Moments: Failing To Find Peach
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!”