Picture this…

I have two more memories I’d like to share about Super Mario Bros., but since I’ve already shared some in prior posts, I’ll keep ’em short.

Picture a 5 year-old Andre sitting in front of his living room television – pretty much exactly like the video I posted in the “About Me” page, just a bit younger.

It’s early in the morning, and he’s snuck out of bed early to get some Nintendo action.  The volume is turned down low as to stay incognito, as he’s pretty sure the last thing he’d want is his folks getting woken up prematurely.

Miraculously, he makes it all the way to World 8-1.  He’s never been to World 8-1!!  This is unbelieveable!!  OK, so he makes it through to the end of the stage…

This looks intimidating…

Time to make some perfect jumps, here…  nothing fancy, just jump and—

BANG!!!
 
The screen goes black, and my nerves take a beating from the shock of the loud noise coming from behind the television.  NO!!!  This can’t be happening!!  I was at 8-1!!  Did I land on a pillar?  Did I fall to my death?  WHAT IS GOING ON??!?!?
 
Knowing the NES was on, and it might have just been a temporary television mishap, I paused my game.  By this time, my folks were up and out of bed, wondering what in the heck I could have possibly done to the television to warrant such a rude awakening.  My Dad checked it out, and noticed a burning smell coming from the back of the TV.  It was none of my doing – the television was about 10 years old, and a bona-fide piece of junk.  It was messed up real good, now.
 
It was a difficult pill to swallow, but Mario would have to wait far longer than any paused game would allow.  With great reluctance, I powered down my NES.
 
The TV ended up being repaired a few weeks later, but my quest to rescue Princess Toadstool had to wait another day…

Super Mario Bros.\Duck Hunt (NES)

Back when I was 4 or 5 (which would have been in ’88 or so), we made a family trip to Shediac, New Brunswick.  There were longtime friends of the family who lived there, and their kids were a good 10-12 years older than I was, which meant I would probably spend the weekend being pretty bored and finding ways to keep myself occupied.

The couple’s son had some kind of machine hooked up to his bedroom television, and he was kind enough to show me what it did.  He popped something into it, turned it on…  and I was forever changed with what I saw.

The one that started it all!

1988 - Nintendo Entertainment System (Nintendo)

 
(Note that this isn’t the original Super Mario Bros. cartridge, but the 1988 mashup with Duck Hunt that was included when purchasing the console.)
 
There was just some strange satisfaction when I took that controller in my hands and headed on over to that first Goomba to stomp on him.  It took me a little while to get used to, but it all felt so natural to play.  Needless to say, I was hooked.
 
I begged and pleaded with my parents to have one of my own.  It was one of those toys I just had to have.  I had never really wanted anything else so badly, honestly, and this was the first thing I can ever remember repeatedly asking for.  Of course, it was quite expensive to buy, and my parents wouldn’t just go and give their kid what they wanted when he wanted it…  I mean, that would be spoiling him, right?
 
First, my Mom told me I had to be 7 years old to legally own a Nintendo system.  What gullible 4-year old isn’t going to believe that?  I mean, you have to be a certain age to drink alcohol, a certain age to buy cigarettes…  I guess it made sense.  Reluctantly, I agreed, and just stopped asking for one.
 
(My Mom’s a genius…  or, I was an idiot.  One or the other.  Probably the first one.)
 
That winter, my sister got a job working at the store around the corner from our house.  They sold snacks, bare essentials, rented movies and, oh yes, video games and consoles.  One snowy morning, I woke up to see an NES hooked up to our living room beast of a television.  I was mesmerized.  All of this awesomeness…  and it was all MINE.  For a day or two, anyway.  My sisters had fun with it too, I guess.
 
Pretty much that same year, my Dad had a work trip to Calgary, Alberta.  What does he come home with?  An NES, complete with two controllers, an NES Zapper and Super Mario Bros.\Duck Hunt.  I thought to myself…  “Um, aren’t I breaking some kind of law?  Dad works with the police…  shouldn’t he know better than to supply video games to minors?”
 
