When Nintendo Is Your Penpal

Remember life before email? Like when people wrote letters? On paper? Kotaku reader Matthew does. Because during the early 1990s, he was a little kid writing them to Nintendo.

While going through his old things for a yard sale, Matthew (not pictured) found a couple letters from Nintendo of America—replies.


Matthew did things like ask Nintendo of America to give him Namco's mailing address, so he could write them a letter, begging Namco to put all the Pac-Man arcade games on a single cartridge.

In another letter, Matthew asked about Populous, because he rented the game from a video store, and it had no instruction booklet—he didn't know what he was doing!

"I also thought I found a secret in Maniac Mansion—I forget what it was, but think it was blowing up the mansion or something like that—and had to share, hoping to see my name in their magazine," Matthew told Kotaku. "I was a bit disappointed when they wrote me back with generic tips, especially about Super Mario Bros."

The letters themselves are time capsules, with Nintendo giving statements on the soon-to-be released SNES version of Mortal Kombat and how it won't have the "finishing moves" found on the arcade version as well as an explanation as to why the Super Nintendo CD-ROM hadn't been released. There's also a tease for the then upcoming The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.


As someone who grew up in the 1980s and called for pricey 1-900 numbers for clues and tips, writing letters might seem unnecessarily time consuming, but at least it was cheap.

(Top photo: Sion Touhig | Getty)


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