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A World Without Mario

January 4, 2010

In the Old Testament of Gaming, one can look up our forefathers and see Nintendo’s prowess. All their systems, the NES, Super NES, Gameboy, the failed Virtual Boy, Nintendo DS, Gamecube, and the Wii, all shared a common association with a certain founding father, which is Mario. Our beloved Mario, that gluttonous plumber whose only diet is mushrooms, flowers, and spaghetti, made way for Nintendo’s success. He saved Peach, or Princess Toadstool, more times than we can remember. He made lots of friends, and of course, lots of enemies. Ultimately, gamers can safely assume that Mario has made an impact on our world in such a way, that if he was never created, the world of gaming as we know it would be a devastating scene.

Nintendo banks on Mario as their cash cow. The games that have his picture on the cover always sells for the maximum price. The Wii sells them at $50 and yet it was the same price back in the 90’s. When customers ask me why the New Super Mario Brothers for the Wii costs so much, I just tell them that Mario is on the cover. Even now people still look to buy Mario games, even for the old consoles. People are selling Mario Tennis for the N64 for $130. It is insane to see that price for a game, yet we get calmed quickly knowing it is a Mario game they are selling.

Now if we were to remove Mario from the picture, which at this point it is almost quite impossible to do, in theory, Nintendo would be in some trouble. If Mario became a “never was”, who would become the cash cow for Nintendo? Would Nintendo have such a dominant being that a particular game would drive in the most sales, or would it be a group of superior games, making it a muilt-game conglomerate? To my knowledge, I know somewhere the Legend of Zelda Franchise would be at least one of the mighty beings. Those games to me were a close second to the Mario games. Pop quiz hot shots; which idea came first, Mario saving Princess Toadstool or Link saving Zelda. If you know the answer, don’t you think one game got the idea from another? Coincidence is what I do believe.

Without Mario, there would be no Peach, no Luigi, none of those talking mushroom heads, and of course, no Bowzer. Our favorite group of heroes and villains would forever be just a thought in our head after a nice smoke from the glass bowl. There would be no Super Smash Brothers Tournaments or spin offs of games based on Mario’s friends, like Yoshi’s Island, Luigi’s Mansion or any of those Donkey Kong games.

I am going to spin off into my own world without Mario. Theoretically it could happen, probably not, but if any of you have strong feelings against my beliefs, remember that this is just another alternate reality, because Mario still exists today. If Mario did not exist, Nintendo would not be the powerhouse it is today. With most of the sales Nintendo racks in by video games being Mario related, without him, what great Nintendo games do they have to offer to the masses. Clearly Just Dance will still be number one. There would be no spokesperson for Nintendo, no icon. When there is no spokesperson, every day Nintendo loses its credibility and control over the industry. Mario was like the Coca-Cola of video games; everywhere you go you saw Mario either on a billboard or in an ad, even in a plumbing ad. Without the sales Nintendo has received from Mario’s support, Nintendo might not have moved on to better means, like more advanced systems that were to come in the future, especially Virtual Boy.

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Mario’s early rise in the gaming world as the Plumber in the Donkey Kong games helped him to what he is today, a God. Without that Donkey Kong game, Pong would still be popular. I have a lot of time on my hands, so a lot of thoughts arise in my head. One was the idea as to why Nintendo made so many Mario games. I can understand it was for the money, but could it be for something useful as well? Maybe, there is a man out there who is so crazy he is willing to blow up the whole world, with just a simple push of a button. Nintendo saw this, took action, looked up his profile and realized he is a big advocate for Mario. Hence came all these games, real good to real crappy, and this crazed fiend has to play through all of them before he feels like blowing up the world. He’ll never get a chance to do his dirty deed because Nintendo will never stop making Mario games. If Mario did not exist, we would all be dead. You wouldn’t know, would you. It’s a crazy thought, but you’ll never know. The world without Mario could also bring an apocalyptic era to us all, with volcanoes erupting, the dead rising from their graves, and George Bush still having supreme command. What a terrible world that would be.

With all those troubles we could have had without our beloved character in our hearts, we should all be thankful that Mario did come along. It gave competitors a strong will to create better games, and for us gamers, more enjoyable games at out fingertips. Gamers can unite under one symbol, one flag, under a single unity, and that is Mario. Italians gained respect to us gamers, knowing that Mario was also Italian with his rich accent. I wonder how the world would be to Italians if Mario did not come to be. With the birth of Mario came wonderful catch phrases, like “It’s a me, Mario” or the sound he makes when he falls off a ledge in the later Mario games, or singing the musical notes to when Mario dies in the early Nintendo  games. In all seriousness, the world, especially the gaming world, would not be where it is today without the birth of one of our greatest game forefathers.

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