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August-December 1999

12/20/99
    If you haven't noticed, Game & Watch Gallery 3 is out. I haven't played it yet, so I can't give my usual commentary, but from what I've read, it's more of the same goodness you loved in the first two. It's all you'll get till Mario Party 2, so I say go get it.

    Mario is milk's new spokesman. A recent commercial being shown on several major networks features Mario pitching milk for the dairy council. In the commercial, to young children play a highly stylized version of Super Mario 64. They're trying to make Mario jump over a pit, but he keeps comnig up short and bashing agaisnt the target platform's side. After the kids are called to bed, Mario comes out of the screen and goes to the kitchen, where he gets out a carton of milk. As he gulps it down he gets noticably bigger. When he goes back into the game, he easily steps onto the platform and moves on. The ad ends with the classic "got milk" slogan on a black background.

11/6/99
    Wow, I've really fallen behind on the news. Well, it's not like I missed much over the past three months. Since the Dolphin announcement, Mario news has been pretty scarce. Here's the stuff I coudl scrounge up.
    If you haven't noticed, Mario Golf for Game Boy is out. In fact, it has been for a month. It's pretty similar to the N64 version, surprisingly. The graphcis aren't as good, of course, but it's still a satisfying play experience, especially on the road. Plus you can build u pthe four new characters in the Game Boy version and then bring them to the N64 with the transfer pack. Cool.
    Kyle Kommentary:: What more can I say. If you liked Mario Golf on N64, you'll like this. And you can take it with you anywhere. And you get new characters for the N64 version. What's not to like? Go get it unless you really hate golf.
    Along with the new Mario Golf game is a new Mario Golf commercial. It features an unseen Mario setting up his purple Game Boy Color on a golf tee and bouncing it aroudn the screen until it falls in the hole. Admist the bouncing GBC (which doesn't break when it's bludgeoned by a driver, obviously) you can hear Mario's annoyingly high voice say things like "Here we go" and "Mama Mia". Then to finish, a monotone male voice says "Mario Golf on Game Boy Color". It's... odd. Talk about the commercial here.
    Small future releases update... Game & Watch Gallery 3 is set to ship on December 6th, and Mario Party 2 on January 24th. Start saving up.
    On a final note, it appears Mario will have a cameo in the upcomnig DK64... in 8-bit, 2D form. Mario will show up in a hideen version of the original, classic Donkey Kong, which will be hidden in the new game. Good to know that Rare and Nintendo remember their roots.

8/3/99
     The first bit of info. on a new Mario game for Dolphin has been released through Nintendo's online Japanese magazine. In an interview with the magazine, Miyamato-san himself said that "Whenever new hardware comes out, Mario has to play the leading part as the console's top batter. Right now, he's getting in shape for Dolphin." Getting in shape obviously involves an update from the Mario of old. Says Miyamato, "You'll see a completely new side of Mario on Dolphin. Don't you agree that both Mario and Luigi have become a little too cutesy? It's time they became a bit more grown-up. That's where the Dolphin comes in." This evolution comes as a pleasant surprise to many more mature Mario fans, but an even more exiting announcement for many came in the confirmation that Luigi is in Mario's newest game. Miyamato has obviously heard the cries of Mario fans at large for the neglected brother, going as far as saying that "If an onlooker were to see the game in our development room now, he'd probably think that Luigi is the main character."
     Commentary: This early announcement of a new Mario game for Nintendo's upcoming Dolphin system doesn't come as a huge surprise. (New Nintendo system implies new Mario game... natch). What does come as more of a surprise is Miyamato's announcement of a newer, less cutesy Mario. This represents a great step forward not only for Mario, but also for Nintendo, (who's reluctance to focus on more mature gamers cost them the 32/64-bit war, many say). Previous new system Mario's, such as Super Mario World and Super Mario 64, were revolutionary in gameplay and structure, but left the older, less "hip" Mario in place. This lack of change resulted in Mario losing ground to "cooler" mascots like Sonic and Crash (see SMBHQ's rant on this subject). With this new Dolphin game, not only is revolutionary gameplay promised, but also a revolutionary look and feel to everyone's favorite plumber.
     The inclusion of Luigi isn't that great of a surprise either (his appearance in the next Mario has been rumored for years), but this confirmation of the rumors may finally help silence those bemoaning the neglect of the green-clad brother. Another, less direct result of this report is that it casts into doubt the possibility of another true Mario game for the N64. While Miyamato did work on Yoshi's Island and SM64 at the same time briefly, and he himself has said that there will be another Mario on N64, one has to wonder if he can pull of another game while engineering a new Mario (both game-wise and character-wise) for such an advanced new system. The announcement of one of the first games in development also helps belay fears that Nintendo's Dolphin will be plagued by the same types of delays that the N64 was (although it is still possible). Who know's, a playable or videotaped version of this new Mario game may even appear at Nintendo's upcoming Space World show (though it's unlikely it will be far enough along by the August 27th start of the show).
     This news marks the official announcement that SM64's next generation succesor is on the way. SMBHQ will be keeping up with this story through any news bites and rumors that come our way, as well as through the pictures, movies, and more game information that will be coming all the way to the game's US release. So keep your eyes peeled right here for the latest developments.



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