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That's No Moon, It's Motion Pixels — Super Star Wars on SNES!!



Throughout the history of videogames, various consoles have served as one of the many pulpits for the gospel of film marketing. Videogame adaptations of movies are a strange breed. Motion Pixels will examine one such game each week, dissecting the basic gameplay, the graphics, and how faithfully it adapts the film on which it is based. Some are good, some are awful, and some are just down right weird, but they are all interesting experiments. We will also take a look at other cogs in a given film’s marketing machine. Grab some popcorn and a joystick and let the games begin! 



Game/Movie: Super Star Wars

 System: Super Nintendo Entertainment System

 Developer: Lucas Arts/JVC

 Year of Release: 1992


Graphics and Mechanics

Super Star Wars is a stellar platformer. The multidimensional environments engulf the player into the universe of the first film. There are sand dunes for miles on Tatooine, recognizable faces sitting in booths in the Mos Eisley cantina, and Tie Fighters whizzing by the foreground of the Death Star. The design of the characters is inspired and the specific, detailed movement of Luke’s hair or Chewbacca’s fur is phenomenal. The fact that characters can leap at you from the seemingly matte backgrounds or emerge from hallways along a surprising z-axis simultaneously enriches the game and gives it an arcade-style aesthetic. The eventual ability to select from multiple characters highlighted by flashing lights and heralded by signature sounds upon selection does little to stifle this arcade feel.

 For the most part, the controls are simple and easy to manage. You have a button for blasting, a button for leaping, and a few combinations allowing for slight enhancements to those two basic components. The gripes I have with the control settings are related to the highest and lowest capacity of your character’s movement. This may be a personal qualm, and if so I apologize, but it taxes me to no end to have to press down, forward, and an obligatory button to execute a slide. Much like so many other games requiring this indelicate maneuver, it gives rise to a host of problems. The fact that it mandates the usage of the forward key of the directional pad leads to inevitable overshoots and subsequent depletions of your health bar. It is also as infrequently responsive as the mega spin jump that denotes the other controller issue. Most of the time, this is a flashy, superficial movement. But in moving platform levels that demand perfect timing, the sluggishness of this jump can be as grating as listening to R2 and C3PO engage in yet another lover’s quarrel.

To say Super Star Wars is a step up from the NES Star Wars game is a bantha-sized understatement. The upswing in graphics are a given considering the 16bit jump, but ironically it’s a simplification of game procedure that represents Super Stars Wars’ champion improvement upon the NES version. The NES Star Wars game utilized a sort of TMNT engine with a top-down view that would require the gamer to navigate through large maps with various landmarks serving as the entrance to side-scrolling levels. As it if weren’t difficult enough to single-handedly raze the Galactic Empire to ruins, now I have to figure out which cave Obi-wan is hiding in? With Super Star Wars, the game progression is far more straightforward; get to the end, fight the boss, move on. That’s not to say the whole game is a monotonous, perpetual trek from the left side of the screen to the right. There are intermittent levels involving the piloting of vehicles to keep it fresh and entertaining.

But does this streamlining of gameplay make Super Star Wars easier?


Mission Accomplished?

 Oh hell no. Super Star Wars has quite the reputation among classic gaming fans. Any informal poll would garner two overwhelmingly universal opinions. The first opinion will be that this is one of the greats among SNES games and possibly even one of the best classic games ever conceived. The second, and far less favorable, consensus is that Super Star Wars is ridiculously difficult. Having not played this game myself since I was a kid—a long time ago in a town far, far away—I wrote off the portents of my gamer colleagues as a flurry of exaggerated memories and the inadequacy of youth. Surely, the adult gaming geek in me could see fit to best this game, right?

 I could not have been more wrong. Super Star Wars proved to be as difficult as trying to teach a Tusken Raider to recite Hamlet with a perfect English accent.

The prevalence of enemies in each level is taxing enough. But when combined with the absence of adequate weaponry (i.e. the light saber) throughout most of the game, they become a swell of infuriating needles from Vader’s interrogation droid slowly sapping away all your health. As an added perk, the enemies’ rate of regeneration is insane. No sooner did the laser blast that decimated a scorpion dissipate before another had immerged in its place. For Yoda’s sake, Jason Voorhees takes longer to return to his feet!

 There is also no discernable pattern or consistent timing factor to the level-ingrained traps. There are laser fields in the fourth level (inside the sand crawler) through which you are expected to slide, which are completely harmless until you get near them. The trick is to figure out how to extend your slide to start from a distance from which your presence is not detected and extend the slide all the way through the laser field. Given the aforementioned shakiness of the slide mechanics, this was no small annoyance. Then, once you get to the boss of this level, you are poised on a tiny, single platform surrounded by insta-death lava and the monster is shooting streams of fire directly to the spot you are standing. Is it starting to become clear why this proved to be as far as I could go? This game hates being played, hates it!


Playing in God Darth Mode

There is a feeling of abject surrender inherent in using a cheat code. It was my hope that I would never use them for this column as it sullies the purity of the unspoken challenge between gamer and game. I am also fully aware of the scorn I am inviting by admitting to utilizing this nefarious resource; may even get the death sentence on twelve systems for it. But the awful truth is that I was not able to get past the fourth level of the game and it made little sense to try and examine only the first four levels of a videogame; one would not watch twenty minutes of a movie and then write a review. Sure I could read a walkthrough online, but that seemed the recipe for a truly hollow article devoid of personal perspective. But despite these logical, mitigating factors, the nagging guilt over potentially using a cheat code vexed me.

I therefore exhausted every contingency I could think of before stooping to such lowly measures. I even gathered together the wretched hive of scum and villainy that is my most gaming-inclined cohorts and despaired as one by one they failed as I had. At one point I actually had to change out a controller as frustration saw one splintering across the linoleum at the foot of the fireplace. When I was finally forced to employ the cheat code to afford me the option of skipping levels, it required entering a twenty-button combo within the span of fifteen seconds and the use of a second controller to actually activate. In other words, Super Star Wars is such an appallingly difficult game that even the cheat codes are overly complicated.

