Total RecallTotal RecallTotal Recall is a look back at the history of video games through their characters, franchises, developers and trends.

July 15, 1983. If that's your birthday, happy birthday! If it's not, that's cool. It's still a very special date in history. Because it's the day the Nintendo Famicom first went on sale in Japan.

Later released in the West as the Nintendo Entertainment System (or NES), the Famicom is where things really got serious for the company. Sure, Donkey Kong was an arcade hit, and Nintendo had a string of successes before that, but the Famicom is where we first met Link, Samus, Simon Belmont, Mega Man and many more of gaming's oldest, most cherished characters.


While we could spend the night waffling on about how important the system was to Nintendo and video gaming in general, and rattling off statistics and sales figures, that kind of general coverage isn't really what Total Recall is about.

Instead, we're going to go back in time and get a little taste of the Famicom as it tasted in the 1980s. And the best way to do that is through old Famicom commercials. Scroll through the gallery above to see clips from the original Famicom, its Disk System expansion and some of the biggest and best games to feature on the console.

Total Recall is a look back at the history of video games through their characters, franchises, developers and trends.

An early commercial for the vanilla system itself.

An ad for the Famicom Disk System, a floppy disk expansion for the console.

The Sharp Twin Famicom, which combined the original console and the Disk System expansion in a single casing.

Doki Doki Panic. If the turnip-throwing and bad guys look familiar, that's because this is the game Nintendo released - after a few character changes - in the West as Super Mario Bros. 2

This Final Fantasy commercial shows the "New Famicom", the redesigned console released in 1993 and known in the West as the NES 2.

This one's a treat. It opens with the famous commercial for Famicom Wars, which would become the Advance Wars series. What follows is nearly ten minutes of an incredible mix of short film, strategy guide and informercial.

Yup. It's a live-action Metroid commercial. From 1986. So great.

Famicom Tantei Club: Kieta Kōkeisha is an adventure game made by none other than Nintendo legend Gunpei Yokoi.


The first ad for the first game in the Mother series. Enough said.

Castlevania trailer for the Famicom. Isn't the old Konami jingle wonderful?

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