Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Itza me, Mario!

I would be remiss if I did not wish a Happy Birthday to one of the central figures of my formative years -- Super Mario. A day late, sure, but it's the thought that counts.

Two bits of the Guardian's rundown that stand out, especially given all the time I spent in front of an NES as a youth.

15. A Q Score survey in the early nineties revealed that Mario was more recognisable to American children than Mickey Mouse.
16. Footage from Super Mario Bros 3 appears in the climatic scene of appalling 1989 movie, The Wizard, about an emotionally withdrawn gaming champion. As this was the first chance that US Nintendo fanatics would get to see the game, the movie effectively acted as an advert for the release.
"Appalling" is a bit harsh. I remember that film being part of the Grand Theater's summer matinee series, joining such classics as 3 Ninjas, Encino Man and Flight of the Navigator. Fred Savage was the headliner, obviously, but apparently Christian Slater and Beau Bridges were in it as well. The only other bits I remember were the main antagonist drawing gasps as he whipped out his Power Glove in the final scene and the female lead loudly accusing a truant officer of molesting her in the middle of a crowded truck stop.

I've drifted away from video games since leaving my PSOne on the mainland when I moved to Hawaii, not including a brief Wii flirtation during my last visit home. Still, I would not be the man I am today without the help of Mario, Luigi and friends. Keep on jumpin', paisan.

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