 So I played each level to its conclusion and found that reaching the boss in most cases was irksome, but not impossible. That is of course except for the escape from Mos Eisley level. The sheer amount of lasers and Storm Troopers blasting you from every conceivable direction is almost as absurd as the Jawas’ business model; how many wayward droids does one really come across in the desert? The reward for getting to the end of this level is battling arguably the game’s most maddening boss. You have to destroy five separate pieces of this hovercraft before you can even inflict any real damage upon it. No game, there’s no need to compartmentalize anger and frustration.

Once you actually get to the Death Star hanger, the plethora of gaping pits into which your character just loves to plunge are bad enough. So why must we also have tiny survey droids with the ability to shove you across the screen and directly into said pits? On what planet is a fully-grown Wookie at the mercy the five-pound Imperial equivalent of a Roomba? Oh, and the coup de grace of this level is the fact that passing Tie Fighters also inflict damage upon you if you fail to evade them. Objects in the foreground THE SIZE OF THE SCREEN must be dodged repeatedly and, again, without the advantage of logical patterns. I might as well have attempted to play this level with the blast shield down.

I played through to the end of the game, the seminal flight through the trench, and was just able to avoid the volley of torpedoes and tie fighters...

...necessary to reveal Darth himself. From inside his personal fighter, Darth ends up posing less threat than any other boss. By the game’s dubious logic, the lord of all Sith is less imposing than the reactor that controls the Death Star’s tractor beam? Sure, and ED-209 is no match for the water softener at OCP right? One memorable explosion later, the game is over.



Faithful to its Source?

Like you wouldn’t believe. Super Star Wars is essentially a remake of the NES game so it begins with the exact same recreation of Episode IV’s opening sequence. But in Super Star Wars, the colors and graphics provide for a gorgeous, drool-inducing love letter to the Star Destroyer and the ill-fated consular ship that served as the genesis of one of the greatest saga’s ever told. The music, all John William’s standards, rings nostalgically beautiful as the MIDI orchestra fills the room. The attention to every geeky detail is just staggering. The sight of Ponda Baba, Garindan, and Labria leaping to fight you in the cantina is the realization of many a childhood scenario enacted with boxes and boxes of action figures. I also love that one of the bosses is the Kalhar monster from the chessboard on the Millennium Falcon.

The ability to fly an X-wing and take part in the Rebellion’s decisive victory over the evil Empire is gleefully geeky.

The game sticks fairly closely to the plot of the film…fairly. Once you reach the end of the first level, and battle the goddamn Sarlaac monster of all things...

....the cinematic break reveals Luke’s discovering of C-3PO near the crashed escape pod. Given the context of the film, that means that all the effort to which you just went was merely Luke on his way to work in the morning. But I suppose otherwise the first level would involve drinking blue milk and whining incessantly about going to Tosche Station for power converters; works better to establish Luke as a badass right out of the gate as opposed to a sniveling, feathered-haired bitch. I also love that the green space rabbits, that I originally mistook as a reference to Jaxxon from the Marvel comics, turned out to be the womp rats upon Luke admits to enacting so much cruelty. I enjoy that the game takes the time to feature creatures alluded to but never seen in the original trilogy; impressive…most impressive.

 The game offers the choice to play as Han, Chewie, or Luke, which is an absolute dream and, I’m fairly certain, represents the three voices in my head at any given time. But to remain as accurate to the film as possible, this choice is not offered the player until the completion of levels that would amount to the logical entrance of those characters into the plot. You don’t play as Han to meet with Obi-wan to deliver R2’s message nor does Chewie drive the landspeeder to recover him from the sandcrawler.

 The one element that really bugs me is the imbalance of time spent on Tatooine. Ten of the game’s fourteen levels are spent on this rock, the farthest planet from the bright center of the universe. If the film were proportionally equal to the game, Biggs would have been right because Luke would never have actually gotten out of there. The film would up its runtime from 121 minutes to something north of nine and a half hours. I understand there is a good chunk of the film that takes place on Tatooine, but this is just overkill. There’s a level to get to the sandcrawler, to get into the sandcrawler, to get out of the sandcrawler, three levels to get to Mos Eisley, one to get to the cantina, and then another to get out of Mos Eisley. The only thing missing was the level in which Luke uses the crapper and then requests the cantina band play “Free Bird” before he finally leaves. The Death Star then comprises the entirety of the rest of the game. What, no level wherein we get to fly the Falcon? No garbage smasher level? I find this lack of environmental diversity disturbing.

 Also, and this is truly nerdy, why did they change Leia’s message to have her instruct Obi-wan to deliver R2 to Yavin instead of Alderaan?

In the cinematic break, as Luke and Obi-wan are listening to her holographic image give these instructions, it’s hard for the hardcore Star Wars geeks not to notice this planetary switcheroo. There is a completely reasonable argument to be made that since Alderaan is blasted to space dust on Peter Cushing’s orders, apparently Dracula isn’t the only thing that dude can destroy, that there could never be an Alderaan level and therefore the line would have to be altered. Sure, except there’s no level on Yavin in the game either! So if the change isn’t to denote actual game story points, why change it? Apparently it’s been many settings of the two suns since I’ve been outside.


Final Thoughts

 As I continue to chat with folks about Super Star Wars, and about this game trilogy overall, I hear some wildly divergent views on their difficulty. Some attest that there is a sharp spike in difficulty from game to game. Others claim to have easily beaten Jedi and Empire while finding the first game insurmountable. Having been thoroughly browbeaten by the first in the series, it may be awhile before I revisit this galaxy. But rest assured this will not be the last Star Wars game covered by this column. There is at least one Star Wars game for almost every major system in existence…and I intend to play them all. Suffice it to say, it will take me far more than twelve parsecs to complete this Kessel Run.


License to Sell

 Not content with the spice freighters full of cash the franchise had already made, Lucas strived to be the ultimate power at the breakfast table as well. I would have liked to drown my sorrows in a giant bowl of C-3PO’s.

The sugary goodness could have completed the devolution back to childhood and provided warm comfort after such crippling failure. The game continually struck me down, but I did not become any more powerful in the process.


