The Original Mario Party Website is 90s Internet at its Finest
Some parties truly never end.
Earlier today, the original Mario Party celebrated its 20th birthday. In addition to giving me a quarter-life crisis and making me extremely aware of my own mortality, Mario Party’s birthday has also brought another gift—a really old, incredibly 90s website.
The charmingly barebones website offers a brief description of the game’s mechanics, thumbnails of the game’s different maps, and an explanation of the game’s minigame modes. Showcasing neat Japanese text on a backdrop of Mario’s iconic star and coin symbols, the website acts as a de-facto time machine that will transport users back to the old days of the internet.
While the webpage is only available in Japanese, you can easily translate the text online. In fact, one of my favorite parts of the website is reading Google Chrome’s hilarious mistranslation of the page. I mean, come on, tell me this doesn’t sound like an eerily cheery @dril tweet.
Mario Party’s website is nothing short of a case-study in the initial use of the internet. What now looks like some run-of-the-mill Geocities page was at one point Nintendo putting its best foot forward on a new, largely unexplored platform. Despite the website’s dated look, it’s impossible to not find the page effortlessly charming. Mario Party’s website harkens back to a time before every website looked the same; a time before every site was a hodgepodge of vanilla Squarespace and WordPress layouts.
Scrolling through the website makes me pine for the pioneer days of the internet when websites had their own identities rather than sharing the same handful of tired, minimalist-for-the-sake-of-being-minimalist, design layouts. Even if you harbor no nostalgia for the design of the early internet, Mario Party’s website captures a carbon-dated glimpse of a pre-Web 2.0 world.
While it may be impossible to imagine the internet without the looming presence of social media giants, it’s nice to see a website that never turned its back on its own users or presented skewed statistics that caused an entire medium to falter. As far as websites go, Mario Party is kind of crushing it.