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.

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