Pro tip: Starting with a powered up ship in Star Soldier

I admit, I never really played much Star Soldier, so I used a couple of shortcuts to help me along with the game.

For instance, if you go to the title screen

Grab Controller 1 and hit Select 10 times, then on Controller 2 hold Down and Right on the Cross Pad, then grab Controller 1 and start holding Up and Left on the Cross Pad and the A and B buttons. With all of those held, press Start on Controller 1 a couple of times (you might need a couple of extra hands for this).

Done right, your ship will be significantly powered up!

And those powerups will reset when you lose a life, so go nuts!

Pro tip: Skipping a huge chunk of stage 4-3 in Super Mario Bros. 2

Stage 4-3 of Super Mario Bros. 2 is a kind of long one. You have to go across an impossible-to-jump-over gap, then climb up one tower and down another before fighting the boss of the area.

But you can skip most of that.

First, choose the Princess.

Ride the Birdo Egg across the gap as normal

Then, instead of going through the door, make a flying leap toward the right.

Once you land, go in the second door on that platform

To skip right to the boss's chamber!

This cuts the stage down to just a couple of minutes... unless you go in that door that I told you to not go in. That one is locked on the other side, which will require you to scale the tower, grab a key, and then go back down, which totally negates taking this shortcut in the first place.

Pro tip: Shooting through walls in Gauntlet for NES (or 'Why you should never pick the Warrior')

One of the most useful techniques in the NES Gauntlet port is shooting through the gaps in some of the walls to clear out a bunch of baddies in total safety before rounding a corner.

Unless you pick the Warrior. He's got the strongest weapon, true, but he's slow, and when he tries to shoot through the corners

He totally can't, his shots are too large.

Making the Warrior almost completely useless, so I wouldn't bother picking him... unless you want to make the game harder on yourself for some reason.

Pro tip: Jumping higher in Contra Force

In Contra Force, like a lot of games, one of the things that adds to the challenge is that your characters aren't able to jump infinitely high, kind of like in real life.

But you can work around that.

If you jump as normal (and hold down the A Button)

Then hit Start to go to your Status Screen (while still holding the A Button)

Then immediately leave the Status Screen, you'll jump again! And you can keep this up to jump pretty much as high as you want

It's really tedious to do, and it apparently doesn't work in some sections of the game, but it's better than nothing, right?

Pro tip: Video Walkthrough of the Dam Level in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Recently I came across an article titled: 'The 15 Most Annoying Levels In Video Game History', and right at the top of the list was the second half of the Dam Level (a.k.a the second half of Level 2) from the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game. This level seems to come up a lot when people start talking about tough levels in games, but it's really not even all that hard as long as you remember to stay away from anything that's glowing. I've prepared a video walkthrough to illustrate.


No, the Dam is child's play compared to Level 4, the JFK Airport. That level is an exercise in annoyance and difficulty, and one that we'll have to tackle another day.

Pro tip: Infinite lives in Joe & Mac

The Joe & Mac game for NES is a pretty lousy port of a pretty decent arcade game, but if you absolutely must play it, you can make sure that you have all the chances that you could possibly want, but it's going to take a little work

First, play the game long enough that you qualify for the high-score table. Beating the first stage ought to do it. Then, at the Name Entry Screen, enter your name as


Done right the name will change to


Once that happens, start a new game. You'll notice that now you can fail as many times as you want without running out of lives! Which now makes this a game of endurance. Do you have enough to finish it now?

Pro tip: Seeing the end of Rad Racer any time you want

I was bad enough at Rad Racer that I didn't even know it had an ending. But it's been brought to my attention that not only does it have an ending, but you can see it with almost no effort (which is one of the best kinds!).

So if you want to see it without actually racing, you first select a car

Then while at the 'Press Start to begin' screen

Grab Controller 1, press the B button 64 times(!), then hold Up + Right on the Cross Pad and press Start.

Done right, the ending will start

But be aware, there's not much more to it than the screenshot above.

Pro tip: Collecting a 1up in Castlevania

We've seen that there are hidden goodies all over Castlevania, but there's one that's so secret that it's not even in the manual and a lot of people don't even know it exists: a 1up

To spot this rare gem, first make your way to the fifth area, which the game calls "Stage 13". After you leave the first screen and destroy a couple of skeletons, you'll come to this formation.

Most people will walk down the stairs and continue on, but if you just walk to the right and press against the wall for a few seconds

A 1up will appear!

You only have a few seconds to grab it, too, so make it quick!

Pro tip: getting 99 snowboarders in Heavy Shreddin'

I never really was much of a snowboarding fan, so I never really played Heavy Shreddin' much. Which pretty much means that when I did play, I saw this a lot

But I now know that if I'd have gone to the title screen, grabbed Controller 1, and held down Left on the Control Pad + A + B while pressing Start, I'd have 99 snowboards to play with

Which meant that I could have practiced a little more before running out of lives, greatly extending my frustration.

Pro tip: Continuing in 3D Worldrunner

I've talked a little about 3D Worldrunner in the past. It's a 3D game on a system that's not really supposed to be able to do 3D, which makes it a little on the tough side. And that means that you're going to end up seeing this a lot.

But fret not!

If you hold Up on the Control Pad + the A Button + Start, you can continue at the beginning of the level where you left off!

Meaning you can keep plugging away at the levels until you either finish them or you give up in frustration.

It's really a no-lose situation.

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