No auto save. Gaming in the 90’s


I was a hard-core gamer once. I had every popular game as a kid and would play well into the morning on weekends (of course) until completion. I’m talking about the hard-core gamer here –  blow into the system and game cartridge gamer. No auto save, you only have two options: game paused or game over gamer. Yeah, hard-core.

I’m not bragging here, I actually can’t believe there wasn’t an option to save console games until The Legend of Zelda in 1987. The cartridge had an internal battery that powered a RAM chip which allowed players to save their progress. The NES was a good console but I have to say, the SNES changed my LIFE.

I get nostalgic when I see micro-controllers. I think of gadgets, game consoles and anything electronic from my childhood. For my Raspberry Pi assignment I wanted to use Sonic Pi to create a few sounds from an old school game. I ran into trouble during set up because I wasn’t able to find the /opt/sonic-pi/etc/samples folder with all the .flac sample sound files. I downloaded several .wav sounds from as a workaround and wired four push buttons to a breadboard and Raspberry Pi to create a GPIO box.

Check it out:


Next steps: Turn .wav sounds into a rhythmic flow and pattern. Make music!

I’m actually really interested in Sonic Pi in general and I’d LOVE to eventually make an entire album using Sonic Pi and live coding.

Stay tuned…

Also, I found this cool website for 8 bit sounds after I completed the GPIO box…

I added another button and include a game over wav file.

I. had. to.



  1. Evy says:

    Whoa..super interesting project this week. Love the sounds you picked they are super clear and it makes me want to play a Mario game.

  2. Kim says:

    I do enjoy your posts. Keep up the great storytelling informational.

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