Yelizaveta (majesticzaichik) wrote,

LJ Idol Season 9- Week 3: In Another Castle

Being a somewhat avid gamer that I am, I think it may surprise most people that I didn't even get into gaming "seriously" until I turned ten years old. I blame my parents for this. I've liked video games before my 10th birthday, and I would be thrilled when I'd get to visit my friend's house to play on her Sega Genesis, but my parents refused to buy me a console. They didn't understand video games at all. They apparently didn't exist in Russia, even when I told then that Tetris was designed by a Russian and they were able to identify the popular Tetris theme as the Russian folk song Korobeniki . Enjoy, I bet hardly any of you know this, that you had no idea the Tetris theme was originally about a traveling salesman. It's a very cute song. Anyway, this did not persuade them to get me a Nintendo Gameboy so they could "listen to the song". Yeah, I tried.

Finally, on my 10th birthday, my grandma gave me 100 dollars so I finally was able to get a Super Nintendo. I think it may have been over 100, but I guess my parents gave in to pay for the difference. My very first game was my beloved Donkey Kong Country, which came out at the time, and is still probably my favorite platform game. The second game I got was "Super Mario All Stars".

Photo of the boxart for the game "Super Mario Brothers All Stars". Includes many of the Mario Brothers characters jumping out of four games from the collection. Mario 1, Mario 2, Mario 3, and "The Lost Levels"

So being the logical kid that I was, I obviously started the series at Mario 3. That one had so much hype, it had to be the best one, right? I loved Mario 3. Another friend of mine at the time had an NES, and we used to play Mario 3 a bit before I got All Stars. I enjoyed the new, crisp graphics. Not exactly cutting edge at the time, but it looked heaps better than the 8 bit version, and this amazed me at the time. It didn't take me long to beat it, and then play what would become my favorite Mario game of all time, Mario 2. Little did I know that Mario 2 wasn't even technically a Mario game, but based on an NES Japanese game called Doki Doki Panic where they simply replaced the family with Mario Kingdom characters. This is why the game plays different from any other Mario game at the time. American marketers thought that the original Super Mario 2 would be too difficult for American children, so Mario 2 was born. The original Mario 2 was finally released in America through All Stars where it marketed the game as "Super Mario Brothers: The Lost Levels".

After my Super Mario 2 run, the obvious next logical game in the series would be the Lost Levels. So I started the game... and proceeded to die immediately.

Screen shot of the "Lost Levels". Mario is standing under a poisonous mushroom

It turned out that the cute little purple mushroom killed Mario. "Ok got it! So purple mushrooms are bad, I got this..." I told myself. The purple mushroom ended up being the least of my problems. There is a reason that this game wasn't released in America until years later. The game is completely brutal. I had never before played Mario 1, and the "Lost Levels" plays like Mario 1 on crack. I managed to complete Bowser's castle in World 1-4, which some of you will know where the famous quote comes in...

Screenshot of Mario and the Mushroom Retainer(Toad) most likely at the end of World 1-4 in Mario with the quote "Thank you Mario! But our Princess is in another castle!"

Which as most Mario fans, I didn't find that amusing since I had died countless times even getting to rescue the one lone Mushroom Retainer in castle 1-4. I can't even remember if I completed castle 2-4, but I had enough with "The Lost Levels" at that point and decided to abandon it in favor of Mario 1. The damage had been made, however. I found Mario 1 too similar to The Lost Levels that after a game over in the third world, I abandoned it for years. At the time, I didn't know about the warps that would enable you to bypass most of the game and beat it in ten minutes.

I decided to go back to Mario 2 and play through the entirety of the game as who ended up being my favorite Mario Brothers character of all time, the little Mushroom Retainer who was way too cute for his own good.

Official art for modern 3D Toad

I forgave him for harassing me in my failed attempts at The Lost Levels since he dared not speak a word about princesses or castles in Mario 2. And when I finally went back to try Mario 1, I couldn't help but smile at the little Mushroom Retainers in the later levels* as they bounced out of the bag and into their silly formations.

Hate the game, not the Toad!


*Sorry, can't find screenshots for this!

EDIT: OMGG. After I thought I edited the mistakes, I realized I accidentally posted the wrong video for Korobeiniki. Here's the version I wanted to share: this is very traditional.
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