My brush with fame in Nintendo Power

Nintendo Power 85 CoverToday's my birthday so I thought I'd build my ego up a bit and tell the world how I was once featured in Nintendo Power magazine.  No, I wasn't one of those dopey kids holding his Game Boy in a ziploc bag in front of Niagara Falls (though I did submit one just like that, sad). And no, I never had the pleasure of winning one of their contests to be featured as a background extra on the show Seaquest DSV (worst contest ever?).

No, I won an Arena Challenge.  I was featured on their high score list.  There was my name, in lights and on glossy paper: Greg Noe.

Everyone, quickly grab Nintendo Power issue number 85 page 93 and read on...

Greg Noe               Beaver Dam, WI             3:37:00

The greatest moment in my tender gaming career forever engraved on the page.

Nintendo Power 85 Greg noe Donkey Kong Land

Okay, I know what you're thinking: "Fifth place! And nearly three hours after that nerd from Vegas? Weak!"

And I respond, "psh!"  I was only 11 years old when I took this challenge, and I wasn't even going for the record while playing the game.

Yeah, the game was Donkey Kong Land, the semi-original sub-sequel to Donkey Kong Country on the original Game Boy.  Having last played the game 15 years ago, my memories are few and far between, but I do have one story that is related to the completion time.

Before the contest was revealed in issue 79 (not 80 like the image above says), I highly doubt I had any intention on trying to complete the game 100%.  I had played and beaten Donkey Kong Country, and hardly felt any urge to complete that game to 101%, so why bother with this one?  Well, when the prize is four Power Stamps for the Nintendo Power catalog, you think twice about a challenge!

So here I was, just a little tween trying to get my name into my favorite magazine.  The game was pretty easy for me, but I remember being stuck on a particular stage for a few days.  This was 1995 so pre-internet days for me (though I was browsing later known as IGN on a regular basis one year later), and the only place I could turn was the challenger itself: the Nintendo Power Hotline.

The Nintendo Power was a 900 number that let you speak to a game counseler for a few bucks a minute.  Now, these game counselers must have been geniuses, becasue I asked my question and got a response back really quickly.  The guy told me exactly where to jump or wherever, and there it was, 100%.

Finally, I had to take a picture of the Game Boy to prove I had completed the game and show off my time.  The challenge was asking for the first ten readers to send in their times, but evidently only six of us gamers bothered to do it and send in proof, so there we have it.

Along with my Power Stamp reward was a letter from Virginia Oldfin in Publications. Her letter reads:

Way to go Greg!

Congratulations, you have risen to the challenge!

You have entered the Arena in Nintendo Power. Check out Volume 85. Your score in the Power Challenge Donkey Kong Land from Volume 80 has proven to be one of the best in the Arena. To recognize your accomplishment I've enclosed four Nintendo Power stamps.

Again, congratulations Greg! We look forward to seeing you rise to the challenge in the future additions of Nintendo Power.

Thanks for entering our Arena Challenge Contest. Keep reading Nintendo Power for all the best game tips and reviews!



Virginia Oldfin


Here's a video with everything mentioned in this piece of nostalgia, hope you enjoyed it.

As for Patrick Kinsey and your insane sub-hour time, I salute you.


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Happy Birthday dude from my side as well. Its a great sharing from your side. I have taken st augustine bus tours on my birthday through and that was amazing for me.

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Greg Noe, Its good to know about your birthday. Will like to say you Happy Birthday. Its a nice sharing from your side and meaningful as well. I will exchange it with my uncle after my

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My friend shared this article with me when I was going to take and I must say that it is offering a great stuff to read and increase knowledge.

looking for Pinbot score from the 1990's


I am looking for a Nintendo Power Issue with a particular name and score in the Power Player's area for PinBot? I know the name I am looking for but not the issue?? Would you know which all issues have Pinbot scores ?? or any other information to steer me in the right direction??

Thank you,


Interesting request. Pin*Bot came out in 1990, and I don't think my first issues are until a year or two later. I'll take a look. Reply if you're actively watching this, please.


Woo! That's the exact same sticker I put around the screen of my original Gameboy :) Mine stopped working about 6 years ago, unfortunately.

Happy Birthday!

Hope you have a great day. Nice to have it on a Friday. :)

And yeah, you're more famous than I'll ever be. I remember back in the day, there was a high score section of the Nintendo Fun Club News (yeah, I'm an older gamer) and I was trying to get in it. Never did though. :(

Happy birthday

And screw you Nintendo Power for not printing my high score on Area 6 in Star Fox 64. Guess the polaroid I sent them of the TV wasn't clear enough.

I don't think I ever called the Nintendo Power Hotline, but I did call some contest number where you could win an N64 and games if you answer five questions correctly. And the one question I missed was about Donkey Kong Land.

First, happy

First, happy birthday!

Second, what exactly is a Power Stamp?

Third, this is pretty dang cool no matter how you slice it. You need to laminate this issue pronto!

Power Stamps

Power stamps were used in conjunction with the Nintendo Power catalog. Each stamp was worth a dollar in the catalog, so you could buy Zelda t-shirts, wallets, watches, 1080 branded snowboards, soundtracks, Nintendo character beanie babies, backpacks, etc.

I didn't just remember that all off the top of my head, my Winter 1998 catalog was like four feet away, lol. Maybe I'll write about that sometime.

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