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Subject: When did video games stop having GAME OVER- START FROM SCRATCH? (Battery Backup)

Written By: yelimsexa on 02/27/09 at 8:36 am

One of things you will notice about '90s video games compared to the '80s is the increased "freedom" of beating a game by starting from a certain level; although that trend started with the NES Zelda games and the Password Feature of games like Bases Loaded in the late '80s. But by the dawn of the 16-bit era, there was a noticeable change, and it would continue to develop during the 64-bit era, so that by 1999, almost all games have a continue by Password/Battery function. For instance, Super Mario 3 in 1990 had no continues like SM1&2 (though it was easier to get 1UPs in certain levels). But when Super Mario World came out in 1991, you could just complete a normal stage, complete a Ghost House stage, and continue from that point (especially right before a Castle level). Then when SMW2: Yoshi's Island came out in 1995, it would just save it for you automatically after EVERY level. Still, other games still required you to play with starting from scratch if you lost (i.e. Sonic 1 & 2), but Sonic 3 bucked the trend with continuing after every zone (although you did have to start over from scratch with Sonic Blast, remarkable considering it was released in 1996, though Sonic Adventure killed the trend completely). Game Genie was introduced in 1991 and more detailed strategy guides with codes were being published in video game magazines. Yes, the graphics were better, many games were more complex, but many '90s video games could have been better if they limited continues. But I'd say that from the beginning up through around mid-1991 was the "Game Over, Start from scratch era", with mid-1991- 1993 being the "Transition, Phase I: Start from Scratch still dominates but Unlimited Continues rapidly climbing, followed by 1994-1996 being the "Transition, Phase II era with the Unlimited Continues now dominated with the Start from Scratch stuff fading fast, with the 1997+ era being the era of Unlimited Continues.

Another thing to consider is that in the mid-late '90s, many video games had become so long to complete that battery saving became a necessity (Pokemon, anyone?)

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