I occasionally get emails, messages, comments, etc asking specific questions about Chrontendo, so I've created this Chrontendo FAQ to address these. I hope this will be helpful to newcomers, especially those who learned of Chrontendo's existence on Youtube, and thus are not familiar with the blog. So take a gander and learn what Chrontendo is, where it came from, and where it's going. This page is mostly taken from earlier posts and reformatted into a complete repository of Chrontendo lore.
Q: What is Chrontendo?
Chrontendo is an attempt to play, and then talk about, every videogame
released for the Famicom and NES. This is being done in chronological
order, from the three Famicom launch titles in July 1983 to the final
NES games in 1994. Unofficial releases, betas, hacks, etc will not be
counted, but a number of unauthorized games, such as all the Tengen
titles, will be included.
Q: What is the last NES game released, anyway?
A: I wish I knew. The games are being covered in order of their first appearance. Thus Wario's Woods,
released in December 1994, will not be the final game, since it came
out in Japan in February 1994. The last batch of new games to be
released in the US came out in August 1994. There were some new titles
released in Europe in 1994, but the release dates are unknown.
Q: What are Chronsega and Chronturbo?
some point, I realized that only playing NES games would present an
incomplete picture of console gaming as it existed at that point. So I
began a second series, Chronsega, covering the Sega Master System, and
later, Chronturbo, covering the PC Engine/TurboGrafx 16. Episodes come
out less frequently since there were fewer games for those systems. In
Chronsega Episode 8, we started covering Mega Drive/Genesis games as
Q: Why on Earth are you doing this? What is the incredible true origin story of Chrontendo?
A: Back in 2007 I found myself unemployed after the company I worked for --
a long-standing business that I was fanatically devoted to -- declared
bankruptcy and was liquidated. I was unemployed for several months and
feeling uprooted and untethered. Since unemployment provides ample
opportunities for wasting time, I started reading a few video game sites
on a regular basis. There were two direct inspirations for
Chrontendo: a fellow on the Atari Age forums called Chronogamer, and more directly, an ongoing series by Scott Jacobi in Retrogaming Times Monthly called Nintendo Realm (see here
for the first column.), which contained brief write-ups of every
Famicom game, in chronological order. Jacobi stopped the column in 2007
after reaching September 1986, around the same time Chrontendo
debuted. There was also another, short lived attempt by someone else to
do the same thing, from a guy called Xaqar.
The thing that struck me was that old video games had gone from being
poorly documented pop-culture relics (until the 2000s, how many people
knew anything about the NES' Japanese doppelgänger? Or gave even a
second thought to the fact that there might be bunch of videogames
that came out in Japan but not the US?) to being a rigorously documented
cultural phenomenon. Think about this: it wasn't that long ago that a
game such as Custer's Revenge was virtually an urban legend. Supposedly it
existed, but you didn't know anyone who had actually played it or ever
seen a copy. It could have been a hoax, and the very idea of a porno
game for the Atari 2600 sounded pretty unlikely. Now, of course, you
can go online and in a matter of seconds turn up
screenshots, scans of the box, even the ROM itself. It was the same
with the NES on a much larger scale. Weird, old Japanese NES games?
Not only did they really exist, but you could easily find a list
containing the name and exact release date of every such game.
Suddenly, all those old NES carts sitting in a shoebox in your closet
became pieces in a much larger picture. It occurred to me that a
chronological list of Famicom games was not just a random collection of
game titles, but a tool for telling a story. It would be the story of
how the Famicom went from simple games like Donkey Kong to epics like StarTropics II. The story would show not only the development of the Famicom, but also the development of modern video games in general.
Since videogames are an audio/visual medium, I felt a series of videos would be the best format to use.
The first episode was posted in September 2007. The blog post announcing it may be seen here.
Q: Where does the name "Dr. Sparkle" come from?
A: It's rather silly story. It was inspired by a goth club in San Francisco called Dark Sparkle.
