Saturday, April 26, 2014

Super Mario Bros 2 (NES, 1988)

 Today I'm taking a look at one of the biggest games of all time. Super Mario Bros 2 revolutionized the platformer genre and made vegetable-throwing into America's pastime. This game transpires not in the Mushroom Kingdom, but in the peaceful land of Sub-Con. It...isn't really all that much of a Mario game. Read on as we probe the depths of this fantastic work.



This is a bizarre game that seems borne of a vegan's acid trip. ...Are vegans allowed to drop acid?

What a lot of people don't know is that Mario 2 started out as an unrelated-to-Mario Japanese game called Doki Doki Panic. Let's take a look at it.

The turbaned hero drops out of a sky-door and plummets into what may or may not be the DEPTHS OF HELL. There are so many metaphors behind the game opening with a sudden drop from the sky.

In this game, you battle foes by picking them up and throwing them at other foes; throwing vegetables at enemies is another way to take them out. Merely jumping on their heads doesn't work anymore.

Secret negative-image areas are home to heart containers that temporarily increase your health (up to a maximum of four). Only for the duration of the current stage, alas.

After crossing a deadly waterfall with precarious log-platforms, our hero tosses vegetables at Shyguys across the way. Not sure why they're wearing masks, but they remind me of Pavi from Repo: The Genetic Opera.

Nearly every stage in this game ends with a battle against the egg-spitting Birdo. This fearsome monster...really isn't that fearsome at all. He's nowhere near as scary as Bowser in the first game.  You catch the eggs he fires and throw them back at him until he croaks. Three strikes usually does him in.

 These ravens are tricky if you're playing this as a kid with little game experience, as I once did. They hover around and launch swooping attacks seemingly at random.

Defeat them and you get to hijack their flying carpet. There's a very bad joke to be made here, but I consider myself better than that.

Our hero journeys through a cave and uses bombs to clear the way. A Middle-Eastern guy laying bombs? DAMN YOU, NINTENDO! HOW RACIST MUST YOU BE?

 
 In this game whenever you pick up a key, nearby opera masks flip the hell out and chase after you. Dropping the key frequently will cause them to back off.

Speaking of bombs, the first real boss is the bastardly Mouser. He lobs bombs that take a few seconds to explode, which adds a bit of a new spin to things since you need to be aware of timing.

VICTORY! Hell yeah! This game is awesome!

 World 2 begins. This one's a desert world, complete with pyramids.

What the hell? Is that...is that the Evil Leaper from Quantum Leap? What's going on?

  My... My God. Toad.

Toad Has Come.

 "His soul sleeps peacefully in the silent void! Hooray!"

"JOIN ME IN THE CELEBRATION OF MY ASCENSION."

A snake emerges from the sands, but just as quickly as it appears it falls under the spell of Toad.

Toad wields the snake aloft and prays to his discordant god to bless it in the afterlife. Then he unhinges his jaw and devours it whole.

"A new era has begun for the people of Sub-con! Happy days are here!"

 "THE MARROW OF THE SERPENT GIVES ME TUNNELING POWER."

Toad hunches over and rapidly burrows through the desert sand.

When Toad reaches Birdo, the egg-spitting fiend just shrieks and leaps off a cliff to his death. WHY? BIRDO NO!

 Toad grabs a key... and none of the mask enemies come after him. They all pretend that they saw nothing.

Toad battles the hydra boss of World 2. First, he constructs a barrier out of the skulls of mushroom-men, then launches attacks from the top of his demonic wall.

World 3 consists of a scenic waterfall. As Toad begins his ascent, Shyguys flee for their lives and leap off the clouds to uncertain fates.

"They mock me with their deaths!"

"HOW LITTLE THEY KNOW. THE AFTERLIFE TOO IS UNDER MY DOMINION."

The ruler of Sub-Con, the noble Wart, hears word of this malevolent beast from the Mushroom Kingdom. The Dark Lord Toad, eater of sunlight, has already invaded the desert. Can Wart find a way to stop this virulent fiend before he grows stronger?

Toad doesn't even need to defeat a boss to cause these bird-mouths to open. His merely being there forces them agape in horror.

Toad then proceeds to climb inside, turning a once-noble door into a gateway to evil.

Shyguy Cavalry launch an attack via ostrich.

 "THEIR GRAVE IS ALREADY PREPARED BELOW."

Toad arrives at one of his hidden citadels, where porcupines under his thrall mill about in their cages.

 "Soon, your day will come, minions!"

Birdo's red cousin attempts to stop Toad. His severed head was later mailed to Wart's castle as a birthday gift.

Now, Wart's permanent grin becomes one borne of fear.

Toad climbs chains as fire erupts from below. It reminds him of home.

Mouser returns, but Toad will not be as merciful an opponent. While Mouser throws firecrackers, Toad returns fire...

...with apocalyptic hellfire.

Nuclear winter sets in as Toad next declares war on the seas.

