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GAMING

What Have All Those Magic Mushrooms Done to Super Mario?

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chris-littlechild - March 18, 2012

Just about everyone in the world knows Mario. I recently read that, worldwide, he is more recognisable to schoolchildren than Mickey Mouse. His games are so successful that the mere mention of his name sends certain Japanese businessmen into a yen-frenzy. Solid gold cars are purchased, and vast piles of money are rolled in. But has this illustrious career taken its toll on Nintendo's main man?

Take a look at exhibit A, Mario in his first gaming appearance. The colours may be a little off, but the dungarees, cap and terrible facial hair combo is unmistakable. At this point, though, he's slim. More than that, he's two-dimensional, arguably as slim as you can get. Weight Watchers couldn't award enough gold stars (or whatever it is they reward the fatties with). His only ‘power up' in these days was a simple hammer, to deal with the barrage of barrels that damn monkey is trying to murder you horribly with. Jumping around and swinging something that heavy kept him so fit that he was known only as ‘Jumpman' at this point.

Fast forward a decade or two, and look at our hero now. Dungarees and cap? Check. Moustache as terrible as a bald man's fooling absolutely no one at all, ever toupeé? Check and check. But look at the weight he's put on! I'm surprised he can still squeeze his ass into those dungarees (It's quite the feat of bravery to even try, they haven't been washed since 1981).

Funnily enough, he still manages to keep up that active lifestyle. With the dramatic move into 3d, there's more of the platform-hopping from his Jumpman days than ever. Not to mention learning a new triple jump move that a lardy guy should never be able to pull off. How does he do it? Experimental fitness drugs could well be the answer. They keep him moving, but they have some horrific side effects. Nintendo adds these to the games, euphemistically called ‘power ups'. One mutates him into a bizarre half-bee-half-man. This is clearly involuntary, all it allows him to do is float pathetically for a quarter of a nanosecond.You can either fly or you can't, Mario, don't kid yourself like this (As Yoda said, "Do, or do not. There is no ‘try'").

And don't even get me started on the ridiculous spring-for-an-ass power up.

There's quite a strong case for the Mario being off his head on dangerous chemicals theory. Don't forget, in his world, everything from clouds to hills to incoming vengeful ballistic missiles have eyes (like the mushroom above). If that's not trippy, I don't know what is.

Article by Chris Littlechild



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