The Joe & Mac game for NES is a pretty lousy port of a pretty decent arcade game, but if you absolutely must play it, you can make sure that you have all the chances that you could possibly want, but it's going to take a little work
First, play the game long enough that you qualify for the high-score table. Beating the first stage ought to do it. Then, at the Name Entry Screen, enter your name as
Done right the name will change to
Once that happens, start a new game. You'll notice that now you can fail as many times as you want without running out of lives! Which now makes this a game of endurance. Do you have enough to finish it now?