Super NES CD-ROM, We Hardly Knew Ye
8-Bit Bootleg Bowser Battle

Nintendo Promo Videos Revealed

Dkcvideo No longer content merely to advertise in print and on television, Nintendo made a habit of sending out VHS tapes loaded with preview content for upcoming Super NES and Nintendo 64 games in the latter half of the 1990s.  Donkey Kong Country, Star Fox 64, Diddy Kong Racing, Banjo-Kazooie, and other such major games all received the video tape promotional treatment, and these tapes were sent to all Nintendo Power subscribers via mail.  There's an interesting retrospective about these tapes over at Platypus Comix packed with images from the videos.  Prepare to be whisked back in time to the magical era of monkeys gone wild!

The host of this video, some teenager with long crimp hair and a hat, is the least annoying of any host in any Nintendo video, depending on how you feel about Jon Lovitz. He doesn't overact or overhost, and knows when to shut up and let the other guys talk. The first guy he interviews is Ken Lobb, who now works for Microsoft along with probably half the other people in this video. We're shown the Nintendo offices, and several of the workers who had involvement in the game. Then we're taken to the game testing area, and shown...THE [DONKEY KONG COUNTRY] BETA CART! We're being treated like kings here. The guy in the "Play it Loud" shirt explains that each chip in there is 4 megabits large, leading to a total of 32. For 1994, that was a shock... the biggest that had ever been was Super Metroid with 20.

All of these tapes crossed my mailbox over the years, and after watching each one once they'd wind up on the shelf next to all the other VHS tapes I never watched anymore.  The production values weren't all that great on the tapes, and while they did get me excited about the game in question, I could have done without the lame "This is cool!" attitude each video tried to establish.  I'd have been happy with just ten minutes of game clips.  About two years ago I unloaded the whole collection on eBay in an attempt to clear out some closet space, picking up $25 for the set.  See?  I don't obsessively hang on to everything related to Nintendo.