Pro tip: Checking out the debug menu in Kickmaster

So let's say that you have a copy of Kickmaster for some reason, and you're tired of slogging through the first couple of stages because of the bad control, the wonky hit detection, or any number of other reasons.

Well, in that case, you could go to the password screen.

And enter this password

Done right, you'll be taken to the Debug Screen

Which doesn't look so much like a debug screen as a level select screen.

But, hey, nobody's arguing semantics here.

Pro tip: infinite lives in Dirty Harry

I really don't know what possessed someone to greenlight a project to turn a movie from the 70s into an NES game almost 20 years later, but they did, and that's what we have to live with.

So, if you go to the password, and put in the name "CLYDE" as your password

And start the game proper, you'll find out that you have lots of lives!

And they don't go away when you screw up and the bad guys get the upper hand.

Which means this is just a long, slow slog to the end of the game, if you can stomach it for that long.

Pro tip: More difficulty in Burai Fighter

So you've been playing a bit of Burai Fighter and you think you're pretty good, huh? Well, you could go to the password screen and type in the password "GOOD"

Which will ramp up the difficulty significantly.

Which, yeah, is kind of tough to see in this picture. But trust me, it's tougher.

Pro tip: Viewing a secret message in Best of the Best Championship Karate

If you're playing Best of the Best Championship Karate for some reason, you could go to the main screen where you choose your options, and change your name to


(that's two spaces before and after)

And then start your match normally. Before you get to the action, though, you get this... thing

I'd recommend against trying to call or fax that number, though.

Pro tip: Playing with a tiny Bomberman

I've been wracking my brain to try and figure out why you'd want to do this, and I can't really come up with anything... but I'm going to show it to you anyway because, hey, I have space to fill here.

So if you pop in your Super Bomberman cartridge and go to the Password Screen, you can put in the password "5656"

Which will take you back to the title screen (a little anticlimactic), but then!

Start a game to find

That Bomberman has been shrunk down to pint-size!

I haven't actually figured out how this is useful yet. But once I do, I'll let you know.

Pro tip: A lot more Gomez Addamses

So, what, four extra Gomezes isn't enough for you? Okay, fine.

Go to the password screen and enter the password "11111"

When you go into the game, you'll see that you have zero lives!

Er, wait, that's not that many.


Once you lose one of those lives, your meter goes to 99, which is way more. But be aware, it can't actually go back up to 100, so any lives you collect while at the maximum will be lost.

But I don't think you really need to worry about that too much.

Pro tip: An easier way to record passwords

It might be hard to believe now, but there was a time that if a game took longer than a few hours or so to complete, that your progress would be saved via a password, and depending on the game, these could range from just a few letters, to pictograms, to full on extended alphabets.

Take a look at this password screen from Willow, for example

Look at that mess! Upper case and lower case letters, gigantic serifs, numbers, symbols. It's like a typewriter threw up on that screen. And if you mis-transcribe one character? Yep, your password and your hours of progress are lost. Forever.

That sucks.

The solution?

One would be to adjust your penmanship so that each character you write looks unambiguously different from the rest, but that's a whole lot of work. I like to take the slightly lazier approach.

Digital photography has progressed to the point where you'd be hard pressed to find a device that doesn't have a camera in it, so I like to grab whatever digital imaging device I have handy, snap a picture, and then use it for reference.

Of course, if I suck at photography and manage to take a blurry, unreadable picture it's just as useless as one that I wrote down poorly, so it's definitely not infallible, but it's a step in the right direction.

Pro tip: Seeing the ending of Mr. Nutz any time you want

Let's just get this out of the way right up front: Yes, there is a game called Mr. Nutz. It stars a squirrel.

It's kind of long and kind of hard (*snicker*), and you get passwords to kind of help you along.

But what if you went to the Password screen, and instead of entering the password you had, you entered "VITAMI"?

Well, then you'd be taken directly to the ending sequence!

Which, like a lot of the games of the time, isn't all that special.

But don't worry about that.

Starting off rich in Casino Kid

Casino Kid is one of those games where you have to take a paltry sum and gamble your way to a fortune.

I'm real bad at that, so I prefer to start with a fortune and then gamble my way down to peanuts. To do that in this game, I go to the Password screen

And tell the game that "I AM A RICHMAN" (using "FORWARD" for the spaces).

Then highlight END and hold down Start + A Button until the game starts.

The result?

I start out with $100,000 instead of $500

Which means that it takes me much longer to lose my shirt.


Pro tip: Enabling Vs. Mode in Mega Man 7

Mega Man 7 is a pretty decent game, even though it expands the universe quite a bit and adds a bunch of new characters to the mix (other than the obligatory Robot Masters), like Bass, who antagonizes Mega Man throughout the game. But what if you wanted to arrange a one on one fight between Bass and Mega Man?

Well, hold on to your hat.

First, go to the Password Entry and put in this password:

But! Instead of just hitting Start to continue on, hold L + R, and then press Start. Done right, you'll be taken to the Character Select Screen

Where you can set up battles in any combination of Mega Man vs. Bass that you want

The guys are missing some of their moves, they can't slide or have more than one shot on the screen at a time, so the battles are slow and plodding. But hey, both guys are that way, so it's pretty even.

Best 2 out of 3 wins!

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