Game Center CX Season 4 – Back to Contents
The Definite Conclusion! "Super Mario 64"
When we last left Arino, he had just beaten Bowser for the second time but still needed at least 30 more stars before attempting the final battle. With night now fallen, Arino retired for the day. The legendary struggle between man and turtle will now come to a definite end. Arino heads into the next part of the castle, featuring the giant mirror room. He cleverly discovers the hidden level entrance on the wall, and creeps up to it. He then jumps into Course 10, Snowman’s Land.
Arino tries to get up to the top of the giant snowman, but an unending gauntlet of shifting ice blocks keep him from getting anywhere. He jumps, slides and generally fights against the blocks, but they constantly push him back into the water. After pausing to study their pattern for a little bit, Arino figures out how to get past them by jumping on them, then immediately hopping off onto the next. This does the trick, and he gets onto the snowman, only to fall off the side right after.
He gets back up the peak and meets another penguin pacing along an ice bridge. He tries creeping across the bridge, but is blown off by the giant snowman’s breath. That and Mario’s hat flew off! Arino races back to recapture it and goes back up the snowman. Rinse and repeat; the next time, he leaves the hat behind, despite causing Mario to take twice as much damage without. He heads back up to the penguin sans hat, and this time tries walking beside it to evade the icy breath. This works until the final step, when the breath still catches Arino and blows him off again. On the second intense try, he makes it to the other end. He climbs up and crawls over to the star. After that he grabs three more stars in the level, then heads out to Wet-Dry World.
Arino gets one star here, but when he climbs to the top of the wet-dry city, he gets pummeled by catapulting enemies and fire-spitting balls. Note that he still doesn’t have his hat back, so he dies quite easily and more often. Arino leaves and comes back, and when he does the water level is way up high. Turns out that depending on the height that you enter the level’s painting, the lower or higher the water will be. Arino bags another star for a total of 51. He heads into a new room next to the final Bowser stage, but of course, he can’t enter yet. Instead he goes to visit Tall Tall Mountain. And the first thing he does is butt stomp himself right off a cliff.
He makes it back, climbs up the mountain a little, and then in a fit of panic does the same stomp mistake! Once again… he makes it up to the mischievous monkey near the top this time. He grabs it, then drops it in the adjacent stream. No matter, Arino just continues to the top to grab the first star. But the second star is all about the monkey this time. He goes up to the top, grabs it, and then it runs away to break open the cage containing the next star. The star after that is on a faraway mushroom platform. Arino looks at it from above, but instead of risking a jump down, he goes to the ground level and leaps over to it. Success!
The next star is at the other end of another huge slide, much to Arino’s dismay. He starts going down it, only to fall right off the edge despite the huge arrows pointing to the right. But he gets it eventually. One more star is on another faraway platform, but he has to first get down to a cannon turret and fire himself at the star. He misses badly the first time. The second try is more calculated: he tries vainly to determine the trajectory of the cannon based on its crosshairs. He manages to get to the platform, but slides right past the star and off the edge. Amazingly, on the next try he flies right into the star.
Then it’s on to Tiny-Huge Island. Arino gets the first star here, which makes 60 in total. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel! Arino continues on in the level. A particularly nasty part of floating platforms almost kills him, but the thermal currents lift him to safety. And then he comes across Koopa the Quick. Again. The speedy turtle from Course 1 wants a rematch, and Arino has no choice but to oblige. The race is quick, Arino wins, a star is acquired, and then it’s time to go. Get it? Time to go?! Arino moves on to the giant Tick Tock Clock. The puzzling mess of platforms and conveyor belts endangers Arino more than a few times as he makes his way up to get the first star. To get the next star, he rides the giant minute hand near the top. He jumps forward to get into the crevice where the star is, but… he misses and falls! He gets it on the next try, but expresses only strained relief.
Only 5 more stars to go! It’s the home stretch! Arino heads into the Rainbow Ride level. He rides the rainbow, but a blast of flame knocks him off the magic carpet. A couple of lucky jumps later and he’s back on a different carpet. He hops onto the airship and grabs the first star. We’re quickly shown his collection of the next three stars, and before long he’s down to one. The last star is at the end of a very nasty obstacle course. Arino makes a few stupid mistakes as he hurries up the pyramidal platforms to reach the star at the top. But practice makes perfect, and he finally nabs star number 70.