For clarification purposes: I myself am not a member of the leather and
latex brigade, but I know people who are. I have attended various
Goth-themed events, including a Goth wedding and Goth day at
Disneyland. The confused looks on so many tourists' faces made the
Disneyland thing worthwhile. Anyway... I had a theory that many great
'70s rock bands had the word "Doctor" in their names. Dr. Hook, Dr.
John, Dr. Feelgood, Dr. Strangely Strange, Doctors of Madness, and of
course, Dr. Teeth. Thus, Dr. Sparkle seemed like the best possible name
for a really awesome glam-boogie band from the 1970s. Since I would
never be starting up a glam-boogie band, I hijacked the name for this
Q: Where are Episodes 1, 2, etc? Why are the episodes in a weird order?
Folks who found Chrontendo via Youtube might not be aware that it is
also hosted on Archive.org. The full list of all Chrontendo episodes, is
When I first started Chrontendo, Youtube had a ten minute limit on
video length. Archive had no such limits, so Chrontendo episodes were
hosted exclusively on Archive until Youtube allowed longer videos. The
first full length episode posted to Youtube was Chronsega 6 in February 2011. Chrontendo 36 followed shortly.
Archive doesn't organize the videos well, so if you are looking for a particular episode, use the ol' control-F. Episode 1 is here. I am uploading all episodes, bit by bit, on Youtube in reverse order. There will be nicely organized playlists eventually.
the record, if you are looking to download Chrontendo episodes, Archive
is the way to go. The later episodes are available in high quality 60
frames/sec h.264 versions, which look much nicer than they do on
There is an excellent, but incomplete Chrontendo episode list here. Unfortunately, the author has not updated it in some time.
Q: Will there ever be a Chron-Game Boy? Chron-2600? Chron-7800? What about a Chron-C64? etc....
I have no plans for any additional Chron- series. However, Chrontendo
does have an arcade round-up and computer game round-up for each year.
We'll probably see the 1989 round-ups very soon. The first year of Game
Boy releases was covered in Episode 44. There will be occasional brief Game Boy updates in future episodes of Chrotendo.
to Chrontendo I covered every CD-i game in a series called Chron-CD-i.
Unfortunately, angry fanboys stole my computer and deleted every single
episode off my hard drive. The only thing to escape deletion was this fragment of one episode.
Q: What's the music that plays in each episode?
A: The opening is UFO by ESG.
The between game music is Tin Cans (Puerto Rican Remix) by Tortoise
There is a longer version of the between game music I sometimes use. Technically the track used is 3030 by Deltron 3030, but 90% of the music in that clip is sampled from an old classical/electronic fusion album called Lux Aeterna from William Sheller, who later went on to make a lot questionable pop music.
Occasionally, other music may be used to jokingly allude to a game's title.
Lastly, the end music is a live version of "Vitamin C" by Can. For the
longest time I couldn't remember exactly where this track was taken
from, but I have finally found it again - it was from a May 1973
performance in Paris. This version has a wild guitar part which doesn't
have a counterpart on the LP version of Vitamin C, so the clip I used isn't easily identifiable. Going forward, I'll list the music details in the credits of each episode.
Q: Are you ever going to fix Episode 7?
A: On this blog, I've had a lot of comments asking when I will upload a fixed version of Episode 7, which is missing a game, Ninja Hattori Kun.
Somehow, during editing, that section was overlooked. The problem is
that its a boring game and I don't have much to say about it. Also, I'm
against that game since "Ninja Hattori" was one of the top search terms
that brought people to this site by accident It's quite surprising, the
sheer number of folks who come in from a screenshot on Google Images. I
don't think this site is quite what they were
looking for, but who knows? I'm just baffled at how many folks are
looking for info on Ninja Hattori Kun.
Q: How do I contact you?
A: Post a comment on the Chrontendo blog or email me at email@example.com.