I can remember the first time I played Super Mario Bros., like it was yesterday. I was about seven, and I slept over at a friend’s house. He had five games for his NES: Super Mario Bros., Metroid, Double Dragon, Excitebike, and Castlevania. To this day, all of those games are favorites of mine and are part of my collection. There was something about Super Mario Bros. that let you know it was special. Most of my gaming preferences today have been influenced by that first jaunt into the mushroom kingdom
As I grew up, I always made an effort to keep a working NES and Super Mario cartridge nearby. I’ve slowly gotten my hands on every Mario game that I can. I used to find myself humming music from some of the games often, and I really thought something was slightly wrong with me. I soon realized that I’m a true gamer, and Super Mario Bros. happens to be one of my favorite series of games.
The Series is the perfect example of the classic damsel in distress rescue story. There is bit of Japanese folklore in there, and Nintendo threw in one of the cutest sidekick characters ever in “Yoshi” the dinosaur. Every gamer who has ever had a Nintendo made console in their home has a fond memory of the first “goomba” or “koopa troopa” that they stepped on. Most won’t admit it now, though.
It can be strange how some of life’s fondest memories are experienced. Mine have a generous sprinkling of moments in front of a television, with friends cheering me on as I rescued the princess from her shell-backed captors. Finding the newest power up that allows Mario to fly, shoot fire, etc. was the biggest thrill in every game next to finding the warp zones.
By the way, there has always been a rumor that drug use inspired a lot of the power ups in the Mario Bros. games. I don’t really know about that, but I always get a weird happy feeling when I pick up a starman and become invincible.
Super Mario Bros. is a legendary game franchise and one that stands the test of time. It also holds some of my childhood’s fondest memories. Nintendo no doubt found a fan in me on that faithful day so long ago, and I probably will end up teaching my grandkids about the joys of Super Mario Bros. when I’m old and gray.