Pro tip: Ending a Metroid play session whenever you want

So let's say that you're playing a round of Metroid and you have to abruptly end your session for some reason. Maybe it's time to eat dinner, maybe your appendix ruptured, whatever.

But instead of finding an enemy to clumsily bump into repeatedly or taking an excruciatingly slow bath in a Lava Pit(tm), you could just pause the game (trust me, it's paused in this picture)

Then grab Controller 2 and press Up on the Control Pad + A

Done right, your game will end suddenly and you'll be taken to the password screen

Where you can jot down your password to continue on another day.

Pro tip: Lower prices in Kid Icarus's shops

Kid Icarus is one of those games that I've somehow never managed to finish, but when I do play, I like to take every advantage I can get. Mostly because I think to myself, "This time's going to be the time I finish it!"

So when I go into shops

I like to grab Controller 2 and press A + B at the same time. That way I get cheaper prices

Even if I can afford the stuff, because I'm cheap.

Pro tip: You don't get to save in Excitebike

One of the neat things about Excitebike is that you get to design and race on your own tracks,

but a few options on that screen confused me, like "SAVE" and "LOAD". You hit one and you get a screen like something's happening

but it kind of gets stuck there. For a long time I thought I had a bad cartridge or something, but it turns out that in the American version of this game, saving isn't even implemented!

So don't be fooled.

Pro tip: An easier warp in Snake Rattle 'n Roll

I admit, the warp in Snake Rattle 'N Roll I told you about a few months ago is kind of tough to get at. If you just give up completely trying to get it, I have a consolation prize for you.

In level 1, you'll notice these tiny islands floating out in the abyss. One of them has nothing on it. How conspicuous.

Hop on that island and hit the B Button to be whisked away to Level 3!

Which isn't quite as far as Level 8, but you also didn't have to work as hard, so I'd say the tradeoff is worth it.

Pro tip: Dealing with meaningless stats

Take a look at this screenshot from the arcade version of Tetris

Over on the right you'll see your 'stats', or a representation of the Tetriminoes you've had to deal with in Bar Chart form. My guess is that it's there if you're playing Single Player so that the right side of the screen won't be blank.

Now take a look at this screenshot from Galaga

Once you end your game, you're presented with your 'Hit/Miss Ratio', which tells you how accurate you were with your shots.

What do these things have in common?

Mostly that they don't really mean anything. It might be kind of interesting to know your accuracy, or if your Tetris puzzle gave you lots of Z pieces, but you can't really do anything useful with the data, and it won't really make you a better player.

So don't sweat it.

Pro tip: Play one stage sans music in Castlevania

The Castlevania games typically have pretty good music for their respective consoles, but in the first NES game there is a way to temporarily turn it off if you have some bizarre reason to want to do so.

First, pop in your Castlevania cartridge and power on your NES. Then... don't touch anything. Eventually a demo will play

Let it go and cycle back to the title screen. Continue not touching anything and a second demo will play.

Let it go and cycle back to the title screen.

Finally, you can touch something!

Hit Start on Controller 1 and the game will start as normal, except when you get in, the music will be gone!

(It's real hard to get a screenshot of music not playing, so you'll just have to try it for yourself)

Once you do something that makes the music change, like fighting the stage Boss, the music will start up again and not go off, so enjoy it while you can!

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: Rocksteady in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a pushover

A while back I busted a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles strategy myth, but I'm pretty sure I know what the guide was talking about.

When you finally do encounter Rocksteady at the end of Level 1, there are these crates on the right side of the screen. Jump up to the top of those and switch your Turtle to Donatello.

Rocksteady will run to the right, get stuck on the crates, and try to jump up at you. Donatello's Bo is the only thing that can reach him when he does that

But you're safely out of the way of any harm, making this battle much easier (though it really isn't that hard to start with).

Pro tip: Fun with White Blocks in Super Mario Bros. 3

In Super Mario Bros. 3, you find these multicolored blocks everywhere that look like they're part of the background, but play it long enough and you'll discover that the White ones have special powers: Jump on one and duck for a few seconds and you'll go into the background of the stage, behind the scenery. This is important for getting the warp whistle at the end of Stage 1-3.

But, it's important to note that other blocks in the game have the same effect.

For example: Make your way to Stage 5-7 and go down the first pipe which will take you down to ground level.

At the end of this section will be a White Block. Duck on it and (quickly) jump up and go through the pipe back to the clouds. Done quickly enough, you'll still be in the "background" and completely untouchable by enemies!

But you can totally hit them, so it's a one-way street.

Just be aware that this wears off as soon as you enter the pipe at the end of the stage, so enjoy it while it lasts!

Pro tip: Getting out of a level in M. C. Kids

Ever been playing M. C. Kids and started up the wrong level? Or maybe you screwed something up beyond repair and just need to start over?

Well, then I've got some good news for you!

Just pause the game (by hitting Start, natch)

And then hit Select. Done right, you'll lose one of your lives

But you'll get kicked back to the Map Screen. So I'd say the trade's worth it... unless you're on your last life... then you might want to reconsider.

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