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Published October 23, 2017

As any gamer who has played games for the NES, those games are the hardest to ever exist; it was like the creators wanted to train the best and brightest through these games. Although many gamers, myself included, didn’t think much of the challenge factor at first, it later became evident that most NES games were hard; very hard. Games like Battletoads, Ninja Gaiden and Contra to name a few have pushed many gamers to their limit and beyond even caused some gamers to seek help.

Contra                  Battletoads and Double Dragon

So, it begs the question; are cheat codes necessary? The answer is an emphatic yes; the reason being that playing the game naturally was almost impossible unless you knew enough about the game or played it enough times to be able to go through the game with no problem. A cheat code is, in my definition, an in game code that grants you a power or an advantage in order to play through the game.

Invincibility makes it possible for gamers to be able to play the game while adjusting to the difficulty setting in the game especially since they cannot adjust the difficulty in the game which you couldn’t in certain games. Invincibility is completely necessary, and it is in these games. A 30 lives code allows gamers to be able to practically live forever if they don’t continuously die.

Games and Certain Levels

In games such as Battletoads and Double Dragon, the levels were designed in such a way that it overwhelmed gamers quickly, are cheat codes necessary; yes they are. For example, on Level 2-3 the speed bike part of the level causes many gamers to sacrifice their hard-earned lives just to make it to the end of the level which got to be frustrating.

Battletoads and Double Dragon

However, the game genie made it possible to play many of these games because the invincibility codes could not be accessed any other way, but having a game genie ensured many gamers that they were able to play through that game and many more like it.

Ninja Gaiden 3

Ninja Gaiden 3 NES was another game that required cheat codes because many in game obstacles could kill Ryu in an instance such as enemies on both ends of a platform or getting attacked from different sides. The Terra Tubes, Rat Race and Clinger Winger levels in Battletoads require cheat codes in order to pass; so did the Dark Queen’s Tower as well as in the final battle. Cheat codes are necessary to play the game not for the sole purpose of continuous cheating even though they are.

Cheat Codes

A long time ago, I didn’t want to use cheat codes because I played all the later generation games without cheat codes nor did the later generation games require them; retro gaming on the NES or playing NES games will require cheat codes. For Battletoads and Double Dragon here is the code for infinite lives – 40B8 04AF.

Battletoads and Double Dragon

Ninja Gaiden 3 on Act 3-1 is another level where you’ll need invincibility to pass easily because there are enemy piranhas that jump up out of the water to attack you but the Mega Sword Upgrade – YYXKEGAO YYXKKGYE and the Sword Upgrade – PAXGKGAA APXKEGAO APXKKGYA along with the Untouchable code – AEVPNYLA make it possible to deal with that threat and so much more.

Ninja Gaiden 3

Battletoads has the infinite lives code – GXXZZLVI – which will allow you to go through the whole game and pretty much explore every level without worrying about losing lives. Contra has the 30 lives code which is UP, UP, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start; this code does not require the game genie.

Battletoads       Ninja Gaiden II

Ninja Gaiden II is a game that definitely need cheat codes to play the game such as the Almost Invincible – SZNGKGSA because of all the enemies that can quickly surround Ryu and many of the attacks from certain enemies deal moderate to lethal amounts of damage. The purpose of cheat codes is to have an in game advantage to play the game, but don’t use cheat code on top of cheat code in order to make the game so easy that a 3-year old can play and beat it. So, in the above explanation, are cheat codes necessary; for these games, yes!

Unpredictable Enemy Patterns

Enemies have attack patterns that can make it impossible for gamers to pick up on off the bat especially if they are trying to run through the game which I don’t recommend. However, having an invincibility code on the ready will ensure that you’re ready to counterattack on a moment’s notice. For example, in Ninja Gaiden 3 NES, Clancy is the boss of Level 7 and he has three forms. Clancy’s first form requires the Untouchable code – AEVPNYLA so you can survive the battle.

Ninja Gaiden III

Next Generation Games Require Cheat Codes Too

Next generation games does not require cheats because all the bugs and glitches have been fixed, in theory. However, cheating in next generation games such as Drakan: The Ancients’ Gate is something that I’ve done and here’s the code I used to get through the open air battles in Stratos, Invincibility – X, Down, Triangle, Up, Circle, Right, Square, Left.

Drakan: The Ancients' Gate

I have used this code as a necessity and a last resort because Stratos is filled with enemies and laser beam fire hitting you from different directions not to mention, Wyverns, enemy dragon fire; the dense fog does not help matters any because you can’t see what you’re firing at.


Cheat codes are as much a part of next generation gaming as they are in retro gaming, it is not uncommon for a veteran gamer to use cheat codes because of everything they know is in the game and that includes what they can remember about certain bosses such as attack patterns and instant death attacks.

I’ve often asked, “are cheat codes necessary”, and my answer to that has always been yes because no matter what the game throws at you, you’re always going to need that extra advantage that’ll keep you one step ahead of your enemies.






  1. Emmanuel Buysse Emmanuel Buysse

    I’m not a fan of cheats, however, when it comes in such games, like Battletoads, where it is almost impossible to reach far, or even to finish a level, I agree that using cheats will be good.

    Thanks for sharing with me, I will try it out.

    How many times do you play with cheats?

    • Rodney McGill Rodney McGill

      Hey Emmanuel, definitely give it shot. I’ll tell you something, 11 is my lucky number but not in Battletoads; I hate that Clinger Winger level, trying to get away from that ball sucks! Anyway, I’ve used cheats in Ninja Gaiden games as well for NES and Shadow of the Ninja. I’m not a fan of cheats either but it comes to two things when you play certain NES games, either you’re good and keep dying or use cheats to piss the enemy off. 

      Contra and Super C are good games to use cheats for; not Jackal so much.

  2. Nate Nate

    I prefer not using cheat codes when possible, but the difficulty on some of those NES games is ridiculous. You really can’t finish the games without using cheats. It’s nice that the newer games don’t have those glitches and I try to get through them without using cheat codes, but occasionally I will use them as a last resort. 

    • Rodney McGill Rodney McGill

      Hey Nate, same here. I don’t believe in using cheats in the newer games because they’re not necessary but I do see the reason why cheats exist in NES games because they’re even harder now that we’re adults versus being a “little difficult” when we’re kids. 

      I used to use cheats in Shadow of the Ninja and Ninja Gaiden II; I did used to go through Ninja Gaiden II without cheating or using cheats but using cheats to beat any NES game is completely warranted because sometimes you just need that helping hand.

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