Thumb Punks 01.21.21 - Zelda, Sonic, and a N64 Controller You Won't Believe


Happy Thursday! This week we’ve got hacks and homebrew for days, a very weird N64 controller, and behind-the-scenes content coming out of our ears.

I’ve been playing Aliens: Infestation for the Nintendo DS for a forthcoming review. It has a tremendous atmosphere and has been a blast so far!

A question for you – what do you think of the newsletter? Is there anything we’ve missed, anything you want more of, or anything you didn’t like? Hit reply to let me know – I reply personally to each and every email!

Thanks for reading

Benjamin @ Thumb Punks

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How I play old PC GAMES in 2021 (Win98 / WinXP / Windows 10) (MetalJesusRocks, 16 minutes)

The always affable Metal Jesus shows off his retro gaming desktop PCs (and some classic vintage games) and weighs in on the advantages and disadvantages of using them over a virtual machine.

Hacks and Homebrews 3 (Game Sack, 29 minutes)

Joe presents his third video on some of the excellent hacks and homebrew for a variety of classic consoles, including a slew for his beloved Sega Genesis.

How Graphics worked on the Nintendo DS (Modern Vintage Gamer, 14 minutes)

If you’ve ever wondered how the original Nintendo DS’s graphics worked, this is the video for you. MVG has a way of presenting the tech behind your favorite games that is both accessible and unparalleled.

Dual Analog Controller N64 Games (Stop Skeleton from Fighting, 14 minutes)

Derek buys a bizarre Frankensteined N64 dual-analogue controller (seriously, this thing needs to be seen to be believed) for $15 from Craigslist and puts it to work in some of the N64’s twin-stick supporting titles, including Goldeneye 007, Perfect Dark, and more.


Would you like your retro video game, website, ‘zine, or other project featured here for free? Just hit reply and send us the details!



Sword of the Berserk: Guts’ Rage (Hardcore Gaming 101, 9 minutes)

HG101 kick off their look at the Berserk series with the 1999 Dreamcast entry. Based on a manga that began in 1989 (!), it’s a Dynasty Warriors style slash-em-up that features some of the first quick time events in a console game, sullied by an awkward camera and some unrefined swordplay.

Zelda: Ocarina of Time demo leak reveals Link could once transform into Navi (Eurogamer, 2 minutes)

An old alpha build of N64 classic, Ocarina of Time, has been found on a F-Zero development cartridge. Along a whole host of differences, Zelda could originally turn into Navi. Keen hackers have since begun patching these lost levels into the OoT ROM, beginning a fascinating look at the conception of the game.

I Miss the Game Boy Camera, My First Digital Camera (Gizmodo, 8 minutes)

The Game Boy camera seems archaic now, but it was the first pre-smartphone digital camera for many. This article takes us through its history, and makes us all fuzzy for those 0.001434-megapixel snaps.

The Game Boy Sequels: Blaster Master Boy (Stone Age Gamer, 8 minutes)

Blaster Master is an underappreciated NES gem, and it spawned an even more under the radar sequel for the Game Boy. Stone Age Gamer catalogue the game’s history, which is weirder than you may think. Nevertheless, it remains somewhat of a hidden gem.


Part two of Slope’s Game Room’s Castlevania retrospective is now available (for free) here.



GoldenEye With Mario Characters (N64)

Morbidly entertaining, StupidMarioBros1Fan’s Goldeneye 007 hack sees you stalking the grounds of Peach’s castle, taking out Koopas with your trusty Walther PPK. Here’s some gameplay footage.

Star Fox Exploration Showcase (SNES)

Engineered from the source code up, kandowontu’s Star Fox hack adds 2 player, new modes, ships, and weapons, and (wait for it) camera control. Do a barrel roll!

La Culotte de Zelda - An adaptation of the Zelda classic for the Amstrad CPC Plus (Amstrad CPC Plus)

The original Legend of Zelda for the NES gets a remake for the Amstrad CPC. While a work in progress, things look promising: with stellar graphics and crunchy chiptunes, it could be a keeper. It’s only in French for now though; any enterprising retro gamers up for helping with an English translation?

Sonic's Mobile Ports now Natively Playable on PC! (PC)

The Android versions of Sonic 1 & 2 are now playable natively on PC, and this opens up a ton of possibilities for mods and improvements. They’re a little buggy right now, and you’ll need paid for APKs of the games to get this to work, but it’s one to keep your eye on for the future.


This wooden Nintendo merch is eye-poppingly gorgeous. Check it out at



Full Throttle Screenplay (Dropbox, 90 minutes)

Duncan Jones, director of Moon, Source Code, Warcraft, and Mute, has been busy during lockdown, putting together a spec script for a movie adaptation of seminal point-and-click Full Throttle. Would you like to see this made?

Nintendo artist (and Tingle creator) Takaya Imamura retires (Polygon, 3 minutes)

32 year veteran of Nintendo, Takaya Imamura, retired on Tuesday, leaving behind a body of work that includes everything from Star Fox to F-Zero to designing love-him-or-loathe him character Tingle. We salute you, sir!

Early Donkey Kong Country Scribbles (DK Creations Ltd, 8 minutes)

Speaking of character designers, ex-Rare employee Kev Bayliss talks through his scribblings that took Donkey Kong from concept to creation for the seminal Donkey Kong Country series. Bananas.

Nintendo of America headquarters (1990) (btm0815ma, 21 minutes)

A rare find – 21 minutes of footage of Nintendo’s headquarters in 1990, featuring everything from the factory to the dev studios. A must for Ninty fans and anyone interested in the history of game development.