Saturday, May 28, 2016

Super Mario 64


Super Mario 64 is a strange game. I remeber the game when I was young. I think it was back in Christmas of 1996 or 7. Unlce Mike bought us a Nintendo 64. The game that came with it was Super Mario 64. I remember the day, Mom told Dad to install the N64 into the giant brown TV. It was in the basement. I was just staring at Dad as he played with the wires . The N64 was on. It was a matter of finding the right TV channel. Luckily, he pressed video, and the game was on the menu select screen. Obviously, Kevin must of press the start button the controller, passing the intro screen. I just remeber the TV screen pass to the side, and things were all around the place. All his chaos just to install an easy video game system. Mom probley told him to do it. We patch his pain. This probaley was after Christmas, somewhere in Janauary.

I don't have much memory Super Mario 64 after that moment. Just Don playing the game anyway. The next mememory would be in 1st grade. Maybe 1998. I was getting off the bus. I think Kevin was there, not sure. Colin and some other kid was there too. I was a cartoon characther back then. I really thought I was something like an animated comedian. I said "I have some good news and some bad news. Good news is, I know where the 7th star in Bomb-omb battlefield is. Bad news, It's guarded by a big black Chain Comp!" This would sound funny to 7 year old kid. I remember having a similar joke. "What do you call dinosaurs ontop of someone's head? Dino-head!" The pun was logical, not funny.

I remember trying to play the game when I was young. I remember being outside the castle, trying to move the controls. I remember we had three stars on level 1, 2 stars on the snow level, another three stars on Womp's fortress, and 1 star on the pirate ship level. Even getting enought stars, the basement was a challenge. One star in Hazy Maze Cave, two stars in Big Boo's Mansion, two more ate the pyramid level... Everything really relied on the secret stars. Getting upstairs was the biggest challenge. The levels were almost mere impossible.

I have anothe fond memmory being home with Grandma Welsh. Mom and Dad had to drive Grandma Donut back home to Massachuttes. This would take about a day. The other grandma was babysitting me. I remember getting into her white car, driving to the beer store, buying a Budwiser 6 pack, and then, I would be playing Super Mario, at Wet Wet World, while she was drinking awhile watching. I just discovered how to get underground the water fortress. It was impossible. Mario has to do a trick jump on a raft to reach a far highted platform where a pink bomb-om is. She would open the cannon nessecary to go in the underwater fortress. Mom called the house, Grandma answered, but prefered me to talk into it. Mom asked, "are you ok? is everything fine?" I just said yes to everything. I didn't care about trivial things. It's a habit of mom to ask repetivie nonsense. Like it's a mental disorder. 

I remember the annoying kid up the street, Johnny, telling me that "Yoshi is in the game if you get all 120 stars." I didn't belive him. I would never get far in the game. Not until later, till I was 13. 70 stars is enought to visit Bowser, kill him, and rescue Peach. The game ends with an infinite "Thank you for playing screen." Getting 120 stars and visitng Yoshi is an extra. The reward is 99 lifes. Meaningless. Since Life was spent obtaining 120 stars. The game is a big children's playroom. That is the ultimate meaning behind Super Mario 64.

I remember in High School, in 10th grade, my best friend Eric was intrested in Super Mario 64. He never played it. I let him borrow for a month. I found no purpose in video games at that point. Eric was able to obtain 120 stars in about 4 weeks. I was driving him to my house. I told him “Well once you get 120 stars you get to meet Yoshi on top of the tower." "What?” he replied back. He didn't know such a thing existed. Eric has asperbers. It was his goal to obtain 120 years before he ever fought Bowser at 70 stars. Unfrotuenlty, the game is meaningless without 120. The game really ends at 70. Everythin is unlocked. It is even possble to glitch jump at the top of the tower to meet Yoshi sooner. The game is a big treasure hunt for stars.

I think it was about a year ago, in 2015, that I tried Super Mario 64 again. This time, I wanted to be a supreme master at the game. I wanted to read the novel text to text. I wanted to remeber every single line and piece of information the game had to offer. In doing so, the journey ended up becoming two speedrun sessions to 70 stars and beating bowser. The first time it took me about 2 and a half hours. I started at 5PM, and ended at 7:43PM. The next day or so, I tried another speedrun, and got 2 hours. It was at 6PM, ended at 8:06PM. My average therfor is about 2 hours. Wow. With enough mastery, the game can be accomplished in two hours. Two hours! If the game file had a time, the time commited as a child till teenager would of been something like 50+ hours.

I have now mastered Super Mario 64 and know the maze. The treasure hunt for stars is fun. There has been no other game like it. Super Mario Sunshine tried to emulated it. It was more advance are based around grahpics. Too hard. Super Mario 64 was the first of it's kind. Low-tech. An embrassing windows 95 game. Something caught in the 90's zeitgist.

I have learn to reapperaite the game with Depehce Mode. Two albums I listen to, Songs of Faith and Devotion (1993) and Ultra (1997). Imagine, some young teenager out there must have either the two albums, and in 1996, played Super Mario 64 for the first time. The sound of both those albums are lost in thought. When I hear "Rush" I think of Wet Wet World or longjumping in the pirate cove. As with "It's No Good" or "Useless," jumping into those painting worlds, or being lost in a desert. There is a charm to 90's Depehce Mode. The music and the culture. Wraped up around Super Mario 64. New games can't be old. They have standards to fit in with the current trends. I can see, maybe in the future, hip vide-game designgers finding old computers, and remaking Super Mario 64 clones. There would be a whole genre for it. A nostalgic genre. Problem is, it's never comign back. Art is apperiated for it's ordinary self. The ironic is shamed.

What do I do when I'm bored? I go back and play Super Mario 64. Even though I beated, it has grown on to me. Like Bridge or Electronic Simon. A silly children's game that won't go away. It's an advance one too. The retirment center with old people will cry over the memories they had with Super Mrio 64 and Nintendo 64.

A strange life experince...


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