http://i.imgur.com/NfkeN.gif
To celebrate Retro Tuesday today I am dialing the time machine back to awesome and talking about Galoob's magnificent Game Genie. Buckle up kids, the Game Genie allowed you to enter video game worlds you didn't know possible and often times more glitchy than before!

First time I was exposed to the Game Genie was when @WhiteboySlim showed it to me. It was a gold half cart that connected to the end of any Nintendo game. After you switched on the Nintendo a screen came up to enter a code and after the code was entered you could start the game. Game Genie came with a manual for how to essentially mod or cheat at a game. The only mod I remember was in Super Mario Brothers where Mario could jump really high. This allowed you to jump over the flag and if you did that and continued right, the map would continue without end.

Oh right, check out this awesome Game Genie commercial from the 80's. I remember this one as it was released during the Bill and Ted era and the commercial totally rides that 80's skateboard to paydirt:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xi4m2qnZaY

The Game Genie manual recommended you try out random codes on games and see the effect. I remember us trying a bunch of random codes on Gradius and most of them scrambled the screen and other less awesome things. I am not sure if we hit pay dirt with any of the codes but it was fun trying things out. We always wrote them down in case we hit Genie gold so we could do it again.

Game Genie lives on in PC gaming now in that some games offer a console mode to change things if you desire. Proliferation of mods allow you take your game to a level Game Genie didn't, Skyrim being one modern example. That said, the ghost of Game Genie lives on in most emulators as all the major emulators support game genie codes.

Game Genie is one of those awesome things from the past that I don't see make the transition into the modern console era. In a world where console manufacturers are making systems more closed, a system to allow you to mod your game sanctioned by Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo seems unlikely. The openess of the PC system allows this but not as retroly awesome or one stop as the Game Genie.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_Genie
http://gamehacking.org/w/images/2/2a/Game_genie_nes_screen.png (the code screen)

AdamPFarnsworth wrote on 08/14/2012 at 03:40pm

! comment I saw on the Game Genie commercial "For rich kids who sucked at video games

Travis   Admin wrote on 08/14/2012 at 04:50pm

I hit paydirt with one. I managed to edit a known code for Ninja Gaiden to basically plow through everything without trying. Essentially, you stand next to something, and it's dead.

I loved the Game Genie. Not for the cheat factor, but because I felt like I was doing something that I shouldn't be able to. I WAS HACKING THE GAME.

Tungsten wrote on 08/14/2012 at 08:47pm

I loved it for the weird stuff: playing as the bad guys, replacing all of one sprite with another etc. You were able to actually make Shining Force II (my favorite game) a two player game, although with real intelligence, the enemy pretty much always won.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 08/15/2012 at 12:36am

I agree, the Game Genie was game modding / hacking! Never hit as much pay dirt as your guys, then again I never owned one just played it at other peoples houses.

Playing as bad guys sounds awesome, that kind of rings a bell but nothing comes to mind immediately. Would be kind of interesting to play Mario as a Goomba!

GregoPeck   Super Member wrote on 01/25/2014 at 01:10am

I loved the Game Genie! I'm happy that I can still use one in an emulator, that and Pro Action Replay. I always found it more fun to play a game where I can't die, I know it sounds lame, but I just enjoyed many games much better that way.

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