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Published February 4, 2019

Many games from the past i.e. the Nintendo generation challenged a lot of gamers and many of these games caused gamers at that time to rage quit, games like the Ninja Gaiden series, all of level 8 in Super Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros 2 (horrible game) and others. However, it goes without saying that many of these same games required a little “help” to beat.

The help I’m talking about is cheat codes, the Ninja Gaiden series is a perfect example of “cheat code games” or being deemed as such because of their very difficult gameplay elements like wasting lives trying to dodge some random enemy who just happens to run and jump right off a platform to their death.

There have been other games across certain gaming generations that have made hunting for cheat codes necessary and it goes without saying that these cheat codes made life easier in the game and stress levels regarding anything in the game was way down.

I for one always felt that using cheat codes in games was due to a lack of skill but after playing Ninja Gaiden 3 on NES, there are just some parts in the game that you need cheat codes for which I’ll discuss in this post along with the main gaming generation, specific games even why they should be used sparingly while exploring the ethical and unethical issue facing using cheat codes in certain “cheat code games”.

Which game generation really called for them?

So, which game generation really called for cheat codes, why the NES generation of course and the reason is really quite obvious. The NES games were the hardest in existence and it made many gamer lives in certain games hell. For example, there’s an extra continues code that you can put in when you play the first Teenage Mutant Turtles game on NES.

The reason, it is a hard game and one that warranted cheat codes not to mention having a favorite turtle preference which meant that you could go thru the whole game without really needing to switch turtles.

When you look at the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis generation, you don’t see many codes for them because the games made them unnecessary which took a lot of strain off of the gamers who were playing the games. Also, it goes without saying that you couldn’t adjust the difficulty with NES games which meant you were stuck playing them on the chosen difficulty.

Specific games and why

Okay, so now its become pretty clear that playing certain NES games warrant using cheat codes and I’ve made a little discovery playing one NES game in particular; when you play an NES game, you’re going to always need a code for a specific part of a specific game.

For example, when I get to Stage 7-2, I always input the infinite lives code and keep it up on until I get to the final boss on 7-4 then I input the invincibility code because the final boss is tough to beat without it; believe me, I’ve tried.

So don’t ever be afraid to use whatever cheat codes possible to get past certain parts of the game, it is not cheating if you’re using the cheat code to help you through a rough spot so you can learn how to beat the section without it.

I used to use the lightning ability secret in Shadow of the Ninja when I was trying to max out my sword’s power wave attack so I can dominate and despite the 1% health drain of using the ability, I still used it.

Don’t hesitate to use a cheat code if it can help especially if you want to get all the Chaos Emeralds in Sonic 2 without going through any of the special stages which I encourage you to do if that’s what you want to do.

Ethical, Unethical vs. Skill

For years, I’ve preached (not literally) about the unethical use of cheat codes because of how they rob the gamer of their innate gamer skill or using said skill in order to make it past certain parts of a game or using the cheat codes when it was necessary. However, after using them myself in Ninja Gaiden 3 NES to beat specific parts, I learned something.

There is an ethical use for cheat codes and that is to help you get past the part of the game or level that is killing you continuously; the real skill lies in not using the code throughout the whole game; using cheat codes in certain games do not take away from your skill as a gamer.

Destroying Jaquio took skill, no cheat codes needed!

After all, you made it to the part you’re having trouble with before you knew that cheat code existed so it is like you’ve stumbled upon a resource that was always there that you never wanted to exploit or use for personal gain.

Using cheat codes sparingly and why

I urge you to use cheat codes sparingly, and why I say that is because it is so easy to let yourself be consumed by the idea that using cheat codes in a game is justified because the game is or whatever game you’re using them for is hard without the cheat codes.

Ninja Gaiden 3 on NES is the hardest game of the series but with the right cheat codes, it would be wise for you to still use cheat codes to play that game; hell, I get into the habit of using the infinite lives code when I get to Stage 7 because at that point I’m just ready to beat the game and go on to the endgame.

What I wouldn’t do is to start a game with a cheat code that is going to slow me down and make it so I have to focus slowly on trying to keep my enemies from exploiting that weakness of mine. So, if you ever get a chance to use a cheat code then I would say do it because when you play a game you’re going to come across that rough spot again.


There are dozens of cheat code games for the NES that makes playing the game with a cheat code worth it like the first Turtles game on NES and the Ninja Gaiden series, there’s nothing unethical about using a cheat code if it gets you thru the part of the game you’re struggling on.

Second, using cheat codes sparingly speaks to your merit as a gamer so don’t abuse cheat codes for easy parts in games; it’s a waste and remember it takes real skill to not cross the line between using a cheat code for an ethical and unethical reason. If you have any questions about my post then please send me a message and I’ll get back to you. Thank you and Happy gaming.

There was not enough cheat codes in the world, this game sucked!

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