Back when I was seven, there were news stories that ranted that “Super Mario Bros.” would rot kids’ brains. Years later, it’s obvious that quite the opposite is true. In fact, I’d venture to say that of all my knowledge sources: elementary school, high school, college, Sesame Street, my parents, all of them combined don’t equal the education I received from playing the greatest Nintendo game ever made.
ALWAYS LOOK FOR THE WARP ZONE
While the suckers will plug through each and every measly level to get through life, the smart ones are always searching for the shortcuts. Jump over the brick wall at the end of world 1-3, and sure enough, there is your warp to worlds 2-1, 3-1 or 4-1. No one has ever warped to 2-1 or 3-1. In fact, I’m not even sure those warp tubes work. They’re just there as decorations, and to make you feel like you’re getting an even better deal. Warping also teaches you that it’s smarter to warp than to go straight through, because only if you warp will there be a invisible one-up mushroom block waiting for you. As it says on the “Alexander” movie poster, fortune favors the bold.
MUSHROOMS MAKE YOU BIGGER
The more food you eat, the bigger you’ll get. While in real life mushrooms don’t quite have the power to immediately triple your size, eat enough mushrooms and you will one day grow to be a bigger person. Once you stop growing up, you can still grow by getting fatter.
TURTLES MUST BE STOMPED ON
Turtles may look all dumb or innocent, but they’re all secret minions of King Koopa. They’re evil and they’ll go on to kill unless you crack their shells. Give ‘em a quick stomp on the back to put them out of commission, and don’t let anyone from PETA see
FIREBALLS DON’T WORK ON BUZZY BEETLES
While the fireball is an amazing and formidable weapon, it doesn’t pack enough juice to destroy or even slightly injure a black-shelled Buzzy Beetle. It’s this type of forethought that gave the founding fathers the idea for the second amendment. We as a society need the right to bear arms because sometimes a “fireball” i.e., rational discussion, is not enough to defeat an enemy. Sometimes you need an AK.
THERE’S NO GETTING OUT OF THE MINUS WORLD
Certain things in life exist only to trap you. Swim around all you like, and there’s no escape at all. You’re just stuck until time runs out and you die of asphyxiation. The programmers put world -1 in there to remind us not to do drugs, because drugs are just a one way ticket into the minus world. Except for mushrooms. Those will make you feel real good.
YOU’VE GOT TO LAND ON THE FLAGPOLE AT THE RIGHT TIME TO GET SIX FIREWORKS
In life, timing is everything. Lean in for a kiss at the wrong time, and you’ll get slapped in the face. Ask the boss for a raise at the wrong time, and you’ll get fired. Run a red light when there’s another car coming, and you’re dead. Only make your move when the last number on the clock is a six, and you’re golden.
MY PRINCESS IS IN ANOTHER CASTLE
You have to go through lots of castles, spend a lot of golden coins and get with lots of girls who only turn out to be dudes dressed in mushroom suits in disguise before you find your one true love. And even she won’t give you sex.