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I Love the '80s:
Super Mario Bros. Series Rant

by Anthony McClintock

Remember when you had to blow on a cartridge for 10 minutes just to play a game? Yep- those were the 80's. Take a time warp with us, as we recollect memories of Super Mario Brothers 1-3 for NES.

Those of us that were born in the early 80's have fond memories of sitting in front of the television to play Super Mario Brothers. The whole time we played, our moms yelled at us to go outside and experience the "world". Eventually we were forced outside. After a few hours outside, we were brought back inside because it is not nice to shave the neighbor's cat. After this, we just sat back down and played Mario. Everyone loved Super Mario Bros. because it was one of the first games where the main character vaguely resembled a person-shaped object.

If you had an Atari 2600 before NES, you probably remember the squares that were supposed to be Pacman and the ghosts. Mario chged all this- the game had great graphics, and it was actually fun. It truly felt like you were in that small 8-bit world. You could jump and kill turtles without fear of P.E.T.A. coming in the door and throwing gallons of cow blood on you for abusing a creature of mother earth.

The player select screen

Ah... the memories of Mario
are all coming back now.

Now that we have established the proper vision of the time, imagine yourself in the castle at the end of world one. You fight lava pits and fire balls and you get all the way to the end and face the infamous King Koopa. You destroy his bridge and he plummets to his death in the pit of lava. You run into the next room and get the princess but some little toadstool bastard tells you that she is in another castle- now you realize you have to fight your way through seven more levels! Thankfully you have the energy and determination to make it all the way since Barney hadn't been invented yet to destroy your fragile human mind.

1988- Super Mario Bros. 2

One morning, your mom drives you to Wal-Mart. As you browse through the video game collection, you see a shiny blue box on the shelf. Since you love shiny objects, you grab the box slowly bringing it into comfortable reading distance. Damn- you suddenly remember that you can't read because you haven't reached the first grade yet. But you gaze at the pictures in wonder and confusion. The graphics are astounding but they look like they were from the album cover of Captain Kangaroo sings the Beatles Greatest hits featuring a duet with Mr. Rogers. You get the game home, blow on it out of habit, and place it in your NES. The reset light flashes, but you perservere until you get an image. When it finally comes up, you are greeted with a title screen and are able to choose your character. Since none of the Thundercats are playable characters, you pick Luigi, and when no one is around, you pick Princess Toadstool.

Once you beat Super Mario, you have to wait three more years until the sequel is released in America. The period between 1985 and 1988 has shown to be the longest three years in history equalled only by the wait between Mario two and three. How did you kill the time? Personally, I spent it watching Inspector Gadget and listening to White Snake, which I outgrew when I turned five.

Compare the two pics...
Mario is shorter in SMB2!

After this game, Mario and Luigi are the same height until Mario Kart for SNES

Ihe game begins, and you see your character falling out of a red door in the middle of the sky. You watch in confusion because your character is lunging to their death in the first few seconds of the game. Then you see land and your character touches down unharmed... YAY!!!! The next strange thing you notice are the enemies. Where the hell did that mask wearing guy with a gun for a nose come from? That one looks like a retarded midget stepchild of Jason Vorhees. Once you meet your new foe, your first instinct is to jump on his head and crush his fragile nervous system. Wait!!! He isn't dying- how must I destroy this strange new creature? While you are pondering, you accidently bump the B button and Luigi picks up the retarded assailant. Haha- the tables have turned! You press B again and your enemy is hurled off the cliff and dies a painful and pixelated 8-bit death. As you venture further down this rabbit hole, you begin to ask yourself a few questions. Were the progammers on crack (crack had been invented the previous summer)?? Why is this so much fun?? Is this even a Mario game?? Well the short answer is no.

The game's real name is Doki Doki Panic. Nintendo felt that the Japanese Mario 2 was far too hard for us Americans, so they took a rather obscure game and pasted some Mario sprites into it. You might be wondering how they got away with it. Nintendo did more than just add sprites. They completely revamped the animations of the enemies and added animation to the onions that you pull out of the ground. Some boss battles were changed as well. The boss named Clawgrip was also added. Originally, there were three battles with the rat. Now, Clawgrip appears instead of the rat. Another feature that was added was the ability to hold down the B button to run. Doki Doki Panic felt painfully slow due to the lack of this feature.

1990- Super Mario Bros. 3

Gamers would have to wait another three years before playing Super Mario Bros. 3. I remember kids going to the movie theatre to see that crappy Fred Savage movie just to see the 30 second glimpse of Mario 3. That movie was horrible- the only reason anyone went was because they heavily advertised the fact that the movie was just a 2 hour long commercial for Nintendo products. The movie sucked but the footage of Mario 3 was incredible. Many were shocked to find that Luigi and Mario once again looked the same. In the previous game, we were led to believe that Mario was shorter that Luigi. Mario and Luigi would once again look the same until Mario and Luigi appeared in Nintendo's Mario Kart for the SNES.

Remember the background music that plays during this map screen? Yes, it's great (=

Mario 3's graphics were a huge
step above its predecessors

The most impressive thing about Mario 3 was the graphics- they were much more beautiful and colorful than previous Mario games. We were also introduced to the map screen. This allowed you to actually choose the level you played next or even challenge your little brother to a battle for his items that were won at the end of the stages. Mario 3 featured such great gameplay that you really felt you were apart of the Mushroom Kingdom. The levels all had detailed backgrounds, and the variety of level types was very refreshing.

Another thing that really made me enjoy this game was the addition of new powers that could be collected and lost just like Milli-Vanilli's grammy. You could find a leaf and turn into a raccoon and fly. You could find a frog suit that was very helpful in the totally fun underwater castle in world three. This game has given the world so many fond memories that it is really a shame at how much the new Nintendo system sucks. We want 2D side scrollers with awesome graphics Nintendo! Nintendo is dying because they are telling gamers what they want instead of having the gamers tell Nintendo what they want. Thankfully, Sony has the right idea in listening to gamers. So fire up the NES, blow on your game a few times, and travel back to a time when Nintendo was king, Sega was queen and NEC was their retarded step-brother chained up in the basement.

A BIG thanks to Digital Fan for donating this article!


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