Star Tropics graced the cover of Nintendo Power issues 21 and 22, as the magazine spread a 33-page strategy guide over two issues. Not bad, but Super Mario Bros. 3 got its own feature-length advertising movie. Sometimes it's hard to compete with yourself.
Some potential franchises fall by the wayside because of simple neglect from the publisher. Punch-Out was one of Nintendo's biggest hits for the fledgling NES and had a well-received sequel on the SNES, but has sat dormant for 11 years since. "I think that without Nintendo pushing the series or having any new ideas for a new Punch-Out game, it becomes forgotten," says Frederick Shafer, who manages a Punch-Out fan site and created a popular hacked version of the game.
But this doesn't mean Punch-Out is down for the count. Other Nintendo series have suffered through longdroughts only to be revived years later, transformed by the big N into marketing powerhouses.
The F-Zero series enjoyed a several year hiatus between the original SNES edition and the Nintendo 64 sequel. Today, the series has its own cartoon on Fox and three new versions on the Game Boy Advance. And there were eight long years between the SNES' Super Metroid and GameCube's Metroid Prime. Since then, there have been four new Metroid games in as many years, and spin-off Metroid Pinball is planned for the Nintendo DS.
"Nintendo knew they had this successful franchise sitting around, but they probably just lacked the team to make it," says Devin Monnens, a contributor to Metroid fansite Metroid Database. "Nintendo [has a] desire to push their franchises and try to reach as many kinds of players as possible and Metroid is such a powerful series to help do that."
So what can a fan do to let Nintendo know where to direct their precious resources? An internet petition is always a first step. "I think the fan support for Kid Icarus is a silent power," says Wesley Grogan, a KidIcarus fan who has started an online petition to get another sequel to the NES classic (Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters, was released for the Game Boy in 1991). Over 300 signatures have been added so far, with pleas like "I LOVE KID ICARUS GAME!" and "If done correctly, this could be bigger than Zelda."
"Kid Icarus was one of the defining games for the Nintendo Entertainment System, even if it wasn't recognized as such at the time." Grogan says. "In many ways, [it] spoke to a fairly refined gamer that was content to wait for the next game in the series to come out. It took us over seventeen years to realize that this might not actually happen. Now, though, I think the sleeping giants are beginning to awaken."
Even if you can't get the groundswell of popular support for that sequel, there's always the chance your favorite classic will be catapulted to popularity by a cameo appearance. Marth and Roy's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Melee likely cleared the way for the two domestic Fire Emblem releases for the Game Boy Advance.