I recently purchased NES Remix 2, having fully enjoyed and endorsed the original. There’s no point doing a second review because every single comment I made about the original applies here since it’s basically the exact same game, but with different, and better games available for remixing. Therefore, I thought I’d look at some of the strangeness involved with these classic games that many gamers simple don’t notice. It’s not our fault, we’re being handed really fantastical situations on a daily basis so it’s easy to overlook something as mundane as the simple fact that a mushroom makes you big enough to stomp on turtles and bonk question mark boxes with your head. It’s all very charming, but still very strange. So, I want to basically look at some of the tiny things that stood out as I played through the game.
1. Super Mario Bros. 3
There’s so much to talk about with this one, enough to deserve its own article. However, what I noticed this time around with one of Mario’s most famous adventures is how badly thought out Bowser’s army is. What I’m talking about is the tank levels at the beginning of world 8. The tanks are constantly firing, spouting bob-ombs everywhere in the vain hope they will be able to hit Mario. The problem is that every missed cannon ball lodges itself firmly into the back of the tank in front. The bob-ombs are somehow worse, staying on the ground and exploding underneath the treads of the approaching tank. It’s no wonder Mario wins considering how Bowser’s army basically implodes.
2. Dr. Mario
Dr. Mario is an awful doctor. He has a patient that’s full of viruses and he randomly throws pills at the problem with the hope that it will go away. He’s not every really good at that either. He doesn’t pick the pill that he needs at the time (it would always be those double colour pills). No. Instead, he throws a completely random assortment of pills at the patient even when some of them aren’t at all what he wants. This leads me to think that the player’s organization isn’t controlled by Dr. Mario, and the fact that the patient even has a chance of getting better is due solely to your divine intervention.
3. Kid Icarus
I’ll admit that I’m not big on Kid Icarus’s lore, but what the heck is going on? I get it that Pit is set to defeat the evil Medusa and, as a reward for doing so, the Goddess Palutena makes him into a muscular man. Despite how this quite literal interpretation of the hero’s journey is effective, it makes no sense. Come on Palutena, make Pit powerful BEFORE he has to go on the harrowing journey. It isn’t like he slowly powered up to be that strong. Palutena just randomly rewarded him with it at the end of the game for his heroism. Damn it Palutena! It’s like you want Medusa to rule the world.
4. NES Open Tournament Golf
Wait. People paid money for this? Also, Peach’s derp face below.
5. Wario’s Woods
This is like Kid Icarus turned up to eleven. All I know is that Toad, Wario, and Birdo committed some kind of awful sin in life because some vengeful god has damned them to an eternity of playing this game. Really, it’s a Tetris clone where Toad has to arrange things to blow up other things, while Wario and Birdo take turns laughing at him from above (you’d think this meant they weren’t being punished, but they are just by being forced to be there). The weirdest part is who decided that this minor spinoff game would consist entirely of bit players. None of these characters were particularly popular yet, but somehow Nintendo thought they were all good to headline a their own madness-inducing game.
Full disclosure, I’ve never played the original Metroid. I’ve played everything since the second with the exception of Zero Mission, but I never bothered with the original. I guess that’s okay because Metroid is basically completely redone in Super Metroid. The areas are almost the same (but worse). It has the same items and controls (but worse). Even the bosses you fight are the same (but worse). I know Zero Mission is supposed to be a remake of the original Metroid, but why bother why Super Metroid, for all intents and purposes did this anyway?
7. Punch Out
Little Mac. I know they call him little to make him an underdog and so they can make the rest of the cast grotesque monstrosities. However, Little Mac isn’t little. Compared to the rest of the fighters, he’s a damn pygmy. Not only that, but his trainer is about the same size has him even though he must be 300 lbs of fat. Mario too. What I’m trying to say is that Mac isn’t little. He’s normal sized and the rest of the boxers are horrible monsters from beyond the stars (which goes a long way to explain Mike Tyson).
8. Super Mario Bros. 2
This is what happens when the already mushroom-taking Mario does a ton of Acid. There’s nothing I can say that goes beyond that. Although, I think this may be the first game that ever feature a transwoman with Birdo. So there’s that.
9. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
This is one of the most recent Zelda games canonically (if you follow the path where Link loses in Ocarina of Time). This makes sense since somehow it is only in this timeline that Link learns to jump without a special item. Not only can he jump, but he can leap higher than the length of a man. That’s Mario shit right there. I’d say for that alone, this Link is probably the strongest of all, simply because of his unnaturally powerful legs. Maybe he should try kicking Gannon next?
10. Kirby’s Dreamland
Kirby is the bad guy. The Nightmare wants to take over Dream Land and King Dedede is trying to safeguard the star rod in order to prevent that. Then Kirby messes it up. You can justify it all by saying maybe Kirby was better suited to taking on Nightmare than Dedede, but he basically stripped down all of Dream Land’s defences by banking on that. Also, Kirby eats his opponents. When you look at the fact that these aren’t embodiments of evil, but other people trying to save Dream Land in their own way, it gets especially amoral.
11. Super Mario: The Lost Levels
Is this supposed to be happening during the first Mario (in other words, these are just levels you didn’t see). Or is this supposed to be a direct sequel where the exact same thing happened again. I know this is Mario 2 in Japan and Princess Peach (then Toadstool) gets captured by Bowser (then Koopa) regularly so the sequel is likely. This just makes the title more of a marketing gimmick than a descriptor of the game, which is just silly, and nothing Mario-related has ever been silly.
12. Ice Hockey
Yeah… I’ve got nothing
There we go. NES weirdness of the highest calibre. What else is there to say?
– Mistranslations for the Modern Gamer