‘Super Mario 64’ brings cake pursuit to greatness

Esteban Diaz | Editorial Cartoonist
Esteban Diaz | Editorial Cartoonist

Editor’s Note: This is an article in our ongoing “Great Video Game” series in which readers and staffers alike are asked to submit a few hundred words about a video game that they consider to be great. This week’s submission is from Houston junior Christoph Ross, who decided to write about “Super Mario 64” from Mario’s perspective.

By Christopher Ross
Guest Contributor

“Super Mario 64” all started for me, Mario, when I received a letter from Princess Peach, which asked me to come to her castle to eat a special cake she had prepared. Of course, next thing I knew, I was in front of the castle after what seemed like a blackout. I was so acting like a good little man in blue overalls. I ran up to the castle and entered in.

Oh, no! The evil King Bowser’s laugh! He had managed to invade Peach’s castle and had taken her — and the power of 120 stars from her kingdom — for himself. Mamma mia! He took the cake too. For the right of cake, I had to retrieve those stolen stars.

I had to go through each castle and locate portraits that I could double-jump into and start my hunt for each of the very stars that were locked away in it. Bowser’s men stormed each of the worlds, protecting the seven stars that were kept in each, filled with cannons, games, fiends, stars and surprisingly large objects. No problem there; I just headbutted that box with the question mark and got myself some fun toys and yellow coins.

Bowser could’ve eaten his heart out when he saw my skills come to shine. I beat penguins in sliding races, King Whomp at wrestling, soared like a bird from a cannon, caught squeaky yellow bunnies, did a 720-degree front flip in the air and survived a 100-foot fall with one bar of health remaining. Not bad for a guy who has to stand on tippy-toes to kiss the princess, if I do say so myself.

Occasionally I found Toad, who popped up in the strangest of places, where he offered advice and help on where to go and what I need in order to get things like the power-ups. I was surprised when I saw the power-ups at first, in the form of stylish caps. I just thought it was a way of saying I needed more variety in my fashion style.

Each cap gave me a different ability; the chromed cap turned me into a giant piece of metal invulnerable to any attacks and made it a lot more painful when I pounced on my enemies’ heads. The transparent cap turned me invisible to my enemies. Finally, there was the winged cap, which gave me the power of flight. It was to infinity and beyond with that one on — or at least until until the cap’s power ran out of gas.

Upon gathering the necessary number of stars, I presented them as the key to unlocking Bowser’s chamber, where I went through his obstacle course. Eventually this course will, of course, inspire another spin-off to my series. Once through the course, I arrived at the popular green pipe that took me to the final battlefield.

After I once again knocked Bowser on his back, I headed out of the castle and found Peach and Toad waiting for me, thanking me for my heroism in saving them and the castle.

Finally, after all the travels, burns, falls and skid marks, I saw my prize. A beautiful white cake with strawberries, swirling frosting and a bright yellow star above little figurines of Peach and I.

Hee hee! I got it!

Does reading this article make you think of a video game that you consider great? Please send us an email at lariat@baylor.edu with a suggestion for a “Great Video Game.” Please include a few hundred words on why you consider your game to be great and you just might find your opinion here.