Brian Salisbury 


Readers Talkback
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  • April 19, 2011, 10:32 a.m. CST


    by gruemanlives


  • April 19, 2011, 10:35 a.m. CST

    Also, Rest In Piece Sean Connery. You will always be the best Bond.

    by gruemanlives

    A legend.

  • April 19, 2011, 10:35 a.m. CST

    I freakin' loved this game

    by RedLeaderStandingBy

  • April 19, 2011, 10:36 a.m. CST

    oh yes this was freaking difficult

    by Basehead

    I sadly never finished the game due to it

  • April 19, 2011, 10:42 a.m. CST


    by UltimaRex

    I freaking hate you. This is not a good thing. Die.

  • Check it out... it's pretty awesome: Portal is easily one of my favorite pieces of entertainment to be released in the last decade. I can't wait to start playing Portal 2. And this is a pretty awesome way of doing movie promotion as well.

  • April 19, 2011, 10:43 a.m. CST

    Good game, but Super Empire trumps it

    by darthderp

    Great to see this column is continuing, by the way

  • April 19, 2011, 10:45 a.m. CST

    I remember C-3PO's

    by PDepew2181

    Just another in a very long line of cereals that I wish still existed.

  • April 19, 2011, 10:47 a.m. CST

    Sueper Empire Strikes Back

    by Nuck81

    That was the hard one...

  • April 19, 2011, 10:50 a.m. CST

    Game Boy Version

    by SonOfChiba

    As tough as the SNES version was, it was a piece of space piss next to the nightmare-inducing hardness of the GB one. One of THE toughest games ever released, no doubt.

  • April 19, 2011, 10:52 a.m. CST

    I love the Super NES graphics

    by frank

    I haven’t liked the way games have looked on any subsequent systems that have come out as much as I liked the graphics on Super Nintendo. Could just be nostalgia, I guess.

  • ...Fuck if that isn't the most fun vector-based arcade video game ever.

  • April 19, 2011, 10:54 a.m. CST

    I never managed to finish it

    by Righteous Brother

    Got to the Death Star and that was about it. Surprised that there was no mention of the slow-down whenever there were big bosses on the screen - the boss at the end of the sand crawler springs to mind. And no mention of the Mode 7 stuff which was cool - still enjoyed this article though!

  • April 19, 2011, 10:56 a.m. CST

    I think I beat this when I was a kid. I was a better gamer in my youth.

    by SierraTangoFoxtrotUniform

    I still play games but nowadays I prefer straight up action/shooter games. Back then I was all about long ass RPGs but now I can't even touch them. And I tend to cheat now too because of impatience and the wide availability of cheats on the internet. Back then you had to hope a publication actually printed cheats for the game you wanted to cheat at, which was rare.

  • April 19, 2011, 10:57 a.m. CST

    I agree, frank

    by Bobo_Vision

    The graphics of the Super Nintendo really seems to match the graphics of arcade games in the late 80's.

  • April 19, 2011, 10:58 a.m. CST

    So I guess I contradicted myself in my own sentence, oh well...

    by aicnmscott

  • April 19, 2011, 11 a.m. CST

    Anyone play Apprentice of the Force for Game Boy Advance?

    by darthderp

    Not a bad game, although once you've finished it, there's not much replay value; it takes you through the classic trilogy as Luke, and as you play your Force abilities get stronger. Some of the cooler levels are the duels with Vader, and the X-Wing level from ANH. Best of all though, as you progress through the game, it unlocks photos that Quint would put up on BTSPotD in a minute, such as the creation of Vader's helmet for the original movies, and Sebastian Shaw getting suited up for his bit in ROTJ. I'd buy it used if you can; like I said, once you've finished it, you'll wind up passing it on.

  • April 19, 2011, 11:02 a.m. CST

    NIN-TEN-DO It's a cereal now!

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    NIN-TEN-DO It's a cereal, wow!

  • April 19, 2011, 11:02 a.m. CST

    NIN-TEN-DO It's a cereal now!

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    NIN-TEN-DO It's a cereal, wow!

  • When you think of how many man-hours of work goes into every level, it would probably be pretty crushing to know that only 5% of people who even try your game ever see the final level. In all honesty, I'm for the more modern thinking of allowing the player to progress no matter how crappy they actually are at the game. No other form of entertainment withholds the later half of itself from the consumer until after they have proven themselves "worthy" of experiencing it.

  • X-Wing and TIE Fighter were very cool flight simulators. Rebel Assaults 1 and 2 were also good.

  • April 19, 2011, 11:09 a.m. CST

    Sorry, I meant Brian Salsbury...didn't see the byline at the end

    by darthderp

  • April 19, 2011, 11:12 a.m. CST

    SKIPPING the Star Wars games for the NES? Awww come on

    by D.Vader

    I wanted a discussion of ESB for the NES and how fucking difficult the big Swamp Hornet boss was on Dagobah. It killed us over and over and over and over until one day I randomly saw a tip in an Nintendo Power that said to approach the boss stage slowly and carefully so that you can see the boss hiding in his tree on the very edge of the screen. Walk any further and he flies out and the battle is on. Stop where you are and start shooting him in the tree, and you can kill him without ever fighting. Man that drove us nuts.

  • ...I could never beat the Super Star Wars games when I was a kid. Damn those are hard! HOLY HELL!

  • April 19, 2011, 11:17 a.m. CST

    Too many Star Wars similes in this review

    by D.Vader

    The worst was saying something was "as grating as listening to another one of R2s and 3POs lovers' quarrels". Come on, Star Wars fans don't dislike that back and forth banter, gimme a break.

  • April 19, 2011, 11:19 a.m. CST

    The Key to Winning

    by Thurkon

    The Sandcrawler is a bitch of a level. This must absolutely be mastered (with the homing missle pistol) before you can win. However, if you can get past it, you can win. Past the first series of Tusken Raider caves is a gorge you have to jump. Fall down and hug to the left. There is a cave down there that is seemingly empty. Shoot up and extra lives start appearing, up to I believe nine. Jump out and die afterwards. You will spawn directly above the gorge again. Repeat until you have 99 extra lives. It' tedious, but it will allow you to finish the game without cheats, since technically it is a part of the game (even though the programmers probably put it in so they could test it.)

