I never thought this day would come. I never figured I’d have to write this. Nintendo Power’s goin’ the way of the dodo. What you see above are the first and final issues of this great, 24-year-old magazine. This is going to be a hard one to write, because Nintendo Power is what got me into reading, writing, and later journalism in the first place. Anyway, uh… I’m gonna take this time to give an old friend a well-deserved tribute.
I don’t remember what drew me to the magazine. Up until that point, I kind of hated reading and loathed the idea of any sort of job that would have me writing all day. All I remember about my first copy of Nintendo Power (Issue 90) – a copy sadly lost to time and my own negligence and stupidity – was that it had a feature on Maui Malard In Cold Shadow, a pretty but buggy as hell Donald Duck-centric SNES title that had him turning into a ninja and fighting tribal duck… things. After that issue, seeing that reading could be damn enjoyable, I was hooked.
It wasn’t too long after that I subscribed to Nintendo Power. Unfortunately, due to a combination of bad timing and financial issues, I never managed to get the 100th issue. I’m sure I could find it on ebay or somewhere, but I’m not sure if the magic would still be there. Seeing my name on the address label was part of what made Nintendo Power special. Before that, mail was something for my parents that didn’t concern me. But after I subscribed… Man, the end of the month couldn’t come soon enough.
Fast-foward to high school. I knew I wanted to do something with games when I graduated… but I was shit at math (still am, really), so programming was probably out of the question. I wasn’t technically minded enough for anything on the actual design side. Sure, I can throw concept after concept at you, but ideas are cheap. Ideas aren’t going to get you a job, or at least not somethin’ stable and rewarding. I had to produce something that people would want. Since programming, developing, whatever else falls under that ‘technical stuff’ umbrella was out of my league, I looked to Nintendo Power for inspiration. Around that time, I started to get into (really bad) fiction writing. So I thought to myself, ‘Hey, I’ve got an opinion, why not try journalism?’ We can all see where that lead.
… Y’know, I’ll admit. I never read Nintendo Power overly much after high-speed internet became a fairly common thing. I mean, by the time they put out information, it was likely outdated. Hell, weekly publications can’t keep up with digital media, so how did monthly stand a chance? But I couldn’t just let Nintendo Power go. I stayed subscribed, read a bit of the opinion or community pieces when it came, then sat it down and rarely opened it.
I suppose that’s the reason I’m here, overly-emotional and crying about a magazine while smashing the keyboard in a way that makes things reasonably coherent. As much as I love Nintendo Power, I knew it had to end sometime. I thought I would be ready, but… Well, see the ‘crying about a magazine’ point above. Anyway, I know this isn’t much of a retrospective about the magazine, but I feel like it helps show folks how I got to this point. If not for Nintendo Power, I wouldn’t have developed an interest in reading, which wouldn’t have carried over into really bad fiction, then slightly better fiction, the editorial stuff. Without Nintendo Power, Grass Pants would only be a vaguely-amusing, dead meme, and I wouldn’t have met all the excellent people I’ve met through this place. I think, though, the biggest thing is that without Nintendo Power, I’d still be wondering what the hell to do with my life.
So, thank you, Nintendo of America, for starting the thing. Future Publishing, I owe you one for picking it up back in issue 222. The writers, the cover artists, the readers who wrote in and got their questions answered, that guy whose name escapes me who responded to my letter (mind-blowing as a kid), thank you all. Jesus, I’m gettin’ teary again. Anyway, just… thank you all so much. That includes you guys, my readers, too.
Anyway, for those of you who worked at Nintendo Power, I wish you the best. It’s a damn shame I missed the chance to be there with you, but you guys have done so much for so many people. Take care and so long.