Life Changing Experiences (or the day I saw level 10).

When I was three years old (I’m guesstimating because who the hell knows for sure how old they were when stuff happened before beginning school), I watched my parents reach the final stages of Super Mario Bros. 3. This particular event was life-altering for a few reasons:

1. It scared the living bajeezus out of me, because I’m terrified of video game combat music and black backgrounds. I legitimately still have PTSD style flashbacks to how absolutely horrified I felt for days after seeing that. Those pixels may not be scary to you now, but I’m telling you, as a tiny child (who was afraid of everything, including mall Santas), that shit was the scariest thing I’d seen up close and personal on our big-screen rear-projection TV since the flying monkeys in The Wizard of Oz.


I’m telling you, if hell exists and it has minions, these are what haunt their nightmares.

2. My discovery that video games would be able to scare the crap out of me for my entire life was but the beginning of the lesson I learned that day. More importantly, I learned that you can cheat at almost any video game and skip almost directly to the end. In Mario 3, it was warp whistles. You just had to crouch down like you were making Mario take an imaginary poop on a couple of random bushes, and BOOM! you could just skip ahead by like 6 levels. That shit was incredible. It blew my mind. It made me feel so cheap and tawdry. We hadn’t earned that progress. My young mind was exploding, providing the first glimmer of the obsessive compulsive completionist, as I’ve mentioned before, I have become.


Not exclusively for humans.

3. Finally, I learned at a very early age that end-game content is rarely worth the long drive to reach it. You dump hours upon hours into a game and your reward? A shitty cut-scene. In Super Mario Bros. 3, it was still just a single screen in which the Princess thanks you for saving her and then makes a retarded joke.

This video may be of poor quality, and it takes this person significantly longer than it should to kill bowser, but I really enjoy the idea that someone video taped their game of Mario twenty some-odd years ago, and then filmed it on their iPhone more recently to upload that video to YouTube. What wonders have you seen, oh wise and ancient Super Mario Video Tape? Share your secrets. I won’t tell. I promise.


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