Of Metaphors and Mario RPGs

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Of Metaphors and Mario RPGs

Perhaps Nintendo has been telling us a special story all along.

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That was... Neat.

I never really consider metaphors and such to be honest, they usually float above my poor peasant head. This one is rather neat however.

I liked this article.

The reason for the repeated kidnappings is obviously that he wants to give Mario and Luigi casus belli and have them declare war so he can raise war taxes and get filthy rich.

Interesting theories, but it does have a few logical holes. For one, if the weapons in Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars are supposed to represent violent games competing with Nintendo's family friendly content doesn't it seem odd that Square Soft was instrumental in the creation of the game? During the 16-bit era Square games led the charge in what was, at the time, considered to be dark and mature stories.

Also, Bowser's hatred is somewhat split between two camps in the game. He hates Booster for kidnapping Peach (who wants her for completely superficial reasons, not to further any actual goals) and he hates Smithy for taking over his Keep. When it comes down to it, however, he hates the two of them for the very same reason: they've stolen his thunder.

Honestly though, I think your overall point is a good one. Mario RPG is one of my favorite games of all time (next to Morrowind and Chrono Trigger) and it's sad that Nintendo's taken so many steps back since that incredible game. Bowser was the funniest and most interesting character in that game and it sucks that he is underutilized for the sake of tradition (or laziness).

Nintendo could take a whole lot more risks with their IP, I think. Some risks fall flat (Metroid: Other M ring a bell?), but if we can get something like the original Mario RPG again... that would be just splendid.

It seems Yahtzee's onto something

http://cheezburger.com/7732746752

Super Mario RPG came out for the SNES and was, as we have established, the first game in which Bowser was not the straight villain and actually joins your party. Because the SNES era was also the first time since the 80s video game crash that Nintendo had strong competition, meaning Sega. A new outsider villain kidnaps the princess and Bowser will not tolerate a rival for her, for our leisure time. Interestingly the main villains in Mario RPG are anthropomorphic weapons, which may be prophetic of Nintendo's rivals moving more towards violent content while Nintendo has persisted with a kid-friendly image.

You mean like Rainbow Dash vs. Starscream?

For me, for reasons I do not want to explain for fear of derailing the OP, games of this generation kinda made me bitter and cynical. During the early years of gaming, games did what they did because they could. Want a fat man throw fireballs because he touched a flower? Sure why not. Wanna see an anthropomorphic animal run faster than anything imaginable because, "F" logic and physics? Lets do that. Nowadays, beyond my understanding, fans demand some kind of explanation for every action taken. We have to look very deeply into every single game that comes out to justify it's existence. Why? I don't know, heaven forbid you enjoy a game for what it gives instead of reading into every single line imaginable.

I'd like to point out a factual error here:

Paper Mario on the N64 had Bowser as the villain again, Nintendo being confident in their superiority, but Paper Mario 2: Thousand Year Door has Peach being abducted by sophisticated aliens armed with science fiction technology, and Bowser is almost a figure of mockery, a relic.

The events you're talking about happen in Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, and not in Paper Mario 2: The Thousand-Year Door.

Steven Schuster:
It seems Yahtzee's onto something

http://cheezburger.com/7732746752

You Sir! I award thee 50 internet points.

Add in a reference to Jesus and this article would have been an A+ in my Grade 10 English class.

Oh, and use the word "allusion" more.

Dr.Awkward:
I'd like to point out a factual error here:

Paper Mario on the N64 had Bowser as the villain again, Nintendo being confident in their superiority, but Paper Mario 2: Thousand Year Door has Peach being abducted by sophisticated aliens armed with science fiction technology, and Bowser is almost a figure of mockery, a relic.

The events you're talking about happen in Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, and not in Paper Mario 2: The Thousand-Year Door.

Peach was abducted in Thousand Year Door by aliens. It's the one where she has to strip off her clothes after taking an invisibility potion in order to get intel. Bowser spends most of that game in side scrolling platforming sections with the punchline that he always misses the action by the time he gets there.

Yahtzee was definitely thinking of the right game.

EDIT:

Thanatos2k:
So if Mario is supposed to represent us, the player....what is Luigi??

The other one.

The recent trend in Mario RPGs for Bowser to be the straight villain reflects, as I say, a decreasing self-awareness on Nintendo's part. They want simply to declare victory and hope to be correct, clamping down on uncomfortable metaphors. The Mario RPGs were the silly games, they were the fool in Nintendo's kingly court. But it is the job of the fool to point out that the Emperor has no clothes; to confront the things that the rest of us are happy to ignore. And the truly great Emperor will humour the jester. It's the insecure despots who send them to the dungeons to have their jingly hats shoved so far down their throats that they poo out silver bells.

