Few gaming magazines are as beloved as Nintendo Power. In the NES era, it offered many young Nintendo fans their first glimpse of the upcoming games that fired their imaginations, and poring over the detailed maps and tantalizing bits of info was a ritual almost as enjoyable as playing the games themselves. Discontinued in 2012 (though revived as a podcast five years later), the official magazine was an essential source of reviews, previews, and strategies. Now, thanks to community projects and audacious archivists, every single issue of the legendary magazine is yours to view.
Uploaded to Archive.org today by Gumball, all 285 issues of Nintendo Power are now unofficially available in .cbr format. At just over 40 gigabytes for the whole shebang, the vast majority of the collection comes courtesy of Retromags, a community-run project dedicated to archiving classic video game magazines. A couple of remaining issues were sourced via Reddit by Gumball. Scanned in full color, the collection is a wonderful way to browse through gaming and media history.
Gumball is no stranger to gathering video game print materials, as they state in a Reddit comment, “I’ve been collecting manuals and stuff for systems I grew up with.” “It is a big piece of a lot of kid’s childhoods and gaming history, so I think it’s important that they are available for everyone to read,” they say.
The escalating Reddit post is gaining a lot of attention and appreciation from gamers who have either been looking to complete their own collections or to find the couple of missing issues that weren’t in the Retromags collection. “I just wanted to get every issue in one place,” Gumball says in another Reddit reply. “The ones that I could not find were issues 208 and 285. Retromags did not have them [but] a dude over in the r/DHexchange happened to have both of these [and] allowed me to complete the set.”
Unfortunately, Nintendo’s history with these sorts of efforts isn’t exactly comforting. But as physical media, especially printed manuals and magazines like Nintendo Power, become harder to find, having access to archives like this is an essential way to preserve this history.