Among other things, we’re spending some holiday family time playing the Super Nintendo. With my sister in town, old family dynamics instantly arise in the presence of the 16 bit wonder. Cartridges need the dust blown off of the contacts and the console needs to be switched on and off repeatedly for the game to properly load. Kids, this is what we had to do for early video games — called “tapes” by some neighborhood parents — to work.
We’re playing the old favorites, including Super Mario World, Super Mario All Stars (which includes 1, 2, 3 and lost levels) and even some Kirby’s Avalanche. If you don’t know, Kirby is a genderless blob that will brighten your day and teach you how to explode his colorful friends.* But best of all is Donkey Kong Country. This is where my sister and I are transported back to 1994. Have you played Donkey Kong Country? Donkey and his little brother (I think) wander around a mountainous region searching for bananas. Their quest is ambiguous at best. However, there’s no doubt that a good time is had by all.
All this game play has given me opportunity to think about the similarities and differences between Donkey Kong and Mario.
I have grown bored by my own analysis. Draw your own conclusions, I guess.
* this is why I don’t write video game prose.