Game Center CX Season 3 – Back to Contents
Let’s Play "Super Mario World"
Suffice to say, Arino has bad luck with Mario games. Doki Doki Panic — if you want to count it — was a fluke, and even then he didn’t get the real ending. And the less said about Mario 3, the better. Now he faces the biggest and baddest 2D Mario game: Super Mario World. Can Arino save the princess this time?
He starts from Yoshi’s Island, course 1, and within seconds is killed by the giant Bullet Bill. He does it again on the second try, but eventually he clears the level. On course 2 he meets Yoshi, and the little dino helps him get through the next two courses. By now Arino’s already amassed 11 lives; not bad. After a hiccup or two in course 4, Arino finally makes it to the first castle. He scrapes through to the end to face the first boss, Iggy. Unfortunately he has trouble pushing Iggy over the edge of the tilting platform. He comes close on the first try, but ends up dying. The second and third tries are largely similar, but on the fourth try he lucks out and finally pushes Iggy off.
Next up is the Donut Plains. Arino enters the first course and is fascinated by the flying Koopas. He jumps on the flashing one, which gives up a feather. He waits for it to float down, and poof! Mario is now caped. Arino is much impressed and experiments with the flying. He can’t get the controls right, so he checks the manual.
The manual is a huge fold-out sheet, so Arino pulls it out trying to look for the cape controls. He leans forward, and then notices the TV. It’s gone black. Pause for effect. Arino seemed to graze the cartridge with the manual, thus killing the game. He pulls out the cart and blows on it, but it doesn’t seem to fix it. This looks bad. The staff gathers around the desk to inspect the setup. Engineer Suda grabs the game and starts scraping the contacts with a pair of tweezers or something, causing some of the staff to freeze in shock, then puts it back in the system and turns it on. Good as new! Or is it? Arino hopes the save file hasn’t been erased, buuut… it hasn’t. Good! Back to business, then; nothing to see here.
Arino continues through the Donut Plains and ends up in the first Ghost House. He weaves his way and tries to figure out the door puzzles inside. He gets the P-switch, which reveals a hidden door, but exiting confuses him even more, as he starts going in circles. It gets so bad that he eventually wastes all his remaining lives. He restarts, and after a couple more tries, accidentally figures it out: he had to pass through the door twice without hitting the P-switch block, and on the second run the block reveals a vine instead, that leads him to the exit door. Whew!
Arino clears the next couple courses and heads into the Donut Plains castle. He’s forced to go without Yoshi, and as soon as he steps in he’s killed by the hopping Thwimps. He gets past them, then deals with the swinging iron balls, and then gets within reach of the boss door. However, his jump trajectory isn’t on the mark and he jumps right into a Dry Bones. He dies again in nearly the same spot, but is squeezed by the moving blocks instead. On the next try he makes it up to the boss, Morton. Morton walks up the walls and falls where Mario is standing, which throws Arino off for the first couple minutes. Some fancy footwork puts him ahead, however, and he defeats Morton and saves yet another Yoshi.
It’s been about six hours now. Arino enters the next area, the Vanilla Dome and eventually he makes it to another Ghost House. He’s amused by the giant Boo, yet scared at the same time. He moves on through the giant-green-bubble room, and goes through a door which once again loops him to the beginning. Soon after this, his skill starts dropping. He slips and dies stupidly one life after another. He finds the P-switch, but it reveals a door surrounded in blocks. He starts over and clears out the blocks before hitting the switch, then masterfully exits.
Arino makes it to the next castle, but as soon as he begins he’s assaulted by Kamek, the Koopa sorcerer, whose teleportation and powerful magic beams catch him off-guard and fully-dead. Another Game Over. Kamek can turn the blocks below Arino into enemies, effectively erasing the blocks but creating more obstacles. Arino continues to die one way or another. Amazingly, he gets past that first section and onto the next, but Kamek is still around and there’s less blocks to get footing on.
Arino grabs the P-switch but accidentally tosses it into the water. He gets it the next time and carries it over to the exit door, but wipes out all the coins that would have provided the platform below the door. He restarts, but keeps screwing up early on and again flushes his lives away. He heads back through the Vanilla Dome in search of some easy 1UPs, but gets a Game Over in the process. Urakawa steps in and gives Arino a hint on a nice spot to get some extra lives. He checks the nearby strategy guide to confirm, and then gets to work.
