• Before making a single edit, Tropedia EXPECTS our site policy and manual of style to be followed. Failure to do so may result in deletion of contributions and blocks of users who refuse to learn to do so. Our policies can be reviewed here.
  • All images MUST now have proper attribution, those who neglect to assign at least the "fair use" licensing to an image may have it deleted. All new pages should use the preloadable templates feature on the edit page to add the appropriate basic page markup. Pages that don't do this will be subject to deletion, with or without explanation.
  • All new trope pages will be made with the "Trope Workshop" found on the "Troper Tools" menu and worked on until they have at least three examples. The Trope workshop specific templates can then be removed and it will be regarded as a regular trope page after being moved to the Main namespace. THIS SHOULD BE WORKING NOW, REPORT ANY ISSUES TO Janna2000, SelfCloak or RRabbit42. DON'T MAKE PAGES MANUALLY UNLESS A TEMPLATE IS BROKEN, AND REPORT IT THAT IS THE CASE. PAGES WILL BE DELETED OTHERWISE IF THEY ARE MISSING BASIC MARKUP.


WikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotesBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extension.gifPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifier.pngAnalysisPhoto link.pngImage LinksHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconic
File:Iwbtgscreen 1962.png

Be prepared to see this a lot. And this is one of the easier screens.




The first Nintendo Entertainment System was known for two things: reviving home console gaming and having ridiculously difficult games.

Back in the '80s, video games didn't have the advanced storylines of today; Excuse Plots were the norm. So much of the feeling of accomplishment one could derive was from overcoming the insane difficulty that the games provided, if only so one could Bragging Rights Reward to one's friends. A plethora of enemies and impossible jumps were not just the name of the game, they were the game. These games weren't just hard; they were Nintendo Hard!

The difficulty of these games usually stems from a combination of factors:

For further building blocks of Nintendo Hard, see Classic Video Game "Screw You"s.

The game mechanics that make a game "Nintendo Hard" were often transported from arcade games that required the player to spend more money to keep playing after his character was killed. Except that when they got ported over to the console, there was no coin slot, leaving you stuck with a fixed number of lives and highly limited or non-existent continues.

The concept has recently been satirized on the Internet, most famously by the The Angry Video Game Nerd, who pointed out that via Sturgeon's Law, most examples of Nintendo Hard games are often a result of sloppy or bad design.

A lot of these are simply rookie mistakes. For a company, establishing an identity and building the fanbase takes priority over finding the proper challenge level. Often the designers will go for something highly distinctive, take a lot of time designing and making it look right, and not spend enough time on the actual gameplay and level mechanics, then realize too late that they've (completely unintentionally) made a monster. Ghosts 'n Goblins is a good example of this.

When Nintendo Hard is taken to its most sadistic extremes by deliberately adding cheap deaths and Trial and Error Gameplay, you get Masocore or Platform Hell.

When only one or few levels or areas of the game are Nintendo Hard, you're probably dealing with That One Level. If the game reaches an obscene difficulty at a certain point and never looks back, look for Disappointing Last Level. Examples of Nintendo Hard head-to-head fighters generally go under The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard, since crazy-hard opponent AI is nigh-universally the culprit.

Nintendo products themselves are physically very hard (to break), but that's Tonka Tough, not Nintendo Hard.

Apparently several classic Nintendo games are, in general, NP-hard, which is also not the same, but interesting.

Some caution in adding examples may be wise. If you feel inclined to add the words "for This Troper" or "could be considered" and cannot make a strong statement on the universal difficulty of the game in question, please reconsider.

If you know where an example filed under "Uncategorised" goes, then please sort it.

For Fighting Game examples, see SNK Boss.

Examples of Nintendo Hard include:

"Why do they make it so that you can't fucking win, why am I even playing?" [drops the PlayStation 2 controller]
Evan, Superbad