  • April 19, 2011, 11:20 a.m. CST

    Lucas Arts levels

    by The StarWolf

    Oh yes, let's hear it for Lucas Arts unplayably tough levels. I never finished ROGUE SQUADRON II because of that prison escape level where the player is in a Y-Wing trying to cover or break out or do something with prisoners. The first three or four levels of the game were fun, if demanding, but this one was just insane. I'd lose before I even figured out what I was supposed to do or how to do it. Or a TIE FIGHTER mission where even at 'easy' setting, and calling in reinforcements, you still have to essentially be in to places at once and ... I lost track of how often I had to restart before I finally beat that one. One of the things I loved about JEDI ACADEMY is it gave you the option of skipping missions a player found too tough or not to his liking.

  • April 19, 2011, 11:24 a.m. CST

    I had the Nintedo cereal

    by D.Vader

    Half for Mario, Half for Link. And just like Nasty in the Pasty, I too have never gotten that commercial jingle out of my head. NIN-TEN-DO!

  • April 19, 2011, 11:35 a.m. CST

    This game is a fucking WHORE

    by NightArrows

    It was so fucking retarded in it's difficulty. And it wasn't like the game ramped up as you went along. It was fucking atrociously hard from the get-go. Fun? Yes. Stupidly hard? Yes. Super Empire Strikes Back was a far more enjoyable game, especially as you got to duel Vader at the end!

  • April 19, 2011, 11:37 a.m. CST

    I had the Nintendo cereal too! It was cool being

    by sweeneydave

    half and half but it was awful stuff. It got stale in my cupboard. My mom finally through it out and didn't buy it again. E.T. cereal was amazing though. E.T. tastes like peanut butter...

  • April 19, 2011, 11:38 a.m. CST


    by photoboy

    At the time I was never really aware of this game having a reputation for being difficult. Having revisited it fairly recently the challenge was pretty steep, but I don't know why I didn't notice that as a kid. I probably had more spare time to keep using continues. I didn't get Empire for some reason but I did buy Return and that one wasn't too hard, but mostly because you could go apeshit spinning around with the light sabre all the time and mowing down everything in your path. At the time, the graphics and sound were pretty cutting edge and it was the sort of game you'd put on to impress your mates. I think by today's standards it would still be a lot of fun if it were a bit easier.

  • April 19, 2011, 11:40 a.m. CST

    I LIVED for Super Star Wars. I wasn't allowed

    by sweeneydave

    to watch the movies but I knew the mythology. These games filled in lots of the details for me. I remember borrowing an Empire pop-up book from a friend and hiding it from my mom (she felt the Force was evil for trying to replace God). I actually bought a SuperNES only to place this game and Final Fantasy 3.

  • April 19, 2011, 11:43 a.m. CST

    Remember back in the day when you could only

    by sweeneydave

    get video game hints from whispered rumors about rare magazine articles? It made it that much more celebratory when you'd finally win.

  • April 19, 2011, 11:45 a.m. CST

    You werent' allowed to watch the Star Wars movies, sweeneydave?

    by Bobo_Vision

  • April 19, 2011, 11:47 a.m. CST

    This game is easy

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Just don't die, and get the Plasma gun. You'll destroy all enemies in seconds with that thing. The lightsaber is useless. Super Empire was hard, even with the addition of a password save.

  • April 19, 2011, 11:48 a.m. CST

    Actually this game and the Thrawn books

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Are what got me interested in Star Wars again.

  • April 19, 2011, 11:49 a.m. CST

    There was a trash compactor level

    by Samuel Fulmer

    I saw it in an old EGM, but it must've got cut out before the game made it to store shelves.

  • April 19, 2011, 11:52 a.m. CST

    I loved the end of this game! "Stay on target"!

    by sweeneydave

    Blowing up the Death Star always resulted in much cheering from me, followed by getting really quiet so I could watch the award ceremony. I could only imagine what it looked like in real life.

  • April 19, 2011, 11:54 a.m. CST

    I almost completely forgot..

    by SpazMatic1074

    Super NES even existed. It was around that time that my PC gaming career kicked (Doom any1?) in and I almost complely skipped an entire generation of console gaming. College in the 90's was cool for me because I was one of the only people who owned a PC in my entire dorm building, and everybody let their genesis' and SNES's collect dust while they clammored to get their mits on Wolfenstein 3D and Doom. Life was good. It wasn't until emulation that I decided to attempt to try some of these 16-bit wonders. Let me tell you.. a bunch of side-scrollers, fighters, + top-down-view RPGS that all play basicaly the same except with different graphics and varying difficulty. I'm happy to say I didn't miss much.

  • April 19, 2011, 11:58 a.m. CST

    bobo_vision, yeah it sucked learning all about the

    by sweeneydave

    universe without getting to see the movies until my late teens. I did my best to make up for it. Saw the re-releases when I was in college in all their altered glory :( Dressed up as Darth Maul and waited for hours for Phantom Menace only to fall asleep briefly during the podracing. Took my son to see Revenge of the Sith when he was 3. But it seemed the Star Wars train had already passed (at least the good stuff).

  • April 19, 2011, 11:59 a.m. CST

    Does anyone remember that game where you

    by sweeneydave

    play a big fat bald man with curly shoes who breathes fire?

  • April 19, 2011, noon CST

    Parker Brothers had a great ESB video game

    by darthderp

    You flew your snowspeeder and had to take out the Walkers before they reached the base. Intellivision had it, I think Atari had it for the 2600 also. Then Super ESB came out with the Mode 7 Speeder level and just trumped it....

  • April 19, 2011, 12:01 p.m. CST


    by darthderp

    That'd be Karnov

  • April 19, 2011, 12:01 p.m. CST

    What's with..

    by windomearle39

    The sudden craze of posting obits for people who aren't dead...bit sick isn't it?

  • April 19, 2011, 12:04 p.m. CST

    nasty in the pasty

    by frank

    I think it was NIN-TEN-DO (robotic voice) It’s for breakfast now! (kid’s voice) NIN-TEN-DO It’s a cereal! Wow!

  • It's not worth anything, but it's damned funny to see a cereal box that is BLACK!!

