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Thursday, June 09, 2011

Thursday Night at the Arcade: 1-Up Mushrooms from Super Mario

Have you guys ever had a really terrible day where it felt as though nothing ever went your way?  I have.  Yesterday happened to be one of those days.  Not to go into too much detail, but I've had better days.

I think we can all agree that adult problems can sometimes suck the life out of you, especially when they all seem to come at you all at once.  It kind of makes you long for the days when you were a child, and your most pressing problem was having to take a red crayon and a blue crayon to get the shade of purple needed to colour the grapes on the bowl of fruit page in a colouring book.

Or having lost twelve straight games of Clue because you kept getting stuck with the Mrs. White token, as your bratty cousin demanded to be Professor Plum.

Or, if you happen to be playing video games, and you get stuck in one particular level that you cannot figure out how to get past.

The last one was a childhood problem that I kept particular with one particular type of level in any sort of Mario themed game.

The above image happens to be from Super Mario Brothers 3, but really any Super Mario game could apply here.  When I played any sort of Mario game, I absolutely hated underwater themed levels.  Hated them with a passion.  For one, you really had to time your movements correctly, or else you'd swim right into an electric jellyfish or those evil white squid creatures known as Bloobers.

I would have loved to have made a calamari meal out of those blasted diagonally moving beasts.

If I was armed with a fire flower, I could get rid of those monsters altogether (even though in real life, it would be nearly impossible to light anything on fire under the water).  On water levels where I didn't have fire power, I was pretty much doomed to waste about ten chances getting through the level. 

I really despised water worlds.  They were really hard.  They were the kind of level where I wish I could have more chances to complete the blasted thing so I could play on a level that had more control. 
Heck, any of those castle levels were better than underwater levels.  Even if all you got was...

And as anyone who has played any Mario game, we all know how much we HATED that mushroom capped dude by the seventh world...

...that's how I feel about underwater levels in Mario games.

It's also the perfect topic to bring up in...

(I don't know HOW it ended up so slanted...)

No matter.

This week's video game topic is something that during those blasted underwater levels in Mario games I wish I had.  They were better than fire flowers.  Better than Hammer Brothers costumes.  They were even better than those yellow glowing stars.  And, for something to be better than a star that granted you invincibility for fifteen seconds, you know it has to be big.

And here it is.

In most cases, if you were to come across a green mushroom, chances are that if you put it in your mouth, though it might look good to eat, and it might look good to taste, you could get sick, real quick.  Or, so a couple of furry blue monsters told me way back when did...

These little guys don't have any of those poisonous qualities.  Quite the opposite, actually.

Ladies and gentlemen...say hello to the 1-UP Mushroom!

Yes, the 1-UP mushrooms were bright green in hue and although rare to find, were worth seeking out.  For every 1-UP mushroom that one managed to find, one could get new life breathed into them.

No, seriously, each 1-UP mushroom could be redeemed for one extra shot at saving Princess Toadstool from the castle (and yes, I know she's legally changed her name to Princess Peach now, but I'm a traditionalist at heart).  Trust me.  It was worth finding them all.

Sometimes they were easy to spot.  Sometimes they were hidden by invisible blocks.  And, sometimes they were gotten in the most unusual ways...

I tell you something.  I wish that I had a staircase filled with Koopa turtles in every level.  Would have made the game so much easier.

In fact, I almost wish that 1-UP Mushrooms existed in real life sometimes.  You could find them in the produce section in between the portobello and shiitake mushrooms, and they would be somewhat expensive, but worth the price if it meant that you could have a chance to do-over entire sections of your life.  Wouldn't that be something?

Of course, we all know that the odds of creating a mushroom that regenerates life has the same possibility of existing as the Loch Ness monster, dinosaurs, and unicorns.  Still, it's nice to dream, isn't it?

Just as I would have wanted them in huge surplus in underwater levels, I would have loved to have had the chance to pop a 1-UP mushroom to redo some parts of my life.  Would I have liked to have had one when I was making the decision to leave college prematurely?  It might have helped.  I'd probably loved to have sprinkled some 1-UP mushrooms on a pizza anytime I got a bad grade on a test.  And as far as my school years go in general, I would have loved to have had a produce cooler filled with them.

And then some.

 Sadly, 1-UP Mushrooms are a fictional creation.  At least it inspired me to come up with a pretty decent post about what could be.  Because honestly if we fail to look at things from all angles, it doesn't make for a very productive or even well-rounded life.

We don't need 1-UP mushrooms to get a second chance.  We can create our own. 

Or, at least...wait until we can find the Extra Strength 3-UP moons...

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