T h i r t y - F o u r t h

Must-Have Toys

Freud Meets Nintendo 64/ Super Mario 64

A SHORT TRAGEDY (OR NOT?) IN THREE ACTS

  • By Jon Kaufthal
  • Super Mario 64 for
    Nintendo 64
    *****
    Street Price: System, $200;
    Super Mario 64, $75
    Nintendo of America

    ACT ONE: THE STORE.

    ID: Omigod! There it is--the elusive Nintendo 64!!!!! This thing is hotter than Tickle Me Elmo! Get it! Get it! GET IT!!!!!

    EGO: Settle down, Id. What about the C you just got in Calculus? Do you want to completely fail out of school this semester?

    ID: But have you seen this thing? Superfast 3-D graphics. Stereo sound. Incredible games...

    EGO: It does sound pretty cool ... well, I guess we can use it during study breaks. But it costs $200, and it only comes with one controller and no games.

    ID: Just get it, dammit! This thing is awesome -- who cares how much it costs?

    EGO: Fine -- and we'll try this new Mario game. I hear it's not bad.

    ACT TWO: AT HOME.

    EGO: Wow! This thing is amazing! The controller takes a while to get used to, but it's worth the effort!

    ID: Yeah -- and check out the camera angles! Mario 64 is like virtual reality -- you can watch the game from Mario's perspective, pull back for more perspective, pan left and right...

    EGO: It feels like you're really in another world! But remember, we have to finish up that paper for Poli-Sci.

    ID: One more game -- please!

    EGO: Okay -- but just one more.

    ACT THREE: (STILL) AT HOME.

    Two weeks have passed. ID is bigger, stronger, and louder. His eyes are bloodshot, yet trained carefully on the screen. His entire body twitches with every press of the controller button. EGO looks weak and tired. He is transfixed by the game and submits to ID.

    ID: Whoa!!! Did you see that? I just beat the second Bowser!!! That was awesome -- now I can finally go up to the third level of the castle!

    EGO: This is wild -- we've seen Mario run, jump, punch, kick, swim, flip, crawl, ride an owl, fly, find secret levels, turn invisible, morph into a metallic Terminator 2-style badass, blast himself out of cannons and even ski -- without the skis! What does this guy do for an encore, run naked through fire while juggling and singing The Star Spangled Banner?

    ID: And can you believe how huge this game is? We've been playing nonstop for two weeks, and we're not nearly halfway done!

    EGO (very weak, on the verge of death): I know, it's ... wait a second -- we haven't left the room in days! What about school? Remember that? And your friends?

    ID: Shut up, loser, I have 30 stars!!!

    EGO: Yeah, great, but what about the rest of the world? Food? Sleep? Personal hygiene?

    ID: Ego, don't piss me off, I'm about to get my eighth red coin!!!

    EGO: Forget about the coins. You haven't showered or shaved in weeks! Is that some kind of science experiment gone bad, or is that stench around you intentional?

    ID (pauses game so as not to lose his place): I told you to shut up--now you will pay! Die, bastard!!!

    EGO: No -- AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    EGO lies dead, a Nintendo controller wrapped snugly around his neck.

    ID (to himself): Thank God I'm rid of that guy! His priorities were all screwed up. Finally, I can concentrate on the one thing that matters! Okay, enough talking to myself, the princess needs my help! Don't worry, princess, I'm coming!!! Man, that princess sure is hot -- you know, she kinda reminds me of my mother...


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