  • April 19, 2011, 12:09 p.m. CST

    Star Wars vector graphics game..spent many

    by openthepodbaydoorshal

    a quarter/token on that game.

  • April 19, 2011, 12:09 p.m. CST

    Here; a cereal bowl of nostalgia, on me

    by darthderp

  • April 19, 2011, 12:10 p.m. CST


    by 11ZOMBIES

    A Star Wars article on AICN without a jab at the prequels?!?!? The internet may collapse on itself!!! Also: this game is lots of fun.

  • April 19, 2011, 12:19 p.m. CST

    Mode 7 Heaven!!

    by BookhouseBoy

    The sequel was better though...

  • April 19, 2011, 12:32 p.m. CST

    All games were tougher back in the day...

    by Prydie

    I recently bought up a few NES childhood favorites for a stroll down memory lane and was shocked at how hard the suckers were! Castlevania has completely owned me and the NES Star Wars is bullshit hard. I remember loving Super Star Wars and its Super sequels and have toyed with the notion of sourcing a SNES just to play these games again but after my NES experiment I may give up vintage gaming. Old controllers are too rare to smash in frustration.

  • April 19, 2011, 12:46 p.m. CST

    So which do you gamers prefer...

    by darthderp

    Breezing through an easy game, or struggling for weeks/months to beat a tough as hell game and finally doing it. Do you prefer the quick gratification, or exhausting satisfaction?

  • April 19, 2011, 12:46 p.m. CST

    I was just like you spazmatic

    by durhay

    except Civilization, Gunship 2000 and Wing Commander were my games of choice.

  • April 19, 2011, 12:53 p.m. CST

    I love this section of AICN

    by david starling

    Its where the true people who love movies come together ironically, and give much love to those games and whatever they loved to do with those movies.

  • April 19, 2011, 12:54 p.m. CST

    This is a GREAT fucking game

    by Jaster

    I bought an SNES essentially for this game. Lots of great hidden shit like the ability to get 99 lives.

  • April 19, 2011, 12:56 p.m. CST

    Most Games Needed That Difficulty Level

    by Acquanetta

    It was one of the only ways to extend their lifespan. NES and SNES games generally retailed for roughly the same price you'd pay for a Wii game today. Yet most games could be beaten in one or two nights, with more elaborate titles like Metroid, Zelda, or Mario being few and far between. So with no multiplayer, downloadable content, or even trade-in options (outside of a few major cities), spending weeks trying to topple that base in Contra was pretty much all you had.

  • The force is evil. PSHHH! GET THE FUCK OUTTA HERE! It's based on Daoism you stupid cunts!

  • April 19, 2011, 12:58 p.m. CST

    I loved Super Star Wars

    by david starling

    But I couldn't stand Super Empire Strikes Back - stupidly difficult, and aside from the ending, and the encounter with Vader, a bit of a bogus trip. Jedi was quite cool tho!!

  • I agree it began very difficult, but luckily the unlimited lives cheat is very early on. It's on Hoth and as I recall you have to jump across some crevasses. You get a free life right before you jump and if you steer your guy as you fall there is another hidden life. Just do that for like 20 minutes and you'll have enough lives for the rest of the game no problem.

  • April 19, 2011, 1:07 p.m. CST

    I actually thought Super Return of the Jedi was fucking lame

    by Jaster

    It was ok, but it felt cheap and rushed. I remember I beat it pretty quickly.

  • April 19, 2011, 1:11 p.m. CST

    I hated Super Return of the Jedi

    by disfigurehead

    Super Empire was good.

  • April 19, 2011, 1:11 p.m. CST

    Rise of Fett

    by david starling

    Yeah, I knew about the "cheat", but I didn't want to use it - wanted to do the game by myself, with my own talents!! And I did, some 3 months or so later!! And thus, 15 months on Demon's Souls, and 60% of the way through the game - I may be slow, but I'm committed LOL!!

  • April 19, 2011, 1:13 p.m. CST

    I like hard games...

    by Prydie long as I can save my progress. But not a lot of NES games had level passwords or saving capabilities. Games are a different animal now. Story is important. And value for money is important too. They are a lot more expensive and usually a lot shorter than vintage games. It sucks but if I shell out big dollars for a AAA game, I kinda wanna see the end. This has made them easier and made gamers a little worse for it. We can bump up the difficulty but how often do any of us play through on anything higher than Normal difficulty? I'll push a game up to hard once I've played through once but only if I really loved the game and even then with all the new games coming out I mightn't find time to do this.

  • April 19, 2011, 1:16 p.m. CST

    ZERO shame in cheat-coding this.

    by CatVutt

    I would've ditched the game without codes.

  • April 19, 2011, 1:41 p.m. CST

    Every time I hear someone complain...

    by Kevin Holsinger

    ...that videogames based off movies suck, I remember this trilogy as rebuttal. Though as far as I'm concerned, ROTJ's game ends when you kill the Emperor. There's no stage after that where you're trying to fly out of the Death Star. Kind of like how Super Macho Man is the last enemy in Mike Tyson's Punch-Out. Nobody's gonna convince me differently.

  • April 19, 2011, 1:46 p.m. CST

    Best part about Super Return of the Jedi

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Was using the cheat code where you could choose any character in any level and having Wicket the Ewok take on The Emperor.

  • April 19, 2011, 1:55 p.m. CST

    so Emma Watson is a lesbian?

    by Nick

    Cut off her hair, goes to Brown, and plays field hockey? WHAT? I guess she likes the rubber...

  • April 19, 2011, 2:18 p.m. CST

    My favorite was the SNES version of "The Remains of the Day"

    by jawsfan

  • April 19, 2011, 2:18 p.m. CST

    Second only to the SNES version of "Frost/Nixon"

    by jawsfan

  • April 19, 2011, 2:30 p.m. CST

    sithmenace and braindrain

    by darthderp

    In Super ESB, you did use a tow cable to trip the Walkers; you had to fire the rope at the right moment, and circle the walker 3 times - a ding sounded for every full circle you made. The same level was probably improved upon in SotE - advanced system and all.

  • April 19, 2011, 3:33 p.m. CST

    Back when games were challenging...

    by alienindisguise

    not like the pussy games of today that a total hack can run through in 5 hours. Long live the OLD SCHOOL GAMING!

