Yet another series I created, “Favorite Video Game Memories.” You know, those certain moments in games that you’ll never forget. Those moments that take your breath away, bring great nostalgia, make you cry, blow your mind, etc. Those moments you’ll never forget. For this first one I picked Super Mario 64. Let’s dive in.
The year is 1996, the Nintendo 64 and Super Mario 64 have finally launched together. Children, teens and even adults everywhere were just bunching up with excitement. Mario in…3D?! Preposterous! The thought of something like this ever working was unheard of. We want to play with Mario in 2D, that’s the only way it’ll ever work! WRONG! Like always whether your expectations were low or high, Nintendo always manages to smack them to ground. Super Mario 64 was no short of being revolutionary.
I vaguely remember getting my Nintendo 64, it was on my birthday and my excitement could easily be compared to youtube’s famous Nintendo 64 kid. I plopped in the game and my expectations for what video games were capable of changed forever. The game starts off with Princess Peach inviting Mario over for some “cake” oh Peach, you dog you. Mario being the horn dog he is takes a short cut through the pipes of the mushroom kingdom cause forget taking a car, Mario is trying to get some. Unfortunately Bowser is more jealous than ever and takes Peach hostage in her own damn castle. What a jerk. Where is this woman’s father? She is only a princess after all!
From the moment Mario jumps out of that pipe you’re blown away by the graphics alone. “Oh my god Mario looks awesome!” We are shown a lush and gorgeous recreation of the castle and everything felt like a Mario game but truly come to life. Let’s all be honest with ourselves here, we all jumped and ran around the outside of the castle exploring for a good 20 minutes before entering. Everything felt so surreal and new, also the controls were spot on. I finally decided to enter the castle and was greeted with a chilling laugh and message from Bowser. Almost crapping my pants I decided to go back outside of the castle and explore again before gaining the courage to go back inside. Thanks, Nintendo. Scaring kids is their specialty.
I decided to enter and go through the first door that would open for me and entered the first world, Bob-omb Battlefield. I explored and was getting stars in no time. Doing this was leading up to the moment that truly made this game memorable for me. That big mysterious star door. I couldn’t enter it and couldn’t read the text cause I was still but a wee youngin’. I remember having to get one of my sisters to read it for me. “8 stars?! Challenge accepted!” I got those 8 stars like it was a Rocky montage and I finally opened that door.
I already knew it was gonna lead to a showdown with Bowser. The door opens and it’s a long hallway with the red carpet laid out for Mario with a giant innocent picture of Princess Peach at the end of the hall. “I’ll save you Princess!”, I exclaimed. So I ran to that painting like a rash fool expecting to jump into it. As I got closer and closer to her my stomach started to churn in fear. The closer I got Peach’s face started transforming… Before I knew it, it was Bowser. I’ve been tricked! Bowser, you bastard! I’ll get you! Then I got the end and the floor opened below me. A trap, I should have known.
Then the first Bowser stage ensues and his chilling but catchy theme plays. I knew it was gonna be tough but I was determined. After a few palm sweat tries I made it to the end and what an experience it was. This 3D adventure was new to me and everything I played prior was testing me for this moment. No doubt one of the greatest Mario stages in history. I went down that pipe at the end and was greeted by the big bad himself, Bowser (Accompanied with some bad ass music). Bring it on, Bowsie.
At first I wasn’t entirely sure how to defeat him. When he was open I would go to punch him up front only to get spanked. I instantly decided to try the back and realized I could grab him by the tail. My jaw dropped to the floor, “Holy shit, Mario just picked up Bowser by the tail!” then I proceeded to twirl him around like a ballerina and toss him to his demise. He goes flying off the stage; take that! But he comes back for more! Darnit. I try it again and he comes back. I couldn’t entirely understand what I was doing wrong. Eventually I noticed these spiked balls around the arena where we we’re fighting. Grabbing him by the tail I threw him right into one and BOOM! Bowser was defeated.
I jumped for joy and being the naive kid I was I thought it was over and Peach was saved despite being fooled time and time again by every other Mario game. Bowser exploded into a giant key and Mario does his victory jig with me. I grabbed that key and proceeded back into the castle to open that locked door. Thinking it was over, it turned out my adventure had just begun and had only unlocked another huge chunk of the castle to explore. Let’s do this.
And the rest was history….This will forever being one of my fondest video game memories as a kid. It was a thrilling and new experience. So many feelings were experienced playing this game. Feelings that rush back to me every time I play this game. Man, do I miss being a kid. Feelings just don’t feel as real and new anymore. But Mario 64 will forever be one of my favorite and greatest games of all time. Good job Nintendo for not only successfully bringing Mario onto a 3D plane but also crafting an absolute masterpiece. Bravo!
What’s your favorite Mario moments? Let me know in the comments below!