Where's Waldo? (NES)

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Where's Waldo?
Where's Waldo - NES.jpg
Platform: Nintendo Entertainment System
Year: 1991
Developer: Bethesda Softworks
Buy: Amazon
For other games in the series, see Where's Waldo?.

Where's Waldo? is one of three NES games developed by Bethesda, the others being Home Alone (NES) and Wayne Gretzky Hockey (NES).

The goal is to find Waldo in each stage and beat the game within the time limit. The harder the difficulty, the smaller the square gets, the longer the screen gets, and Waldo will change not only the color of his clothes, but also his skin color. The levels are as follows: Train Station, Forest, Cave, Fairground, City, Subway, Castle, and the Launch Pad. Most of these levels consist of simply placing a cursor over Waldo, pressing A, and progressing to the next level. However, some of these levels are different. In the Cave, you must find Waldo in a dark cave. Unlike the other standard levels, pressing the A button in the wrong places doesn't deduct time, so click away! The Subway level is a puzzle level, which contains several octagon-shaped pieces which your pointer can go through, which, depending on the path, brings you to another octagon path. You must find Waldo and his glasses and advance to the center of the right of the screen to progress, but if Wizard Whitebeard runs into you, he will quickly drain your time limit, and you will most likely get a game over. The final level, the Launch Pad, features a slot machine-like interface; you must press the buttons to match Waldo in all 3 windows, and then the game is won.

The game was received negatively by critics. This was due to poor graphic design, making it too hard for first-time players to find Waldo, too short of a game to those who do know how to beat it, and the fact the cursor is much too sensitive to control, especially on harder difficulties. Also, despite the timer appearing to be in seconds, it is actually in minutes, and the programmers forgot to program a colon between the numbers.


Where's Waldo - NES - Title Screen.png

The title screen.

Where's Waldo - NES - Gameplay 1.png

The main menu.

Where's Waldo - NES - Gameplay 3.png

Finding Waldo in the first stage.

Where's Waldo - NES - Gameplay 4.png

On harder difficulties, Waldo changes his clothing and skin color.

Where's Waldo - NES - Gameplay 5.png

Waldo walking around in the overworld.

Where's Waldo - NES - Gameplay 6.png

The Subway stage, probably the hardest of them all.

Where's Waldo - NES - Gameplay 7.png

The final stage, the launch pad, which plays similar to a slot machine.

Where's Waldo - NES - Gameplay 9.png

Waldo makes it to the moon.


The game features a decent soundtrack by Julian Lefay. The title music is probably the most catchy of the songs. However, there is no in-game music; the only sound in the game is the one that plays when you incorrectly guess where Waldo is.

The Found Waldo jingle actually plays much longer than heard in game, and it can be heard here in its entirety. Interestingly, the Found Waldo and Game Over jingles were both previously used in Wayne Gretzky Hockey (NES) as the game start and goal music respectively.

There is also an unused song. Wayne Gretzky Hockey plays an identical track when the game is paused, so it was most likely intended for when the game was paused. However, you cannot pause the game.

To write the music, Lefay wrote the music in Sonix for the Amiga, which was then converted to Randy Linden's sound driver.


# Title ComposerArrangerProgrammer Length Listen Download
01 Title Screen Julian LefayJulian LefayRandy Linden 1:06
02 Overworld Julian LefayJulian LefayRandy Linden 0:36
03 Incorrect Guess Julian LefayJulian LefayRandy Linden 0:01
04 Found Waldo Unknown, Tommy WalkerJulian LefayRandy Linden 0:08
05 Game Over Julian LefayJulian LefayRandy Linden 0:07
06 Rocket Landing Julian LefayJulian LefayRandy Linden 0:17
07 Ending Julian LefayJulian LefayRandy Linden 1:01
08 Unused Julian LefayJulian LefayRandy Linden 0:14



Like the other Bethesda NES games, the credits appear upon bootup. According to Lefay, Linden programmed the sound driver.

Game Rip






Ripping NES music is an arduous process that is beyond the scope of this site. The music was recorded in NSFPlay Synthesia Mod.

Audio Devices

The game uses the Ricoh 2A03. It is the only Bethesda game not to use the DPCM channel. It uses Randy Linden's sound driver.


  USA.svg   USA
Where's Waldo - NES.jpg
Title: Where's Waldo?
Platform: NES
Released: 1991-09-??
Publisher: T*HQ


Where's Waldo?
Where's Waldo? Platform - NES.png • Platform - ARC.png • Platform - W16.png • Platform - W16.png • Platform - MAC.png • Platform - BB.png • Platform - WMOB.png • Platform - IOS.png • Platform - AND.png • Platform - IOS.png
The Great Waldo Search Platform - GEN.png • Platform - NES.png • Platform - SNES.png
Wally o Sagase! Ehon no Kuni no Daiboken Platform - SFC.png
Where's Waldo? The Fantastic Journey Platform - W32.png • Platform - MAC.png • Platform - NDS.png • Platform - WII.png • Platform - IOS.png
Notable Songs Where's Waldo? Theme
Notable Personnel Jeff Barry • Doug Brandon • Nicolas Marquis
Notable Companies Radiance Software • Bethesda Softworks