  • April 19, 2011, 3:34 p.m. CST

    Lucasarts should adapt the prequel stories

    by Sith Witch

    into this series for Wii Ware download!

  • April 19, 2011, 3:45 p.m. CST

    I suck at these kind of games.

    by Triple_J_72

    I used to get so frustrated while playing any of the Star Wars SNES trilogy. I wanted to fly in a ship and blow stuff up, not this "Mario Bros." crap. So I looked up the cheat codes to advance to the Death Star battles.

  • April 19, 2011, 4:10 p.m. CST

    Don't forget

    by PedroM

    the engine was again used in Indiana Jones Trilogy, also for SNES.

  • April 19, 2011, 4:10 p.m. CST

    Solved all 6 of these. Both trilogies for nes and snes.

    by UltraTron

    Probably used a game genie at some point but I remember playing the shit out of super star wars so maybe I slogged through it without cheating

  • April 19, 2011, 4:16 p.m. CST

    Super Star Wars was easy

    by Sith Witch

    Super ESB was the hard one!

  • April 19, 2011, 4:23 p.m. CST

    And yes, there is a stage after fighting the Emperor...

    by PedroM

    where you have to fly out of the Death Star. Hardest stage of them all.

  • April 19, 2011, 4:30 p.m. CST

    I loved these Super Star Wars games

    by lv_426

    Definitely some good times playing these back in the day... which was a simpler time of 2D side-scrolling games that came packaged in a clunky gray plastic cartridge. And the Star Wars trilogy could be bought in its original unmolested form on either letterbox or pan and scan VHS at Suncoast Video at the mall.

  • April 19, 2011, 4:59 p.m. CST

    There it is, my childhood

    by RichardLuzT


  • April 19, 2011, 5:03 p.m. CST

    Honestly, I miss hard games...

    by ClaireRedfield

    But since I have a job and bills to pay, I don't have time to be fucking around with hard-assed games like Super Star Wars. Even now, years later, that game fills me with rage. Fuck that game. It was great fun though. Weird innit? Also, a hearty fuck you to Ninja Gaiden for the NES. I had to circle a level for almost an hour to collect enough spare lives to win that game.

  • April 19, 2011, 5:16 p.m. CST

    If this is a consular ship, WHERE is the ambassador?!

    by _V_

    "drool-inducing love letter to the Star Destroyer and the ill-fated consular ship that served as the genesis of one of the greatest saga’s ever told. " If this is a consular ship, WHERE is the ambassador?!

  • April 19, 2011, 5:17 p.m. CST

    One of the hardest games I remember

    by Jaster

    I think it was called Russian Attack. You were a beret-wearing commando guy with a knife. It was a side-scroller on NES. You had to memorize where each guy was going to come from and be ready to kill him but it got really hard because they'd come from different directions and be shooting at you, etc. If you got past like the third level you were a damn game master that had studied it for weeks! GOD DAMN that game was a mother fucker! Fucking fun though the bastards! And remember those fucking 20 character continue codes you had to write down and every now and then it wouldn't work and you wanted to go on a mass killing spree?

  • April 19, 2011, 5:21 p.m. CST

    a Parsec...

    by azguki

    is an astronomical distance. If you are going to quote Star Wars, you should at least try to segregate yourself from the monumental ignorance of George Lucas and all things astronomy. "Suffice it to say, it will take me far more than twelve parsecs to complete this Kessel Run." That's like saying, "It will take me far more than 3.125 miles to run a 5k." Lucas was retarded long before the prequels.

  • April 19, 2011, 5:32 p.m. CST

    I do miss fun hard games

    by tbransonlives

    Like Star Tropics and Legend of Zelda 1 & 2 for NES and Zelda for the SNES. Maybe they aren't hard anymore though, I haven't played them in forever.<p> I'm glad that 1st person shooters came around and got me out of gaming. So boring and repetitive.

  • April 19, 2011, 5:40 p.m. CST

    this false news posting...should lead to immediate and permanent bans

    by SmokingRobot

    It's just that stupid.

  • April 19, 2011, 5:49 p.m. CST

    That fucking Super Return of the Jedi Game...

    by Kammich

    ...that game was the fucking bane of my existence when I was in the 4th grade. I was a fairly obsessive--and generally skilled--super nintendo player, and had pride in 'beating' every single game I owned. I COULDN'T BEAT THAT FUCKING DEATH STAR MISSION, AND I BLAME IT ALL ON BILLY DEE. Many years later, my friends and I were recounting our exploits at the time and I drunkenly hashed out an image that I wanted to get a tattoo of. it was Billy D's face with the caption "Billy Dee Can't Fuckin Fly." its still on my hard drive at home. recollections like the one above make me realize just how much of my life that I've COMPLETELY wasted on banal bullshit. I rule.

  • April 19, 2011, 6:36 p.m. CST

    Rush'n Attack was too hard to enjoy.

    by sweeneydave

    I prefered "Bad Dudes" over "Rush'n Attack".

  • April 19, 2011, 6:40 p.m. CST

    Star Tropics was epic. I remember being floored

    by sweeneydave

    when I discovered that the "blank note" that came with the game and had instructions saying "do not throw away" actually had a secret message written in invisible ink. You get to a certain point in the game and they tell you how to reveal the message. I think it was specific coordinates or something that you HAD to have to progress. It was stuff like that which engrossed me in Star Tropics like no other action/RPG has since.

  • April 19, 2011, 6:53 p.m. CST

    The president has been kidnapped by ninjas.

    by frank

    Are you a bad enough dude to rescue the president?

  • April 19, 2011, 7 p.m. CST

    No B.S

    by Mr.Vengeance

    But I found this game so easy back in the day was so glad i borrowed it because i had clocked it that quickly, want to re visit it again now just to see if easier games these days have dulled my skills.

