Super Mario 64: The 1up Game

February 28, 2009 § Leave a comment

Out of all the articles I have read or watched this week, this particular item has entertained me the most.

Basically, it’s two Japanease guys playing Mario 64, but they’ve changed the rules of the game. Instead of playing the game conventionally – going through the levels, collecting stars and so forth – they have devised a new way to play. The aim of the game is now this: to collect all eight coins in each stage while avoiding the floating 1up mushroom which chases the player throughout. You see, in the original game the 1up mushroom needs to be activated, and from that point on it will chase the player around until it is picked up, thereby giving the player an extra life. So what these guys have effectively done is flipped the game on its head: instead of the 1up mushroom giving you an extra life, it now effectively ends the game, forcing you to restart.

What I love about this idea is just the child-like genius embedded within it. It’s so inventive, creative and nonsensical; I just love it. It reminds me of the games I used to play with my brother and sister. We would cook some ludicrous rules up and just pretend. It makes me happy to see this kind of brilliant, creative spirit because – God knows – we lack so much of it in everyday life. These videos express the most basic essence of a child in ‘play’, in which he creates his own world, his own characters and his own script. In this world there are no limitations or boundaries; there are no ‘good’ ideas or ‘bad’ ideas; there are just ideas.

It just makes me laugh; it’s all such silly, funny nonsense, but there is something so very charming in it all.


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