button codes

Pro tip: Super Warp in Battletoads & Double Dragon

The Battletoads games are hard. So are the Double Dragon games. Mash them together for whatever reason, and you get a game that's also pretty tough.

But you have a secret weapon.

If you go to the Character Select screen

Then press

B, A, Down, B, Up, Down

You'll hear a noise. Finish selecting your character by pressing Start and behold!

The Super Warp Zone! Which also gives you five lives to play with.

And you're going to need every one of them.

Pro tip: changing stars into birds in Mega Man 2

In Mega Man 2 when you select your favorite Robot Master, they stand in the middle of the screen and do an Action Pose(tm) in the middle of a field of stars.


If you hold down A + B + Select, then hold Start, you get a surprise

The stars have been replaced by the little bird-things that plague you throughout a couple of the stages.

What's the point?

Nothing, as far as I can tell.

Pro tip: choosing your level in Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure

Like a lot of games that I've rented over the years, the Super NES Pitfall game was way too long and difficult for me to master in the one evening that I had it. So if I was ever going to see the end of it, I needed some help.

In the case of this game, help entailed going to the title screen

and pressing

X, Select, A, Select, Y, A, X, Select

And then I was able to choose whatever level I wanted

So I just started at the end, beat the last boss, and won!

Which is way more achievable for one night with the game than working your way through the whole thing at once, right?

Enabling Auto Mode in Super Baseball 2020

Super Baseball 2020 is one of those sports games where they take a look at the 'distant future' of professional sports. But, at its core, it's just baseball... with cybernetics and robots.

But, say you start a game, and when you get to this screen

you hold Select while you press Start. You can then put a password in if you like. If not, you'll be greeted with the League Selection screen. Pick whichever league you like, and then get ready.

The computer takes over, it picks the teams

And then it starts playing the game by itself.

And it'll keep going until you reset the game or turn it off.

What's the point? I let it go for two games before I got bored watching it, but you could probably do the whole Pennant race if you wanted to.

Oh, and the passwords that you get after each game do work if you ever want to use them to take over the season, or if you don't want the computer to lose its progress.

Pro tip: Ghosts 'n Goblins is a pushover

If you ask people what the toughest NES game is, you're probably going to hear "Ghosts 'n Goblins" quite a bit. Sure, you'll hear "Battletoads" and the occasional "Dragon's Lair".

And it's true, all of those games are tough, especially Ghosts 'n Goblins, which is made doubly tough in that you have to beat the game twice to see the real ending.


Let's say you go to the title screen

and press the following buttons

Press and hold Right, press B, B, B. Release Right. Press Up, B, B, B, Left, B, B, B, Down, B, B, B, Start

Done correctly, instead of starting the game, you'll be presented with the level select screen

Just pick the last stage, Stage 7, and go to town fighting the last boss.

And when you win, you get the false ending.


You get to level select again after you clear the stage, so choose Stage 7 again, and fight the boss again to reveal... the true ending!

Which is below this line

Is it worth all the frustration of playing the game normally? Eh, probably not.

Pro tip: skipping ahead to whatever level you want in Rocky and Bullwinkle for NES

The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle for the NES is a pretty terrible game, but if you're determined to play it, I've got a shortcut for you.

First, start the game

Then, on Controller 2, press

B, A, A, Start, A, B, B, A

Done correctly, you'll hear a confirmation noise. You can then press the B button on Controller 2 to skip to the next stage.

If you skip the final stage (the second one with the painting) you'll end back up at the beginning, so you have to actually finish it if you want to see the ending

Or you could look below this line for the entire ending (spoiler warning, I guess)

Yeah, it's just the one screen.

Pro tip: the Konami Code: Google Reader edition

It's been a while since we talked about the ol' Konami Code. But it makes appearances in more than just video games, believe it or not.

Take Google's RSS reader, cleverly named Google Reader. If you log in, you'll see the sites you're following on the left-hand side. If you put in the Konami Code (using the arrow keys for the directions and the A and B keys for A and B):

Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A

Then your background will turn into this:

What's the significance? Probably nothing other than at least one of the people working on the Reader is a video game fan. And that, in itself, is pretty awesome.

Pro tip: Auto Mode in Space Channel 5

Since today's the 10-year anniversary of the US launch of the Dreamcast, I figured a Dreamcast-style tip was in order.

The game Space Channel 5 is a rhythm game with kind of a nutso story: You have these aliens (in space) who are capturing (space) people and forcing them to dance. You play the part of a reporter who uses her power of dance to rescue them, Simon-Says-Style. The better you dance, the more people you rescue, and the higher your ratings get. You have to maintain a certain viewership or the game ends.

Easy, right?

Well, for the first few seconds it is kind of easy, but then the game throws all kinds of stuff at you: stalls, motions between the beats, changing tempos, that kind of thing. It actually gets pretty tough.

So that's why, when I get frustrated, I take my controller, hold L & R, and press Up, Left, A, Left, A, Down, Right, B, Right, B. Done right, you hear Ulala (your character) say, "Yeah!" I don't even have to pause the game first or anything. From then on, the computer takes over and plays a perfect game, which is kind of hard to convey in picture form, so I've prepared a video sample.

It takes about an hour to watch the game go on autopilot from start to finish, but it's worth it if only to see (and hear) the cameo by Michael Jackson as 'Space Michael' (no, really).

Pro tip: Choosing your level in Skate or Die 2

Skate or Die's adventure mode is pretty tough. Partially due to some wonky hit detection, but mostly because of some pretty evil level design. There are 4 stages total, but odds are that you're going to give up on it well before you see them.


If you have a second controller, at any time in the adventure mode you can press on it:

Start, A, Select, B

And then either Right, Left, or Up. Depending on the direction you pressed, you'll be instantly warped to a different stage: Right takes you to the Mall (Stage 2), Left to the Beach (Stage 3), and Up to the Warehouse (Stage 4). You would think that Down would take you back to Stage 1, but no.

Just be aware that you don't get any board or trick upgrades when you warp around. So I'd definitely recommend hanging out on Level 1 for a while getting upgrades before you go on. (Yeah, you can get some upgrades in Stage 3 also, but there aren't any items to collect to pay for them. So stocking up on those is probably a good idea, too).

Pro tip: Blue Marlin's Sound Test

Trying to catch fish in any fish-catching video game can be tedious. Good thing that the designers gave you some passably decent music to listen to. If only there was a way to listen to it without trolling for fist.

Like going somewhere in the title sequence

then holding Start + Select and hitting the Reset button to go to some kind of screen where you could hear the music any time you wanted

Yeah, something like that would be awesome.

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