Roland’s Picks For Best Unknown NES Games (Pt1)

So we all know the top hits of the classic NES but what about those hidden gems that no one really talks about? Today I am going to go through my collection and games that I have played ,list what I think are some of the best unknown or lesser talked about games for the NES that hopefully won’t break your wallet if you decide to purchase them. So my picks are as follows.


Astyanax, produced by Jaleco for the NES, this game also had an arcade release around the same time that the NES version came out. The NES version of this game I think is superior compared to  its arcade counterpart. The story for the NES version is more in depth than the arcade from what I can tell.  The story is pretty much run of the mill. Astyanax is a 16-year-old high school student from Greenview High School who has been having a recurring dream in which a young woman is calling out for his name. Next thing you know you are teleported to a different dimension by a small fairy named Cutie. Cutie then informs you that you are the warrior of legend that will save their princess named Rosebud and save the land from the evil sorcerer named Blackhorn.

Also in the NES version, you have more than just the ax like in arcade, you start out with an ax but then you can get upgrades and go up to the spear which does less damage but makes you spells more effective, then finally you get the sword wich makes spells less effective but does more damage. The eBay pricing for this game seems to be under 20.00


Up next we have Clash at Demonhead by Vic Tokai.  This is a very interesting game and actually one of the first open-ended platformers, one of the first of its type that I played. This game has very odd and unique feel to it. In Clash at Demondhead, you play Billy “Big Bang” Blitz , I mean cmon you already know by that name this guy means business.  You start out with a handgun and can upgrade them in shops as the game progresses. The story is a vast one too so I am not going to be able to do it justice in this article so I will give you the basic rundown. You play a sergeant in S.A.B.R.E. (Special Assault Brigade for Real Emergencies).  You are  contacted while on a vacation at the beach with your girlfriend Mary to save Professor Plum, creator of a Doomsday Bomb capable of destroying the world. If you have never played this game you can’t go wrong with the eBay listing price of under 20.00


Faxanadu by Hudson Soft came in under the radar for many players it’s a side scrolling platformer with medieval RPG elements. This game has a good soundtrack and reasonable controls, I for one think its a rather well paced and in-depth game and for the life of me can’t see why it doesn’t get more recognition for being a classic for the system.

The story begins when you the nameless protagonist approaches Eolis, your hometown which is located at the base of the world tree, after being on a long journey only to find it in disrepair and virtually abandoned. Worse still, the town is under attack by Dwarves. The Elven king explains that the fountain water, their life source, has been stopped and all other remaining water has been poisoned. This has all happened due to a meteor crashing and thus also causing the Dwarves to become mad and mutated. The best thing about this is the eBay pricing is at 20.00 and under.


Crystalis is published by SNK, it never really took off as an instant hit, as time has marched on it has become a cult classic. Crystalis doesn’t bring anything game breaking or original to its gameplay. It follows the normal top-down perspective and classic tropes of the RPG games of the time and done them well.

The story is pretty rad, it takes place  in a post-apocalyptic world, one hundred years after a global thermonuclear war. This caused civilization to reset back to the stone age,thus the existence of fierce mutated creatures populating the world. Science and technology have been abandoned due to the devastation it had brought into the world, but magic and the old ways stayed with humanity.  The survivors of the terrible destruction built a floating tower armed with massive weapons  to prevent any future cataclysms, from befalling humanity. A man known as Emperor Draygon, has revived the forbidden ways of science and combined them with magic.He also controls the world’s last remaining military power and seeks to conquer what’s left of the world by attempting to seize control of  the Floating Tower. 

The game opens up with all of this happening, a computer comes online and your character the main protagonist of the game awakens from cryogenic freeze with no memory of who he is. He is guided by wise men and seeks to aid Mesia, another survivor from his time in order to defeat Draygon before he causes the next cataclysm.

This game can be purchased on eBay for under 30.00


Hey, kids like sports games? like baseball? like robots? Well if you answered yes to any of the following questions then this game will not disappoint. Base Wars was published by ultra and are a really unique game set in the far future where we have machines playing sports and fighting to the death. Yes you heard me right, fighting to the death. When you go to steal a base or tag someone out, there is still a chance to get the base or the run, if you get tagged by someone with the ball it goes into a side screen and the game turns into a 2D fighter, winner takes the base. The reason this game is on my list is I can’t tell you how many lazy Sundays I spent with my childhood friend playing this game.  This game is a really unique take on a saturated game genre and makes it feel fresh and new. If you get a chance to pick this game up I highly suggest picking it up. You can pick this game up on eBay for average price of 10.00 cartridge only.