Tuesday, March 30, 2010

World 5 – Sky Land

Sky land is famous for its 3rd level where you get to use Kuribo’s shoe. For some reason Miyamoto and crew decided that the supremely fun power up would only be needed once in the whole game. That is the stuff of legend.

Monday, March 29, 2010

World 4 – Giant Land

Oh god, Giant Land. GIANT LAND.

Giant Land is amazing. It may not seem all amazing now since in 3d games, scaling up characters is trivial, but in the old NES days just getting sprites as big as you get here to animate was tough. I don’t know what else to say. Giant Land is straight up some of the most fun you can have in the most fun game ever.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

World 3 – Water Land

Water Land is nominally and oxymoron, it’s also the first world to really keep players from advancing. I’ve discussed my long standing fears caused by level 3-3 before. Swimming is such a different mechanic from jumping that I still struggle to get to the castle.

Most interesting is the nature of the islands on the east side of the map. Those islands represent Japan. No, really. The castle is where Kyoto would be. Kyoto being where Nintendo headquarters is. Naturally then the king looks like Mario. It’s just perfect. Read more here.

Friday, March 26, 2010

World 2 – Desert Land

What I said yesterday about finishing or starting late. Bad math. Seems we started late and we’ll be ending late. Dang.

Most of Grass Land was built on concepts from the original SMB. Desert land where we depart and find brand new ideas. Off the top of my head I can think of eight new enemies that appear first in Desert Land. If you use a hammer on the rocks on the up right you can pick up the third warp whistle after beater the fire bros within. I just recently learned that. That’s why I love this game, always something new.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

World 1 – Grass Land

We’re starting world’s week late but that’s okay because with 8 world we were either going to start late or end late so… whatever.

This is the one world that everyone has played so reviewing it might just be silly. As a first world it’s brilliant, and here’s why. The 3rd and 4th levels are both skippable and that is very important. The 4th is the very first moving level (very challenging) and the third has tons of bonuses (warp whistle). This is important because it gives the player a level of control over their progress that they never have had before.

And unrelated except in title:

NCAA Women’s Basketball

Sorry about my lack of updates this week. I’m wrapping up the Mario 3 coverage soon and took a few days off. In that time I’ve been cutting highlights for the NCAA. That means I watch 4 women’s basketball games at the same time and try and keep track. The first night was abysmal with a total of 15 games in one day, but I’ve gotten a lot faster and can handle that without much pain. You can see my stuff littered around the websites of NCAA, CBS, and their affiliates, which is pretty cool. Here’s one.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Friends – Princess Toadstool

Nowadays we know her almost exclusively as Princess Peach but in SMB3 she signs her letters “Princess Toadstool” and that’s good enough for me. Yes, she’s kidnapped again, despite here playability in the much maligned SMB2. She does help a little as she leaves power-ups behind with letters for you. She gives you your first P-Wing and that is something to be thankful for.

Princess Toadstool is the entire reason you’re on this adventure. You may want to stop Bowser and save the kings but in the end the only motivator is some sweet Toadstool lovin’.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Friends – Toad

I’ve spent a long time talking about your enemies in SMB3 but I’ve barely touched on your friends. The truth is you don’t have a lot of them. Lucky for you that Toad is running his own underground resistance to supply you on your adventure. He’s not just giving you what you need though. He’s usually giving you a one in three shot at getting something useful (refusing to part with his other boxes) or forcing you to play slots for lives. He does seem to really want to get those Kings changed back though. Make you wonder what his real motivations are. Hmm?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

King Koopa – Bowser

To describe Bowser in one post would be impossible so this will be so much less than it could be. The staggering amount of information on Mario’s greatest enemy is… staggering? In SMB3 we’ve seen his kids do all of his dirty work but eventually you’re facing off against King Koopa in his own home on his own terms. You’ve got to avoid all of his fireballs and trick him into smashing the ground beneath you so he falls to his (apparent) doom.

A neat trick to make this easier to to disable his fireballs. That trick isn’t easy but it’s worth it. The other big trick is that Bowser’s feet don’t damage you. If you’re small Mario or do a duck slide you can go right through him without being hit. If you use both of these tricks to your advantage then beating Bowser is a breeze.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

September 9-21,1995


“Yesterday was my brithday.  I got a sea world petshop from my dad.  and 7$ dollers. You are rich!”

First off, let’s note the date.  Clearly a classmate tried to tell me you could write the date in just numbers and dashes.  I probably didn’t believe this, and for the sake of future readers, I wrote down the month too.  You can never be too careful.

