the artistry and psychology of gaming


World 2 (Excite Mario Bros.)

World 2 (Excite Mario Bros.)

I believe that the number of dreams I’ve had of the Mushroom Kingdom is second only to the number of dreams that I’ve had of the futuristic world of robots. It is hard to say which I like better, but the dreams of the Mushroom Kingdom are usually far more surreal. I suppose that might be because the Mushroom Kingdom is such a bizarre realm, but it is certainly not for me to attempt to understand dreams, especially mine. This particular dream was a bit different from many of the others, however. While most dreams use the source of their inspiration as a mere shell to provide a new experience, this one seemed almost as familiar as the memory itself.

There is a dream that I have had fairly recently that I will account to you in full. Though the dream was rather short, each of its three segments was such a wonderful world of its own. It was a bit of a patchwork of many of my early adventures; even my adversaries were familiar motorcyclists, interstellar bounty hunters, electric mice, and residents of Dream Land. Despite this, the coloration and configuration worked together to create a very unique experience that I hope to be able to experience again some day. Last time, I spoke to you of the first region, a beautiful nightscape of wonder and mystery. Today, I’d like to talk about the second region, aspects of which mirror the second region of the physical Mushroom Kingdom.

By the time that I had exited the first castle, day had broken, and the sun illuminated the sky in a bright blue. In the daylight, the red and orange foliage appeared in the usual varying shades of green, which was made evident both by the grass and the palm trees. The yellow dirt and yellow sprouts along with the red brick outlined in yellow gave this landscape a lovely four-color palette. I did find it strange that the sprouts were yellow, as opposed to green, but we do have plants in our own world that appear in a different color, as well. After basking in the sun for a time, I left the shadow of the large castle and began my journey in earnest.

The first observation that I made here was that the waters were no less wild during the day. The clouds above were the tiny smiling ones that Lakitu was often seen riding, and had a blue outline darker than the color of the sky. I came to some lovely brown blocks, which were likely to have been the same color as those in the physical world, but here, they seemed to take a pleasant glow. The pipes also took an unusual glow: a black one. I’d thought that, perhaps, they’d have a normal sheen in the daylight, but such was not the case. Could it have been a black pipe with a green sheen?

I came to another wild pool, this one with some yellow-trimmed red bricks floating above it. Not far from it, I found a glowing springboard that launched me into the air. Panicking slightly, I grabbed ahold of the only thing within my grasp: a red beanstalk. Taking a moment to process what had just happened, I climbed to the top, leading me into the clouds. Not only were the clouds solid enough to stand upon, but they were also thick enough for trees and sprouts to grow from them. I knew not how the nutrients from the dirt made their way up there, but they clearly had no moisture problem. There were many structures made of blocks up here, which were tricky to navigate, but I managed, soon finding my feet upon the grass once again.

I came to an unusual set of block platforms that acted almost as airborne stairs above a pool. After that was a larger pool with pipes sticking out of it, which I used to cross, until I found one that I could enter. Down there was a bridge over water, blue bricks, and a pipe of varying shades of green, but nothing else of note. Not long after exiting, I encountered this region’s fortress, which I entered, raising another eyeball from its roof. Soon, my journey took an incredible turn.

Predictably, I found myself underwater, but what I could not have predicted is the incredible vision that had unfolded before me. The ground was a very familiar rock texture, but in pale pink; I suppose that it was an attempt to resemble coral, albeit an unsuccessful one. The sky was a darker blue than the water, which complemented it quite well. What struck me the most was the actual coral, which was brown and an electric yellow that pulsated through it, though it did hurt to touch. At the end was a pale pink pipe with an almost maroon sheen to it. I headed through and entered the castle.

The castle was comprised of dangerously narrow tunnels with gaps in the floor leading down to raging lava. To make matters worse, the dark halls were occasionally lit also by spinning chains of fire. At the end of the first blackened hall was a white pipe with a gray sheen, which I entered, taking me to a new section of the castle. This section had windows, and as such, was much more well-lit; the gray quadrilateral patterns on the black walls were clearly visible. Passing by some plain, yet beautiful columns, I entered yet another pipe. This castle ended much like the other had, bringing me to the last part of my dream.

What I saw in the last part of my journey was more incredible than I ever could have imagined, easily surpassing the rest of the dream. I look forward to speaking about it when next we meet…


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