10 Things from Super Mario Bros. (and their Real Life Counterparts)

October 10, 2008

Why has Mario stomped so permanent a place in the pantheon of classic video game characters?  It’s because his fantastic world is a welcome reprieve from the monotony of most of our humdrum, cubical enclosed day-to-days.  It’s fun to get high on star power and run around with Princess Peach.  Who wouldn’t want to do that in real life?!  Well, if you DID want to do it in real life, I’m here to tell you how.  Here are 10 things from the Mushroom Kingdom that are totally here in real life.

Super Mario Cape - French Jet Pack


The cape is an item from Super Mario World for SNES.  It’s a simple powerup – a cape magically bound about your neck when you absorb what appears to be an eagle feather.  Little did you know such majestic flights of fancy were possible in real life with Yves Rossy’s human-sized flying wing.  Though, the addictive bouncing of the cape glide is slightly more lethal in Rossy's metal-full-of-jet-fuel version.


9. Mushrooms - Psilocybin (Hallucinogenic) Mushrooms


The mushroom (alternately known as the super mushroom) changes Mario into a giant; giving him super-human powers and allowing him to sustain much more damage than Mario when he’s not on mushrooms.  He is not invincible, but he is certainly enhanced. Mushrooms effects include: “increase of pulse rate, numbness of the mouth and adjacent features [numb heads are best for brick breaking], nausea, elevated blood pressure [increased jumpiness], weakness in the limbs making locomotion difficult, muscle relaxation, yawning, swollen features [duh] and pupil dilation."  Sounds about right.


8. Thwomp – Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad


Ahmadinejad is the sixth and current president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and one angry, stony-looking mother.  Without using the delicate scalpel of reason, he prefers to stomp loudly and crazily about (denying the existence of the Holocaust and homosexuality) wielding his scary face and political girth as his primary offensive weapon and/or nuclear deterrent.  Plus, his head is totally the shape of a thwomp. 

7. Fire Flower - Homemade Flame Thrower


The Fire Flower has some of the effects of the above mushroom, but with the notable additional effect of being able to spontaneously hurl fire from your body, engulfing your enemies in fiery doom.  Though less spontaneous (and without so nifty a change of clothes) the homemade flamethrower made out of old scuba tanks (for the psi) will get burnin’ what needs to be burnt. 


6. Princess Peach - The Girls Next Door


Princess Peach is captive and demure, blonde and big-breasted*She is lorded over by a king-like dinosaur of a master, a man so powerful he commands entire legions of sleezy monsters.  His name is Hugh Hefner Bowser, and he’ll be damned if some little upstart like Mario is going to get into his grotto and pluck his Peach. 

*in my head



5. Yoshi - Komodo Dragon


Yoshi, the kind-hearted giant lizard friend to the hero of our story, is like a Komodo Dragon in more ways than are immediately apparent.  Both reptiles are Eurasian in origin.  Both feast on and occasionally regurgitate animals, eggs, or pretty much anything else they can wrap their cartoonishly long tongues around.  Remind you of anybody? Just don't try and ride a Komodo Dragon. If you do, don't tell your lawyer I told you to. 


4. Continue Points - Cryostasis


Do-over!  Do-over!  We’ve all been there.  Sometimes you wish you could just turn back time, say, 3 or 4 minutes (Hours? Years?) and rethink whether it was a good idea to drop out of community college to strike it rich in professional bowling.  Or at least I think that.  It’s times like these where you wish you just had a few moments to think things over - and then start fresh down the line.  If you were Mario, you’d use a continue point.  If you’re you (which you totally are) get cryogenically frozen.   

3. Goomba – Kim Jong-Il


A splotchy complexion and a comical under bite are not the end of the similarities between these two very squash-worthy foes.  Like his North Korean counterpart, the Goomba is dogmatic in his marching toward what he believes to be his enemies’ demise, but what is (in all probability) his own.  Also, and more importantly, Kim Jong-Il’s head is totally bulbous and Goomba-shaped. 

2. Coins – Life Insurance


Planning is important in life and Super Mario.  You have to look into the future and see the poisonous mushrooms, and depending on your pharmacologic tendencies, possibly in Mario and your real life. In Mario, one way to do this is to collect gold coins; collect 100, and you’ll get a free life.  Though an inexact analogy, this equates to real-life insurance coverage.  Run down by a rampaging minion of Bowser?  You better hope your insurance is good.  

1. Star Power – Cocaine


When shrouded in the glittering dust of star power, the world is your oyster.  This is especially true if you run through oysters destroying everything you touch at an increased speed – feeling invulnerable and hyper-confident.  Sped up and in an apparently inexorable state of euphoria, Mario bounds through the Mushroom Kingdom for a few brief moments.  Then he comes down, the music goes slower, and everything seems depressing.  Gotta find more stars!