Lately I’ve been listening to YouTube NES playlists at work. I usually put on Contra, or some Mega Man, but I kept listening to the same lists over and over because so many strangers playlists extend beyond the Nintendo Entertainment System.

I asked the Twitterz and got a lot of good answers, but it made me want to make a more complete list that catered to my childhood.

So after four days of Wikipedia searching and YouTube testing Nintendo songs, I finished.

Sopes’s house is where I played Nintendo. Of all our friends he was the only one that had one. Thinking about it now I have trouble remembering playing much Nintendo with Sopes; either I was watching him play or playing with his cousins and siblings. We definitely played Super Mario 2, Super Dodge Ball, and NARC together, but that’s about it. And I remember playing Nintendo with our friend John. John and I would do things like put in the Konami Code and beat all of Contra in one sitting, arguing about power ups, killing each other on purpose, or just being silly. Other times we would play Blades of Steel and Baseball and I would scream and cry if he threw fastballs, then threaten to leave, then follow through on that threat.

Yea I’m that kid.

The reason I don’t remember playing with Sopes is because sometimes as kids you don’t want to keep dying at the same stage and start over – you want to see more content. And if you want to do that then you let the All-Stars play. I’m thinking specifically of Double Dragon II here. I played that game with automaton a few years ago when we were drunk and boy, even with infinite lives we did not get far. Sopes, however, could have beaten it legitimately (and sober).

Here’s a good example of Sopes’s skill: We used to head over to the local No Frills and play The Punisher arcade game. One quarter gave you a few lives. I frequently had two dollars to play alongside Sopes. Sometimes I would give him a quarter and say, “Save me” or “Go. Be a hero.” One day. I brought $20 to the arcade and failed to beat the game by myself. After awhile, Sopes could beat it with one quarter. It isn’t boring watching someone like that play. Their victories are things you cheer.

Most of these songs come from games I played at Sopes’s house. Many from that 64-in-1 game he used to have that was in TWO pieces which meant you had to blow into TWO sections to get it to work. Games like Balloon Fight, City Connection, Kung Fu, Goonies II and Yie Ar Kung Fu are all from there. I can’t even imagine people owning the actual cartridge for those games. You poor bastards.

A lot of the other games I played at other people’s houses. I never had consistent access to Super Mario Land 3, StarTropics, DuckTails, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1 or 2, Dr. Mario, or Ninja Gaiden. But if you were at a birthday party, or a random kid’s house they always had at least one of those games.

Years later I bought a Nintendo. Then sold it soon after for $20 bucks along with the only games I bought: The Legend of Zelda and Zelda II. It’s this sale more than any other that created my childhood promise never to sell games again – it’s not worth it.

So please peruse my list. Reminisce as I have done. Make suggestions about titles I missed. The songs are random by design (minus a few purposeful changes) on purpose, but I might change that.

Midway through the process I decided to make a soundtrack for systems that I truly owned. Which means next you’ll be getting original Game Boy, then Sega Genesis, and then, (GOD yes!) the 3D0. Can’t wait to hear people’s feedback and suggestions on THOSE playlists. Enjoy!