In 1990, the original Nintendo World Championships kicked off in Dallas before sweeping across the nation, culminating in a final showdown that wasn't unlike what moviegoers saw in The Wizard.
Now, 25 years later, Nintendo has brought the competition back. And once again, one of the qualifying events was hosted in Dallas.
Partnering with eight Best Buy stores across the nation, Nintendo is sending eight winners (one from each city) to Los Angeles on June 14 for the championship finals, which will take place during the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) and will be streamed live on the Internet.
The qualifying event happened on May 30, and the competition was fierce. Competitors played through the Championship Mode of Ultimate NES Remix for the Nintendo 3DS -- a game mode meant to emulate the original 1990 Nintendo World Championships, though with different games. While the first NWC featured a timed challenge involving sections of Super Mario Bros., Rad Racer and Tetris, the NES Remix version instead takes players through Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3 and Dr. Mario.
Steve Gorhan, the general manager at the Best Buy at 9378 N. Central Expressway, said he was pleased with the turnout of the event, especially considering the "monsoon weather" and the fact that Dallas Comic Con was going on at the same time. "To give you a comparison, this was more of a Black Friday line around the building," he said, talking about the crowd that had camped out before the store opened.
It looked like the highest score was posted almost immediately, with someone supposedly posting a score well over five million points.
But later in the day -- by the time I personally got to the Best Buy in question -- something had changed, and suddenly it was a much closer race again.
While I've seen social media reports from friends who were at the event saying who the winner was (and their final score: reportedly 6,103,800), Nintendo has not yet made their official announcement. That Dallas winner, though, will be competing on a national stage next month in an as-of-yet unannounced final game challenge.
Check out the photo gallery below for a glimpse at what the event looked like a few hours in.