ClassicRadar: Nintendo video time capsule, 1997-2001

Finally, the discs also devoted space to commercials that were running on TV at the time, ranging from Nintendo’s own marquee titles to stronger third part offerings that needed an extra in-store push. Nothing fancy in these videos, just straight-up commercials from a more innocent time.

N64 and Game Boy Color commercials

N64 Funtastic Colors: The system originally launched in black only, though later the console saw a barrage of new colors arrive just in time to slow its decreasing sales. The first clip is actually a strong ad in our eyes, the second is exclusive to the in-store discs. They’re funTASTIC!

Ridge Racer 64: Hearing this woman’s shrill voice more than once is pure torture, so our hearts go out to anyone who, say, had to work next to one of these kiosks and had to hear it every damn day.

Kirby 64: Brief and explanatory, this is a better ad than the game deserves.

Excitebike 64: This was going to go in the “Remember” section, but as with Kirby the ad is so strong we wanted to share it.

Tetris: What would the ‘90s be without a dated Jerry Springer reference? And two years too late at that? Gotta sell Tetris however you can, we guess.

Mario Party: A very Wii-style ad nearly 10 years before Wii ads. Seeing as this ad is sanctioned by Nintendo, Mario getting arrested is now official canon.

Mario Party 2: Another year, another party. Why not.

Mario Tennis: One of several sports videos of the time showing casual douchebags getting owned by Nintendo characters. Good stuff.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask: The weirdest Zelda ever has one of the best commercials in all of Nintendoland. Creepy, dramatic, ominous… the exact tone it needed to be.

Game Boy Color: Funny how Nintendo could sell a system where “a little bit of color” is the primary addition, but hey, it worked. The ad is still symptomatic of Nintendo’s “this is cool, right?” approach to edgy ads, using gnarling old ladies and doltish bullies as stand-ins for personal troubles.

Bonus Pokemon section!

You didn’t think we’d leave out the pokemans, did you? This exact timeframe, 1997-2001, is when Pokemon explode onto the world stage and became a lifetime staple for Nintendo and its devoted fanbase.

Above: An extremely literal recounting of the first three games
Above: Probably rekindles some childhood memories for many of us

Originally posted September 18, 2009

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  • Nintygameplayerperson - May 2, 2011 12:16 a.m.

  • Fro4show - March 31, 2011 9:28 p.m.

    psshh I thought Kirby was fun. And Megaman Legends. AND about half of the other games you smashed on.
  • Kenzo - March 30, 2011 11:08 p.m.

    say what you will about the graphics but that pod racing game was awesome. game of choice at my friends house for years. also i remember that guy on the pokemon safari, thought the pokemon in the commercial looked awesome. not so much by today's standards.
  • alexk2064 - March 30, 2011 8:52 p.m.

    So, out of pure curiosity, I called the 800 number from the N-sider video. Still routes you to Nintendo. Menu options consist of hardware issues with the Wii or 3DS, parts, or game help. Thought you guys would wanna know.
  • philipshaw - March 30, 2011 8:43 p.m.

    Only Brett could think of an idea like this and I love you for it, I actually remember seeing some of these in a store back in the day
  • Finality - March 30, 2011 2:26 p.m. This is probably still my favorite old pokemon commercial, I didn't see it in the videos up there.
  • ristar200 - March 30, 2011 12:26 a.m.

    HOLY SHIT YES now I can watch all of these videos on the good video player!
  • Jayzilla - March 30, 2011 12:25 a.m.

    hmm... lots of accents here I mean the Nascar and Conker gbc commercial guy...
  • Jayzilla - March 30, 2011 12:23 a.m.

    I think that guy with all the accents does lotsa cartoon voices. I'm pretty sure he's the Joker on Batman Brave and the Bold.
  • Harleynator - March 30, 2011 12:21 a.m.

    The Pokemon/ Gameboy color for Yellow where the bus driver murdered all the helpless pokemon by crushing them is the main one I remember
  • AirickG - March 30, 2011 12:20 a.m.

    Ah Pokemon Snap... Only Pokemon could take a terrible idea and make a pretty entertaining game, I don't even think I'd be opposed to a remake...
  • RonaldRayGun - March 30, 2011 12:15 a.m.

    I miss how terrible things used to be...
  • adamstephenson - March 30, 2011 12:05 a.m.

    I remember getting that Donkey Kong Country promo in the mail with the Jungle Trees VHS holder (what the hell do you call that). Wasn't the VHS itself yellow? and it felt like it only weighed about half an ounce because there was only a few minutes of tape on there. I bought into the hype, I thought I was like maybe one of 50 kids in the whole world that got that tape. The KI teaser at the end of it made me go bonkers too, an experience shared with probably every other kid who got that tape.
  • TheBrownestWRPGuknow - March 29, 2011 11:47 p.m.

    i love you, Gamesradar, for bringing really funny/interesting articles on a consistent basis. More specifically, good job Brett, this was a great nostalgia trip.
  • icedoesnthelp - March 29, 2011 8:18 p.m.

    "careful with those eggs" *throws egg*
  • mynameisjay - March 29, 2011 8:14 p.m.

    Seems like a lot of these come from those setups at Toys R Us back in the day.
  • juicenpancakes - March 29, 2011 7:53 p.m.

    Whenever I see any kind of promo video for Super Mario 64, my mind races back to a time where Best Buy had a giant column of like 30 TVs set up all synced up to a single N64, so you could stand anywhere in the Best Buy and watch this magnificent, new Mario game being played. It's when I became a man. one else remembers this or had this happen did they?...
  • Redeater - March 29, 2011 7:46 p.m.

    Oh Conker.....what a suprise it was to go from Game Boy Color to Bad Fur Day.
  • batmanboy11 - March 29, 2011 7:44 p.m.

    ... I don't know what to say to thes monstrosities...