Mario Mario: An Alternate History

#1 Posted by kidIKD (40 posts) -

Mario first appeared in 1981, when Donkey Kong was first released in arcades. Then known as Jumpman, he was a carpenter, tasked with rescuing the beautiful Pauline from the angry ape, Donkey Kong. It achieved massive success, despite the fact that few players ever reached Pauline. Arcade games weren't made to be beaten; they were made to take players' money, made to be as difficult (but addicting) as possible. The more times DK escaped with Pauline, the deeper Mario fell into depression. In 1985, Super Mario Brothers was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System, giving Mario his proper name, a new career as a plumber, and a new opportunity to redeem himself by rescuing Princess Peach Toadstool.
He might have made it, too, if it weren't for something he discovered just a few feet into Level 1-1. Hidden in a block marked by a question mark, Mario stumbled upon his first mushroom. He'd been warned about the dangers of strange video game power-ups by former power-pellet addict and long-time friend, Pac-Man. Nonetheless, Mario had been in a dark place, and made a bad decision. Thus began his downward spiral into hallucinations and addictions. Not realizing the effects at first, he had a nasty first trip, murdering hundreds of turtles (including the now-extinct flying turtles), bashing his head on several bricks (thinking they would give him money), and diving down many unsanitary pipes. He eventually did rescue the "Princess" in "Level 8-8," although substantial evidence shows that he merely crossed the street and "rescued" a hooker. Things got even worse in 1988, with the release of Super Mario Brothers 2, which proved the extent of his addiction, with mushroom trips even manifesting themselves in his dreams. His imagined world of "Sub-Con" showed his desire for affection with the creation of 2 new friends, and even an imaginary brother, Luigi, who would reappear on several other occassions, and, ironically, often try to wean him of his habits. At this point, Nintendo found Mario to be a liability and fired him. He was forced to live on the streets, and spent any change given to him on more mushrooms.
 By 1990, Mario's addiction had expanded to include perscription drugs, leading Mario to disguise himself as "Dr. Mario" to obtain them, under the pretense of using them to destroy fictionalized, hallucinated viruses. The same year, his mental state detiriorated even further, as he began dressing like a racoon, believing it would make him fly. He also claimed the sun was attacking him, and that "Bowser" (an imaginary arch-enemy, possibly manufactured from his  was attacking him from flying ships. This downward spiral continued until 1996. In the meantime, he began riding around in a shopping cart that he claimed was a dinosaur named "Yoshi", was arrested for driving it into oncoming traffic on the highway (believing he was in a go-cart race), on one occassion, was found crying, wearing a diaper, sitting next to an overturned "Yoshi." In 1996, when all income ceased, he was forced to give up mushrooms, and gained a stronger grasp on reality. He discovered, for the first time in more than a decade, that he could move in three-dimensions, but much of his hallucinations remained. Still, things seemed to be going well, and the following year, he was even able to get a job at the local community center teaching typing. He was even spotted spending time with former enemy, Donkey Kong, playing board games and racing real go-carts.
This was not to last, however, and, in 1999, he was arrested again for assaulting Donkey Kong and many other Nintendo employees, including Link, Kirby, and Pikachu. He got off with just a year in rehab, and seemed to respond well. Looking to take advantage of his clean, new image, Nintendo rehired Mario, who got them to sponsor several charity events, from golf tourneys to tennis tournaments to an annual board game tournament. In 2002, they even sponsored an event that poked fun at Mario's past: a wrestling tournament featuring him, DK, Kirby, Link, and others. Most thought that Mario had gone clean for good, but in 2007, Mario was drawn into the emerging drug culture of Star Bits. Believing himself to be weightless, he jumped from the roof of the Nintendo offices to his death. In tribute, Nintendo released a series of games based on his life on the Wii Virtual Console. In the words of Billy Joel, only the good die young. He began his career with great prospects, but the pressures of the industry proved too much. Who knows what he might have accomplished had he not succumbed to the temptations of fungi. There are those who say he would have become bigger than Earthworm Jim or even Crash Bandicoot, but the world will never know.

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