Winning Arena Challenges –
What can be said about Nintendo Power that has not already been said? Everyone knows it was an entertaining and highly influential monthly publication that basically acted as the internet of its day. An unmatched component to the overall Nintendo marketing strategy, there was one piece of Nintendo Power that allowed readers to earn bragging rights well before Achievements, Trophies and online Leaderboards became an everyday feature – the Arena.
Every month, Nintendo Power would throw out a few different gaming challenges to readers on a single two-page spread. If you complete the challenge, take a picture of the screen with your accomplishment, and mail it into the Nintendo Power before the deadline, players could potentially see their name in a future issue with their fastest time/most points based accomplishments. In other words, it was the Twin Galaxies, Guinness World Records, and Leaderboard of its time. Putting things further in perspective, Nintendo Power readers actually had to take a picture of a CRT TV, with actual film, and get it developed while hoping the flash didn’t reflect off the glass screen. Then an actual picture, if it was even legible, needed to be snail mailed to Nintendo in hopes of getting there on time. It was a process and a half that required dedicated, time and money but winners would be rewarded with something worth much more – their name printed in the magazine for the entire world to see.
I was in Nintendo Power.
Recently cleaning out old boxes that were sitting in the corner of my closet, I found a few response letters Nintendo sent me, congratulating me on my Arena winning challenges.
Nintendo Power, Vol 107: Diddy Kong Racing – Fastest time on Whale Bay
Nintendo Power, Vol 109: GoldenEye – Unlock all cheats
Nintendo Power, Vol 113: Gameboy Camera – Fastest time on Run! Run! Run!
Nintendo Power, Vol 120: Smash Bros. – Unlock Ness
These were just some the letters I was able to find. I also got my name in other issues of Nintendo Power from Arena challenges but where unfortunately unable to locate them. Coincidentally, Vol 109 featured my name from a previous Diddy Kong Racing challenge – Fastest time on Space Dust Alley.
Besides bragging rights, winners also received Nintendo Power Stamps, which were used as Nintendo currency for their quarterly catalog filled with all sorts of Nintendo goodies from t-shirts to character plushies. While I cannot remember specifically what I got with my stamps, I can assure you they did not go to waste.
Each month, Nintendo Power also had a unique contest, often with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners. Back in February 2000, I sent away to win some random contest and apparently won a free Nintendo Power t-shirt. Unfortunately, I have no idea where this shirt went or if I ever even wore it. I remember when the N64 title, Blast Corps, just launched and Nintendo Power had a contest where the grand prize winner would win a dump truck full of pennies. Most of these monthly giveaways were epic and rather creative.
Sadly, Nintendo Power is no longer exists as the internet age finally caught up with this print publication. Even though it is gone, it will remain as a fond memory for millions of gamers around the country. While I am sad to see it go, at least I was able to be a part of this highly coveted magazine.
Thanks Nintendo Power.