You know Super Mario Bros right? That innocent little game on the NES? I had that game when I got my NES for Christmas in 1988. I still have my NES but no Mario game. I searched all around my house and could not find that stupid cartridge anywhere! So one day whilst walking home from high work I noticed a sign on a telephone poll saying:
“GARAGE SALE! WE’LL SELL YOU RETRO GAMES, TOYS, RECORDS, BOOKS AND TVS! ON THIS SUNDAY!”
I won’t tell you where the adress is because there was none, it just showed an arrow pointing down a normal regular street. On Sunday, I walked over to the steet and found the garage sale. It was being run by a family of 3 with a father and mother and a small 13 year old boy who had no interest in what was happening. There were signs which told you which section you were in, I walked over to the area (or sign) entitled “Games”. I immediatly start looking for a copy of the original Super Mario Bros game, but most of the games there were board games, rubiks cubes and Xbox games. As I turned to leave I noticed a small box in the driveway, I walked over in curiosity and found some junk, e.g. a bible,a naked barbie doll and some really bad drawings. Until I finally found what I needed, it was just a NES cartridge that said Super Mario Bros on it, yet there was something strange about it. The cartridge had nothing on it except for text written in magic marker saying “Mario Brothers”.
“HEY!” yelled the father standing behind me, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING BACK HERE?!”
“I was just looking through some of the stuff you have in the box.” I replied nervously.
The father starred at the box and then slowly shifted his attention to me.
“How did this get out here?” he said in a croaky voice. He then turned the box around to reveal a name on the box saying “EMILY”.
“Who’s Emily?” I ask curiously, “Is it your wife?”
The father suddenly has a cold and pale face, almost like he was about to cry.
“She was my daughter.” He whispered coldly.
“Was?” I asked.
“She died 4 months ago,” He said in a soft voice, “It was a car accident.”
“Oh, I…I’m sorry,” I say, “If there’s anything I can do to help you…”
“Yes there is,” Says the father in a stern voice, “burn that fucking game!”
I went home immediately with the game. I didn’t want to stay around any longer, it was too depressing there now that I knew the truth. I sat down on my couch, plugged in my Nintendo and popped my game in the playing slot. The game started normally except for the menu screen, instead of 2 players, it had 3. Out of curiosity I selected player 3, and the game started normally with the cute little tune and everything, so I committed suicide (in the game of course) and played Luigi. Everything was normal so I committed suicide again. When it switched to player 3, the screen that usually shows “Mario x3″, it said “Larry x1″. I chuckled a little considering Larry is such a stupid name. Stage 1-1 started up but it wasn’t the first stage, it was the first stage in Super Mario Bros 3 which came out 3 years later. Larry’s suit looked like a blue version of Mario’s suit. The sky was a depressing black and grey glitching colour scheme.
I finished the stage and was ready for the next level, now felling like something or someone was watching me. The game, for whatever reason, decided to skip me to the very last stage in the game. The music in the game was now very slow and dull, it seemed to linger on every pixelated note. The walls in Bowser’s castle was blood red and seemed very realistic. The strangest thing about this place is that there were no villains to fight. Nothing. I looked around my living room and now I was filled with migraines, nausea and anxiety. But I had to keep playing, curiosity was clogging my brain! When I got to the end of the castle there was no bowser, no hammer (or axe) and no Princess Peach. But suddenly the game crashed and text popped up on the screen telling about what happened next.
“After the incident,” said the text, “Mario and the Princess lived happily in the mushroom kingdom with Luigi and Shroom, yet Larry committed suicide, he was too depressed for never getting any appreciation by any of his friends and family, and so he hung himself in Bowser’s castle, his body was never found. THE END!”
I was filled with shock, horror and disbelief. Not only at how this could have been sold, but how anyone could even play this! The father was right. I need to burn this so nobody ever sets eyes on this game again. So I looked around for anything that I burn the cartridge with but there was nothing. So I placed the game on my coffee table and headed outside to go get some lighter fluid from the mall or something, so I got in my car and drove as fast as I could and before I knew it…
BAM!!! I was hit by another car at the intersection.
The next day I awoke in a hospital with a full body cast on, only to realise that the same thing happened to Emily. She died in the car crash, she must have played the game, but I survived due to pure luck. My best friend came over to me with the Mario game in one hand.
“Hey man what’s up?” my friend says, “When I heard you were in an accident I brought over heaps of stuff that’ll probably make you feel better. I also found this unlicensed copy of Super Mario Bros on your coffee table. I was wondering I could do anything to help you with…”
“Yes there is,” I say in a stern voice, “burn that fucking game!”
Story and Idea by Edward Gay