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The Mario Bros together again

Or "A Nintendo family reunion"
by Luke Freeman

    Mario is the premier Video game character, he has a host of titles that proudly display his moustache and grin on the boxes. He can throw fire, grow a raccoon tail, do that flashing thing when he gets a star, and heís both fat and athletic, a rare combination. His younger brother Luigi is pretty cool too, he can leap well over most and could give that cow that jumped over the moon a run for his money. Together, they are the Mario Bros, and have enjoyed huge success, dozens of game titles, their own cartoon series, books, magazines, underwear. Sure, they seem to save the same princess over and over and over again, but its the way that they do it that gives them hero status.
    Lets journey back, if you will, back to 1981 when a podgy pasta-munching plumber named Mario made video game history by kicking Donkey Kongs flea bitten butt back to the jungle and rescuing his first love Pauline. Soon Mario was teamed up with his younger brother Luigi and the two of them cleaned out the sewers. 'Mario Bros' is a classic yes, but be honest, its boring and repetitive, there next game 'Super Mario Bros' however was instantly addictive, taking the world by storm it became the first real ďmust haveĒ game.
    The bros kicked Bowser the Koopa King square in the love spuds several times over the 'SMB' Trilogy and even had time to dispose of Wart. Mario lead from the front and Luigi did his bit as well, then it all seemed to go down for Luigi (Iím going to do my best not to make it a Luigi rant, since theyíve already been done). The word 'Bros.' was removed from the game titles when the Mario clan jumped ship and headed over to the Super Nintendo, sure, you canít really have "Super Mario Bros World" I understand that, but it was the cutting of the 'Bros.' that, in my opinion started Luigis down turn.
    He was still there for 'World' and for 'Super Mario Kart' as the traditional second player option, but as Mario went in search of more fame, Luigi went into the background, reduced to insufficient cameos in 'Yoshis Island' and 'RPG'.
    Luigi, had managed, in this time, to build quite a following of fans. Younger brothers who always got stuck with the Player 2 Controller and those who root for the underdog soon became Luigi fans, they were unhappy about his lack of appearances but cheered on his cameos, but when he was cut completely from 'Super Mario 64' that was the last straw. Millions tryed to delude themselves with hope that he was in the game somewhere and made it their mission in life to locate him. Various fake "ways of finding Luigi" circulated and people were doing all sorts of things like trying to pass all the levels in a certain order, to running around the castle 64 times, in a vain attempt to catch a glimpse of the green plumber, tehre are some people still trying, while the rest have accepted that Luigi is not in the game.
    The Makers must have listened to the fans, because the Luigi resurgence began, a playable character once more for 'Mario Kart 64', 'Mario Party', 'Mario Golf' and 'Mario Tennis'. It was quite a sight to see a level in 'Super Smash Bros' which had Mario and Luigi fighting together, almost brought a tear to my eye truth be told.
    Now, the fourth Nintendo TV System, The Gamecube is here, and Luigi has his own game. Iím not talking about the woeful, utterly lame effort of 'Marios Missing' that perhaps damaged Luigi and held back his return to the video game world for years, Iím talking about 'Luigiís Mansion', set in a ghost house. Donít get me wrong, I am pleased that Luigi has his own game, but what I, and others really want, is Luigi and Mario, the Mario Bros fighting side by side once again, depriving Troopas of their shells, squashing Goombas, and rescuing princesses, because that is what its all about.

---
Luke Freeman
EMail me: lukesfreeman@lycos.com

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