Way back in the 1990s, when times were simpler and we didn’t have the Internets, there was a special day that happened once a month that made those long hours in elementary and middle school worth while. It was Nintendo Power day; that day when the mailbox would belch forth a mint copy of Nintendo’s gaming publication. I’d read through it in an hour or so, memorize the cheats, and then take the player’s poll (which I would never win).
I’d also read the Howard and Nester comic, starring Nintendo Fun Club President Howard Phillips and Nestor, a red-headed obnoxious gamer who was always getting in trouble or participating in comic-world representations of NES games. Howard played the straight man, and was always good for a tip or hidden 1-up location (Ninja Gaiden, for example). Eventually, the comic was streamlined to just “Nester” (spelled out in broad paint strokes), and finally discontinued in issue 55.
I don’t subscribe to NP anymore, and the last issue I read was the one my parents got me with a Nintendo DS-themed birthday gift pile in 2005, so I was surprised to learn that this month’s super issue (Mega Man 9 exclusive, new Castlevania fighter), also featured a new Nester comic. Nester is as much a part of Nintendo history as anything’he even made it into a few NES- and N64-era titles’so it’s cool to see a modern day hat tip. He’s older now, married and has a kid and loves Mario Kart Wii, which tells me he’s as much a Nintendo marketing tool as he ever was. I really expected nothing less.