Are you a nerd? Do You Like Nintendo? Chess? Me Too!

Okay, so I may not be the best person to talk about chess to my readers. This is because I’m often times defeated by my opponent with relative ease. My knowledge of the game is sufficient enough to explain the basic moves, and my skill level is proficient enough to consistently beat a toddler (yay me, right?). I know there are sixty-four squares on the board, eight pawns, two each of rooks, knights and bishops, a king and a queen. The knight only moves in L-shaped paths, bishops in diagonal, pawns straight forward unless attacking an enemy, rooks straight, queen all around as far as desired, and the king can move in any direction one space.

However, although I’m not too skilled in chess, I can say that my gaming experience from my youth years makes me a relatively decent gamer, but I’m not playing hardcore on Call of Duty (Okay, so hardcore is the only way to play. Big deal!). I’m a Nintendo fan through and through, but I’m perhaps in possession of a minimal collection of systems and games when compared to a diehard fan who collects everything memorabilia everything. 0ne thing one must remember about me, based on my past posts, is that my biggest nerd comes out with Zelda. Don’t get me wrong! Mario, Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong Racing and many other nostalgic games have been played by me, but the gusto I have experienced playing the other games has not matched that which I experience when playing Zelda (Particularly, Ocarina of Time). So, based on this, what can one do to combine all the elements of gaming and gaming? (Oh, that was a bad one. I’m sorry.)

If you didn’t know before this post, you’ll know now. There is a Super Mario chess set being sold at Walmart for a price tag hovering the low forty-dollar range here in California (I got my current copy for about $36 after tax, on sale). I am of the utmost confidence that if you can manage to find it, you really ought to pick up your own and set it up for a good head-to-toe challenge against other gaming nerds in your area. I love my chess set, and I’ll give you a run-down of the pieces and teams.

On the good side, you have Mario and Luigi, respectively king and queen. The good guys also have red bases, while the bad guys have green bases. They’re relatively small, but my whimsical side says, “That’s perfect.” Mario has a fist being pumped while the other lays dormant. Luigi is in more of a “come at me, bro” stance, looking off to the left at whatever is on your desk.

Yoshi, fittingly, happens to act as the knights. Due to his already equine stature, I find it extremely suitable to make Yoshi the knight. He’s looking off to his (her?) right into space, no tongue hanging out, wearing his / her traditional red boots and tiny red Koopa shell (we all know we thought it was a seat growing up).

Next up in line, the bishops. Princess Toadstool and Princess Daisy stand tall and proud in their dresses and little golden crowns. Daisy has her hands on her hips, and Toadstool has her hands clasped in front of her, and they’re both donning earrings. Daisy is in an orange getup and Toadstool in pink.

Finally, we come to the pawns. These are perhaps the most numerous collectible items in the entire Mushroom Kingdom, and Mario has collected these with endless gusto since the dawn of Super Mario Bros. Earning 100 of these grants you another life– that’s right! Coin! Bright yellow and perfectly round, they feature the trademark slot straight down the middle.

Now we move on to the bad guys. Just as highly detailed, I really appreciate the amount of work that was done in designing these individual pieces from both sides. They stuck to it! Quite obviously, Bowser is the king piece. Now, he’s a huge fella. His is the largest piece out of all the characters here. The queen for the bad guy side is Bowser Jr. He’s a tiny little piece, but since he’s a queen, his purpose is much greater than his size accounts for.

The knights are represented by Birdo. Birdo is around the same size as Yoshi, perhaps just a little bit larger when they’re sitting side by side. She’s all pink, sporting a big red ribbon and spiky scales on her tail, and standing in a similar position to Yoshi’s.

The bishops here are Magikoopa. He’s lurching forward with his little red shoe, wearing an all-blue robe with white trim (and a matching hat) and displaying a large yellow wand with a red jewel embedded at the top. His foggy black-framed spectacles finish the look.

