A Nightmare on Elm Street (Nintendo Entertainment System 1989)
“Something frightening has been happening on Elm Street lately. It seems that with each waking day another gruesome discovery is made… another neighborhood teen has mysteriously passed away into the dark stillness of the night. Everyone says it’s “natural causes,” but it seems as if something (or someone) has been picking them off one by one in their sleep. It’s a horrible nightmare come true… and this nightmare has a name; Freddy Krueger. It’s up to you and your remaining friends to search Elm Street for his bones, which have been scattered about, then collect and burn them in the High School furnace. If you can just stay awake long enough, you might be able to end Freddy’s reign of terror for good. You had better hurry though, it’s getting late and you can feel your eyelids getting heavier and heavier by the minute.”
You stayed up late, put off personal hygiene, hanging out with friends and practically crippled your thumbs in the process but you finally did it. You finally beat that game you’ve been playing every day after school for the past three months. For your dedication, keen hand/eye skills and perseverance your reward is finally there before you. You hold your breath in anticipation, afraid to even blink.
And then it happens, a huge, uninspired totally not worth all the time and effort, colossal let down.
Video games from the 80’s and 90’s were notorious for having the worst endings. Even great games, considered classics by today’s standards fell victim to this. It was like the writers and programmers used up all of their collective efforts designing the game and storyline and had nothing left in the tanks to hammer out a decent ending. Most endings were no more than a tacked on, single screen with a quick congratulatory message and maybe some small bit of animation.
So, in an effort to exercise the demons I’ve long suffered due to lazy game designers I’ll be showcasing some of my favorite (favorite does not mean good) old school, horror video game end screens. Starting off with A Nightmare on Elm Street on the Nintendo Entertainment System.
After battling several incarnations of Freddy, gathering up all of his bones and then burning them in a furnace, that last screen is what you get. Nightmare indeed.