Helping those less pro become more so.

Pro tip: Using the whistle in Nightshade

Bats in Nightshade are particularly annoying because they kinda swoop in and take some pretty healthy chunks of your health away when you're not really looking.

But if you've found the whistle, you can totally take care of them. Just find it in your inventory and OPERATE it. It turns out that bats in this game hate the sound it makes.

And they clear out of whatever room you're in

Making it much easier to walk through without the danger of getting rabies.

Pro tip: Playing a grey puzzle in Anticipation

When you get to a high enough level in Anticipation, you come across the Grey Squares which, if you land on them, put your piece into a kind of roulette mode to allow you to choose what color you really want, which is useful for wrapping up the game if you only have one color to go.

But! If you rapidly press A and / or B before your piece lifts off to start flying around all over the place, you can actually play a puzzle on that square

I don't really know why you'd want to, though, since you don't need any grey cards to complete the game.

Maybe you want to show off or something. And I'm cool with that.

Pro tip: Draygon is a pushover in Super Metroid

In the watery part of Super Metroid, you eventually come across a giant sea creature called 'Draygon' that you have to defeat to proceed. He's usually pretty tough to take down... unless...

All over his room are these turrets that shoot at you during the battle.

Which you can (and should) shoot with a couple of missiles to break them, which turns them into little electrical hazards.

Then, let ol' Dray pick you up and start swimming around the room (you'll get hit a couple of times, but it's worth it)

He's start swimming in wider and wider circles (as long as you don't break free) and will eventually take you within grappling range of those busted turrets. Which you should totally do.

Which will hurt a little bit, but the current mostly gets passed on to Draygon and kills him in pretty short order.

And you hardly had to do anything. It's win-win!

Pro tip: invincibility in Abadox

I admit, I never was very good at Abadox. Mostly because I had a hard time finding it at my local rental stores, and that means that I never got what you might call 'passably decent' at the thing. And that means that I saw this a lot the few times that I did play it.

So now when I get the urge to play this game, I go to the title screen

And press

On controller one. If I've done it right, I'll be totally invulnerable!

And since the game scrolls on its own, I can totally start a stage, go make a sandwich, come back and defeat the boss, and repeat until I've sailed through to the end.

Which is totally cheating, yeah, but it's been out for over 20 years at this point. I think I can justify it now.

Pro tip: Don't grab a Hammer Suit while in Statue form in Super Mario Bros. 3

When you're playing World 7 of Super Mario Bros. 3, you might come across a Tanooki Suit in the Fortress, mostly because you kind of need it to complete the stage. So by the time you reach Stage 7-8 there's a good chance you still have the suit on... if you haven't managed to get hit and lose it.

And in 7-8 there's a pipe that leads to a room with a Hammer Suit in it, which you obviously want because Hammer Suits are awesome.

And if you're feeling a little silly, you might turn into Statue Mario (by holding Down and pressing B) while you wait for the suit to bounce onto you.

And if you do, you'll grab the suit, turn into Hammer Mario, and be Gray!


You also won't be able to enter the pipe at the other end of the room. You'll be stuck in there forever!

Or at least until time runs out, costing you a life and the powerup, so I don't recommend it.

Pro tip: Evolving into a human in E.V.O.: Search for Eden

Play E.V.O. long enough and you'll find this hidden grove of dinosaurs that talk about these weird creatures with the head of a cat and the body of a rabbit.

If you decide to take that fairly obvious clue, you end up with your cat-rabbit thing

From there, choose 'Body' → 'Ramothecus Body' to spend 5000 of your EVO points and become a monkey.

From there, keep going back to 'Body' → 'Evolve Further', and you'll evolve further (duh)

And again

For Human Form!

The human is kind of quick, and has a decent attack with that club. But this is definitely a one-way path. Once you hit this, there's no turning back and no more experimenting with combinations of body parts.

You also might be wondering how the same creature can evolve both into a female mermaid and a male caveman. And to that I'd just like to remind you to repeat to yourself that it's just a game and you should really just relax.

Pro tip: Tetris is (usually) balanced

It's really easy in competitive Tetris, especially if you're matched up against someone who's at about the same skill level that you are, to feel like the game comes down to the selection of pieces you get. But, in most games of Tetris, both players get the same pieces. It really comes down to who can put them in place the fastest.

Which is kind of hard to wrap your head around, I know, so I prepared the video below where I use the same controller input for both controllers and play a short round of competitive Tetris.

It's actually pretty illuminating. Everything's the same: pieces dropped, garbage sent, all of it.

Of course there are probably variants of Tetris that don't make everything equal like this, but you probably don't want to play those.

Pro tip: Strafing in Blaster Master

Some time ago I mentioned a technique for defeating one of the bosses in Blaster Master that involved a maneuver known as 'strafing' (even though it's not really strafing). Strafing in this case means firing your weaponry in one direction while moving in another. Normally, this is impossible in Blaster Master.


If you first fire a Grenade, and then hold down the A button, Jason will stay facing the same direction, no matter what you push on the Cross Pad. Observe:

Which is incredibly useful for flying enemies that attack in irregular patterns... and certain giant crabs.

The only downside is that while you're doing this you can't fire your grenades, but if you keep your gun powered up, that's not too much of an issue.

Pro tip: Fight the last boss from Actraiser any time you want... in Actraiser 2

The first Actraiser was a unique game, it had side-scrolling action stages interspersed with Sim-City-esque building stages. Which mostly means that if you want to get to the Big Bad at the end of the game, you've got a lot of work to do.

Or do you?

You could fire up the sequel, Actraiser 2, go to the Password screen, and enter this password

If you do, you'll be whisked away to the final battleground of the first game!

Where you can fight the final boss from that game while in the second one. Why would you do that? To see if you still have the chops to defeat it. What happens if you do?

Uhm... I don't know. I wasn't actually able to do that...


If you can, let me know!

Pro tip: Editing your player in Super Tennis

Super Tennis is a surprisingly decent Tennis game. But I can tell, sometimes you want to mess with it. Change it around somehow.

And you can!

First, start a match

Then hit Select on Controller 1 to pause the action

Grab Controller 2 and hit

R, R, Left, Down, B, A, L, L

Then grab Controller 1 and hit B. Done right, you'll see a screen full of gobbledygook come up.

Which is actually a whole bunch of statistics, which you can change to whatever you want. And since they're in Base 16, the highest thing you can adjust them to is 'F'.

And there are four pages of them to change, so you might be there for a second or two.

Then you go back to the game an notice... well... not much, really. But at least I know that my Tennis Star's stats are maxed out, even though they don't seem to do much.

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