Marble Madness

Read the review here.

“It was not quite a racing game, not quite a puzzle game, and not quite a platformer, and offering a two-player mode was icing on the competitive cake.”
– from the full review, which you can read here.

I fully admit that Marble Madness is a sentimental favorite for me, a game I perhaps spent way too much time on, but I do have a reason for that… which brings us to Nintendo Legend’s Story Time.


As a preteen boy obsessed with his NES in those ancient days long before the internet was popular, I spent countless hours playing those Nintendo games, among them a unique, appealing cartridge called Marble Madness. I found that it was quite challenging, as even with a lot of practice, I could rarely beat Track 5, the Silly Race. Even when I was “on a roll,” so to speak (pun intended), I could maybe beat it half the time, only to stare in horror at level six, the Ultimate Race.

Every time I was “on” enough to reach the Ultimate track, I grew intensely frustrated, as I usually had very little time remaining, and I would spend every second trying to make the very first jump, only to fail miserably. One time, I actually made the jump, and was so excited that I could not maintain my focus well enough to complete the track, though I did get to gaze upon the final portion where parts disappear and reappear in coordination.

Years passed, and every once in a while I would return to that Marble Madness game, racing through the levels, occasionally reaching the Ultimate stage, only to futilely fail at that first ramp jump. I began to think that it was stupidly difficult, and demanded some weird sort of superhuman precision or something.

… until, one day, I was just playing along and serendipitously discovered that the A button provided a speed boost.

Yes, for years, literally years I had owned, played, even liked Marble Madness, and never knew about that essential function. Once I learned that the A button gave you a quick little burst I blazed through the levels at breakneck speeds, found out that the ramp on the Ultimate Race was rather easy, and my Marble Madness experience was never the same.

And I eventually made a Let’s Play video:

2 Responses to “ Marble Madness ”

  1. […] task to take your marble and guide it through each obstacle course. Eventually, I beat it. I only recently found out that you can get a boost by hitting the A button. I probably would have enjoyed this game a lot more had I known about it prior to now. As I own it, […]

  2. […] of its available experience. The only other NES title I can think of that even comes close is Marble Madness, but at least Marble Madness takes some practice and skill before being able to complete it. Urban […]

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