Marble Madness (NES)

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Marble Madness
Marble Madness - NES - USA.jpg
Platform: NES
Year: 1989
Developer: Rare, Ltd.
Buy: Amazon
For other games in the series, see Marble Madness.

The NES port of Marble Madness is pretty similar to the original arcade game. One or two players move their marble through the courses and around the obstacles, while avoiding the steelies, acid puddles, and various other obstacles to reach the finish line. While the NES graphics and sound aren't very impressive, the courses from the original game are fairly accurately preserved.

The 8-directional d-pad of the NES controller isn't nearly as effective as the arcade's rollball. To make up for this, the NES port allows you to accelerate your marble by holding down the A button and pick the angle at which your marble will roll. Beginners will want to use the 90° angle because it's the same as the movements on the d-pad. The 45° angle movement is as if you turn the d-pad 45° clockwise. This makes control a little easier (once you get used to it) because most of the movement in the game is diagonal.


Marble Madness - NES - Title.png

The title screen.

Marble Madness - NES - Practice Race.png

Level 1, the practice race.

Marble Madness - NES - Beginner Race.png

Level 2, the beginner race.

Marble Madness - NES - Intermediate Race.png

Level 3, the intermediate race.

Marble Madness - NES - Aerial Race.png

Level 4, the aerial race.

Marble Madness - NES - High Score.png

Made it onto the high score list!


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Marble Madness - NES - Album Art.jpg

The original arcade music of Marble Madness was composed by Brad Fuller and Hal Canon. The audio was arranged, completely by ear, for the NES by David Wise using an audio driver developed by Chris Stamper. The arrangement is well-made and the sound and tempo of the original music is left pretty much intact, Wise explained that he altered some portions which he felt were too ambient by making them a bit more melodic.


# Title ComposerArranger Length Listen Download
00 Game Start David WiseDavid Wise 0:03
01 Practice Race Brad Fuller, Hal CanonDavid Wise 0:50
02 Beginner Race Brad Fuller, Hal CanonDavid Wise 2:05
03 Intermediate Race Brad Fuller, Hal CanonDavid Wise 2:03
04 Aerial Race Brad Fuller, Hal CanonDavid Wise 1:15
05 Silly Race Brad Fuller, Hal CanonDavid Wise 1:20
06 Ultimate Race Brad Fuller, Hal CanonDavid Wise 2:48
07 Game Over Brad Fuller, Hal CanonDavid Wise 0:05
08 Congratulations Brad Fuller, Hal CanonDavid Wise 0:30


(Source: Verification from David Wise; game lacks credits)

While Rare was in the habit of leaving out credits in order to prevent their employees from getting offers from competing companies, they did include the names of several developers in the high score list. Unfortunately, the game's composer, David Wise is not among them, but Wise has confirmed his involvement personally. He explained in an interview that he arranged the arcade music using an audio driver developed originally by Chris Stamper. The driver was later expanded by Mark Betteridge, but it's not yet know for sure if the original or expanded driver was used.

Game Rip



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Ripping NES music is a very arduous process that is beyond the scope of this site.


  USA.svg   USA
Marble Madness - NES - USA.jpg
Title: Marble Madness
Platform: NES
Released: 1989-03-??
Publisher: Milton Bradley, Co.
  Australia.svg   Australia
Marble Madness - NES - Australia.jpg
Title: Marble Madness
Platform: NES
Released: 1989-??-??
Publisher: Hasbro International, Inc.
  EU.svg   EU
Marble Madness - NES - EU.jpg
Title: Marble Madness
Platform: NES
Released: 1989-??-??
Publisher: Hasbro International, Inc.


Marble Madness
Marble Madness Platform - ARC.png • Platform - A2.png • Platform - AMI.png • Platform - AST.png • Platform - C64.png • Platform - PCB.png • Platform - A2GS.png • Platform - NES.png • Platform - X68.png • Platform - PC98.png • Platform - GB.png • Platform - FMT.png • Platform - GEN.png • Platform - GG.png • Platform - SMS.png • Platform - GBC.png • Platform - GBA.png • Platform - BB.png
Marble Madness Construction Set Platform - CPC.png • Platform - ZXS.png
Marble Madness: Deluxe Edition Platform - CPC.png • Platform - ZXS.png
Notable Songs
Notable Personnel Brad Fuller • Hal Canon
Notable Companies Atari • Electronic Arts