We don’t make games here at Nintendorks, but that doesn’t stop us from coming up with some pretty great ideas for games. I’m going to tackle some of Nintendo’s most storied franchises and provide a short a design document for what the next sequel should be. Think of it this way: its one-part fanfiction, one-part wishful thinking, and all awesome. This time, we’re going back to basics: Super Mario Bros.
The Pitch: They explored the Mushroom Kingdom to each of its four corners. They traveled through the vastness of time. And they just got back from traversing the uncharted reaches of space. What could possibly be in store for Mario and Luigi this time around? We’ve seen their best friends, hated nemeses, and poorly-named bizarro versions. But what do we really know about these two heroic plumbers? In Super Mario Reality, the truth will finally be snaked out of the drain of mystery.
The Story: After thwarting Bowser yet again and rescuing Princess Peach, Mario and Luigi attempted to return to the relative comfort of the Mushroom Kingdom. In route to their destination, they discovered a rip in the fabric of timespace itself. With the help of Toad, Peach, Wario, Waluigi, and even Bowser, they found out that they could open the timespace gate and explore the vast universe beyond. After a tumultuous effort to build the Star Road, the gate connecting each universe, they entered a world completely alien… yet strangely familiar. After traveling through lands of acrid deserts, frigid wastelands, underwater labyrinths, and urban cityscapes, they arrive at a humble apartment building, rundown from years of neglect and almost no plumbing upkeep. Just then, Mario and Luigi burst into tears; tear ducts so broken that no amount of monkey wrenching could help. “M… Mario… It’s-a home,” Luigi says, through an offensively-stereotypical, faux-Italian accent. After over 25 years of searching, Mario and Luigi have returned to their home dimension.
The final boss of this heart-wrenching, gut-churning, overly-hyphenated third act is no pissed off turtle, no smith living inside a sword, nor is it a frog in a dream: Mario and Luigi must choose whether to remain in their home dimension or permanently relocate into the Mushroom Kingdom. Multiple endings help illustrate the gravity of the choices they make: they can return together to the Mushroom Kingdom, where they play massive, shitty board games and go go-carting with a bunch of asexual mushrooms; the brothers can choose to split up, one staying in the real world and the other relocating to the Mushroom Kingdom, finally forcing Luigi to grow a pair and do something on his own for once; or the Mario Brothers can stay in the real world and attempt to pick up the pieces of lives and try to assemble them into some working set of drains or something. A lot of these plumbing jokes aren’t sticking, but that’s probably because of the Drain-O! Zam, bet you never saw that one coming, did you?
The Gameplay: Super Mario Reality is the magnum opus of Mario games, and as such, presents a refined version of the best Mario-tropes seen in almost all of his games. Mario and Luigi spend the first half of the game exploring sections of the Mushroom Kingdom previously unseen in search of components to build the Star Road. The Mushroom Kingdom segment of the game represents the best aspects of Mario’s 2D adventures. Imagine all of the graphical pizzazz of Super Mario Galaxy wrapped around the gameplay of Super Mario World. If that doesn’t give you a boner, you are either retarded or dead. Or probably both.
Once in the real world, the gameplay evolves. This realm is like an expanded version of Super Mario Galaxy’s levels: wide expanses, open exploration, lots of little nuggets of information to describe how the world has moved since Mario and Luigi left. Yeah, that thought is not really completed, but it certainly sounds awesome.
ario’s friends, enemies, and shitty bizarro buddies can be brought along for the adventure. Everyone has a different suite of abilities that will affect how the game is played: Mario can utilize items found in the field, Luigi can jump the highest, Peach can float after jumping, Toad can slide under small objects, Wario and Bowser can lift heavy objects, and Waluigi… Shit, he just adds nothing to the Mario universe. At a climactic point in the story, one of your characters gets sent into a random universe while crossing the Star Road. If you have Waluigi in your party, the decision is kind of a slam dunk.
Party composition impacts the choices of ending. The game will be balls hard if you choose to bring along only Mario and Luigi, but beating the game under this strain will unlock a secret scene after the ending credits which shows the Mushroom Kingdom gang building a new Star Road to visit their friends (oh yeah, you can only pass through the Star Road twice, so that makes the decision at the end of the game a little more poignant). Adding the other characters to the party will make the game easier, especially since you can change characters on the fly by spending stars or whatever.
Doesn’t that game just sound badass? This game could kick the shit out of the school bully who has always been picking on you. Afterwards, the game would say “Nobody picks on Jeremy. Nobody.” and then a cheerleader gives you an awkward hand job in the broom closet. Then the game gets on its motorcycle and wanders across the American Southwest.
Seriously, send a petition to Nintendo. This shit is good. Next on Nintendorks Presents, we take to space… but do we visit the Lylat system or planet Zebes? I hope I write a sequel to this column so we can find out!