Toad feigns terror as Shyguy troopers roll in with artillery, before scattering their remains across two continents.

Next, our hero concocts a deadly virus to pour into the sea. The whales fire their spouts in protest, but Toad has no mercy.

After destroying the ecosystem, Toad boards a rocketship to bring destruction to other worlds.

Luckily for all other life in the universe, Wart's troops shoot down the rocketship. It would be their last mistake.

Wart sends his finest minion, Fryguy, to challenge the malignant husk that is Toad. The fiery Fryguy quickly slays the fiend, saving Sub-Con's populace from a thousand years of horror.

...OR DID HE? Toad immediately rises from the dead, bigger and stronger than before.

Toad unleashes his wrath upon Fryguy, smiting him with blocks. Fryguy begs and pleads, but Toad only laughs.

Fryguy's children come to avenge their father, only to be crushed from above by the screeching Toad.

 "TOAD IS LORD."

Fish leap from the boiling seas as Toad approaches.

When Toad enters a room, all nearby cats immediately face him and hiss.

The third Birdo sibling, Green Birdo, tries to stop Toad. He has figured out that if he spits only fire and forgoes the eggs, Toad will have no means to strike back. Little does he know that Toad has other weapons. His death was a slow one.

Wart's soldiers declare full-scale war on Toad, striking from above with bombs. Unfortunately for them, the only things that survive massive firebombing are cockroaches... and Toad.

Toad hollows out a tree, where he proceeds to rest and heal his wounds. Meanwhile, the roots of the tree instantly rot.

The last defender of the seas, this noble crab, tries to battle the onslaught of Toad by flinging poo. Toad stands undeterred as the poo flies over his head.

 "FOOLISH CREATURE. SEE HOW IT STRUGGLES."

Toad proceeds to murder the sea's last defender. He is as merciless as British Petroleum.

Toad's army of thralls continues to grow, as he rides a crimson serpent across the arid desert sands.

This was once a lush forest... Before the coming of Toad.

Toad burrows deep within the sand and creates a prison for wayward Shyguys to fall into.

"NOW, THEY FIND THEMSELVES TRAPPED."

Toad watches the Shyguys roam back and forth in their tomb... for hours. He watches...and he masturbates.

Toad saddles up and leads an army of buzzards towards the Castle of Wart. The buzzard that has slain the most mice is chosen to be Toad's personal mount.

Our hero lurks beneath the desert sands. The next creature to come through that door shall be thrice bitten by the dark one. Truly, there is a snake in the garden.

Toad has a rematch with Triclyde. Once again, he builds a wall out of the skulls of his fellow mushroom men, taunting Triclyde from behind it.

Moments after this picture was taken, Toad tore out all three of his spines and wore them as braids.

Finally, after a long journey, Toad arrives at Wart's Castle.

The turncoat ninja minion heralds the arrival of the savior. Toad swallows him whole.

"I GROW STRONGER WITH EACH DEATH."

Wart's castle is a complex torture chamber.

The final bird door gives in only after a heated battle. It knows that to resist further would be to invite horrors unimaginable.

Wart's final minions greet Toad as liberator. Toad will allow them to live...and watch.

Finally, Toad confronts Wart in an epic clash of civilizations.

Wart's vicious bubble-spitting attacks effectively slay Toad. His corpse immediately turns that part of the ground radioactive for a thousand years.

With that, Wart has saved the land of Sub-con from centuries of torment.

...except Toad immediately regenerates, much like an earthworm. He strikes back with ferocity, stuffing vegetables into the gullet of the king.

As Wart chokes and begs for leniency, Toad only looks on impassively.

"HE SHALL BE REMEMBERED BY NO ONE."

Wart slowly sinks from his throne. His last vision was of Toad's gleaming red eyes.

If only he knew... the way to truly slay Toad is to burn him down six times with a flamethrower.

Toad uncorks the mystical vase holding Sub-con's rightful rulers...

...and proceeds to devour them one by one. He tore the Sub-conites limb from limb, their piercing shrieks filling the air.

Toad takes his rightful place as the ruler of Sub-Con, but first he beheads all of their heroes and drinks deeply of their innards. The good news is now that Toad has his own realm to oppress, we'll never face the eternity of darkness and pestilence that he'd bring to other worlds.

In closing, Super Mario Bros 2 is awesome!


6 comments:

  1. WHAT DID I JUST READ

    ReplyDelete
  2. BLACKER THAN THE BLACKEST BLACK, TIMES INFINITY!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. "Their grave is already prepared below". Wow. This was great to wake up to. I was expecting Mario himself to wake up at the end and have it all be a nightmare. What you did instead made me cry tears of blood. .... Toad is Lord.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is the greatest thing I've ever read.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I second that the "Their Grave Is Already Prepared" is hilarious and also really just great. Is that picture of fiery toad from Mario RPG?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you for this great information, you write very well which i like very much. I am really impressed by your post. mario

    ReplyDelete