13. A Nightmare on Elm Street

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1990, NES) by LJN

Current Any% Leaderboard (speedrun.com)

When I was a kid, the thought of playing this LJN title was too unsettling. I still have nightmares about the Nightmare movies. Some of the kills and deaths in the movies still haunt my IRL nightmares to this day, and they are some of my favorite horror films for that exact reason; it makes me legitimate creeped out, and I love it.

This game… that is not. There is very little, outside of the “horror” theme, and Freddy™ (yes, the ™ is there on purpose) himself, that connect this NES game to the horror franchise. That being said, this game, if viewed in a vacuum, is not only a good game, but it might just be the best LJN game on the entire NES console!

You play as a random person, and your job is to gather all of Freddy™’s bones and bring them to a furnace. You go through different houses, fighting normal and stereotypical enemies such as spiders, skeletons, snakes and bats. Although you have a health meter (which is, of course, hidden), you also have a sleep meter! Take too much damage and you’ll fall asleep! Luckily, in the speedrun, we don’t deal with this that much.

The speedrun gets to benefit from very tight controls, precise movement, and challenging gameplay. However, you’ll also be dealing with one more major issue: lag. Lots of lag. ESPECIALLY in the multiplayer modes. It’s not the laggiest NES game but oh boy is it close. This might have to do with the very gorgeous graphics, but it’s not terribly bad. The eaten inputs, however, can get pretty bad as well, and annoy you badly. You’ll be doing all of this to a ROCKING David Wise soundtrack and an overall fun experience.

The speedrun is pretty cool. Just before I began this trial, the boss skips were discovered. They weren’t bad to learn, and honestly, this was a really fun trial! I enjoyed this game and recommend it to anyone that’s looking for a classic NES platforming challenge.


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