8-Bit Oddities

Back in the day, video games had a lot of inconsistencies and they’ve raised a few questions in the gaming community. Who amongst us hasn’t wondered about Mario eating giant mushrooms or questioned the idea of walking into a stranger’s home without a problem? Well, We Got This Covered looks into the many strange occurrences of 8-bit games and all of their glory.

1. What’s up with the “?” blocks in Mario games? (Super Mario Bros. series)

Ever since I started playing Super Mario Bros. in the 80’s (I’m old school by the way),  I had always wondered about the question mark blocks that seem to float around the Mushroom Kingdom. Who put those things there? And why would anyone hide money, flowers or mushrooms in them? I guess the 8-bit era didn’t need an explanation, but it’s something that has been boggling my mind since I was a child.

2. Why does water mean death in old games? (Donkey Kong Jr., Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)

I never understood why falling in water meant death in old video games, and this especially didn’t make sense in the NES Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game since there was a water level in that game. By the transient property of the turtles knowing how to swim in the water level; they should know how to swim in every other level. Death by water was so inconsistent back in the 8-bit era and it was such a cheap way to kill the character since the water isn’t even moving.

3. Hiding rupees in bushes (The Legend of Zelda)

This is something that still happens in Zelda games today and it always bothered me since no one in their right mind would hide money in trees, bushes or rocks. I understand that Link can’t have a job while fighting off Gannondorf, but it just seems so odd for money to appear by falling out of trees. Especially rupees, since they’re diamonds or rubies, it’s just so strange. But nothing compares to the next idiosyncrasy of 8-bit video games.

4. Kill your enemy-get life energy. (Castlevania, Metroid etc)

This quirk of video games just flat out bothered me since gaining health from defeated foes never sat right with me. Either, your recently defeated foe leaves behind his heart (in games like Castlevania or The Legend of Zelda) or they’ll leave behind energy (like in Metroid), but no matter how that health comes to be: the hero simply takes it without batting an eye. So think about that next time; you might be ingesting the soul or heart of your fallen enemy.

I guess the strangest thing the 8-bit era is the fact that some of these occurrences continue to happen in modern games and that doesn’t make bad. In fact, these are staples in the modern video game world and they’re even quite ubiquitous as far as gaming goes.