Today May 1st is Labor Day. It is the day that celebrates the struggles that, over the centuries, the workers have fought in order to have their rights recognized, it is a special day created specifically to remember the battles made for the rights of workers. We at Dump Club 64 could not fail to remember this important celebration … But how could we do it? In the most varied universe of Commodore 64 video games there was only one character who could perfectly identify with this event … Blue onesie, hat and a nice mustache … And yes.. who doesn’t remember Mario and Luigi? The two bungling super plumbers who save the world? And what about Donkey Kong? The kidnapping gorillone that our friend already in the 80s had to defeat with hammering to save his beautiful …
And Mario finally had a game of his own, which was Nintendo’s luck in the 80s, and for decades. Born in 1983, he arrived on the Commodore the following year. It did not have great success as a video game, despite the simple and intuitive scheme, and it lacked a good sound, only some mild effects.
Let’s speak about the game. Mario Bros is a fixed screen 2d platform game (Bubble Bobble tells you nothing?) In which our plumber hero must kill all the enemies that come out of the famous tubes, that is turtles, crabs or moths. In order to kill them Mario must kick them, or stun them, jumping on them or beating their heads on the platforms: at that point the enemies will be stunned and ready for kicking.
As in the following video games, Mario moves around the screen by inertia, so you will have to be good at “braking”, otherwise you will find yourself killed by any of the enemies. Mario can also count on “POW”, a power up represented by a square in the center of the screen which, if pressed, stuns all enemies for a few seconds. Obviously for each screen you have a limited number of POWs.
The really nice thing was the introduction of Luigi (who I still haven’t understood what kind of relative or friend he is), who can collaborate with Mario, or go on a head-to-head race to defeat the monsters. This is because the characters can stun each other, and meanwhile take out as many enemies as possible. So go ahead in the game, or even challenge yourself.
That was Mario Bros: immediate scheme, immediate playability. On the technical side little to say, no music and skinny effects. The graphics were from 1984, not excellent, very simple; in fact Mario looked like a sprite with a big nose, nothing more .
What really struck the whole world was the arrival of Super Mario Bros, born in 1985, which brought the idea of Mario Bros to the stars by creating one of the best known platform game in the universe and one of the most loved characters.
Super Mario was created for all known and possible imaginable platforms, and is still one of the most famous characters in the history of video games. In the 1990s, a film was also released with the unforgettable Bob Hoskins, a sinister attempt to bring a video game to the big screen (I think none of the attempts went well, to be honest).
I’m honest, the super plumber never made me crazy, it was that at the time I didn’t have the NES or the Game Boy. I had remained tied to Giana sister, the Super Mario clone that was a great platform game (and this is because Nintendo did not give the conversion rights). But I must admit that it represents a nice memory. I read that in 2019 crazy kids for Mario made a beautiful conversion for Commodore, which however was immediately removed always for the same licensing problems. And everyone wonders: why are they still breaking the balls (ahhaha) after almost 40 years?
I conclude by leaving you not the longplay but a nice video that shows you the various versions of Mario for all the platforms of the time.
E buon Primo Maggio a tutti.