Sunday, 11 May 2008
Super Mario Bros. rocked the gaming world to its very core upon its release in the dying months of 1985. With its unparalleled graphics, addictive gameplay and ingenious design, it single-handedly revived the moribund home gaming scene and rocketed its creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, into a dazzling career that would span more than two decades. As such, its place in the pantheon of great games cannot be ignored. But surely, if the original SMB can be credited with creating the platform genre then its eventual successor, Super Mario Bros. 3, can be credited with perfecting it. In the eyes of many, there simply is no greater truth: there never has been and never will be a better 2D platform game. Ever.
Nintendo maniacs first got a peek at Super Mario Bros. 3 in the 1989 commercial-in-disguise The Wizard and since then, the world hasn't quite been the same. What kid hasn't spent an entire afternoon navigating the sandy dunes of Desert Hill? What kid hasn't left Mario in the middle of a perilous romp through an icey gameworld, pausing the portly plumber in mid-jump to pick up the quest the next morning? And, really, what sort of childhood would we have had had we not known the locations of those three life-saving warp whistles? Really?
Super Mario Bros. 3 isn't just a game. It's a defining treasure from our collective childhoods. As such, no commercial could adequately portray the impact this game had on the lives of former carpet crawlers around the globe. That being said, this one comes mighty close. It begins innocently enough: a lone figure standing amidst a massive crush of humanity, shouting one word, one name. "Mario! Mario!" As the cry echoes across the land, the crowd around him picks up the chant. The massive display grows and grows as we pan out into the heavens, and soon it seems as though the entire country has amassed to pay tribute to Nintendo's potbellied mascot...
The payoff is what you see above. One of the greatest commercials of yesteryear for perhaps the greatest game of all time.