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Traveling Through Memory Lane: The Super Mario Bros. NES Trilogy!

Consider this as my late tribute to the late Satoru Iwata...

I felt like going back to memory lane during the time I still played the Family Computer (or Nintendo Entertainment System or NES for short) way back in the 90s before I eventually stopped having Nintendo systems.  I may not own any Nintendo-related stuff as as of late but I would still want to pay tribute to some of my dearest memories especially the Super Mario Bros. games on the Family Computer.  

I still couldn't forget the first Super Mario Bros. game where I only saw an older cousin of mine beat the game and I personally SUCKED in this game.  I usually ended up taking the Warp Zone cheats but then again, I always figured out I SUCKED in this game.  Yes, I suck in this game and I never had the patience to finish it way back then.

What I can remember about this game was the existence of the False Bowsers at every world, the Mushroom Retainers who were captured who would say the line, "Thank you Mario but our Princess is still another castle!" hinting that that the game wasn't over.  Each level got really hard and I'll admit I never had the patience to finish this game until I became an adult, defeat King Bowser and finally save Princess Peach who I knew back then as Princess Toadstool.

Super Mario Bros. 2 was another game that I had fond memories of with.  It deviated from the gameplay style of the first Super Mario game.  I remembered this game to be another game I almost broke the controller in half in some instances.  

Rather than have the typical formula where Mario or Luigi take turns in a two player game, this was a one player game where you chose Mario, Luigi, Toad and Princess Peach for each level having different special attributes per player.  Mario was balanced, Luigi jumps high, Toad picks vegetables super fast and Peach can glide in the air.  The game didn't have the mechanics where the player jumped under a question mark block, get a mushroom then get a fireflower.  Instead, you picked up vegetables or your enemies and threw them at other enemies.  What I found weird and also quite illogical is that you picked up your enemy by standing on top of them and pressing B (or Y in Super Mario All Stars).

The story also deviated from the first game.  Instead of battling through Bowser and his minions, the game took place in a place called Sub Con (perhaps a shortcut for Sub Conscious) from the game's main antagonist Wart.  The bosses in this game were defeated also by picking up certain objects and throwing it back at them.  Later I would remember using the classic cheats to beat this game and considering it was also a very tough game indeed.  

Perhaps my favorite game in the list is Super Mario Bros. 3.  This was also the very first Super Mario game that I bothered to finish.  It went back with some of the traditional Super Mario gameplay (where Player 1 was Mario and Player 2 was Luigi) mechanics such as getting a mushroom and then a fireflower.  However this game was more focused on the most recurring power-up called as the Super Leaf which allowed him to fly for a definite period of time.  This was done by running fast, letting the run meter go in full and repeating tapping the jump button but it was a very tricky thing to do but it was a necessary step to reaching some hidden areas and getting more coins.

The game itself featured innovation for 8-bit gaming trying to maximize the potential of the NES.  It would start with a map layout where Mario (or Luigi) would travel around it and enter a certain stage and the game has tons of content and secrets for an old game.  It was not just the bare minimum Super Mario game as it featured the story of King Bowser's newest minions the Koopa Kids have wrecked havoc across seven worlds, turning each king into a creature.  Mario and Luigi must defeat the Koopa Kid at each world, take the wands and change each king back to their normal form.  However it turns out to be that Bowser kidnaps Princess Peach (again) which became longtime running gag of the Super Mario franchise.

Final thoughts

Whenever I look at these games, I believe that they have aged very well.  I also think that the Super Mario franchise is one of the most innovative games that takes old concepts and modifies them for a new generation of players.

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