So it began.  23 years of collecting video games, and I haven’t looked back.

Super Mario Bros. Deluxe (GBC)

This will undoubtedly be a two-part entry, mostly due to the fact that it pertains to arguably the most celebrated game of all time.  That’s right, it’s Super Mario Bros.  Instead of doing the predictable, however, let’s start with the 1999 remake for the Game Boy Color – Super Mario Bros. Deluxe.

Same game, but better.

1999 - Game Boy Color (Nintendo)

 
I played the heck out of that old brick with the lime green and blue screen, but I never quite got that satisfaction like I did while playing on the NES.  Maybe it was just the size of the screen…  maybe I needed my games to be bigger.  When the Game Boy Color rolled around, I was only vaguely interested.
 
A fellow student at my high school named Antoine happened to own one not long after it came out in ’99.  Antoine had gone to my school for a few years, moved away, and in Grade 10, he was back.  He wasn’t exactly a friend, per se, but we had a lot of common friends between us.  The ladies just loved him, for some reason.  One of those ladies just so happened to be a lady I was interested in, so naturally, I kinda held it against him.  That bastard!
 
When he brought that tiny purple GBC to school, though, I was intrigued.  All of a sudden, this guy was alright enough to hang out with before class in the mornings.  As it turns out, Antoine was actually a pretty nice guy, and a pretty big geek, to boot!  He let me play his copy The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX, as well as Super Mario Bros. Deluxe.
 
Aside from being a remake of the original classic, Deluxe included Super Mario Bros. 2 (the difficult Japanese version) as an unlockable bonus, a Challenge Mode, as well as some multi-player content.  When playing the game, it’s more “zoomed in” than the NES version, meaning there are times when you have to duck, or press up to see parts of the screen.
 
Aside from that, however, it’s your standard Mario adventure!  Nothing wrong with that!
 

The reason I chose to tell the story of Super Mario Bros. using Deluxe was pretty simple.  There’s more to it!  A land map, some images…  I guess if I were to tell the story of Mario and his quest to rescue the Princess, I’d need more than just footage of Mario capturing the flag, moving onto the next level, etc.

There are more medals to win at the end of the game, and I’m not sure they yield different victory screens, but oh well!  The story is told.

Workin’ on it!

I only have limited experience in website upkeep and design, so this is still a learning process for me…  so, please, bear with me!

One of the main reasons I started this blog was because of my current video game “project”.  At around the time games went 3D, got cutscenes and became a way of telling a grand story, I thought to myself…  “wouldn’t it be a cool idea to take all the storytelling scenes, be it FMV cutscenes or text-driven sequences, then paste them all together to make one big movie???”

It seems like a bit of a silly idea to me, looking back on it.  All I had was a 14-inch television and a VCR in my bedroom, but I went on with it.  There were some difficulties at getting it to look right at first, but I managed to get the timing down – knowing exactly when to push record on my VCR’s remote became quite the challenge!

Since then, I’ve made a few of my “video game movies”, as well as a compilation of every single Mortal Kombat Fatality ever.  Thankfully, I have some new ways of recording and editing these clips together, which make it much easier to compile them into one cohesive video.

If you’re interested in seeing what I’ve done so far, look me up on YouTube!  My username is kornnut43, and though there are a fair amount of NASCAR videos on there (it’s another passion of mine…), my pet project will eventually take center stage.

The Ramblings of an Aging Gamer…

I initially wanted to call this blog “The Aging Gamer”, but I realized a few things…

  1. I am not old. Yet.
  2. That would give the impression I’m kinda cranky, and mostly stick to “back in my day…” posts. Hopefully, I’m going to steer clear of being too negative towards pretty much anything. Unless, of course, it clearly deserves it.
  3. There are a few blogs already named as such, so to avoid confusion, I have decided to choose something else.

In the next little while, Control Pad Blues will become a place to recall something about pretty much every game I’ve ever played. I figure this blog was almost neccessary, if only to avoid flooding my Facebook statuses with geeky stuff that would (undoubtedly) get me on many people’s “Hide” lists.

Blog on!!