The 1UP loop is in Vanilla Dome 2. As caped Mario, one must whack a Koopa shell high into the air so that it hits a flying Bullet Bill. The Bills keep coming, and as long as Mario doesn’t move and the shell keeps getting hits, the points rack up and eventually so do the 1UPs. Arino tries it a few times but can’t get the positioning right. Urakawa comes back and draws the situation out on the whiteboard. This time he gets the hang of it, and starts getting lives. Unfortunately he dies due to a Time Over. On the next attempt he has enough time and finally breaks 99 lives. All systems go?
We rejoin Arino at the castle with 87 lives left. Yes, Kamek is still kicking his ass. He gets to the P-switch, and in a display of pure luck that has him laughing with fear, he amazingly dodges Kamek’s shots but still wipes the platform for the door away. On life 65 he does everything right, but the blocks turn back to coins the millisecond he steps on them. The next time, he nails it. Finally! It’s over! Well, except for the boss. This time it’s Lemmy. It only takes a couple of tries for Arino to defeat him. The next area, Cookie Mountain, is a cinch, apparently, as the show just blows through. Arino quickly heads to the next castle and the boss, Ludwig. He beats him in one try, with not much time left on the clock!
Arino enters the Forest of Illusion area. In course 1 he gets the balloon power-up, and he wonders why Mario is floating away, but it gets him to the goal easily. The rest of the journey is just as easy: he stumbles upon a hidden key which opens up the path to the castle, bypassing half of the area. Inside the castle, he fumbles around on the slithering platform at the beginning. With his lives low, Arino decides to go back to Vanilla Dome and refresh his life count. He stops at 60 and goes back. A couple more deaths, but eventually he pulls through to the end.
Now to face Roy, which is very similar to the Morton fight. Arino dies early and restarts the castle. He’s a little more careful on the home stretch this time, but still fails pretty hard. Urakawa comes in and tells Arino it’s been 13 hours, and it’s now time to go. He asks Arino if he’ll give up. Since Super Mario World actually has save files, Arino decides to push on. Will be able to defeat Bowser? Hell, will be able to defeat Roy at this rate!?
Arino pays a visit to one of the hottest game shops in Akihabara: Super Potato! The place is retro heaven, which is perfect for the show. He steps inside and looks to the left and right in awe. He looks at everything from the pile of used Famicoms and PlayStations to the drawers of controller parts. He moves to the "rare soft" case in the middle of the store and has a clerk help him out with its selection. He notices All Night Nippon Super Mario Bros., a super rare Famicom Disk game given to listeners of the All Night Nippon radio program, and today it’s almost $500. Arino asks to give it a try, and the clerk sets him up with a demo Famicom to try it out.
Next from the case is the Famicom Controller Test cartridge, snatched from the innards of Nintendo itself and selling for nearly $1,000! Arino is understandably a little flabbergasted by the price for such a boring piece of software.
Arino peeks in the case again and notices an even more expensive game, this one going for $5,000+ — a golden Rockman 4 cartridge, given only to the select few kids who got their robot boss designs into the game. The clerk won’t let him play that one, though. The tour continues, and Arino happens upon a game in a rather large box — the unlicensed Sexy Derby for Famicom! Of course he’s going to try this one out. But the segment ends here, with Arino furiously trying to win a horse race and maybe see some panties.
New in this installment is a rough map that the staff sketched out on the whiteboard. All the known important places have been flagged, and it just might help Arino find his way around this piece of crap game.
Once again he pulls out the card of Kaayan, the 11 year-old who doesn’t ever seem to be around. Arino calls the number — apparently a cell phone this time — and a faint "hello" comes through. Arino pauses and says hello back. "Dad?" It’s Kaayan’s brother. He puts Kaayan on the phone. "Is this Arino-san?" Yes it is, and the two finally get to talk. Not that the kid has much to say regarding the game, but at least the phone tag quest is over.
Back in the game, Arino enters a mountainous area and after a fight, recruits the kappa in his merry saiyuki band. No better time to stop than right about now.
Game Collections: 1986: March-April