can do it!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I laughed out loud at the part where you said you bit your controller… pretty sure I did that as a kid too and my mom was not happy with me LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. benez256 says:

      You can still use my controller to take my dental record 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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