Wheel of Fortune (NES)

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Wheel of Fortune
Wheel of Fortune - NES.jpg
Platform: NES
Year: 1988
Developer: Rare Co., Ltd.

Wheel of Fortune is based on the game show of the same name. It was released alongside Jeopardy! (NES), making both to be the first game show video games to appear on the NES.

While most NES games at the time were being handled in Japan, Wheel of Fortune was developed by famed English developer Rare. This was most likely because it would have been too difficult for a Japanese developer to make an NES game that heavily relies on proper English. It is also one of the first NES games to feature digitized sound, as the game's title screen features the infamous Wheel of Fortune chant.

The goal of the game is to try and solve the puzzle. On a player's turn, they can spin the wheel, in which they get a certain amount of money for any consonants they choose that appear on the board. For example, if the player lands on $250 and chooses an "R", and there's 2 R's on the board, they will receive $500. However, the wheel also has a Lose Turn wedge, in which the player will lose their turn, and then there's the dreaded Bankrupt wedge, in which not only will the player lose their turn, but all of their money as well. During a player's turn, they may also choose a vowel (A, E, I, O, and U), all of which cost $250. If the player knows what the puzzle says, they may also solve.

After 2 normal rounds, the game goes into the "Speed-Up Round", in which the wheel is only spun once, and whatever money value wedge that is spun is the amount for any correct letters chosen for the whole round. Also, vowels can now be chosen without buying them.

The contestant with the most money will go on to the final round, in which they must pick 5 consonants and 1 vowel, while also choosing a prize they want. If the player correctly solves the last puzzle, they will win the game.

GameTek released a Junior Edition and a Family Edition, both developed by Rare. They also developed a Starring Vanna White edition.


Wheel of Fortune - NES - Title Screen.png

The title screen.

Wheel of Fortune - NES - Gameplay 1.png

Entering my name on the main menu.

Wheel of Fortune - NES - Gameplay 2.png

Spinning the wheel.

Wheel of Fortune - NES - Gameplay 3.png

Solving the puzzle.

Wheel of Fortune - NES - Gameplay 4.png

Selecting a prize for the final round.

Wheel of Fortune - NES - Gameplay 5.png

Solving the final round's puzzle.

Wheel of Fortune - NES - Gameplay 6.png

I won, and even got my fabulous prize!


Since the game was an early NES release, the music leaves a lot to be desired. It is nice to see that the show's theme song by Merv Griffin made it into the game.

The music was all done by David Wise of Donkey Kong Country fame. To write the music, Wise had to tediously enter the music in 6502 assembly machine code using hexadecimal numbers. He used Chris Stamper's sound driver.

The track names and orderings are taken from the game's NSFE. However, the NSFE fails to mention the title music is Changing Keys by Merv Griffin.

The Junior Edition of the game uses the same exact music as the regular version of the game. However, the Family Edition includes a completely different soundtrack.


# Title Composer Length Listen Download
01 Changing Keys David Wise 0:34
02 Setup David Wise 1:14
03 New Round David Wise 0:04
04 Spin / Category Chime David Wise 0:02
05 Reveal Letters David Wise 0:02
06 No Letters David Wise 0:02
07 Solve Phrase David Wise 0:20
08 Correct David Wise 0:06
09 Congratulations David Wise 0:14
10 Incorrect David Wise 0:03
11 Try Again David Wise 0:10
12 Bankrupt David Wise 0:02


(Source: Verification from composer, Double Dare NES credits; game lacks credits.)

As per usual with most of Rare's NES titles, this game does not contain staff credits, as Rare wanted to prevent their staff from being hired by other companies. We have contacted David Wise, who has verified composing the music to this game. Wise also confirmed Chris Stamper to have programmed the game's sound driver.

Also, Double Dare shares many of the same sound effects with Wheel of Fortune. Double Dare, one of Rare's only 5 NES games to have credits, gives credit to Stephen Patrick for sound effects specifically.

Game Rip




Ripping NSF music is an arduous process that is beyond the scope of this site.

Audio Devices

The game uses the RP2A03 for music and sound effects. It uses Chris Stamper's sound driver.


  USA.svg   USA
Wheel of Fortune - NES.jpg
Title: Wheel of Fortune
Platform: NES
Released: 1988-09-??
Publisher: GameTek
  USA.svg   USA
Wheel of Fortune Junior Edition - NES.jpg
Title: Wheel of Fortune: Junior Edition
Platform: NES
Released: 1989-10-??
Publisher: GameTek