I don’t remember how or when I got the NES, but when I did, everything changed. All of a sudden there were newfound worlds that existed inside plastic cartridges, and, to my young eyes, even the 8-bit graphics were incredible.
Back then, venturing into the Mushroom Kingdom to save Princess Toadstool in Super Mario Bros. was an astounding experience. Stomping on Goombas and sending Koopaa Troopas to their doom was the stuff childhood memories are made of, and defeating Bowser at the end of each world truly felt like an accomplishment.
Of course, it was always a little bit disappointing to find out the princess was in another castle, but I was relieved as well for it meant there was more to play and discover.
In many ways, Super Mario Bros. taught me life lessons. For example, never give up; if you try and fail, get up, dust yourself off, and try again. I died a lot in the game and I didn’t always defeat Bowser on the first try, but that didn’t stop me from trying again.
It also taught me how to play well with friends. I learned that, when playing the two-player mode, one shouldn’t yell at the second player for losing or causing each other to die in the game.
Sure, there were the common arguments to be had while playing, but mostly there was a lot of laughter and tons of fun.
After all, we had a common goal; to save the princess and defeat Bowser once and for all.