It might seem a little twee to be bothered about game endings in a world that includes titles like Minecraft, ROBLOX and Fortnite, but, once upon a time, seeing a game's ending sequence was a badge of honour; the ultimate payoff following the long and often arduous process of actually finishing a game at a time before save states and the ability to rewind became commonplace.
Rey Esteban – custodian of vgmuseum.com – is seeking to celebrate the humble 'game ending' with his latest book, NES Endings Compendium Vol. 1: 1985-89. Those of you who follow this kind of thing will be aware that this isn't the first tome to have that name – Esteban released an earlier volume a short while ago, but – at the behest of his new publisher, Limited Run's Press Run imprint, he has combined the original edition with what he had planned for the second volume, creating an uber-book which has expanded from 132 pages to a whopping 296 (it also covers the years 1985-89, while the original stopped at 1988).
"I suppose that if you could consider the old book the equivalent to Mario Kart 8, then the new version would be Mario Kart 8 DX with all the DLC," Esteban tells us – and he's not wrong. Not only do you get a bunch of new endings to gawp at, but many of the existing entries have been expanded to either full or multiple-page spreads.
The NES classics which benefit from this include Castlevania 2, Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!, Rygar, Super Mario Bros. 2, Zelda 2, Section-Z and Legendary Wings. Esteban's work on vgmuseum.com includes more than 4,000 game endings across multiple platforms, so it's clear that this dude knows his stuff when it comes to this kind of thing. NES Endings Compendium Vol. 1: 1985-89 is stacked with screens, descriptions and nuggets of trivia, which not only bring back memories, but also educate the reader as to why certain elements were the way they were in each regional variant of a particular game.
The edition we were sent by the publisher includes the book in hardcover (the previous volume was softcover), a slipcover, 10 art cards by Greg Melo and a signed Certificate of Authenticity. You can pick up a copy for $69.99 right now, direct from Press Run.
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