Nintendo proudly presents Devil World, a 39-year old infamous demonic Pac-Man clone, to North American gamers via the Nintendo Switch Online service.

Nintendo Finally Introduces Devil World in North America

Nintendo has hopped onto its time machine to revive a game once thought lost in the annals of its archives. After four decades, the giant Japanese gaming company has finally unveiled the intriguing Devil World game to North American players via its Nintendo Switch Online platform.

The announcement of this long-anticipated release came on October 30, perfect timing for a spooky Halloween treat. Nintendo introduced three new games to its Nintendo Switch Online library: Castlevania Legends for Game Boy lovers, The Mysterious Murasame Castle and the legendary Devil World for NES enthusiasts.

For those unfamiliar, Devil World earned quite a reputation after it was published in Japan in the year 1984. It was designed as a Pac-Man-style game where players move through a maze, gobble up dots for points, munch on snacks for extra rewards, and search for power-ups that can eliminate ghostly predators. But there's an intriguing twist. The sought-after power-ups are depicted as Bibles and crosses, and the ultimate villain in the game is none other than the literal Devil. He makes his menacing appearance, controlling the borders of your maze, aiming to trap you within.

In the '80s, Nintendo of America had strict rules against allowing any religious imagery in its NES games. The game, aptly named Devil World, wasn't going to make it through the censor board, especially during a period when America was embroiled in fears of Satanic elements. Consequently, Devil World was launched in Europe in 1987 and never officially released in North America until now.

Though largely considered a historical relic more than a cherished classic, Devil World's vibrant graphics and creative take on the post Pac-Man maze game trend have helped it secure a small but existing fanbase among retro gaming enthusiasts.

One interesting fact about Devil World is that it's the first console-only game directed by Shigeru Miyamoto, a legend in the video game industry. The Devil character even made surprise appearances in the Smash Bros. series, which probably became the first interaction English-speaking Nintendo fans had with this overlooked piece of Nintendo heritage.

Along with Devil World, the rare NES game 'The Mysterious Murasame Castle' also made its way into the recent NSO lineup. This game, cloaked in Japanese mythology and seeming like a Zelda spin-off, never left Japan's shores during its original release. It only saw an official worldwide release through the 3DS virtual console in 2014.

This move by Nintendo is a testament that all games, despite their origins and past controversies, can get their moment in the sun, and gamers today can immerse themselves in these vintage gaming experiences. After all, there really isn't a bad time for players to revisit the golden age of NES games.

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John Hope

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