More Nintendo Goodness

Although I have a good deal of posts in the pipe that are more edifying to the history of video games, it's going to be a little bit longer.  So in the mean time I figure I'd share with you one of my favorite Nintendo finds of late.  The 1990 Nintendo Power Game Calendar, rife with daring, intrigue, and terrible looking 3D monstrocities. Won't you take a look?


Nintendo Calendar Cover: Pixels! Stars! Monkeys! Oh My!Nintendo Calendar Cover: Pixels! Stars! Monkeys! Oh My! 

Though this is a calendar (and what a calendar), there are definitely some items to note throughout the months.  If you want to skip the mild commentary and jump right to the pretty pictures, they are all thumbnailed at the bottom of the page. As noted on the cover, this calendar includes a veritable cornucopia of early Nintendo fantasticness.  The opening month provides some potent morsels, ripe for critical devouring. 

Nintendo Calendar January: A Little BusyNintendo Calendar January: A Little Busy

Two notable things are present here, the first being the pixel blob in the bottom right.  Oh wait, that's the princess...Guess that highlights the amount of disconnect necessary to change an array of colors into a viable game image. Throughout the calendar there are many inflated 8-bit sprites that do not survive decontextualization from the game world. By pulling the images from a game off of the screen, there is a definite emphasis placed on the tenous connection between the actual 8-bit sprite and the comparable mental imagery.  

The second of-note item is the three dimensional representation of Mario in the top left, which makes me grateful that someone with a keener interpretive eye was responsible for his transition to 3D in Mario 64.  Honestly, this Mario really looks like an unhappy, overweight plumber, as opposed to a fantastically bouncy Italian-American stereotype.

Nintendo Calendar March: Where's the calendar?Nintendo Calendar March: Where's the calendar?

In this rendition of the Legend of Zelda, I'm struck mostly by the confusing nature of the calendar layout. Evidently this is completely designed to hang on a child's wall, where it will remain devoid of any meaningful date planning.  The actually calendar is barely visible, as it occupies the wall on the left and bottom.  As an aesthetic choice I think it's great, and challenges the shallow, typical conception of what a calendar should be, namely "useful".

Enjoy the rest of the calendar below, highlights include Nintendo Golf for some reason, and a fantastically game-ruining back cover for those who have never played Super Mario Bros. 2.



Nintendo Calendar JanuaryNintendo Calendar JanuaryNintendo Calendar FebruaryNintendo Calendar FebruaryNintendo Calendar MarchNintendo Calendar MarchNintendo Calendar AprilNintendo Calendar April








Nintendo Calendar MayNintendo Calendar MayNintendo Calendar JuneNintendo Calendar JuneNintendo Calendar JulyNintendo Calendar JulyNintendo Calendar AugustNintendo Calendar August








Nintendo Calendar SeptemberNintendo Calendar SeptemberNintendo Calendar OctoberNintendo Calendar OctoberNintendo Calendar NovemberNintendo Calendar NovemberNintendo Calendar DecemberNintendo Calendar December







Nintendo Calendar January 91Nintendo Calendar January 91Nintendo Calendar BackNintendo Calendar Back


I love the Mario calendar

I love the Mario calendar too. It's my favorite.

Mario has been my favorite

Mario has been my favorite video game ever since the Nintendo family computer existed. The calendar is so cool. Where can Mario fanatics possibly find these stuff?

Oh my god, this post

Oh my god, this post unearthed completely suppressed memories of owning this calendar as a child. Incredible!


From a fellow academic who loves studying and writing about games - especially older games - I just wanted to say how much I appreciate this project and the corresponding blog. I'd love to stop by and see these things in person if I ever get out to Stanford (maybe for a conference on gaming!?) Keep up the good work!


I just wanted to say thanks for doing all this - it's really cool to see the strangeness that the retro gaming engine produced. Looking forward to the next find. :)