Take a long, good look at this retro Nintendo print ad from the 1980s. At first glance, everything appears to be the picture-perfect representation of the American family during the '80s--loving parents spending time with their children, a fancy new television, ugly sweaters, and happy kids playing some "Nintendo" (remember, the word "video games" was synonymous to "Nintendo" then).
However, there are quite a few things wrong with this picture. Some of them are a bit obvious, whereas others can only be spotted by the most hardcore of gamers. How many can you find?
1. The Power Button On the NES Is Not On
How on earth are these kids playing Super Mario Bros without powering up their NES? The left "power" button on the front of the console should be pushed in and accompanied by a red indicator light. In the picture above, the button is not pressed in, and there is no power indicator, which clearly means that the system is off.
2. The Super Mario Bros/Duck Hunt Cartridge Cover Is Incorrect
The official cover of the Super Mario Bros/Duck Hunt cartridge is pictured above on the right. However, the game cartridge in the advertisement clearly displays large, white text reading, "Action Pak." The lower part of the sticker is even torn off, removing the "Nintendo Entertainment System" text.
3. Super Mario Bros Is a Two-Player Alternating Game, Yet Both Boys Are Playing the Game at the Same Time
Super Mario Bros is a two-player alternating game. That means players take turns playing as Mario or Luigi, and they never go at the same time. In the advertisement, both brothers appear to be playing the game, each holding onto a controller.
4. The Boy In Blue Isn't Looking at the Television Screen
What's the kid in the blue shirt looking at? Check out his line of sight, it's clearly into the distance, to the left of the television. If he's actually the one controlling Mario, then he's doing a poor job of playing the game. He only has 100 points, and he's halfway through level 1-1, which means he has somehow managed to kill only a single goomba.
5. The Button Presses of the Boy in Yellow Don't Match the Actions Onscreen
Hypothetically speaking, let us assume that the brother in the yellow shirt is the one actually controlling the game. If he is player one, then the onscreen actions don't match what he's pressing on his controller. He's clearly pressing "right" and "A" to jump right, yet Mario is seen jumping to the left.
He also has Mario jumping directly into a pit, but we're not analyzing player skill level here.
6. The Mother Isn't Looking at the Television
Observe her line of sight. Something interesting (and funny!) must be going on behind that television because only half of the family is actually looking at the TV.
7. The Game Cartridge Is On the Table, Not In the System
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Whoops! Somehow, this family is able to play Super Mario Bros while the game cartridge is lying on the table instead of being in the system.