Aside from the misspellings of birthday and dollars (both are semi-understandable), we again see the ‘afterthought sentence’.  Train of thought goes like this: “Well, I did get 7 dollars.  Oh well, I will just tack it on.  I can’t erase the period before it.  I’m sure no one will notice.”

The same kid that gave me the info on the date probably tried to tell me that I could use just the dollar sign, instead of writing out the word. Once again,for the sake of absolute clarity, I decided to be painfully clear that I received 7 units of money.

Koopa Kids – Ludwig Von Koopa

Ludwig Von Koopa is the last of the Koopa Kids before you face off against Bowser himself. He’s the toughest of them all with all of the tactics from his siblings used at once. At this point in the game you should be used to those tactics though and should take him down handily.

As if you hadn’t guessed Ludwig is based on Ludwig Von Beethoven. Not only is the hair and furrowed brow carried over we would find out in Super Mario World that Ludwig is a composer as well. Despite their musical backgrounds both Ludwigs seem ready for a fight. Here’s a fantastic performance of Beethoven’s 5th.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Koopa Kids – Lemmy Koopa

Lemmy is the second oldest (don’t ask how I know) of the Koopa Kids but he is by far the most immature. He uses his stolen scepter to create more circus balls. This forces you to try and dispose of him quickly before they can multiply but that same haste is as likely to end your life.

Lemmy is named after one of the greatest rockers of all time: Lemmy Kilmister. Lemmy was born Ian Fraser Kilmister, so that means that Kilmister is the real part of his name. As a member of Motörhead, Lemmy rocked a guitar and gravel voice on some of the best metal music ever recorded and bedded women in the four digit range. So… he’s not much like Lemmy Koopa at all.

Here’s Lemmy Kilmister performing with Motörhead on their hit song Ace of Spades.



Don’t Let’s Start

It’s been a good week. I’ve started doing freelance graphics work for LEGOLAND (their capitalization not mine) and Joanna began showing off her journal of youthful insanity. Alas, not all is good as I have come down with a cold. I started feeling it after spotting this squirrel rummaging through our trash in the rain. Honestly, I blame the rain more than the squirrel. Also: I bought the new Pokemon game with real cash money. It’s helping me get through my cold quite well.

September 20, 1995


“I roasted marshmollows.  last nitht.  with my dad.  I liked it. Me too!”

What concerns me most about this entry is not the ‘phonetic’ spelling of marshmallows, or the butchering of the word ‘night’ (yes ladies and gentlemen, that’s supposed to be night), or even the prolific use of punctuation.  It is the fact that this is my 7th birthday, and you wouldn’t even know!  Ever since I can remember, I would remind people weeks, even months in advance that my birthday was coming.  Not necessarily for a party, or for presents, but just so they would make sure to say ‘happy birthday’ on that special day.

Anyways, can we note here that I spelled roasted completely correct? and ‘marshmollows’ is acceptable enough. But boy did I ever crash and burn with the word ‘night’.

Oh, and P.S. I found it creepy then, and I still do that my teacher wrote “met too!” at the end of this entry.  She did not roast ‘marshmollows’ last ‘nitht’ with my dad, and the fact that she liked it too was a little weird to me.


I hope that with every misspelling, you’re trying to pronounce the butchered word out loud, and you are reading the sentences how they are written. short and halty.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

September 19, 1995


“We went to nana’s house. and saw my cousin Kayla, Sissy  ->Is this grandma?”

The day before my birthday, and this is all I can come up with? Geeze-O-Petes.  I am way more excited about my birthday nowadays than I was as a kid.

So in reality, nana IS my grandma, but I’ve never called her that.  Regardless, 2nd grade me probably read that note as: “What? Is she my grandma? No! She’s my Nana. If she was my grandma I would’ve said it.” 

Also, I like how I saw my ‘cousin Kayla, Sissy’.  Sissy was Kayla’s little sister.  I must have forgotten about her existence, even though I saw her the previous night, and she was about a year and a half old then. I had gotten so far in my sentence, I couldn’t be bothered with restructuring it to include her.  Meh, why bother to tack on an ‘s’? Commas work just as well.  Her name is actually Brenda, and honestly, I had probably forgotten that too, explaining why I put her sister’s nickname for her. Haha, I was a jerk of a cousin.

Friday, March 12, 2010

September 18, 1995


“We had a grillout.  mom got out the frech fries. we aet a lot.”

