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Wrecking Crew

Wrecking Crew BoxWrecking Crew is an action-based game with puzzle elements developed by Nintendo R&D1 and published by Nintendo. Designed by Yoshio Sakamoto the game served as one of Nintendo’s launch titles for the North American release of the Nintendo Entertainment System on October 18th, 1985.

Players take control of Mario in an attempt to destroy all of the construction material on the screen before being caught by a construction foreman. Armed with a hammer Mario is required to destroy walls, pillars and ladders while avoiding various enemies throughout 100 different levels.

Because Mario is unable to jump, players must determine the optimal order in which to destroy the objects without getting themselves stuck or cornered by enemies. If a ladder is destroyed to soon, an object that needs to be destroyed such as a pillar or wall may become unreachable resulting in the player being unable to complete the stage.

Famicom Data RecorderIncluded in the game was a level editor which allowed players to create and play their own stages however due to limitations of both the Famicom and Nintendo Entertainment System custom designed levels could not be saved. In Japan Nintendo released the Famicom Data Recorder peripheral to provide gamers the ability to store and reload their custom designed levels via a cassette tape. Since the peripheral was not released in the west, the ability to save and load custom levels was not possible in other regions. The feature was enabled and available in all regions when the game released on the Wii, 3DS and Wii U virtual consoles.

Nintendo Power Writer
Nintendo Power flash writer kiosk for adding games to flash cartridges

Nintendo decided to develop an arcade version of the game entitled Vs. Wrecking Crew which added the ability to play simultaneous two-player mode. A sequel to the game known as Wrecking Crew ’98 was created and released exclusively in Japan in 1998 for the Super Famicom. Initially released via the Nintendo Power download game service for the Super Famicom where players could bring a purchased RAM cartridge to a store that had a Nintendo Power copier to select games to be copied to the cartridge. In addition, the store would provide the purchaser with a printed copy of the manual for the game. Later in the year Nintendo released a standard standalone release of Wrecking Crew ’98 for the Super Famicom.

Wrecking Crew Logo
Developer(s)Nintendo R&D1
SeriesWrecking Crew
SuccessorWrecking Crew ’98
Platform(s)Nintendo Entertainment System
Media TypeCartridge
ReleaseJP: June 18, 1985
NA: October 18, 1985
EU: October 15, 1987
Development TimeTBD
RatingESRB: E
Rereleased Platform(s)Ports
Arcade (Vs. Wrecking Crew) -1985
Famicom Disk System – 1989
Game Boy Advance – 2004

Virtual Console
Wii – 2007
Nintendo 3DS (Ambassador Program) – 2011
Wii U – 2013

Game Screenshots:

NES Works -Wrecking Crew


Retronauts Video Works

Retronauts Video Works is a video companion to the Retronauts podcast.  The show is researched, written, edited, and created by Jeremy Parish.

Hiroshi YamauchiHiroshi YamauchiExecutive Producer
Gunpei YokoiGunpei YokoiProducer
Satoru OkadaSatoru OkadaDirector
Toshiyuki NakamuraToshiyuki NakamuraProgrammer
Profile PlaceholderTomoyo chanProgrammer
Profile PlaceholderYase SobajimaProgrammer
Profile PlaceholderAkina chanProgrammer
Kenji ImaiKenji ImaiProgrammer
Yoshio SakamotoYoshio SakamotoDesigner
Makoto KanohMakoto KanoDesigner
Hirokazu TanakaHirokazu TanakaComposer


Nintendo Entertainment System (North American Release)

Famicom (Japanese Release)

Media & Promotional Material