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What Mario Means to Me

Or "Random Thoughts at Three in the Morning"
by Salamando

    First off, I would like to say that this is my first rant on this web site. Also, I am a hard-core gamer, Nintendo supporter, and intense competitor (so if something on this page makes you go "GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!" please feel free to send a rebuttal). I love almost every genre of video game, but my favorite are RPGs and Mario games (yes, in my book Mario is in his own genre).

         Okay, now I know everybody here loves Mario and Luigi. Come on, I know you do. Whether they're beating Koopa or stomping Bowser, playing golf or tennis, 2-D or 3-D; Mario and Luigi are in each and every one of our hearts. Don't you remember back in the late 80's when you didn't care about anything else as long as you managed to watch Super Mario Bros. Super Show on TV. Or when you'd beg your mom to get you Nintendo cereal and shampoo so you could be just like Mario and Luigi? Or when you'd play "Super Mario Bros." during recess with your friends and get pissed when you had to be Koopa, but you played anyway because you knew that your turn to play as Mario or Luigi would come. And no matter how many times you watched Super Mario Bros. (the movie) you always got excited when they escaped down the pipe. The list goes on. I'm sure everyone can think of a memory that makes them feel warm inside and wish they could live it all over again.

         The fact is, Mario and Luigi played a big part in all of our lives, that's why this web site exists. At one time Mario was more recognized world-wide than Micky Mouse! And how many video games do you know of that can attract the elusive adult to the controller? The list is short and composed of mostly Mario games I'm sure. When SMB3 came out, over 8 million copies were sold! SMB3 remains the best selling game of all time in relation to the gaming population at the time of it's release!

         What makes these characters so popular? Perhaps it's their child-oriented appearance, or their simple design? Hey, everybody loves a plumber! But think about it...they're just Italian plumbers from Brooklyn right? Wrong! Everyone who has ever picked up the controller and lived the life of Mario or Luigi knows that they are much more than that. There is something magical about these turtle stomping brothers that makes them special. If I didn't know any better, I might think that Nintendo was brainwashing the youth of the world, (perhaps they are).

         Now, remove all previous knowledge of our favorite dino-riding duo. Now imagine this: You hear of a new video game that will come out soon, and being a hard-core video gamer you're intrigued. The main characters consist of two Italian plumbers that live in...Brooklyn? Okay sounds fishy so far right? But get this! They travel to another land called the "Mushroom Kingdom" to save Princess Toadstool from an evil sorcerer named Koopa, who -might I add- is a giant TURTLE! In today's world you might think twice before buying that kind of game!

         But the magic of SMB does not lie in its storyline, because children of young age are not interested in deep story line or sweet graphics or gory affects. As long as the game play is good the rest does not matter (it only adds to the greatness). The simple game design that makes games like SMB easy to jump into yet hard to master gives Mario and Luigi their almost religious popularity.

         Okay, okay. I realize I've been going on for awhile now, but that's what these rants are about right? My point is, no matter how Mario and Luigi change, we'll still love them. It doesn't matter if they become rendered, textured or even holographic. It doesn't matter if they screw up every once in a while (Mario is Missing and Yoshi's Story for example). Because mistakes happen, but it all comes back to Nintendo. We can always trust that Miyamoto will release a masterpiece sometime in the future. Hell, I can remember when I thought SML2 would be the last Mario game ever made! And everyone thought Paper Mario would suck because of it's unique game design, and look how cool it is! What I am trying to say is: before you prejudge the new Mario game because it doesn't look like it will be good or you think Nintendo has "sold out", remember how much joy Mario and Luigi gave you when you were little and pay them back by putting a little faith in them.

         Also, if you want to support Mario, don't be the kind of gamer who will say "pshaw!" at any game that looks "immature" or "too cutsie" or "childish". This type of gamer will completely ignore good aspects of a game just because of their stereotypical attitude wont allow them to see past the game's image. I'll use Pokemon as an example. 1) Many people are worried that Pikachu or some other Pokemon will take the place of Mario. This simply is not true. I believe some people use that as an excuse to hate Pokemon. Also, Pokemon is just a fad. Trust me, no matter how popular it becomes, the truth remains, Pokemon is just a mediocre RPG, if that! What makes Pokemon so great is not its RPG element, but the collecting/competing aspect. (by the way, I'm a big Pokemon fan) 2) Many gamers will not even look at Pokemon because they think it looks like a kiddie game. I am 16 and not afraid to mention that I am a Pokemon fan in public. 3) Doesn't the title song from Mega Man 3 sound like that song that goes "I'm a maniac! I'm a maniac on the floor!" Okay that was a little off subject. Forgive me, at 3 in the morning my mind begins to wander. What I am trying to say is don't refuse to buy a Pokemon-related product because you're afraid of hurting your reputation or you don't want the spotlight to be stolen from Mario and Luigi. If you buy a Nintendo product, it can only help them.

         I guess I wrote this article to show my love for Mario and Luigi, and to perhaps bring Mario Bros. fans together. Also I hope that this will change some stereotypical attitudes about games in general. I have a bit of a scientific way of going about explaining things, and my train of thought tends to get a bit...long. So if you've stayed through this far, I thank you deeply. I highly anticipate replies (although this article is somewhat short of controversial), I do ask one thing of you if you decide to reply, please use logical statements. Don't just say "you're so stupid because [insert dumb reason here]". Use constructive discussion only please. Thank you

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