The lights are on
When players think of great moments in video games, they often think of moments that involve high-end graphics, a gripping story, or deep dialogue. Yet one of the most memorable moments in gaming history comes out of the ‘80s and continues to haunt gamers even up to this day.
There’s no doubt that the original Super Mario Bros. is one of the most beloved games in video game history. Its simple platform mechanics have been reincarnated hundreds of times. But each time the story remains the same. You are a humble plumber on a quest to save the princess. Yet, at the end of each world, when you expect to find her, you are met with the frustrating fact that Princess Peach is not there, and that there is yet another world to conquer.
On the original NES, this was articulated by a diminutive creature with a mushroom on his head, named Toad, who continually tells players that “Our princess is in another castle!” which then forces the player to go through another round of grueling platforming, only to be met (in most cases) with the same message.
It is as though the designers at Nintendo delighted in giving gamers hope and then yanking it away suddenly when they got close to their goal. And they still delight in this method of torture, as evidenced by Super Mario 3D Land. Every time the player reaches the end of the world, he is greeted with yet another photograph of Peach being held by Bowser. And even though the words and the messenger have changed, the message is still the same 29 years later: “Thank you Mario! But our princess is in another castle!”
Email the author Josh Straub, or follow on Game Informer.
Clever entry, Josh! And thanks for the spoiler alert. ;)
It was only a big moment for me when Peach said the same thing at the end of SMB3.
Thanks for the spoiler warning. I was so hesitant to read, I didn't want Super Mario Bros ruined for me.
I always thought that Peach and Bowser were in league with one another playing on Mario's emotions so he could exterminate the pests for them.
Damn that little mushroom man!
This is only a "moment" because it happened to each of us several times. I fail to see how this is a worthwhile moment in videogames, other than it becoming a meme. Nobody had a major reaction when they saw this the first time, it was just a momentary transition from 1-4 to 2-1, and so on. But to each his own, I guess.
Too many damn castles in this damn kingdom! Also, kinda odd that the handful of humans in the Mushroom Kingdom of mushroom people are the ruling class. Bowser's just trying to destroy the status quo. Because the status is not quo. Peach is a foreign invader that forcibly took over a fanciful kingdom of pacifist idiots by employing Italian plumbers with mad ups and equally mad drug addictions.
Bowser for (somewhat less-malevolent) overlord!
One of my earlier video game moments actually. I think I was pretty pissed at a child the first time I got that message. Pretty sure I was grounded for cursing the moment Toad told me that.
Was there a need to put spoilers ahead? Everybody knows this moment lol
Hey Peach, where's my cake?