The Black Bass (NES) Playthrough – NintendoComplete

A playthrough of Hot-B’s 1989 fishing game for the NES, The Black Bass.

This video shows a day of the tournament played and won at each of the game’s four lakes:

0:35 Lake Amada, Class C
32:45 Lake Japan, Class B
1:25:03 Lake More, Class A
2:09:54 San Lake, Class A

Even though the tournament lasts for twelve days, winning each class always nets the same exact cutscene, and there is nothing at the end of the tournament besides a black screen that says the tournament is over, regardless of if you won or lost. I didn’t really think that showing all of that was necessary after winning each of the classes.

But yeah, The Blass Bass – this is one of the strangest of my childhood favorites right here. I’ve always hated fishing. It’s boring, it smells awful, I get hideously sea sick, and I feel bad for the fish. It’s not an activity that has ever appealed much to me.

But one of my friends in middle school had this cart. Apparently his dad was a fishing nut – I mean who else bought The Black Bass? Anyways, after trading games enough times and going through most of his library, I finally gave this one a shot. I had beaten most of his other games at that point, so it at least was something new and novel to me.

It took me about three seconds to become hopelessly addicted. It was so odd – it was the slowest, most drawn-out “action” I’d seen in an NES cart – but something about it was so compelling.

I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the barely functional graphics or the endless drone of a couple catchy musical loops playing in the background, either.

I’m not sure if it was figuring out the color and weight of the lures that did it, or if it was figuring out how to make the bait dance effectively to get the huge fish. It was damned fun, though. I spent forever combing each lake searching for the key message (“HERE IS NICE BASS POINT”), and far, far longer seeking out the elusive whale-sized bass in the A-class lakes, even when it meant that after 20 minutes of fighting and having the fish nearly in the boat, it would jump and somehow manage to unhook itself. I didn’t catch any Moby Dicks here, but I did receive the hilariously awkward (yet understated) message, “IT’S BIG!!” a few times. I believe my biggest catch in this video was somewhere around 18-19 lbs. The fish looks like Jurassic Park: The Bass when you’re fighting it. Maybe an adjective less generic than “big”, or at least one that was somewhat less filled with innuendo, would’ve better served there. It makes me laugh so hard every time. It just doesn’t get old.

The Black Bass is not a casual-friendly quick-play, but it is a fair representation of its sport. But as much as I hate real fishing, I really find The Black Bass to be super-engaging, even now. Most fishing games I won’t touch, but like Sega Bass Fishing, with The Black Bass, once I get into it, several hours disappear in a blink.

Maybe it’s better not to try to rationalize some things. If you want a novel NES experience, put your reservations on hold and just try it. You might love it. It’s well worth the $5 it’ll cost you at any flea market or thrift shop. If you hate it, well, it was only $5, right? No worse than if someone at Starbucks screwed up your coffee!

But then again, if when you reach the bottom of the cup you read the words “HERE IS NICE BASS POINT”…

Random question: did anyone else think that the box looked striking similar to Bases Loaded’s? Both had a white box, giant red lettering in very similar fonts, and paintings instead of photos?
No cheats were used during the recording of this video.

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  • I learned something new watching this!! Pressing "Select" when fighting a fish to "let it go" — That said, apparently class C and B anglers won't always have success in doing so…See 4:05

  • I'm pretty sure this game has consumed a bit of my soul. I was 6 when this came out and I was addicted.

  • the Red Pencil Bait is the Golden Gun form GoldenEye.

  • 3:01:00
    *gives you golden scale*

  • Played the hell out of this when stationed over seas and couldn’t fish.

  • I hate how much I enjoyed this. I miss this game so bad.

  • "The Fish Goes Away!" Pretty much sums up my experience with this game as a child.

  • This is a game I would play till 4am at a friends house during sleepovers in middle school, or rent for myself on a weekend. Its terribly frustrating due to the random jumps that will throw your lure after fighting a fish for 20 minutes. The SNES version cleared a lot of the issues up, and though it was still flawed, was a tremendous game itself.

  • Hot-B? Was this made by the creators of that crappy rpg Stargazer?

  • yeah, blue marlin was the more fun of the two, but i played this one some too

  • You should try reel fishing: the great outdoors for PSP. I'd rather play a fishing video game than a golf one anytime.

  • woah so much nostalgia with this one. Its been a while since i heard these sounds

  • AlexAlex

    Author Reply

    that’s my name too (:

  • Holy Schnikeys! Thank you, you beautiful bastard!

  • Fun Fact

    This is actually the American version of Black Bass 2. Hence the in-game title screen of Black Bass USA

    We never got the original version of Black Bass for Famicom.

    Now THAT game………was pretty shit. But, the series got so SO much better with time.

    It had a similar lake layout, but used a side scrolling camera for the actual fishing.

    I NEVER figured out how to actually catch anything in that game.

    Title music was catchy though.

    Give it a try sometime if you want to check out something different.

    I still have the cart for this game. So many fond memories of playing it up north in my Grandfather's cottage.

    Love the Black Bass series.

  • This and blue marlin was my favorite. I actually own a copy on the nes

  • Good game to play when its raining outside but you want to fish

  • I tried this one along with Blue Marlin, It's annoying that in this game, you have to use the password everytime you want to continue because it basically quits the game after each day, it may have been ok back in the "noting down passwords" age but it's annoying in the age of emulators with savestates.
    I honestly prefer Blue Marlin because it has better sounds and music and it's easier to connect with fish because of the lack of the "THE FISH GOES AWAY" as long as you know what you're doing.

  • I prefer Breath of Fire 3's fishing mini game, lol.

  • many hours played on this game

  • You reminded me that I want to buy the Konami's fishing game for PS2.

    I think this sort of games are just like the golf and soccer games, they are fun for burn the time.

  • its ok but it will never beat ocarina of time and twilight princess' fishing holes

  • I didn’t know there were fishing games in the NES ! Nice discovery.
    It looks more entertaining than the fishing parts in Sonic Adventure(i played the DX version).
    PS : yesterday, i watched an AVGN video about a game called Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties. It was one of weirdest games i’ve ever seen !
    If i can call that a game…
    Well done walkthrough anyway, NC.

  • You going to try the SNES version too?

  • The Black Bass is one of the NES games I most fondly remember from my childhood. I still don't quite understand why, but it's an awesome game regardless.