Obtaining a new, more powerful weapon during the course on an old-school NES game was always a rush. Tough enemies were suddenly wusses, and an upgraded or new weapon leveled the playing field tremendously. It was tough not to take pleasure in the increased body count of your foes. For this article, I’m not writing about standard or default weapons – like, say, Pit’s bow in Kid Icarus – no matter how cool they may be. Instead, here’s a look at ten of the most devastating weapons that one can acquire in games for the original NES.
The Screw Attack – Metroid
The Screw Attack is probably my favorite “weapon” on this list, due in part to the simplicity of its use coupled with my love of all things Samus. AFter obtaining the Screw Attack, Samus can hurl herself toward enemies, becoming a spinning vixen of destruction and obliterating anything in her path. Until finally facing metroids and Mother Brain, the ice beam and missles are obsolete when Samus is equipped with the Screw Attack.
The Spread Gun – Contra
Ah, the notorious spread gun. Anyone who’s played Contra (and really, who hasn’t?) can tell you how effective this weapon is, pelting numerous enemies at different locations on the screen with a barrage of bullets. There’s no reason to pick up any other type of weapon after grabbing the spread gun.
Masamune – Final Fantasy
You won’t find the Masamune until you’ve nearly completed this classic RPG and you have to go a bit out of the way to find it, but it’s definitely worth the trouble. Even more powerful than the Excalibur, the Masamune can be equipped by any class (assuming you’ve brought the Rat’s Tail to Bahamut) and make quick work of any adversaries you encounter. Best of all, your white mage – if you have one in your party – can now attack effectively.
Laser Shot – Life Force
The sequel to Gradius and one of the games for which you can use the infamous Konami code, Life Force was an underrated NES game. You can add a variety of upgrades to your ship, such as speed, the ripple shot, and even missles, but nothing gives you more bang for your buck than a maxed out laser shot. Common enemies are instantly skewered, and if you’re an accurate shot, even bosses can be disposed of in a matter of seconds.
Magic Sword – The Legend of Zelda
Once Link upgrades to the Magic Sword, those annoying Darknuts and vicious sword-throwing centaurs become mere afterthoughts. Plus, it’s the only weapon – coupled with the Silver Arrow – that can be used to defeat Gannon. Really, though, it makes fighting those blue Darknuts so much less of a headache. I hated blue Darknuts.