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Nintendo’s Old Flash Games Are Being Rescued from the Bowels of the Internet

These web games were abandoned by Nintendo. A modder is bringing them back.

Jason Johnson

Image: YouTube

A modder and Nintendo fan by the name of Skelux has launched a campaign to preserve Nintendo's forgotten Flash game output.

Yes, Nintendo once made flash games. Back when the internet was younger, nicer place, the game company frequently gave away charming little Flash games to tease major releases. Major releases like Animal Crossing, Metroid Prime, and Luigi's Mansion were all accompanied by browser-based counterparts hosted on Nintendo's website.

These were good times, but they didn't last. Given the ephemeral nature of Flash software, these small diversions completely vanished from public view as Nintendo inevitably closed the sites. Nintendo isn't alone. From Disney's Toontown to numerous SpongeBob SquarePants titles, many games have fallen victim to the soon-to-be obsolete format.

But all is not lost. On his website, Skelux has collected 48 online companion pieces, spanning more than ten years of Nintendo's history, including games for six consoles between 1999 and 2010.

The best of the bunch are full-fledged mini-games, such as the Flash companion for Metroid Prime, which places players inside Samus's visor for a "find the hidden object" hunt. The worst are little more than interactive web designs, although the Puppy Quiz in the Nintendogs Challenge is hard to hate on.

According to a YouTube post, Skelux retrieved the games piecemeal, using the Wayback Machine to comb the Internet Archive for missing files, then compiling them into working games for his game archive.

As it stands, around half of the games are incomplete. Some of them, such as Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time's Flash game, are missing files that prevent them from functioning completely.

The search is ongoing, with Skelux offering a $50 dollar bounty to anyone who can provide the files—a small price to pay for a Nintendo-themed romp through web pages of yore.