Now imagine that after you’ve finished smoking that blunt and you’re about to roll another, he takes out another ounce and throws it on your lap -- you wind up cancelling all your plans for the weekend. Getting caught up on all the strains available could make you unappreciative of the potency of reggie. Reggie forces you in a conversation regarding the legitimacy of both Mario and Sonic. You wax poetically about how Sonic did everything to make the world a better place. Sonic was sort of like Green Peace, but sane, and Dr. Eggman was Monsanto -- just not as evil.
This is what happened to me over the Labor Day weekend. While people were getting mad at professional athletes, I was confined to my apartment full of smoke while I played through the Super Mario Brothers trilogy. I had somewhat played these titles as a kid but I was prone to retreating to my SEGA Genesis because that was home. I could see why Super Mario Bros. 1 and 3 were so popular as my stoned colleague and I passed them with ease. We were ecstatic. We had passed every world and saved the ungrateful princess and I found out that in fact, no, she did not expose her breasts upon rescue. That Princess Peach is a classy lady.
What about Super Mario Bros. 2? We couldn’t brag about only passing two of the original Mario games, so went and ‘got’ the mysterious second game (all praise the hacked Wii). I was quickly confused as to why everything seemed different. I did not like that Mario was now throwing things at his enemies instead of jumping on top of them. It felt like the Italian plumber was practicing for domestic abuse. While the both of us didn’t like it, we carried on throwing things at the shy guys and their friends. Something was off--where was Bowser? We made it to the last level and found ourselves fighting a giant toad dressed as a king. Mario doesn’t have any love for reptiles aside from Yoshi, but has he ever fought an oversized amphibian? This caused me to investigate.
Imagine how dejected we felt when we came to realize that we weren’t playing the real Super Mario Bros. 2. We had spent the entire day playing the USA version of Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic.
I didn’t know that Nintendo of America thought that the real Super Mario Bros. 2 was too hard for American gamers. With our hearts broken, we agreed that we’d turn our backs on Mario forever. That is until we lit up the reggie again. The THC spoke to us and gave our small team the encouragement we couldn’t find in ourselves. Reggie told us that we had to beat the real Super Mario Bros. 2, which was released as Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels in the USA.
Reggie guided us through the torment of the Japanese version. This game was set up to make us fail. It was designed to anger and annoy the player with the spoils going to only those truly worthy of playing through the headaches and tears. Too bad for Nintendo, they didn’t know that we had Reggie on our side or that we’d be playing their game on the Wii. I doubt I could’ve passed this sadistic game without Reggie, but in the end we did. I mean there were winds that forced us to advance and killer mushroom power-ups; this game was truly a test of grit. With aching joints and sore asses, we passed the difficult adventure of the real Super Mario Brothers 2. For just a moment, we were hardcore Japanese gamers. Thankfully, we didn’t order any sex robots after our victory.
For those in the know, my version didn’t take me to World 9.
As a former Sonic kid, I didn’t know about this Mario folklore that consisted of hiding games from entire countries because they were deemed it too hard for those gamers. I admit that some of my motivation came from saying to myself that ‘nerdy Japanese kids passed this game and I can't?!’ The real MVP over the Labor Day weekend was Reggie -- it helped us ignore our world of responsibilities for four days. Seriously, it was so potent that I kept asking my friend if he was sure that it was Reggie we were smoking. I was functioning at a higher level than usual.
I have come out of the Labor Weekend as a more resilient person and as a Super Mario Brothers conqueror.
Sometimes you have step back and keep it OG.