When I was younger, I got a Nintendo 64 for Christmas.
I got the classic games. Diddy Kong Racing, Goldeneye, Zelda: Ocarina of Time…and of course, Super Mario 64.
In Super Mario 64, you had to collect Power Stars in order to proceed through the castle in order to defeat Bowser and rescue Princess Peach. Pretty standard Mario stuff. If you went through the game and only collected the bare minimum of Stars to get to the end, it was pretty short and easy.
But the real victory came not from slinging Bowser into a bomb, but from collecting all 120 Power Stars. This took patience, finesse, and determination.
With enough time, I collected 119 Stars, only to be completely perplexed as to how to get the very last one. I knew it was somewhere in an early level called Cool Cool Mountain. The particular Star was named ‘Wall Kicks Will Work’ which was a pretty crappy hint, if you ask me. The level was just a gigantic snowy mountain inhabited by adorable penguins and their adorable penguin babies who you just sort of…
I searched high and low for WEEKS, trying to find this stupid last Star and finally be done with this video game. You didn’t win it from a penguin. It wasn’t at the top of the mountain. Or in a tree. Or anything. I grew more and more frustrated.
I was in Wal-Mart one day with my mom. She was busy shopping around, buying whatever she was there for. Like many children, I was allowed into the game section on the very serious and non-debatable condition that I could look but not expect to receive a GOD DAMN THING, RACHAEL, YOU HAVEN’T EVEN BEATEN THAT CASTLEVANIA GAME I GOT YOU FOR YOUR BIRTHDAY
So I wandered the shelves of games I wanted but could not buy. And then I spotted a Super Mario 64 STRATEGY GUIDE. All the bosses, all the Stars…all laid out.
I flipped to the section about Cool Cool Mountain and there it was. The location of the last ever Power Star. All I had to do was blast myself out of a cannon, as you do, and onto an obscure portion of the level and…
I could not get home fast enough. And when I did, I got that Star.
I gained access to the castle rooftop where I found my spirit animal Yoshi. You could not ride him, which was a bummer, but he gave you a hundred extra lives.
Which I didn’t need.
Because I was a master.
Look, I don’t know the point of this post. It’s uh…to look outside the box for a solution to your problems? To never give up? I think I just wanted to talk about old games. But I have a feeling that everyone of a certain age or inclination remembers exactly what their last Power Star was. Let’s compare stories. And show off battle scars.
YouTube: ‘Mario is a Jerk’ uploaded by Games5522 July 29, 2011