He’s ready to face the last Bowser stage, until AP Tojima steps in. He strongly suggests Arino get Mario’s hat back. Arino obliges and heads back to Course 9 to reclaim it. But it’s nowhere to be found… until a snowman pops up out of the ground wearing it! Punches and kicks don’t do any good. Arino’s stumped, until AD Urakawa comes in and tells Arino all he has to do is run circles around it. He does so, and the snowman melts into the ground, releasing the hat. Ha-haa! Now, finally, onto Bowser. The last stage is a hellride, with Arino falling off the edge a few times, but it’s not all bad. He reaches the end pipe before you know it. He takes a moment to collect himself, and then jumps down to pipe to face a fruity-colored but extra-evil Bowser.
The final battle begins! Arino gets an early chance to grab onto Bowser’s tail, but the pressure must be getting to him, as he misses the bomb. Bowser leaps back up and breaks off a piece of the arena. He then stupidly runs right off the edge to his death. Then on the next try, he misses the throw again. The next attempt is rather lucky: he intends to throw Bowser straight ahead, but ends up throwing him towards the camera and straight into a bomb he didn’t know was there! Nice! But one hit isn’t enough this time. Bowser keeps up the fight, and runs into Arino, killing him again. The attempts start piling up, and the stupid deaths keep occurring. Some last battle this is: after 11 tries, Arino still hasn’t put a dent in Bowser’s offense.
On attempt 14, things start looking up. Arino grabs Bowser pretty easily, and right next to a bomb to boot! This happens for a second time, too. Just one more hit and this will all be over. But then Bowser gets really crazy. He breaks off the arena into a star shape. Arino freaks out, almost dying again, but stays in the middle and is relatively safe. With two bars of life, things look dim. Arino dodges Bowser’s shockwave attack — the first time anyway. The second time, he almost dies, but stays on with one bar of health!! Oh, but then Bowser rams into him again. Dead.
Attempt 15 begins much like the last, and this time Arino grabs Bowser for a third time. But the bombs aren’t as close this time, so he has to make this one count. The tension mounts. He spins and spins for what seems like forever. Finally, he lets go. It’s a miss! No, it’s not! It was just close enough! Bowser flies into the bomb! Arino sets down the controller. The nightmare is over. Mario gets his cake and the Kacho gets his victory.
Enoshima is the backdrop for this TamaGe, and a game center by the name of Enoshima Garden Parlor. It’s within an outdoor marketplace, so that’s where the journey begins. Arino starts off by buying some meat skewers — one for Urakawa after his performance with Adventure Island earlier.
Arino then climbs some steps and notices signs around for an "Escaa" — he enters the building, which has an esca…lator leading up to the upper level outside. He eventually finds the Garden Parlor, and heads inside. The first game Arino tries is a Densha de Go spin-off from Taito. The game costs about two bucks, and he loses within minutes. Feh! Onto something else.
Arino tries a roulette game endorsed by Ken Shimura (of Kato-chan & Ken-chan). He wins a prize: a small figure, which seems to be from Kamen Rider. He asks a passing boy if he recognizes it; he doesn’t. Feh! Arino then recruits Urakawa for a round of a Namco game featuring a big clown hammer. The object is for both players to mash on a "Fight" button and hope the hammer doesn’t land on their head. Arino whacks a surprised Urakawa for the opening blow, but then he gets the business end as well.
In part 2, Arino tries out another pellet-gun shooting gallery game, and knocks down a couple of prizes, including a cute little Doraemon doll. After that, he heads into a nondescript corner with the rest of the prize machines, including his dreaded rival Happy Pierro. Arino tries it out, but unfortunately the balls get stuck on their way up the chute. Arino and Urakawa then join up for a large game that’s a variation on skee-ball and Hungry Hungry Hippos. Urakawa has to squeeze in tight next to another machine, and that’s apparently his disadvantage, as Arino ends up outscoring him. Arino gets a prize from it — another Kamen Rider! Feh!
Game Collections: 1987: July