A nostalgic roadtrip with Graev

super mario land gameboy

The other night I was doing my usual binge-watching of Netflix when I suddenly felt like pulling out my 3DS. I opened it up and searched through various virtual console games that I had purchased, and probably never played, until I finally settled on Super Mario Land. Ah, now that game takes me back. So with The Office playing in the background I proceeded through Super Mario Land at a steady pace. For those of you who might not be aware: Super Mario Land is an old GameBoy game. Most of it is exactly what you expect from a Mario game- Well, that’s not really true at all. SML is actually a whole lot different from regular Mario titles. You do run around and jump on stuff and hit blocks like normal but that is pretty much where the similarities end. You are trying to rescue Daisy (who turns into a bug for some reason), Koopa Troopas leave behind exploding bombs when they die, there are weird bug enemies, sphinx guys, creepy kung fu grasshoppers, rock dudes, rock riding, a submarine vehicle level, and an airplane vehicle level. It’s pretty strange but a lot of fun all the same. Also the Star Powerup music is the can-can song and that’s just weird.

I actually made it all the way through the entire game and only died a couple times. I sat there feeling pretty satisfied when it finally hit me: I’ve never beat this game before. I’ll always be reminded (especially by my family) of the time when I lived back east in Massachusetts. My family would take weekend drives to Vermont and other places; point out leaves and various historical sites all around us. The joke is that while we were supposed to be taking in all of the sights I instead had my face glued to my GameBoy. They joke around and say that all I remember of living there was my Gameboy and that’s not entirely untrue. Some of the best games I ever played were on those car rides. Super Mario Land, Wario Land, Donkey Kong 94, Kirby’s Dreamland, TMNT: Radical Rescue, and so on.

So there I sat having just completed one of my favorite childhood games for the first time. It wasn’t even that hard at all, which is a lot different than how I remember things. I had this moment and feeling that things had come full circle and that my childhood was now, somehow, officially over. It was a strange and sobering experience and something that I entirely made up just now. Seriously though, it’s a fun game. You should check it out.

  • We were at Niagara Falls as like 10 and 12 year old kids. It was pretty awesome. Graev had his face staring down at his Gameboy the entire time. We went to New York City. Graev had his face in his Gameboy. We went to Washington DC. Graev had his face in his Gameboy.

    In hindsight… Graev had the right idea.

  • Oh man does this bring back memories. I remember I snuck my Gameboy into a wedding and since our family sat at the back, I played Super Mario Bros 3 through the whole boring ordeal. The ability to play old Nintendo games is actually part of the reason I even bought my 3DS. It’s great nostalgia and adds longevity, especially if I run out of 3DS games to play. The Nintendo 3DS shop (I don’t know the proper name) sort of surprised me with how awesome and useful it is.

  • Great post, made me smile and remember Tetris and Qix in the car w/ the Gameboy. Nostalgic moments ftw.

  • The gameboy had problems keeping up with moderately fast games.
    It behaved fine with slow action games like Tetris.

    I prefered the Sega Gamegear I had. It could coop better with faster games and it was in full color.
    Until one day my brother broke it.. sniff.
    It was far ahead of its time.

  • That was not one of my worries as I always had it on the AC adapter.
    It never was that ahum… mobile.