Yeah this is the kind of over-analyzing propaganda I hate Sean Malstrom for Yahtzee. I honestly think you're looking too far into it. Especially when the first Mario RPG was made by Square and they aren't known for being that self aware. If anything, this whole thing is coincidence.

Aaaand . . . Yahtzee implodes the Matrix.

jsims85013@gmail.com:

Super Mario RPG came out for the SNES and was, as we have established, the first game in which Bowser was not the straight villain and actually joins your party. Because the SNES era was also the first time since the 80s video game crash that Nintendo had strong competition, meaning Sega. A new outsider villain kidnaps the princess and Bowser will not tolerate a rival for her, for our leisure time. Interestingly the main villains in Mario RPG are anthropomorphic weapons, which may be prophetic of Nintendo's rivals moving more towards violent content while Nintendo has persisted with a kid-friendly image.

You mean like Rainbow Dash vs. Starscream?

That's Death Battle, not Mario RPG.

LordTerminal:

Yeah this is the kind of over-analyzing propaganda I hate Sean Malstrom for Yahtzee. I honestly think you're looking too far into it. Especially when the first Mario RPG was made by Square and they aren't known for being that self aware. If anything, this whole thing is coincidence.

Keep in mind that what Nintendo/Square actually wanted to do is not actually relevant. A good part of literary analysis is trying to find meaning in areas where the author may not have intended for us to find meaning. Sure Nintendo may not have written the Bowser/Peach story with Yahtzee's allegory in mind, but it's applicable to compare the two.

considering that both Paper Mario Sticker Star and M&L: Dream Team came out on the 3DS, the trend does make sense. it's not a sign of decreasing awareness. what kind of competition does Nintendo have in the handheld market? smartphone and tablet games are going strong, but they don't seem to be taking away from the 3DS' sales much. that only leaves the Vita, which is already floating belly-up in its own tears.

We need more textual analysis like this in gaming, especially of older games. Aside from the fact that I just love this kind of stuff (in all fomrs of media), this is the what film studies et al are built on. This is how we make gaming culture more interesting.

Good, pretty deep even!
I liked it, you insightful jester, you!

Please continue to make us all laugh, it always makes my week!!!
Thanks for that service, ever since Guitar Hero III :D

So if Mario is supposed to represent us, the player....what is Luigi??

Go on, Yahtzee. Just one more toke.

Very interesting analysis. It would seem that Nintendo is more concerned about their competitors than I thought.

Phrozenflame500:

LordTerminal:

Yeah this is the kind of over-analyzing propaganda I hate Sean Malstrom for Yahtzee. I honestly think you're looking too far into it. Especially when the first Mario RPG was made by Square and they aren't known for being that self aware. If anything, this whole thing is coincidence.

Keep in mind that what Nintendo/Square actually wanted to do is not actually relevant. A good part of literary analysis is trying to find meaning in areas where the author may not have intended for us to find meaning. Sure Nintendo may not have written the Bowser/Peach story with Yahtzee's allegory in mind, but it's applicable to compare the two.

But that can often be as much of a bad thing as a good thing though.

Oh my God! My mind is blowing! Even more than after reading a Cracked article! That's a brilliant metaphor for Nintendo's relationship with their players. it's always funny to think of the warped reasons Bowser kidnaps Peach (or does she LET him do it?!), but there was one game that gave Peach the spotlight, and some unique "powers" to boot, like lighting herself on fire when angry and crying literal rivers. What's that a metaphor for?

Thanatos2k:
So if Mario is supposed to represent us, the player....what is Luigi??

He's the little brother that always wants to play too and not get left out.

So pretty much Nintendo has lost its spark, drive, and creativity going along the inertia of its own franchises.

Pokemon had only briefly changed its basic arc for... what two games a while back? And it seems like they're drawing from the 'happy birthday, go conquer the world' well they always have.

Metroid: can't discuss... fury of a thousand suns... urge to kill... rising

Mario: sparks of light in an endless grey sea. They shine before dulling into the grey mist

Zelda: has anyone noticed we keep remaking OoT? Remember the emotional weight of seeing the world crumble without you, and knowing that you have to fight a thankless war against fate only to, in the end, lose the only friends you had (except the horse, Epona dying would have scarred me for life)? Or those wonderful GBC/GBA games. Of the franchises this may be the one still trying to explore new places.