  • April 19, 2011, 7:35 p.m. CST

    SW was hard, ESB was brutal, ROTJ was easy

    by TheSecondQuest

    Super Star Wars was challenging, but generally not impossible. The only real hurdle in the game was that hovercraft boss in Docking Bay 94. If you didn't have the plasma gun in that battle (or died during the battle and were forced to continue with the regular blaster) you had almost zero chance of beating it Everything else was surmountable with enough practice. But Super ESB? That game was a motherfucker. Every early level and mid level, from the ice caves to Echo base to Dagobah, were hard as hell. Eventually, it was possible to get past them (barely), and then you got to Cloud City. The Cloud City levels are probably still the most difficult sidescroller stages ever made. The arrival at Cloud City was hard but doable, but good fucking lord, was the Ugnaught smelting pit level with Chewbacca impossible. I usually have a strick no-cheat-codes policy when it comes to games (unless I'm just screwing around to try out different weapons or something during a replay) but Super ESB broke me and forced me to use the level skip to get past the Ugnaught Chewie level. And then the damn Carbon Freezing Chamber level with Han was just as difficult (partially because the level was seemingly so vast). Ridiculous difficulty, but one of legend that grabs every gamer invisibly by the throat and declares "Fuck You! Earn it!". So, since everyone bitched about how hard Super ESB was, they intentionally made Super ROTJ easier- and it was a game that was probably too easy. I blew through Super ROTJ 2 to 3 times as fast as the other games. The only stages that proved any real challenge were the interior Shield Generator stage and the escape from the exploding Death Star 2 (the latter of which is at least understandbale since it's the final level). But, the added variety from Super ROTJ helped balance out it being too easy at least- flipping around the trees as Wicket was mad fun. So, SSW: Hard. SESB: Brutal. SROTJ: Easy.

  • April 19, 2011, 7:57 p.m. CST

    Jedi was hardest for me

    by Mike

    I beat Super Star Wars fairly easily though I'm sure I used save states. I had to cheat eventually to beat Empire. ROTJ I have never beat. It is so incredibly hard. Just getting past the first level is annoyingly hard let alone the rest of the game! It's a shame too because the game is very cool otherwise. Awesome characters, great graphics, and good sound. Also, the Vader fight at the end of Empire is the best!

  • April 19, 2011, 8:09 p.m. CST


    by BirdMcMonster

    I loved these so much...

  • April 19, 2011, 8:43 p.m. CST

    Loved this game.

    by Bubba Gillman

    But I almost went insane after hearing "utidi" one thousand times during the sand crawler section.

  • April 19, 2011, 9:10 p.m. CST

    I have all three of these sealed in my star wars collection.

    by claxdog

  • April 19, 2011, 9:16 p.m. CST

    I conquered Rush'n Attack

    by lv_426

    It was hard as hell, but I did it back in the day. I'm not sure it was completely worth it though. The ending was kind of stupid. Nothing like the great and epic ending to a classic game like Contra. You just can't beat taking off in a chopper from a remote island just before the entire island explodes in an 8-bit explosion.

  • April 19, 2011, 9:23 p.m. CST


    by yubnubrocks

    hahaha from those early Marvel comics! What an odd story.... I can't even imagine if they tried to make that into a movie, although, it'd probably be better than the prequels. Crimson Jack forever!!!!

  • April 19, 2011, 11:33 p.m. CST

    Does eating C-3P0's cereal turn you gay?

    by lv_426

    Or just make you shit a lot because it is high in fiber?

  • April 19, 2011, 11:48 p.m. CST

    being a Star Wars fan: 1992-1999

    by Ted Striker

    Was there any better time to be a Star Wars fans than the 1990s? Lots of great games, and then the VCR Saga bundles, and then the retro posters, the "lost" Biggs scenes coming out on CD, and a lot of nostalgia items for sale at comic book stores, Legos launching, then the Special Editions... Right up until Episode I, those were great days to be a Star Wars collector. After 2000, it was downhill, but I'll always have a fondness for this time period, and especially this game!

  • April 20, 2011, 12:54 a.m. CST

    Played the hell out of these SW games for SNES

    by Pitofbenders

    I do remember this one being pretty hard, mostly the Sandcrawler level at the end with the fire pit boss and the one where the Storm/Sand troopers jump out at you in Mos Eisley when you are trying to get to the hangar. That boss too was a pain in the ass. But Empire was a lot of fun as well and so was Jedi. I think all three had their varying degrees of difficulty, some levels were just plain controller smashingly absurd. But as someone else said, as a young kid, what the hell else were you going to do? So i played the fuck out of them, and being a life long SW fan, these were great, and added to my love of SW.

  • April 20, 2011, 12:54 a.m. CST

    Well said Ted striker!

    by Pitofbenders

  • April 20, 2011, 1:23 a.m. CST

    ted striker: 1990's Star Wars fandom

    by lv_426

    Those were great times. By then I was old enough to be capable of truly appreciating the original Star Wars films, as I was still too young in the early 80's to grasp how awesome those original three films were. I remember one Friday night back in the mid 90's, while I was a high school freshman with no life, popping my trusty letterboxed Star Wars VHS tapes into the VCR and staying up all night to watch the entire trilogy from start to finish. Good times.

  • April 20, 2011, 1:48 a.m. CST

    1990s Star Wars

    by Marat

    Thirded. Those were the years of my being a hardcore SW fan. "Rediscovering" the trilogy, staying up at recess to play with Star Wars toys with my pals. Lost years that will never come back. I remember just how hectic things got before Episode 1. Oh, we were holding our breath for that film - just went into middle school then. Unfortunately it didn't live up to expectations and my years of grade school represented those "golden" Star Wars years. Star Wars now ain't got sh-t on 1990s Star Wars.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:42 a.m. CST


    by David Cloverfield

    Finished Portal 2 on the weekend, but I'm buying it today. It's amazing. I would call it a gamechanger.

  • April 20, 2011, 6:41 a.m. CST

    Super Star Wars was tough

    by Jack Burton

    But I was able to beat it without cheat codes. Super Empire Strikes Back, on the other hand, remains one of the hardest games I've ever played. I don't think I even made it off Hoth. Just a monstrously difficult game. Star Wars was hard but rewarded patience and timing. Empire Strikes Back was just sadistic. Good review, I'm enjoying these flashback articles.

