During the early days of gaming websites, I can’t count the number of times I saw a certain game appear on “Games that need a sequel list.” I can’t tell you the title because it is ironically a sequel to our Guess the Game selection today, and it will give away the answer! Let’s just say stars it stars a young angel by the name of Pit, and we’ll leave it at that.

This original 1986 game is a beloved NES classic best known for its fun main character, its connections to the Metroid franchise, and its smart little jingle that plays on the title screen. The game was not a huge hit upon release, neither critically or financially, but in 1989, a full three years after its original release, the endearing angel-boy Pit managed to score prime time Saturday Morning Cartoon coverage in Captain N: The Game Master. The success of this abomination of a show, which I’m guilty as charged of watching on a regular basis, gave him a new platform to launch his popularity on.

And despite the annoying interpretation of the character, Pit became a cult-classic gaming figure. Today, the NES original remains firmly entrenched in that status.

Today’s Guess the Game selection is the Game Boy sequel, or maybe reinterpretation is a better word for it. It contains many similar story elements and power-ups but also holds a good number of differences as well.

Don’t let the hardcore fans know I said this, but this Game Boy sequel is actually a lot better too.

If you fast-forward a decade or so to the late 90s, when Gamespot, IGN, and this idea of “forums” started taking hold, you’d find it hard to believe that this sequel even exists. Why is that? Well, with the exception of Earthbound, I can’t think of a single game in Nintendo’s library that fans lamented more about not getting a sequel.

  • “Top 10 games that need a sequel,” and it falls in the number 1 spot.
  • “Why didn’t X game ever get that sequel?”
  • “Did Nintendo not like this franchise? Pit has so much potential!”

This was all big news to me because before the advances of Virtual Console and even homebrew emulation, I owned this little known Game Boy sequel on a physical cartridge, and I loved it to pieces! I played the likes of Link’s Awakening at that point, but even then, I had few qualms about saying this Guess the Game selection is one of the closest experiences an original, black and white Game Boy game ever came to reaching the quality of the leading Super Nintendo platformers.

It had tight action and excellent level design, topped off with a touch of vertical progression that so few on the Game Boy ever achieved. It had secret rooms, RPG progression, lengthy dungeons, and its own in game economy. Had it been a little less linear and more open-ended like a Metroid game, we’d be singing praises of it to this very day as a revolutionary hit.

I brought it with me everywhere, too, laying the seeds of the handheld gamer I would eventually become. I often see it as a companion game to Capcom’s excellent Gargoyle’s Quest, which is another boundary pushing action platformer for the Game Boy that I first played at about the same time. The two are leaps and bounds beyond what the average non-Wario platformer offered on the black and white Game Boy.

Sadly, our Guess the Game selection never caught on, and I was forced to live a lonely existence reminding early Internet dwellers that the NES original indeed did have a sequel, one that I still played quite often. The response I tended to get was that Game Boy games didn’t count. The Internet, attitudes haven’t changed one bit over the last 20 years. If facts contradict your beliefs, blatantly dismiss them.

This brilliant little action game soared above its console brethren as a much more complete package, and yet, it is the NES game that most people chose to have those nostalgic feelings for. Was it just because not a whole lot of people got a chance to play it on Game Boy?

If you’re Japanese, I do understand entirely. After all, this is one of the few Nintendo developed titles, if not the only one, that was never released in Japan! Ridiculous to be sure, but it almost appears that Nintendo created this sequel to capitalize on the character’s success in the TV show! Captain N: The Game Master wrapped itself up in 1991, meaning our Guess the Game selection, also released in 1991, must have been in development while it was popular. Pit’s companions Simon Belmont, Mega Man, and Samus Aran, all had popular video games out at that time too, so Nintendo needed to do something with him.

Likewise, Captain N: The Game Master obviously never aired in Japan. Pit was not a well known gaming figure five years after his first release on the shaky Famicom Disc System, and Nintendo in Japan didn’t feel the need to publish the Game Boy sequel.

Isn’t that a bit crazy? Captain N might have genuinely impacted a video game franchise, after all!

But now we live in the modern world, and gamers have come to accept that our Guess the Game selection falls perfectly in place within the series canon. Nintendo published the game on the Nintendo 3DS’ Virtual Console, and Japan finally got a chance to play the game a full 21 years later when it reached the Japanese Virtual Console in 2012!

Pit has also become something of a Nintendo superstar. Before our Guess the Game selection got a second chance to shine on Virtual Console, Nintendo actually did develop a Nintendo 3DS sequel that launched to polarizing reviews. The art and gameplay proved popular, but that control scheme. Whoa. It’s hard to believe that Masahiro Sakurai, the director of the highly intuitive Super Smash Bros. games, could create something so counter-intuitive to the point where it even needed a separate accessory to be playable!

And speaking of Super Smash Bros., Pit has now properly joined the roster of two games, and his appearance in these spin-offs has brought him far more attention than his main games ever did! Maybe even more attention that Captain N!

Hopefully more accessibility through Virtual Console and more exposure through popular channels can help deliver our Guess the Game selection the legacy it missed out on for over two decades. It’s a tragically forgotten sequel that improved upon the original in nearly every way, especially if you enjoy black and white games.

Now, what was the title? If you forget the subtitle, you’re wrong!