Thursday, July 31, 2014

Top 20 NES Super Mario Moments: Number 15

Number 15: Here Comes The Sun And I Say It's Not Right‏

today's post courtesy of deathbytroggles

With some moderate exceptions, most of Super Mario Bros 3 is pretty easy, especially if you've accumulated extra lives in the many easy ways the game gives you. Anyone who was able to win either of the first two games no doubt walked through this one with ease. That is until they got to World 8.

The design of level 8-2 is not terribly complicated, especially compared to the airships and the dungeons you'll be visiting. There aren't many enemies other than some Venus Fire Traps. As you can see, there are some bouncy musical notes you have to jump across. But Mario has done that as early as World 1.

And then this fucker shows up.

Later I learned you can skip most of this level (along with the melodic pit of death) by falling down some quicksand near the beginning. Until then, this moment was one of the greatest challenge between me and
sloppy seconds with Princess Peach.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Top 20 NES Super Mario Moments: Number 16

Number 16: Addition By Subtraction‏

today's post courtesy of deathbytroggles

Prior to the internet, glitches were insanely popular. It felt like you had a special secret that few people had: breaking a game programmed by gods. Of course, I learned about glitches from Nintendo Power. Still, breaking a game could often be more fun than trying to win it outright. And there's nothing more fun than trying to enter Super Mario Bros' "minus world", if your idea of fun is trying to make awkward jumps forty-eight times in a row while the clock of death is winding down.

Alternate Cover for "Off The Wall"
Compared to other glitches in NES games, your reward is more than just seeing something funky. You actually get to see an underwater level not in the actual game. It's never-ending and there's no way to escape it, but nobody goes to minus world on accident.

You can't take it with you

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Top 20 NES Super Mario Moments: Number 17

17: They Might be Giants

Today's post to us courtesy of deathbytroggles .

The most annoying world in Super Mario Bros. 3 is hand-down world three. Plumbers apparently are terrible swimmers, and navigating underwater is only marginally less frustrating than killing off all four ninja turtles in two minutes. The designers felt a frog suit would be a nice bone to toss at gamers, but it's barely an improvement underwater, and a nightmare when back on land.

A satisfying meal in

So after surviving World 3, I was hoping for something a little breezier, and drier.


Monday, July 28, 2014

Top 20 NES Super Mario Moments: Number 18

18: Albatoss Airlines

Super Mario Brothers 2 introduced a lot of cool, quirky gameplay aspects to the series, but one of my personal favorites was the idea the jumping onto an enemy's back might not immediately kill said enemy. The idea of riding on an enemy over an otherwise deadly obstacle opened the game's level design up to all sorts of interesting possibilities. My favorite of which is today's moment.

All aboard!
Basically, you hop aboard an albatoss (my favorite SMB2 enemy) and ride it (or one of the other albatosses, there are a couple of connecting flights) for the duration of the level. There are several spots where some quick maneuvering is required (particularly if you end up on the lower-flying bird, who leads you straight through every dangerous area he can possibly find).

"...we may encounter some turbulence... yeah, turbulence. That's what we'll call it... "

Friday, July 25, 2014

Top 20 NES Super Mario Moments: Number 19

Number 19: Gulp!

"I hate that fish. He just gulps you and you're dead. Fucking bullshit."
        - Some eloquent YouTube Commenter

You get messily devoured a couple of times the first time you encounter him. After all, he's one of the very few enemies that can kill Mario no matter how powered up he is. He feeds on your complacency. He doesn't care that you have a raccoon tail or a fire flower (well, technically, he might care a bit about that). You're just swimming along, and suddenly - GULP - you're back to the world map. You're just bait to him.

Exhibit A: Mario about to be reduced to chum
The first time you see him isn't even that hard. If you keep to the platforms, it's very possible to bypass him entirely.

The second time, you won't be so lucky. Sure, if you're quick, you can keep out of the water using the provided ladders, but more likely than not, you'll have to go toe to toe with him on his turf, and then... God help you.

Thank God for fire flowers.

One of the most satisfying "early game" moments in Mario history

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Top 20 NES Super Mario Moments: Number 20

20: Rocket Plant

We open our countdown with an unexpected moment.

Throughout Super Mario Brother 2, you've digging up turnips, carrots, and parsnips. With the exception of the odd potion bottle, these are things you might expect to be planted within the soil. You fling these tubers at enemies to knock them out. Everything is working as God intended it.

Pictured: Something you might expect to find sprouting from the soil.
The natural order is thrown into chaos without warning in level 4-1 when you come to one of the very rarest phenomena in the Super Mario universe: a screen that cannot be bypassed by travelling to the right*. An enormous wall stands to your right, and a bottomless sea sprawls at your feet. What is the intrepid traveler to do?

* of course, if there was a game to flaunt this disrespect for rightward motion, it would certainly be SMB2

Do a bit of gardening, of course...

Pictured: Something you would not expect to find sprouting from the soil
In retrospect, it makes sense... this is Super Mario Brothers 2, the entire game essentially takes place within a dream. Why would we expect things to make any sense at all? All I know is that as a kid, this blew my mind.

This does happen a second time, later in the game (the second to last level, actually), but it doesn't have quite the same sense of "well, huh" as it does that first time.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Top 20 Moments from Super Mario Bros

That's right! Rather than finish my long (long, long, long) overdue movie moments list, I'm going to start a new one!

The good news is that I'm partnering with Deathbytroggles on this beast, so I'll have to stay on schedule, lest I ruin friendships and make a general mockery of DBT's extremely well-curated site.

The better news, is that this list is going to be about moments in the NES games of the Super Mario Brothers series. Since all three of those games are completely awesome, the transitive property of equality guarantees this list to be completely awesome, as well.

The bad news is that you'll have to wait a little longer for that movie moments list to be finished.

The good shit starts tomorrow! Like... in two hours!