Donkey Kong: Had been on ice since they tried to make games controlled by BONGOS. The brief return to the old Rare-style platformers was nice, but they didn't DO anything with it.

Star Fox: Couldn't catch lightning in a bottle a third time. stopped trying. it's dead.

That made me smile a lot. And now I'm going to be 'that guy'.

32 feet per second

.... per second.

(Or 9.8 metres per second per second in the units that every other fucker in the world uses.)

romanator0:

Thanatos2k:
So if Mario is supposed to represent us, the player....what is Luigi??

He's the little brother that always wants to play too and not get left out.

So then what does this "Year of Luigi" mean?

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Of Metaphors and Mario RPGs

Perhaps Nintendo has been telling us a special story all along.

Read Full Article

Acceleration would be measured in Units/sec^2, Yahtzee, I'm ashamed of you.

Interesting metaphor. Even holds up with the core 3D platforming titles. Mario 64 lands as the path header, showing the world that new things are coming. Sunshine is a "we need to clean up this mess we made" statement that shows how they rely on the players helping them, as the relationship is symbiotic. Galaxy sits at a crossroad of "yeah, we are the best again!", back in peak Wii season where the other consoles were having trouble getting on their feet (small game libraries and hardware issues), while Galaxy 2 has them showing that while Nintendo is still capable, it now has to rely on those that miss the old days when it was still a contender (issues of game libraries and some of the hardware bugs fixed by the competitors, who now have steamrolled right over Nintendo in all by units sold). It might still be able to throw a few punches, but only for those who want to watch the old guy fight. It can't stand up to the new kids, so it's just hanging around before retirement, rehashing the same old stories.

Wow. I'm kind of sad now.

But let's not mince things. Nintendo is a stagnating, irrational despot who's losing his war against the entire rest of the world, and at the rate it's going it's not going to have anything left worth a crap.
It has two roads ahead of it:

1, Road of Icarus: It keeps its head right where it is, way up its rear buttocks. Then it shows off its alleged mastery by trying to do something grandiose and suicidal, then it will anticlimactically die in the attempt.

2, Road of the Phoenix: Oh, Nintendo, please oh please pull another phoenix, nobody wants to see you go, not even Mr. Yahtzee.

LordTerminal:

Phrozenflame500:

LordTerminal:

Yeah this is the kind of over-analyzing propaganda I hate Sean Malstrom for Yahtzee. I honestly think you're looking too far into it. Especially when the first Mario RPG was made by Square and they aren't known for being that self aware. If anything, this whole thing is coincidence.

Keep in mind that what Nintendo/Square actually wanted to do is not actually relevant. A good part of literary analysis is trying to find meaning in areas where the author may not have intended for us to find meaning. Sure Nintendo may not have written the Bowser/Peach story with Yahtzee's allegory in mind, but it's applicable to compare the two.

But that can often be as much of a bad thing as a good thing though.

It's only bad if you factor in the arrogant fools who don't know that when you interpret things, it's about the authors thoughts, not yours. it's amazing the idiotic things you hear asserted in the name of 'deeper interpretation' but you should really just ignore it, and not bring it up in a conversation that hasn't been touched by it.

I always just figured Bowser and Peach were supposed to be Hades and Persephone, myself. Although I never could (or don't have enough of a grasp on the mythos to) put the Brothers down in there.

Oh I got it. I don't think Bowser is just a representation of Nintendo but Miyamoto himself.

Bowser Jr. is Iwata, which is why he's starting showing up in more games lately where he isn't wanted and doesn't belong.

I blame Miyamoto and Iwata... apparently Miyamoto is the reason why Sticker Star had "No Story" because he told the developers that "It didn't need one!"

Ya know... because Miyamoto is fast becoming an irrelevant relic but for some reason people still listen to him. I assume that, since Dream Team feels so tired, that it is suffering from a similar "assertion" from Nintendo's backward thinking management.

Thanatos2k:
So if Mario is supposed to represent us, the player....what is Luigi??

They both do the same thing and are both us.

Mario is the Ego, Luigi, with his self obsession and instinctual reactions, is the Id.

The Id is the home of base instincts and unmalicious selfishness, much like a babies. You'll notice that when mario is the star of a game, he is a cipher. Since he is the Ego, he is cognisant of the world he is in and therefore the focus is on the world itself.

With Luigi games, the star of the show is Luigi himself. In Luigis mansion games there are no morals. You're an embodiment of base desire in an environment with it's hungry ghosts that is itself also pure Id, so they aren't able to stop cannabalising one another. There are no greater stakes at play and no moral judgments made in Luigi games. There are no heroes, simply survival.

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