NPR logo Mindless Arcade Friday: The Other Zelda

Mindless Arcade Friday: The Other Zelda

Click to play! The Great Gatsby for NES hide caption

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The Great Gatsby for NES

Click to play!

The Great Gatsby for NES

Today's Game: The Great Gatsby for NES.

Gameplay: If the literary classic The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald were interpreted by Japanese developers in the 1980s, it presumably would result in something like this runaway Internet hit.

It's actually a decently entertaining platformer, featuring the novel's Nick Carraway as the hopping, boomerang death-hat tossing protagonist. Collect coins for extra lives. Down martinis for health. Upgrade your weaponry with snazzier and apparently more aerodynamic hats.

This adaptation ends up being surprisingly faithful to the book, including elements from the bespectacled admirer of Gatsby's library to Daisy Buchanan's fateful automotive accident, to Nick's epic battle against Dr. T.J. Eckleburg's giant floating laser eyes atop a train speeding through the desolate Valley of Ashes.

If you don't remember that last part, clearly you haven't revisited the book since high school. To your local library!

Recommended for: Liberal arts majors.

Graphics: They've included the book's iconic cover as the title screen, although I wish they hadn't. That noseless face is the source of my nightmares.