Nintendo President Tasumi Kimishima recently announced that plans are underway for Nintendo to begin producing feature films. Fans of the gaming giant have seen beloved titles like Super Mario Bros. and Double Dragon tank at the box office, but if Nintendo plays their cards right they could easily make some amazing and entertaining films out of their game catalog. We’ve already discussed what classic franchises we’d like to see on screen, but here are a few of the best original Game Boy games that could be developed into blockbusters.
Metroid II: Return of Samus
Metroid II follows the events of the original NES game featuring Samus Aran. In this sequel, she has been tasked to exterminate the entire Metroid species on the alien-infested planet known as SR388. As Samus descends further into the catacombs of the Metroid home world, she encounters alien organisms that are more powerful than any creature she has fought before. Once Samus reaches the lethal Queen Metroid, the game ends with an escape scene similar to the original.
Metroid II: Return of Samus would make a great film that would not only introduce fans to a live action version of everyone’s favorite female galactic bounty hunter, it would also work as a dark and intense science fiction thriller. The game is a gritty, fast-paced bug hunt that could easily be compared to James Cameron’s Aliens. If Nintendo developed Metroid II properly, fans would be able to see Samus become another shining example of strong female characters on screen.
Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters
Another original Nintendo Entertainment System title that found its sequel ported to the Game Boy, Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters follows the adventures of Pit as he attempts to defeat the archdemon Orcos and save Angel Land. It’s a mythology filled adventure similar to the gameplay and level design of the first adventure, and for any fan of fantasy-based platformers, this is a title worth seeking out for its great graphics, soundtrack and story.
This game has the potential to be better than most films that feature mythological characters. Developing a solid script and narrative from myths and legends that are thousands of years old can be tricky, but the story in Kid Icarus is fun and loaded with exciting adventure and great bad guys. Many of the deities fans of Greek mythology know and love are here, but on top of that, the final boss is a massive and threatening enemy that would be amazing on the big screen.
Kirby’s Dream Land
The very first time Nintendo fans were introduced to Kirby was in this early ’90s game that featured the character on a quest to defeat the evil King Dedede. Kirby’s Dream Land is one of the most beloved titles ever released for the classic Game Boy. When gamers were introduced to the little puffball, a new icon was born that has become a staple of the company. Kirby continues to grow in popularity with each new game and is one of the most played characters in the very popular Smash Bros. series.
Kirby’s Dream Land is a fun game for all ages. The story is simple, and the gameplay is very entertaining and well-paced. This would make a fantastic animated film that could open the door for multiple installments. King Dedede and the large gallery of unique characters from Kirby are creative and unique figures, and the story of Kirby going on an adventure to get the kingdom’s food back is hilarious. The visuals in the game look perfect for a cartoon aimed at younger audiences. It would be fun.
In Bionic Commando, you play as a cybernetic mercenary who must defeat the evil army bent on destroying the world. Rad Spencer is a member a special military unit known as the FF Corps. When war hero Super Joe vanishes mysteriously, Rad gets assigned a mission to rescue his ally and stop the leader of the enemy army that is developing a superweapon called Albatross. Rad swings, runs and guns his way to the final battle and saves the day in glorious 80s fashion.
The NES Bionic Commando was a World War II based game that found the main character going up against Axis forces. In the Game Boy reimagining, many of the game’s influences came from cyberpunk culture and included nods to films like The Terminator and many Japanese animated films of the time. As a modern film, Bionic Commando would likely work best as a Turbo Kid style movie that played the action seriously, but was still self-aware enough to be fun and entertaining.
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is my favorite game of the series and one of the best games ever released for the Game Boy system. This installment of Zelda is very divisive amongst fans of the games for its setting, characters and ending. Link’s journey finds the legendary hero shipwrecked in a new land. Hyrule is nowhere to be seen, and Princess Zelda doesn’t even appear in the game. The story is unlike any other Zelda game and eventually is revealed to be just a dream.
Zelda fans have been wanting a movie version of the game franchise for years, and the hype has produced more fan-made film adaptations of the characters than just about any other Nintendo title. Fans are rabid about seeing Link, Zelda and Hyrule adapted for the big screen. Fantasy films like The Lord of the Rings saga and the massively popular television show Game of Thrones could form a template that would be perfect for a Zelda based movie or show. Either way, fans want it now.
Nintendo has a vast library of properties to pick from when thinking about what would be good for a movie. Many attempts at adapting video games for film and television audiences have been poorly received, but with the right production team and creative talent on board to craft a solid screenplay, Nintendo has the chance to make movies that could be just as big as anything Disney and Warner Bros. are putting out right now. We can’t wait to see what Nintendo has planned next.