And audiences definitely connected with the game, “Super Mario Bros.” has sold over 40 million copies since its release. Now, while the Super Mario Bros. were hopping around the Mushroom Kingdom, “The Legend of Zelda” opened the world of Hyrule to players. The game had varied environments, like forests, deserts and dungeons, that unfolded in every direction. Now, while Mario constantly moved from left to right in his race to save the princess from the evil beast, Bowser, players could move Link in any direction on his quest to save Princess Zelda from the evil beast Ganon. Nintendo had a thing for saving princesses from evil beasts. This sense of exploring a giant video game world was also new to players. In The Legend of Zelda the aduience was in charge of the pace of play. They could go where they wanted and take as much time as they wanted in the land of Hyrule.
In Metroid, Samus explored the open-ended planet of Zebes, with an entire ecosystem of Metroids and other aliens to fight. This complex game had multiple endings, and areas that were only accessible after players found certain power-ups. And speaking of Metroid, we’re gonna play a little bit right now. So, watch out, Mother Brain! It’s time to level up! Ooooh! Listen to that eerie music! Whooo! That was what was interesting about Metroid: Unlike some of the other NES games, Metroid had this dark, eerie feel and the music played a large part in that. All right, I’m gonna jump right into this. But which way do I go?! [CHUCKLES] So you could go left, you could go right, up, down… Because they were open-world, you had these giant maps as part of the game. And that’s why Nintendo Power was such a big deal, because you could get secret information from Nintendo Power, that you couldn’t find anywhere else, on how to play some of these games. Aaah! [Laughter] Back off, man, back off! No! [Laughter] Now I’m just casually playing through the game but what’s interesting about games like “Metroid” is that people have played them so many times and know the maps so well that they’ve actually started doing “Speed Runs”, where they’ll just try to get through it as fast as possible.
And the reason why you even had speed runners, or just people being able to find every single secret in the game, is because you had this nice home experience of playing these games. And another reason that “Metroid” had replayability was because it had five different endings. And what was very fascinating about some of those endings was that it revealed something that we all know now but didn’t know back then: That Samus is female! She gets to join the ranks with Ms. Pac-Man. So, that’s Metroid. I guess Mother Brain is gonna live another day ’cause we’re gonna move on but it’s definitely fun to revisit this game. Metroid, Super Mario Bros., Duck Hunt, Kid Icarus, The Legend of Zelda… Nintendo brought gaming back with excitement. And Excite Bike! And a level of commitment to quality that brought the video game industry back from the brink. Nintendo’s games showcased improvements in underlining game technology but they also reflected a maturing industry. With these new tools, game designers created immersive worlds and empowered players as never before.
To borrow Nintendo’s trademark advertising slogan: “Now you’re playing with power!” But Nintendo won’t be alone in the video game race for long, thanks to another company with a little blue hedgehog. We’ll see you next time! Crash Course Games is filmed in the Chad and Stacey Emigholz Studio in Indianapolis, Indiana, and it’s made with the help of all these nice people. If you’d like to keep Crash Course free for everyone forever, you can support the series at Patreon, a crowdfunding platform that allows you to support the content you love. Speaking of Patreon, we’d like to thank all our Patreons in general, and we’d like to specifically thank our High Chancellor of Knowledge, Morgan Lizop, and our Vice Principal, Michael Hunt. Thank you for your support!