Section 4: Memorabilia
CONCEPT REPORT (EXT.)
Alright! Let’s talk shop. Mario Shop. What should Nintendo sell at its stores? That is the question – and I have some thoughts. So let’s dig right in.
COLLECTABLE GAME MAPS
When I was a kid, I used to recreate game maps using graphing paper. Back then games used 8-bit graphics. These graphics are presented on the screen in the form of “blocks”. The game itself was essentially laid out on a grid. That meant I could measure the picture on screen pretty easily. I’d like to think that I came up with this idea, but actually it was a suggestion from my brother. He’s more of the artsy type and actually had a small impromptu art studio in his room. But that is all beside the point. What I really want to talk about is how I used the maps.
I used to customize the maps with my own legend and footnotes showing me where and how to get hidden items. I also included anything that might be useful, like healing items, weapons, armor etc. Mostly these maps were used for RPG’s, but they could be used for any game. Even side-scrollers have interesting hidden items and warps and some games (like Super Mario Bros. 3 and up) use a combination of a “world map” and side scrolling levels. The one bad thing about the maps, even the ones included with the games, is that they came folded. The wear and tear had begun, straight out of the box. So I’d like the game maps to be just a little different.
NEW AND IMPROVED
For starters, I would like the game maps to come in a format that is better for storage. One option (given the size of the maps) would be to format the map to a size that fits into an art portfolio for presentation. While there are different sizes of art portfolios, I’d probably go with 18” x 24” as the most reasonable. This particular option also lends itself well to displaying the maps, which is useful while you’re playing the game. The second option would be to have the maps on a standard 8.5” x 11”. While smaller, the maps would be more versatile, fitting in any standard binder (with tabs, of course) and allowing for optimal organization (something I’m big on). The last option is probably the most likely one too – just put it in an app. I actually prefer a paper option, for the aforementioned reason of easily adding notes. However, I could easily turn on my laptop and get tons of information on many different tabs in my browser and games are electronic anyway. I guess the best format probably depends on the collector – it’s “to taste”, so to speak.
Since I’m the kind of guy that likes to find out all the little secrets of a game, I would like a notebook customized for gaming (with tabs, of course). So why would this be helpful?
I remember when I first played Final Fantasy. The original Final Fantasy for Nintendo. There was a character called the Black Belt, that I had no idea how to use effectively. After some trial and error, I discovered that he dealt more damage without a weapon. He also cannot learn magic. He also cannot equip armour (at least not the better armour found later in the game). Apparently, he was meant for hand-to-hand combat. I also discovered, somewhat belatedly (I had already beat the game), that certain items could be used to cast magic spells. Apparently, if you use “Flame Armour” as an item in battle, it casts the AFIR (absorb fire) spell, reducing fire damage to one ally. This is not the only item that is imbued with magic, but I’ll leave it to you to discover the rest.
Eventually, I put two and two together and finally realized that the weapon-less (and armour-less) Black Belt was actually intended to use items imbued with magic. The four inventory spots usually reserved for equipped items, were actually spots for “magic” items. This character could carry up to 4 spell casting items at all times without a penalty to his attack or defense stats (unlike the other characters who are required to equip items to achieve those same stats). Given how much time it took me to figure it out, a notebook to remember this stuff would have helped. Then again, I was like 9 or 10 years old, so maybe I was just dumb.
GAME GENIE TRIBUTE
Not to go off on a tangent, but who doesn’t remember the Game Genie? I remember putting in random codes just to see what would happen. I found one code (in Super Mario Bros. 3) that turned little Mario grey, and he was apparently invincible. He also couldn’t finish the first level. For a long time I wondered what the code was actually used for, and then one day it hit me: Background Mario! Mario was acting like a background image – walking behind all the characters, objects and items that were in the foreground. Unfortunately, the little box that signaled the level was finished, happened to be in the foreground and was therefore unreachable. This left Mario hilariously stranded. Anyhow, the point is, I would like Super Mario Bros. 3 as a standalone game (like the electronic version of “Hearts”, see picture below), complete with a built-in Game Genie.
This is the kind of handheld device I referred to as “Hearts” in the paragraph above. Yellow and Mario please! Just like the box.
- 8.5” x 11” framed photos of your favourite Mario characters.
- Nintendo Power Magazine (I’m old school – I like having a paper copy)
- You get the idea – there are some things that would’ve been cool.
Well, hopefully, Nintendo picks up on some of these ideas and we get to see them in real life. In any case, I enjoy writing about these things and I hope that all of you at least feel inspired to create, invent and reimagine the world! And again, please like, subscribe and share and tweet my links! Thank-you!
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