  • April 20, 2011, 8:33 a.m. CST

    Loved this game!

    by Doughboy

    I must've rented it at least 3 times back in the day. It's what got me interested in Star Wars again. I'd seen Return of the Jedi a million times on HBO in the 80's, but I'd always hated Empire as a kid because of the downbeat ending and dark tone and I honestly didn't remember the original Star Wars all that well. After playing Super Star Wars though which combined great gameplay, a decent reproduction of Williams' score(for a 16-bit cartridge game anyway), and all those cool voice clips of Ben Kenobi from the movie, I revisited the entire trilogy, first on TV and then when that Definitive Collection Laserdisc set came out in late 1993(which cost nearly 300 bucks!). It was funny how at the age of 16 suddenly I loved Empire, thought Star Wars was great, but wasn't too big on Jedi anymore(although I still enjoyed the hell out of it). As far as the game itself, I don't remember it being as difficult as folks on here are saying. I beat it fairly easily every time I rented it. Now Super Empire Strikes Back was much tougher. Mostly because it was so freaking long. There must've been 10 Hoth levels alone in that game. And I never even finished Super Return of the Jedi. BTW, anyone else remember that Electronic Gaming Monthly review of Super Star Wars that showed a screencap of a level in the trash compactor? That ended up being cut out of the game due to limited memory on the cartridge.

  • April 20, 2011, 8:42 a.m. CST

    Portal 2 is indeed amazing.

    by v3d

    But the puzzles seem a bit easier.

  • April 20, 2011, 8:51 a.m. CST

    @ acquanetta Games were actually more expensive back then.

    by v3d

    When adjusted for inflation, a Super Nintendo game would cost around $75 today. The system itself, priced at $199 would cost $315 today. An Atari 2600 purchased in 1977 for $199 would be over $700 today. Today's systems and games are almost a bargain. Almost.

  • April 20, 2011, 9:51 a.m. CST


    by David Cloverfield

    They're not. Most Portal fans just went through the original game a few times and learned how they work. "Thinking with portals" is divine, but it's also a skill that's pretty easy to learn.

  • April 20, 2011, 10:22 a.m. CST

    Star Wars Trilogy Arcade

    by Dave Catanese

    was better than all of the SNES games. Has it ever been released on a home console?

  • April 20, 2011, 11:49 a.m. CST

    @ david cloverfield

    by v3d

    Maybe the difficulty level is the same. It judt seemed to me they are easier. But your mileage may vary. What I'd really like to see is a FPS where the Portal gun is a weapon. The ability to drop a camping sniper into a pit of lava would be worth the price of admission.

  • April 20, 2011, 11:50 a.m. CST

    ^ judt=just

    by v3d

  • April 20, 2011, 3:21 p.m. CST

    ted striker: Post Of The Talkback!


    The 90's were indeed the Golden Years of Star Wars. I remember in the years before the prequels when people loved the shit out of the series and how awesome it was to watch the original trilogy with friends. We used to talk about Star Wars a lot back then. I remember how eager we all were for those prequels and the excitement when the first trailer emerged. And then.... Star Wars died. It just... died. People don't hold that series in the same esteem now that they did in the 90's, and that's thanks to the prequels. Lucas really fucked up everything with those movies.

  • April 20, 2011, 4:35 p.m. CST

    Someone mentioned Bad Dudes...

    by SK229

    awesome game. Felt like an early video game translation of Warriors. Incidentally, I don't know fuck-all about emulators except for my android phone (tried Rygar on that thing... impossible) How do they work on the mac (yes, I have macs and no iphone cause I'm on tmobile, but I do have hacked wifi tethering for my ipad : )] and is there a controller anyone can recommend for the mac that would be good for a variety of emulator games? Like good for Genesis AND NES AND Turbografx, etc.?

  • April 20, 2011, 5:48 p.m. CST

    X-Wing and TIE Fighter...

    by DeadAtRecess

    ...were great examples of what Star Wars games should be. This Super Star Wars thing was nonsense. Luke fights Jawas and assaults a Sandcrawler to fight a big monster inside of it? WTF??? Thank goodness for PC gaming in the early 90s. I'm sure that everyone has fond nostalgic memories of this game, but let's be's Mario Brothers with Star Wars characters and it. There are some quality SW games out there, but this wasn't one of them. This was another case of slapping the SW logo on a piece of garbage and watching the Lucas empire rake in the cash.

  • April 20, 2011, 5:51 p.m. CST

    *IN it I meant to say.

    by DeadAtRecess

  • April 20, 2011, 8:22 p.m. CST

    This was nothing like Mario Bros

    by TheSecondQuest

    It's a sidescroller platformer, sure, but it has far more in common with Contra and other shooters than Mario bros. And it's far better than most shooter platforms or random movie tie-ins that have slapped their concept onto a sidescroller. SW logo or not- these were ace games.

  • April 22, 2011, 12:41 a.m. CST

    Ace games?

    by DeadAtRecess

    They featured SW characters and environments in a completely non SW narrative. It was Mario (or Contra or whatever crap side scroller you wanna mention) with Luke Skywalker. The games had the characters doing things they never did in the films in such a ridiculous manner. Is that an "ace game"? The second game begins with you collecting floating coins on Hoth. FLOATING COINS. Just like in the movie. That's an ace game alright.

  • April 22, 2011, 12:54 a.m. CST

    Collecting hearts

    by DeadAtRecess

    The games had you collecting hearts for crap's sake. Power ups. And Super ESB had you dodging snowballs. Like in the film ESB when Luke had to dodge all those snowballs while fighting weird Hoth beasts while collecting floating hearts to keep himself "powered-up". Those games were just garbage.

  • April 29, 2011, 11:08 a.m. CST


    by room23storeblogspotcom

    I also had the Advance game, I played through it in one sitting and the traded it at Game Stop.

  • April 29, 2011, 11:09 a.m. CST


    by room23storeblogspotcom

    I loved C-3POs and Nintendo cereals. They need to bring them back!

  • April 29, 2011, 11:24 a.m. CST

    Bad Dudes

    by room23storeblogspotcom

    I love that game! I recently bought the Data East Collection for the Wii. I love how at the end of each level the say "I'm a bad Dude!" best part about the game, along with the ended where the president wants to grab a burger or pizza with you.