NES Ghostbusters, Now You’re Playing With (Proton) Power

While I had a lot of fun with the families Atari, (and earlier game consoles that pre-date Ghostbusters, can’t even imagine) their was still more fun to be had with the Nintendo Entertainment System or as the cool kids still say (back in 1988) NES.

My earliest memories of Nintendo came from my downstairs neighbors. Their were two sons, one closer in age and was kinda my friend. One of those kid friendship kinda things. One day while visiting I guess him and his older brother (also in his kid hood) were playing their NES (the one that came with R.O.B!) and naturally (or it was coincidental) the game was Super Mario Brothers.

While I may have played Mario Brothers in an arcade, I had never experienced a Nintendo. They hadn’t popped up around my class (or school) like Piranha Plants. My gaming graphics were the blocks of Atari (the cover artwork was a thing of beauty) and the monochrome blocks of Intellivision from a much earlier childhood.

I don’t remember if I had to have one immediately. Even if I thought I did, my parents resisted until they couldn’t any more. 😀 I didn’t really need one, fortunately my then neighbors one house over who were more like family also had children. Their sons were even older, the one who was much closer to my age (he may have been almost a teen) had a NES (without R.O.B) and plenty of hours were wasted, um well spent developing all kinds of necessary skills for life.

In either 1987 or sometime in 1988 my parents finally would bestow upon me my very own Nintendo Entertainment System! This was the big gift, the kind of gift you pretty much would get for either a birthday or Christmas. I’m a little fuzzy on the exact month and year. I feel like it was a Christmas present because if I believe the internet my “action set” included the NES with controllers, NES Zapper, (which I still have) and Super Mario Brothers/Duck Hunt cartridge. If we all patiently waited I could have had a “Power Set” bundle instead. I blame Nintendo, even 26 years later.


One of the earliest non original (i.e.: Mario, Zelda) Nintendo games I owned was Activision’s Ghostbusters, originally developed by David Crane earlier in the decade. This Ghostbusters game isn’t always held in high regard by ghostheads and gamers. It’s what we had for Nintendo. We couldn’t have dreamed Atari would eventually erase the memories of earlier versions of Ghostbusters by getting behind the Ghostbusters games of games decades later.

I can still recall the frustrations by dying easily on the stairs by “annoying” ghosts as I made my way up to the “Zuul Temple.” Or the loop of the Ghostbusters theme which became kinda etched into my mind. Maybe not having enough money. Either way, easily losing. The game seemed too hard and to this day I am one of who knows how many ghostheads who have never beaten this Ghostbusters game. Choose the form of the destructor? Capitalism.

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