In the 1980s, the idea of working as a Gameplay Counselor for Nintendo’s Power Line service was a dream job for kids around the United States. The internet eliminated the need for most people to get their gaming tips and tricks over the phone, but Nintendo is bringing that concept back in a limited capacity.
For the launch of the NES Classic Edition, a closed gaming system that looks like the original 8-bit Nintendo console and includes 30 of that retro device’s games, the publisher is reactivating the Power Line phone-counselor program. Starting November 11 and running through November 13, players can dial up (425) 885-7529 to learn all about classics like Super Mario Bros., Mega Man, and Castlevania. Unlike with the original Power Line, humans won’t actively work the phones. Instead, Nintendo will serve you up recorded tips. Think of it as MovieFone for the Konami code … please don’t tell me if you’re also too young to know what that means.
“Many of us have fond and wonderful memories of the original NES,” Nintendo marketing boss Doug Bowser (yes, this is really his name) said in a statement. “With these launch activities for the NES Classic Edition, we want to replicate the nostalgic feelings of sitting down and playing the NES with your family for the first time.”
In addition to the Power Line, Nintendo is holding an ’80s-themed launch party at the Nintendo store in New York City. It also plans to transform its social-media accounts to make them look more like they are operating in the interlaced, VHS, Casio-watch-drenched decade of excess and Ronald Reagan. Expect a lot of references to Alf and the Iran-Contra Affair.