Just as Nintendo has stoked the hype for a miniature “Nintendo Entertainment System,” a recent costume contest in Asagaya, Japan,revealed a group costume that takes the Japanese company’s first console, the “Famicom,” in the other direction. The costume was a very accurate recreation of the system, complete with two controller costumes mimicking the cable connection to the console by wearing black sleeves and linking hands with the person inside the Famicom costume. While the original Famicom, short for “Family Computer,” is only 220mm tall, slightly over 8.6 inches, if positioned upright, this Famicom costume reaches up to 6 feet tall after accounting for the length of the person’s feet.
Unlike the NES that made it to Western markets, the Famicom was a top-loading console with a pair of controllers that featured microphones. The design of the NES was reworked to appeal to Western audiences with the speaker-feature of the Famicom’s controllers being scrapped for the sake of expediency. Notably, the absence of the microphones required some minor reprogramming of action-adventure title “The Legend of Zelda.” While the Famicom version of the game featured a type of enemy that could only be slain by speaking into the controller’s microphone, the NES version of The Legend of Zelda was reworked so that the player could defeat the monster with arrows fired from a bow.
Asagaya, the area where this costume contest took place, is one of Tokyo’s 23 wards and is connected to Shinjuku, the home of the world’s busiest railway stations. Japanese Halloween is somewhat different than in the United States, with a focus on cosplay and commercialism without much of the door-to-door candy hunting.