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2024 Alex Marshall

my work

Portfolio

This website

About

Pantry

2024

Alex Marshall

24.02.2024

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Time to read:

2 mins

|

Video Games

My introduction to Super Mario

When I was a little kid I got a purple GameBoy Color with Pokémon Red for Christmas. That thing became my whole life. I played it non-stop, burning through AA batteries so quickly that my parents bought me a rechargeable battery pack for it. I have fond memories of sneaking it under the covers with a torch so that I could play it instead of going to sleep, and of long nighttime motorway journeys to visit grandparents, fighting the Elite 4 as the screen became illuminated every 50 metres or so when we went past a streetlamp.

A purple GameBoy Color in my hand

This is that very GameBoy. Considering how many consoles I've got rid of over the years, I can't believe, and am very glad, that I kept this

But outside of this little device and that specific game, I didn’t know much. I had no idea what Nintendo was, didn’t know any other games (apart from Pokémon Blue, Yellow and Pinball), and I certainly didn’t know who Super Mario was. All I knew was purple Gameboy, Pokémon Red.

Once when we were visiting grandparents, my uncle stopped by. Seeing my hands tightly gripped around my GameBoy, he went into his old childhood bedroom and grabbed Super Mario Bros Deluxe for GameBoy Color and handed it to me. I ran straight upstairs into the bathroom, sat on the toilet and fired up my GameBoy. (I don’t know why I ran to the bathroom, maybe just so I had an excuse for what I was doing? Or maybe to get out of helping make the dinner? I dunno..)

Anyway, I fired up the game and jumped into level select where it presented levels 1-1 to 8-4 in a big grid. I didn’t know what any of this really meant but I remember being drawn to 2-2 (which sounds like tutu), sniggering like the immature child that I was, and jumping in.

To anyone that’s played this game before, you might remember that 2-2 is the first underwater level in the game. And it was my first introduction to Super Mario.

Now I’m sure that if I played the level today as a grown ass man, this level wouldn’t be too challenging. But as a 10 year old kid with no knowledge of Super Mario games, and no real video game experience outside of Pokémon Red, this level was a nightmare; the floaty movement, seemingly erratic enemies and jets of water that drag you off screen - it was all too much for little old me.

Needless to say, I didn’t play much of that game. Luckily for Mario, the newer titles like Odyssey and Wonder have redeemed him in my eyes. But I will never be able to rid the scars that 2-2 left on my 10 year old brain.

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