I loved grillouts when I was a kid, especially ones that involved  ‘frech fries’.  You might call them french fries, but who needs that silly letter ‘n’? I mean really? .  I like how I stopped capitalizing the beginnings of sentences too.  My disdain for capitalization started at an early age :)

Please, make sure you pronounce ‘aet’ like ‘et’. I’m sure I was trying to do that whole Mark-Twain thing where I write how people actually speak.  That, or I had a mild form of dyslexia.  Both are just as likely.   

Koopa Kids – Roy Koopa

Don’t let Roy’s Pink shell confuse you, he’s the toughest of the Koopa Kids, employing ground shaking stomps to freeze Mario in his tracks.

You might be able to recognize from his glasses that Roy is based on singer-songwriter Roy Orbison. Orbison’s voice was powerful and distinctive in way that’s easy to notice but hard to place. Give him a listen:


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Koopa Kids – Iggy Koopa

Iggy Koopa is the geek of the Koopa clan. He’s also crazy and demented. You don’t get to see it in the game, but it’s assumed he’s the one who built all the crazy floating airships that the kids employ. Nowadays he’s depicted as being taller and thinner with all green hair making him look even more gangly and nerdy.

Iggy’s namesake isn’t much like him at all. Iggy Pop alongside his band The Stooges created some of the rawest punk rock that ever was. He was also best friends with David Bowie, something we all wish we were. Iggy is a lot of things, rocker, junky, neighbor on Pete and Pete, but never a nerd.



Wednesday, March 10, 2010

September 15, 95


“I went to Kings Island and got wet.  We rode White Water Canyon.  You are brave!”

So I’m sure you’ve noticed by now that some words are circled.  I have no idea why.  The type of word that is circled changes throughout the journal, too, so I am still baffled by it. 


I’m glad that I also don’t feel the need to write what century we were in, and went with the much cooler, much more hip: ‘95.

At the end, I must have given up hope on spelling the name of my favorite Kings Island ride.  I’m sure my teacher, Mrs. Mayo, just spelled it for me, as she was the one that had to deal with other spelling crisis.  I’m referring to the time I thought ‘of’ was spelled ‘ov’.  I’m sure it was that day that she gave up hope on me.  That is also her comment at the end, the “you are brave”.  Thanks Mrs. Mayo, you were pretty brave yourself, dealing with 2nd grade spellers.

Koopa Kids – Wendy O. Koopa

Wendy O Koopa is the only lady of the Koopa Kids and you can tell she had to grow up tough with the brothers she’s got. She tries to dress like a lady and look *ahem* sexy… but she’s like Lucy in Peanuts, meaner and bossier than anyone else.

Fittingly Wendy has a bad ass lady for a namesake. Wendy O. Williams was the leader of the punk band The Plasmatics. I’m going to quote her wiki on this one, “whose stage theatrics included blowing up equipment, near nudity and chain-sawing guitars.” Every words of that is true. I like tough chicks sometimes but Wendy was too hardcore for anybody.


Jay Oh Anna

As you can see my good friend Joanna is now contributing to the blog. She’s 100 proof grain awesome. You won’t be able to tell from her 2nd grade postings but she’s one of the smartest people I know.

That said, her old Journal is full of the brilliantly weird musings of an increasingly deranged mind. You’re going to love this.

Joanna has influenced this blog several times before. Check it: I’ve been making awesome wallpapers for her LG Dare. She also took almost all the pictures for Without Troy which resultedwith her Arsty Pics. She took the classic logs for Random Action. (you’ll note the similarity between these and the new journals) Finally she showed up in my holga sets.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

September 13, 1995


“I went to a wedding.  It was my Uncls. Tim I bought a gift it was some bowls.”


This was my first entry in my 2nd grade journal, and this was the most important thing happening to me that day.  I put a period after the horrible butchering of the word ‘Uncle’, but then added my uncle’s name, Tim.  Probably because I was afraid I’d forget to put punctuation at the end.  Better to take care of it sooner, rather than not at all.

I really wish I could remember what those bowls looked like.  I hope they looked like this:

ugly bowls

Children of the Stars


Greetings Ladies and Germs! Prepare to read the biggest stack of awesome you’ve ever encountered! You might be wondering who is this girl, why am I reading this, and why are my taxes so high?!

While I cannot answer the third question (though you should talk to your accountant about that) I can totally field the first two.

If you are wondering who I am, Ewzzy will be explaining that.  I discovered this notebook while cleaning out the attic, and felt the world needed to revel in the glory that is: My 2nd Grade Journal.


Coming soon: September 13, 1995. Oh what a day.