Just as interestingly suitable, because of their short stature, are the rooks, represented here as Goombas. Small and brown, with two upward-facing fangs, these are a great touch to the bad guy side. Their simple design is quite easily recognizable.

And finally, we have the pawns. They are the green Koopa Troopa shells. They aren’t too much smaller than the Goombas, but they’re close.

This is my favorite chess set in my entire collection of two chess sets. I’ll try to include some photographs showing the individual pieces. As I do not own the Legend of Zelda chess set yet, I’ll have to save that for another day.

Now, let’ see if I can get this photo thingy to work.
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Awesome!

Right! Well, if you want your own version of the chess set that I described in this article, please see the link to the purchase page. This is absolutely one of the greatest piece of Nintendo memorabilia that I own.

Let’s Talk About Nintendo and the Super Mario Bros

Look here. This guy is a plumber. Red overalls, brown shirt and boots, red hat, fat mustache. Chubby for someone who can more than double his own height at a pounce (I dunno, maybe he’s solid muscle).

I’ve been able to give Super Mario Bros a lot of discernment because I’ve been playing for years and years. Maybe even longer than some of you have been alive. Now, that’s not to say that I have played with obsessive demeanor literally the entire time. I can name a whole host of characters. I know a good number of games under the Nintendo brand. Let’s face it, when you have a guy who can have enough inertia left over to break bricks with his fist by jumping nearly 8 feet in the air, there is much to be said about the entire thing from a third-person view.

He does have a brother named Luigi. He resembles Mario, and wears mostly the same things except for the color of his outfit being nestled somewhere in the color spectrum which occupies the green sector. Somehow, he, like Mario, was granted an innate capacity to shoot fireballs from his fist (maybe that’s the secret that allows them to break bricks and not shoot a fireball if he just jumps beneath an open sky or beneath bricks that are otherwise out of reach of his jump). In the second Super Mario Bros, however, he is a pogo stick who can manipulate air beneath his feet to give him the most bang for his jump, every time. Crazy.

So, let’s talk about the general story line. Mario and his brother Luigi are, quite possibly from an exorbitant pasta-eating competition from the night before, awoken by the screams of some girl who happens to be a princess. In this case, a giant turtle has taken hold of her and is now at large for kidnapping (grand theft royalty?). I guess the Mushroom Kingdom doesn’t exactly have a care in the world for the non-Goomba, non-Koopa Troopa, non-Bullet Bill type. So you start out at the beginning of the level as a small entity. You’re walking on a bricked pathway, with cucumber-esque mountains in the background and apparently very dense clouds floating around. You have a very seemingly low tolerance for this type of atmosphere (which makes you an alien) because you can only breathe it for 400 seconds (which is an insanely long time to hold your breath underwater during very aggressive swimming activity) before you lose a life (you are also a cat).

It sort of makes you wonder how you got the news in the first place. None of the provided enemies seem to have an interest in you except for:

Lakitu– throws two-second-gesatational-period spiny eggs at you, from which hatch equally uninterested Spiny enemies. They simply pretend to wish to attack you by virtue of the fact that they face in your direction upon landing, but they won’t intentionally do anything.

Hammer Brothers– Obviously jealous that they have to share the name “brothers” in the description which composes their name (One of them must have their first initials as “M. C.” It only makes sense. The only remedy for this troublesome truth is to chuck hammers at our protagonist.

Bowser– This guy right here also throws hammers, but in much greater quantity than that seen by the Hammer Bros. Disturbingly enough, the very axe or switch is located RIGHT NEXT TO THE BRIDGE WHICH IT IS INTENDED TO DESTROY. This makes Bowser quite dumb. I would have hidden it in some highly inaccessible vault, or just not had a lava-spanning bridge to begin with.

Bloobers– They chase you very, very slowly. Yawn.

Otherwise, everyone just minds their own business while this guy just slaughters all their buddies. They all seem so two-dimensional. Because of the fact that it was the earliest type of video gaming for myself (since I never thought much of arcades as a kid), I still think this is a great, solid classic. Nostalgia reigns supreme here, folks.