I was playing Super Mario World tonight (on my PAL Super Nintendo) this evening and found myself recalling some of my first and fond Mario experiences
Super Mario Bros. | NES
I’m pretty sure my first exposure to SMB1 was at the local K-Mart, that was about a 10 minute walk from where I grew up. There was a game area near the front of the store where everything was kept in glass jewlery display cases. They had a small 13″ TV hooked up to a NES running Super Mario Brothers. I’d always get to around stage 1-3 before my mom would come and find me to tell me we were leaving. My neck hurts just thinking about how high up the TV was.
Later when I had my own NES I recall running the audio through our home stereo, into which I had plugged in a microphone and I would record a running commentary of my Mario 1 adventures. Oh yes. I could also play through world 1-1 with the TV turned off and just the sound played through the stereo.
The first copy of the game I owned was bought at the flea market at the Charlottetown Mall. When I got my NES, it was a control deck along with a game my dad picked out for me. A little something called Tetris. The flea market copy I got was the cartridge that was just Mario Bros. I thought I was pretty cool as everyone else and their dogs had the Mario/Duck Hunt cartridge.
Super Mario Bros. 2 | NES
Can’t really recall my first SMB2 experience. I think I had rented it from VideoPros (again, in the K-Mart Plaza) and thought like most kids at the time ‘what the hell is this’. The next memory I have of it is from when my parents and I moved to the western end of P.E.I. for a short while. I used to rent it from a little variety store in Alberton. Yes, Alberton. By this time, I rather liked the game.
Super Mario Bros. 3 | NES
My best friend at the time had a brother who was a bully, but always had the latest games. I remember us going into his room to watch him and a friend playing it and would later sneak into his room so we could have our own turn.
I think I finally got a copy of my own for a birthday present. Purchased from where else but K-Mart. The first time I wrapped the game, I video taped it. I was on the last level, paused it, ran the video and audio feeds into my VCR and recorded it all for prosperity. I’m pretty sure I still have the tape somewhere.
Super Marioland | Gameboy
The same best friend had a copy of this that after much asking I was given it and her Gameboy on loan for a weekend. I don’t think I finished it that weekend, but I played it pretty much non-stop and it pained me to give it and the Gameboy back. I got my own Gameboy and copy of Super Mario Land for Christmas that year. Let us not forget about Tetris, the best version of the game ever that was included with the Gameboy. I have that cartridge in England with me for playing on my Gameboy Advance and Super Gameboy. It’s just that good.
Super Marioland 2 | Gameboy
Another K-Mart birthday present ahoy! Or I think it was birthday. Either that or Christmas. Either way, once I made it to the Moon level I often would just leave the game running so I could groove out to the tunes. Those two levels had some of the best pop tune sounding music.
Super Mario World | Super Nintendo
Ah up there with Mario 1 and 3 as my favourite Mario games. Playing it is like cosying up with a favourite old blanket. I first saw it at the aforementioned best friend’s house. Bully brother got a SNES as soon as they were released and was playing SMW nearly non-stop. We got our turns very rarely.
A while after that (but before I had a SNES of my own), a Dominos chain opened on Charlottetown. It was a tiny take away affair and for waiting customers they had a small TV and a SNES with Mario World to pass the time with. I ended up going there quite a lot with my dad for twisty bread and a few levels of Mario World. I found that I usually would be able to pick up from where I had left off as thankfully nobody cared enough to tamper with my saved game 😀
I finally got a Super Nintendo of my own for my 14th birthday. Oh wonderous joy! Super Mario World and a mail in coupon to get Super Mario All-Stars for free! I refused to throw out the box for years, much to my father’s bewilderment. When I got my nephew a Super Nintendo for Christmas in 2003, I was able to wrap it up in the originally packing that I still had. See, I knew it would come in handy some day. I did ask for it back though.