In the last 15 months, every major video game console maker has released a new piece of hardware. Each has titles with phenomenal, sometimes photo-realistic visuals, and soundtracks that make it seem like there’s a full orchestra hiding behind the TV providing musical accompaniment.
And yet, none of them stir any stronger emotions than the openings to the original games in the Final Fantasy and Legend of Zelda series, exactly as they appeared in their NES/Famicom forms. There’s something perfect about those 8-bit intros, even if they can’t match the technical heights of current games. If anything, the fact that their designers struggled against those restraints, but still managed to create something moving, helps to convey their emotion all the better.
That direct transmission of effort and personal passion, which can never be completely duplicated with more complex titles and the larger staff such endeavors require, is exactly what’s on display in this three-hour compilation of NES start screens.