In the mid to late 1990’s, going to the grocery store with your parents wasn’t as big of a drag as it may be today. Back in those days, grocery stores (in my local area Phar-Mor, Giant Eagle, and Shop ‘n Save) had one special thing that made going with your parents worth it. Video game rentals. My parents never belonged to a Blockbuster or other type of video rental store, so the grocery stores with the video rentals were about it. Sound sorta lame? Well, it might be if you were born in the era of always-on entertainment and the possibility to stream almost anything you want at any time. However, back in the day you actually had to venture out and pick up rentals of games and movies that were available. So sets the scene for one of the most incredibly awesome and incredibly sad tales of video gaming you may have ever heard.
So there we were my younger self and brother all giddy with all of the options we had to choose from. Our Super Nintendo just begging for a new game to be slid into its slot. After much deliberation and bickering, we settled on a little game known as Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. What could go wrong? After all, Mario is only the greatest video game character of all time, in my humble opinion. So, back in the car we went ready to have the time of our lives. We had the instruction booklet read cover to cover before we even got to the driveway. Before the car was even in park we were running to the house to embark on the grandest adventure and to save Princess Peach from her impending demise.
Into the Super Nintendo the cartridge went. On flipped the switch. What we witnessed next was truly a live changing event. Similar to seeing your guardian angel or seeing a glimpse of your future. Take a peek at this awesome intro from the game known as Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars.
So much going on. Princess Peach is in trouble…again. Bowser is the agressor…again. Mario and friends must save the day…again. Some big ass sword fell out of the sky, shattered some star pieces all over the place and landed right in the middle of Bowser’s castle. Mario definitely has his work cut out for him. After the intro we made our save file and embarked on our adventure. We noticed right away the game was not like the usual Mario game we had known so well. Thanks to the influences of Square, Mario now had a little RPG in him. With full control of Mario we jumped, kicked, and smacked our way to what is considered the second boss encounter. With a new found friend, named Mallow (who was actually an anthropomorphized cloud) we set out to defeat the bandit Croco. Croco decides it is a good idea to steal Mallow’s Frog Coin that Mallow was to use to purchase a cricket pie for his Grandpa. Ready to beat some crocodile butt my brother and I started the boss fight with high hopes of getting Mallow’s precious frog coin back. However, Croco had other plans.
Croco was cunning. Croco was tough. Croco was smarter than the two brothers controlling his in game adversaries. As hard as we tried, we could not get past Croco. We did the best we could. We tried for hours and hours. The tenacity of that crocodile was insane, to say the least. We played that game for three days (the entire length of our rental to be exact). Croco had beaten us. Bloody and bruised we rode back to the grocery store with our parents and returned the game. To us, the game was over. No possible way to be beaten. Croco was going to keep that coin forever and Mallow was S.O.L. To call us noobs would be an understatement. We could not even get past one of the first bosses in a video game. We left the store with our heads lowered and tails between our legs defeated. Our extreme joys mere days earlier quickly became sadness and despair.
However, if you are reading this and believe all hope is lost for these young video gamers, you are mistaken. Mere months later we were able to purchase Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. We brought the game home but hesitated. We wanted so badly to beat that crocodile, but were still shell shocked from the destruction he had rained upon us earlier. With our courage building and Grandpa getting hungry from that cricket pie he had yet to eat, we flipped that switch again. Determined to save Princess Peach and restore order to the Mushroom Kingdom we jumped our way to Croco. With a bag full of mushrooms and Mario and Mallow at the highest level we had ever been we started the boss fight hoping for a miracle. Fate smiled upon us that day. We fire balled his Croco butt so hard he had no choice but to admit defeat and hand over that Frog coin.
The victory was ours. From that moment on we were kicking Goomba butt all over the Mushroom Kingdom and beyond. Eventually, we beat Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. We restored order to the Mushroom Kingdom and in the end, got the girl.
We didn’t give up. Two brothers had come together to defeat villainy and criminals picking on our poor little cloud friend. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars is, in my opinion, one of the greatest games ever made. Sure people will not agree. Maybe it has something to do with how hard we fought and the time we had put in to conquer the game. Whatever it was, Super Mario RPG has a special place in my heart and I will always hold on to the memories it gave me dearly.
YouTube video credits:
Intro Clip: Sephiroth1204 – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9HBQ1rW-A0l_yEJHnxvtYw
Ending Clip: somerandomguy25 – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoGgkpdyYKzmDSIVTfZy7Rw