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Pro tip: playing some mini games in Yoshi's Island any time you want

In Yoshi's Island you occasionally find a locked door that, when unlocked, will lead to a bonus game where you have to play a game against a Bandit for extra lives.

But what if you're low on lives and you haven't taken the time to stock up, and you don't want to bother going through a stage to find one of those locked doors?

Well, good news!

If you go the map screen

And on Controller 1 hold Select while pressing X, X, Y, B, A, you'll be greeted with fanfare and a new screen

Which lets you choose which of the mini games you want to play (as an added bonus, you can play a couple of them with a second player)

And if you lose, there's no penalty, so there's really no reason to not go for it.

Pro tip: getting all invincible in Seicross

Seicross is one of those games that tests your ability to play by being endless and going until you can't go any more.

But that doesn't mean that your game ever has to end.

If you go to the title screen

And on Controller 2 hold Left + A + B

while simultaneously pressing Up, Up, Down, Down, Start on Controller 1 (this part may require more hands than you have, you might consider asking for help)

When you start the game, your bike will be uncrashable!

Which means you could just go to bed and wake up the next morning to a high score and some ridiculous amount of progress

But there's no way I know of to actually end the game, short of pressing the Power or Reset buttons.

Pro tip: Selecting your starting level in Adventure Island 3

I never was really very good that the Adventure Island games, but I had some tools to help me see some of the later parts of the games anyway.

Like in the third one. I'd go to the title screen

Then press Down, Up, Left, Right, B, A, B, A on Controller 1, which would take me to the Stage Select screen

And, as an added bonus, I'd get some powerups to help.

Which is good, because those later levels are pretty tough.

Pro tip: continuing in Rampage without using up a continue

The NES version of Rampage is a little more limiting than the arcade version. You still have a ton of cities to level, but you only have two continues (e.g. three lives) to go through them all, where in the arcade you could just keep feeding the machine quarters until you made as much progress as you wanted.

So what do you do?

Any time you run out of life, your character will shrink back down to human form and slowly work their way off screen.

Before they get there, if you hit the B button on your controller, they get their life bar back, and regain their former stature.

And you can do this as often as you need to, as long as your character didn't shuffle off the screen it still counts as the same life. So you can make it through all 128 days pretty easily.

But it will still take a while to do that.

Pro tip: warping around in Crystalis

I admit, I've never actually made it all the way through Crystalis, it just kind of fell off my radar when the NES was the Big Thing(tm). But that doesn't mean I didn't get to see some of the sights the game has to offer.

When I finally did get my hands on it, I held down the A + B buttons on controller 1, and then started tapping A on controller 2 because every time I did, the screen would fade

and I would warp to another section of the game.

The only problem was that I typically wasn't prepared for the part of the game I happened into, so more often than not, I'd end up seeing this soon after

But it was an interesting way to get a preview of what lied ahead.

Pro tip: Seeing the end of Palamedes any time you want

I like puzzle games, but there are a few that I'm just no good at, like Palamedes. My brain just doesn't work in a way that this game wants it to.

But that's OK. If I want to see the ending of it (yeah, it has an ending), all I need to do is to go to the title screen and hold Right + A on Controller 2 and press Start on Controller 1. Doing that brings up a menu

Where I get to pick which ending that I want to see (one for each game mode)

And I didn't even have to strain my brain to do it. Double Win(tm)!

Pro tip: Getting more money in Sid Meier's SimGolf any time you want

Like a lot of the SimWhatever games, part of the experience is constructing a budget and slowly making money, which means that for a good chunk of the game you're going to have to deal with some pretty low cash flow, and that means that you won't be able to buy much of the fun stuff.

So, what to do? Do you plan your budget carefully, expand your course slowly, make smart investments, and watch as your pile of cash slowly but surely rises?

Yeah, you could do that, or you could hold down the Left Shift button and press the =/+ button on your keyboard. Every time you press it, you get 10,000 Simoleans. Do it enough times (or hold it in, if you're into that kind of thing) and you can rocket your cash flow up to some pretty ridiculous levels

Which means that you can do pretty much anything you want, now that you've been freed from the restraints of a 'budget'.

So go nuts!

Pro tip: seeing the credits in NES Open Tournament Golf anytime you want

As weird as it might sound, I do occasionally wonder who is responsible for the games I play, and in the case of sports games, where there might not be a logical place to put a credits sequence, that can be kind of tough to figure out without resorting to grabbing the manual.

But if you put in, say, NES Open Tournament Golf, and go to the title screen

And hold Right + Select + B on Controller 1 for a few seconds, the credits start rollin'

Okay, so maybe you don't care to see the credits, but the presentation's actually unique, which is something, right?

Pro tip: 50 Donkey Kongs in Donkey Kong Country

Donkey Kong Country really isn't that hard of a game, but some of the maneuvers you have to pull off are a little frustrating, so it would be nice to have a few extra chances.

If you go to the File Select screen

And press

B, A, R, R, A, L

on your controller (which kind of spells 'Barrel') you'll hear a confirmation noise. Start your file and blam!

50 Donkey Kongs (or Diddy Kongs, whichever way you want to look at it)!

Now you have plenty of opportunities to try and discover the hidden goodies littered throughout the game.

Pro tip: unlimited lives in T&C 2: Thrilla's Surfari

In T&C 2, you have to take a gorilla that's riding on a skateboard or surfboard across a bunch of levels. Problem is that he's unusually fragile, so you're going to see this a lot.

But don't despair!

You can simply go to the title screen and press this sequence of buttons:

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

Which will put unlimited lives at your disposal.

So now you can wipe out as often as you like!

And, trust me, you're going to be wiping out a lot.

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