Saturday, April 28, 2012

Mario was a terrible role model

Recently I spent a week hanging out at my parents house. Since they have retired to Florida I find it to be more than a little boring when I am down there. I don't know anyone and after about 11 you can be assured that I'm the only one left awake. Luckily there is some salvation for me, my Nintendo.

Many times I have considered bringing it back home to Chicago so that I can waste away countless hours of the day playing Contra but I figure it's safer for my relationship to leave it in Florida. I was rocking my way through Super Mario Bros 3, the game sorta responsible for my crush on Jenny Lewis via the ridiculous movie The Wizard, and a thought hit me. Mario's life is absolutely horrid. All that he has going for him is a pipe dream (heehee) that he will save the Princess and they'll live happily ever after. In order to get that he has to endure horrors that would drive any man to madness. Giant turtles, ghosts, flying fish, asshole turtles with hammers, and cliffs galore. There is seemingly no where in Mario's world that isn't directly next to a cliff that will surely end you shall you fall. Why even go on? Is any woman worth all of that? I'm sure the Princess is a fine lady but damn, enough is enough. After receiving the 4th worthless P Wing from her after saving some ugly king from being a lady bug I would rip that shit up and head back home.

As I pondered this I stumbled upon a bigger thought, would I actually want to be any video game hero? It's an interesting question because so much of the allure to video games is living out fantasies in a way. I'll never make the NFL but I can tear it up in a season of Madden. My poor eyesight keeps me from any dream of being a pilot but I can pilot my own F-16 in AfterBurner. Yet when you sit back and actually consider the lives of any of the famous video game heroes their lives are absolutely atrocious. I'd much rather live my boring little life than have to go through even half the bullshit that the Contra dudes did. Isn't it hard enough to climb up a waterfall without bridges exploding and automatic guns shooting at you the whole damn time? I wanted to highlight just how horrendous the existence of most ordinary video game heroes was.

  • The Chef in Burger Time: He's a simple short order cook. He's probably not in the greatest shape and now he has to make burgers the size of Buicks while being chased by man sized hot dogs and eggs. His only weapon? Pepper. No gun. No sword. Not even a damn spatula. Pepper.
  • Samus: At least Metroid's hero is a pretty hot lady, I'm sure she has a pretty great life once she gets out of the hell she is trapped in. Only problem? SHE WILL NEVER GET OUT. All the Metroid games last for frickin' ever.
  • Donkey Kong (I'm focusing on the Donkey Kong Country Kong here): Finally Donkey is not a villain and he can relax at home with some bananas. No, he can't? He has to jump into all sorts of goddamn barrel cannons to go anywhere, many times he is unable to tell if he will be flung to a certain death or not? Fuck. Sucks for him.
  • Any Random Mortal Kombat Character: After struggling through 10 fights where I was shot with a spear, turned into ice, and hit by countless fireballs I have narrowly survived only to fight a four armed behemoth and a damn near unbeatable boss. Now I'm . . . champion. That's it? No riches, no women, nothing. I just get to be champion. Wonderful.
  • Kirby: Uh, actually his life isn't bad at all. He just eats everything in his way. I'm sure he has some horrible bowel issues. 
 I could go on and on. Why did I spend all of my childhood thinking that it would be so cool to be one of these characters? As best their lives could be considered infernal yet I spent half my time away from the Nintendo pretending to be them. Look at the Mario universe of characters, even when they engaged in fun activities like go karting it was still possible for them to get killed by a rogue turtle shell. When I relax I go out of my way to make sure that death is not even a remote possibility unlike these morons who use their brief respite from danger to drive on a road made out of a rainbow in the middle of a bottomless void. WHO WANTS TO LIVE LIKE THAT?!! Not me, that's for damn sure. The only video game hero I would consider to be a role model would be Leisure Suit Larry, now that would be a sweet life.

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