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The SNES Scene and Snes Memories - By Evan G


The SNES Scene and Snes Memories - some thoughts I had about the SNES in 2002.

By: Evan G
Last updated: circa 2002

Note: this was written in 2002, and may be slightly out of date.

When you came to my site, you were likely here to find what is a rarity on the internet as a whole, to find a good website that is devoted to the Super Nintendo. One of the real odd things is that a site such as this is very rare, with Sneszone and this site being the only ones worth mention. I personally find this quite odd, as the emulators Zsnes and Snes9x continue to be some of the most popular in the entire emulation community, and that there are still over 5000 SNES auctions at any one point on ebay. The question arises: how can there be so many NES fan sites, and only a handful of SNES sites? And the other question is where are the fans collecting?

The Super Famicom was released with great fanfare in Japan in 1990, with the North American release in 1991. In Japan the Super Famicom completely dominated the market, and well over a thousand games were released. In North America, it was a different story, with the Sega Genesis getting a good head start. The Super Nintendo fought a battle to try and make up the lost ground, and eventually pulled ahead in 1994 with the release of Donkey Kong Country. In 1995, the release of the 32 bit systems started the decline of all 16 bit systems, meaning that the Super Nintendo took a back seat, just as it was about to rise up and claim dominance. 1995 was the last big year of the Super Nintendo, and despite high quality releases such as Super Mario RPG and Donkey Kong Country 3, few third party companies were willing to support the 16 bit systems after the 32 bit systems were released. After 1996, only a handful of titles were released, and it was pretty safe to say that the Super Nintendo was dead after 1998 in North America. In Japan, it was a different story, with such innovative plans as the Nintendo Power game system, which allow people to put games on flash carts at convenience stores, which kept the Super Famicom going until 2000.

Ok, that was the history lesson. Now, why are there few SNES fan sites? The internet started to rise in 1996, while SNES games were still being released. One would think that some sites would pop up that would grow to be great. From my research, there was SNES Headquarters, which no longer exists, and Super Nintendo Zone, which merged with Sneszone recently. So, there were two... and now there are two that continue to be updated... but in the NES scene, there are many sites that continue to be updated... why is this? Well, I think that the SNES sort of fell between two eras of gaming: the old school, and next generation. The Super Nintendo was sort of a mix between these eras. SNES games were focused on making games that had good graphics like the next generation (I'm sorry, but most NES games did not have very good graphics, it is my opinion), and it was also focused on great gameplay, like the old school. So, the SNES is generally not considered in either group. Old school gamers tend to be a hardcore bunch, and strive to preserve the memories of these games, plus add to their collections. I have yet to find someone who can claim to have every Super Nintendo game released commercially, but there are some in the NES community. Many of these fans put up a small site to express the memories that the NES has given them, and show all the weird and wonderful games that have been released for it.

Looking at those sites bring up a lot of similar memories for the SNES. Now, I did own an NES before owning a SNES, but we only had 5 games for it at any one time, and we eventually sold it (my brother re-bought it several years later, and has collected about 25 games now). We got a SNES in for Christmas in 1992, one year after its release in North America. I remember how amazed at how much better the graphics were than for the SNES, and I played Super Mario World a ton, and beat it in 6 days. A couple months later, I got Super Bases Loaded, and one of the greats, A Link To the Past. That game was another one of those games that I played a ton until I passed it. I eventually beat in in May 1993. That summer, I then got my favourite game of all time: Final Fantasy II. There is no game that I have played more than that one, and I still like to pass it at least once a year. After that, we received many more SNES games, most of them classics. Then in 1996, the N64 came about, and my brothers and I were absorbed in the hype. That Christmas, we got an N64, and experienced the greatness that is Super Mario 64. At that time, we decided to sell all of our NES stuff and some of our SNES stuff (luckily I decided against selling all of the games). With that money, we bought other N64 games, and had fun with it. And unlike during the SNES years, when everyone else had a Genesis, everyone I knew had an N64, so it was a good time.

And now fast forward to 2000. During the N64 years, I first experienced the Internet, and with the Game Genie I bought off a friend in the late 90s, I became quite amused by all the wonderful cheats for Final Fantasy II. Around the start of 2000, I fiddled around with Super Castlevania IV, and made a bunch of neat cheats. That was great, and it allowed me to waste my free time, rather than playing N64 games I had beat a million times. Then just before I graduated from high school, I was at my friend's place, and he showed me Final Fantasy V on zsnes. I was quite amazed to see SNES games being played on a computer. My brother came home from university and had a new computer. On it, he had zsnes, plus a bunch of games that we had sold off! Needless to say, I was quite happy to play Top Gear 2, which I hadn't played in years, despite the fact that the version of zsnes we had could not emulate the game properly. When I got to university, I finally had my own internet connection, and I downloaded some of the games that have always interested me, and the games I had sold. It was a great time, but I noticed there was a total lack of non-rom SNES sites. After fiddling around with html for a few months, I decided to start my own SNES site, starting it on January 7, 2001. Due to school and other stuff, I didn't really get a lot done until May of 2001. As time went on, I found Sneszone and Super Nintendo Zone, and traded links. It was great to find these sites and know that I wasn't alone. During the summer of 2001, being secluded at home with nothing better to do, I managed to write up reviews for about 50 games, and become part of the zsnes community. Unfortunately, when fall came around, I was up to my neck in school work, and playing games and working on the site became a second thought. During that time, I only passed Final Fantasy III and that was all. When Christmas came, I got back to working on the site, and completely redesigned it. Again school came around, and I could not work on the site. Then a tragic event happened, and I completely lost my will to work on this site. I ended up giving everything to Cooldude, who again redesigned the site. Some way or another, I have returned, and this site now has more variety then before.

There is the history of my life with the SNES. I have looked around this city, and found that SNES games have almost completely disappeared from stores. I know other places have SNES games for sale, but not here. It sucks. NES games are just as uncommon, but then, 5 years after the demise of the NES, there were still plenty of places to buy SNES games. I'm rather pissed about this, but I suppose I have to accept this. Ebay is the way to go!

Now, I have digressed. Where are the SNES related websites? Website creation is not always the most pleasant thing in the world, but many NES webmasters have created many innovative ideas and their sites are very exciting to read. There are comedy sites and sites that focus on rare games. I figure that SNES games must not be funny, and that there aren't as many rare SNES games. A lack of a monopoly probably caused this. The shorter lifetime of the system compared to the NES likely doesn't help. This situation is really a mystery, as the Super Nintendo sold over 20 million systems in North America. The emulator, Zsnes is incredibly popular, with well over a million downloads, meaning there are still plenty of SNES fans out there, but most must keep to themselves. Anyway, I will continue to play SNES games, and enjoy them. Perhaps others will get the same idea as myself and will create a fan site. If anyone is a fan of the SNES, be sure to give me a shout!

© Evan G. This site made by a Canadian, and fueled by beer. Do not use material on this site without permission.