[Nintendad Coffeehouse Lite] A Super Mario 64 Retrospective

I Remember The Days…

Here We go Again!

Imagine, for the next 500 to 600 words that the theme from Jolly Rogers’ Bay is playing.  I don’t think a single person on Earth exists who hasn’t heard that song.  Some may exist who don’t shed a tear every time they hear it, but I have yet to meet those people. 

Super Mario 64 released when I was 2 years old and was one of the first video games that I was ever exposed to.  While my motor skills were definitely not defined enough to actually play the game, and my oldest brother really didn’t want me to dribble all over his bright red controller, it was still such a sense of wonder watching that game unfold in front of me.

While I don’t remember much from my first few years of life, the Nintendo 64 is definitely in there along with Super Mario 64.  I remember begging my brother to let me have a turn to play even though I would eventually give up, sit on the couch, and just veg out while my oldest brother hopped, skipped, and YAHOO-ed throughout Peach’s castle and the inner crisscross-ings of the paintings within. 

Blocky But Beautiful

This is normal.

It was such a sense of joy and bewilderment to see these 3d graphics move around on a screen no wider than a microwave, that created static each time you turned it off and on, and that I eventually broke the power button on.  My brother would traverse each world, each star, with such skill and finesse that It always baffled me when I couldn’t do it perfectly the first time like He always did.  Every time I would mess up, I would return to his bedroom to beg him to help me find the star, fight the boss, or jump a gap.  Seriously though, jumping those gaps is really difficult with tiny toddler hands holding a controller made for people with 3 hands.

One of my favorite first-time discoveries in Super Mario 64 will always be Boo’s Haunted Mansion.  I was young but I felt like such a champion when I discovered where it was, and how to get to it the first time.  It was the world I spent the most time in because I would constantly get lost, as well as try to go through each room in the mansion trying to figure out where to go next.  It never really occurred to me to follow the directions that come with the beginning of each level when you pick which star you’re going for.  I didn’t care much, it was just creepy enough to have me on edge, and just big enough that each corner, each turn, each elevator, each door led me down the pathway to a new adventure, even if I had already been there.

Suddenly We Start Again

S.T.A.R.S.

Super Mario 64 is a game that I have never 100% completed.  Despite returning to it multiple times in my life, and even buying several new connector cords for it so I can play the same game again on my HD TV, it has forever sat in my “not 100% complete list.”  But, each time I try again, it’s like beginning the adventure anew again.  Suddenly, I’m 3 years old again.  Suddenly I’m 7 years old again.  Suddenly I’m 15 years old again.  Suddenly I’m 21 years old again.  Suddenly I’m 26.  The adventure begins again, these are simultaneously my 5th and my 1st steps into Bob-omb Battle field again.  This is my 5th and my 1st time hearing that familiar Jingle.  I’m off again for the 5th and the 1st time to find, fight, and defeat Bowser, Save Princess Peach, and don the Red Cap for my many adventures in Super Mario 64.

Thank you for reading. Have a wonderful day.

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