‘Color printers weren’t common’
AV Club has a great interview with a former Nintendo Powerline counselor, and I suggest you read all of it. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the concept, Nintendo basically hired people to work in a toll-based call center to provide tips for gamers — the program lasted from 1985 until 2005.
Highlights include the fact that the headsets shocked counselors if their feet touched the ground, and that the team “didn’t have any more information than the public did,” other than a few very, very rare” cases, or select individuals who would hand-draw maps to help people out. Color printers “weren’t common” and employees needed permission to print in color, which made things tougher.
This piece brought me back. I called the Powerline once for Mega Man 2. It was for that part right before the Dragon boss in the Wily stage, and I was trying to figure out how to climb up the ladder. After a few minutes of “uhhhs” from the other end of the line, as I was playing, I figured it out, and asked “hey so do you use the platform item from the bottom of the ladder?” and got the response “yeah that’s it.”