As a kid, I managed to beat most of the classic Mario games within a
reasonable amount of time and effort, but Super Mario 2 was the one game
that gave me so much trouble that I spent hours, days, weeks, months
on it, always getting just a little bit closer to World 7 than last
time, only to take a Bob-Omb or Snifit bullet to the face and Game Over
until all my continues were squandered (I had already read, courtesy of
the Mario Mania Player’s Guide, that the Japanese Mario 2 - The Lost
Levels - was oodles harder, so my ten-year-old mind was pretty much
It took me clear until a month or two before the
All-Stars remake came out to beat the NES version (the SNES version was a
breeze, since it saved your game at each world), and with how difficult
the road was, each new thing in the game left a very lasting impression
on me, in much the same way EarthBound Zero would seven years later.
was just something about World 6-3… the huge, forbidding cave
entrance (which in the SNES version was modified to a portcullis with a
carved Bob-Omb emblem overhead), the quicksand shortcut (which I didn’t
discover until much later), and oh my word the Triclyde room. I
have seen this room in my dreams - not all of which were nightmares, but
pretty darn close. You have to build up a wall of three Mushroom
Blocks, and until then, you’re completely open and exposed to the fire
blasts from Triclyde, as he looms above you threateningly from that
It’s scary! My little ten-year-old heart was
pounding. Triclyde was pretty freaky in 2-3, but that was nothing
compared to this! (And drat Nintendo for replacing this boss fight with
Mouser in Super Mario Advance.)
Also, this is something of a
tangent, but while I’m on the subject of SMB2, the Bob-Omb battlefield
that is 5-3 also deserves a mention. Not only was I captivated by the
Warp Jar at the beginning that takes you to freakin’ World 7, but
if you make it past all the Albatosses and Bob-Ombs, you hit a series
of giant, red tree trunks; and your road takes you underground, in the
direction you came from, so that you find the roots of the giant trees
you saw just moments before, and you even get to enter one and climb up
it from the hollowed-out inside.
I loved all those neat, dreamlike things the NES had to offer. Of course, this IS Subcon, so no wonder it’s dreamlike.
Birdo: There are actually three Birdos, all are male… But in my headcanon, the pink one is female, while the red and green ones that spit fire, are males trying to be female.
Wart: Seemingly sinister and acts a LOT more threatening than Bowser, despite him being a giant fat frog. Tends to abuse/frighten his own minions.
Mouser: Rather than the weird french-like guy in the cartoon, he’s a general rogue that likes to steal from places, using explosives to get his way. He ends up turning into an anti-hero that’s friends with Wario later.
Fryguy: Bipolar type… Acts goofy/ridiculous at one point, or a serious character to the other characters… Reason for this seems to be unknown, other than the possible fact he “pretends” to be serious to get on Wart’s good-side. After losing a few times, he becomes an anti-hero along with the others, crushing on Vivian from the Paper Mario series.
Clawgrip: Having a thick accent of a pirate, but REALLY lacks in a majority of brains, he’s very similar to Cirno from Touhou from his claims… “I am a genius!” or “I am the strongest of all of Wart’s men!” Like the other two, he leaves… But is still abused by Fryguy, who calls him an idiot.
Tryclyde: An outcast recruited by Wart, but like the others, he leaves after being convinced… He tends to work with Mouser and Wario though, as they have greedy tendencies. His own heads argue with each other.