20: Rocket Plant

Presented by nibbishment

We open our countdown with an unexpected moment.

Throughout Super Mario Brother 2, you’ve digging up turnips, carrots, and parsnips. With the exception of the odd potion bottle, these are things you might expect to be planted within the soil. You fling these tubers at enemies to knock them out. Everything is working as God intended it.

Pictured: Something you might expect to find sprouting from the soil.

The natural order is thrown into chaos without warning in level 4-1 when you come to one of the very rarest phenomena in the Super Mario universe: a screen that cannot be bypassed by travelling to the right*. An enormous wall stands to your right, and a bottomless sea sprawls at your feet. What is the intrepid traveler to do?

* of course, if there was a game to flaunt this disrespect for rightward motion, it would certainly be SMB2

Do a bit of gardening, of course…

Pictured: Something you would not expect to find sprouting from the soil

In retrospect, it makes sense… this is Super Mario Brothers 2, the entire game essentially takes place within a dream. Why would we expect things to make any sense at all? All I know is that as a kid, this blew my mind. It’s worth noting that this does happen a second time, later in the game (the second to last level, actually), but it doesn’t have quite the same sense of “well, huh” as it does that first time.

Top 20 Moments from Super Mario Bros

I’ve decided to team up with Nibbishment to do a series of posts about various video games we’ve both enjoyed way too much. There are so many sites out there that review games as a whole, but we’ll be eschewing that and just picking out our favorite moments. The ones that gives us goosebumps or made us shout “Radical!” because we were hip 80′s kids. We’ll split the workload here, but we’ll be cross-posting.

Our first list will run down the three SMB games released for the NES. Delightfully, we discovered we shared very similar feel-good moments so there was little argument. Hopefully, you’ll feel just a bit of the adrenaline we did while recounting the best moments these games had to offer.

Zork 1: The Great Underground Empire

Zork: The Great Underground Empire DOS Front Cover

Publisher: Infocom
Developer: Infocom
Year: 1980
Platform: Everything

Yes, Zork was the most important computer game of the early 1980′s. Perhaps even more important than King’s QuestYou are standing in an open field, west of a white house, is quite possibly the most well-known line in gaming history. It laid the foundation for many wonderful things to come. And it was an incredibly impressive, engaging adventure when it was released. But other than nostalgia, it has little going for it after all these years.

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Wishbringer Atari ST Front Cover

Publisher: Infocom
Developer: Infocom
Year: 1986
Platform: Everything

Touted as an adventure game for beginners by Infocom, and Wishbringer certainly fits the bill. I played this text adventure when I was fourteen and required no hints for the duration. But this romp is still enjoyable for people of all ages and abilities.

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