Revenge of an old-school gamer on Super Mario Bros. 3 – part II

What’s up fellow gamers? I finally did it! I defeated Bowser in Super Mario Bros. 3 from the old-school Nintendo Entertainment System or the Famicom if you had the Japanese version. It just took me 34 years to do it. This is part two of my journey to defeat the evil princess kidnapping dinosaur. You can read the first part here.

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I quit after making it to world 4 for part one which I figured was halfway, but things go so hard after that point that it was more like a quarter of the way through even though I was cheating using save states and the rewind time cheat.

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I never used the frog suit or the hammer brothers’ power-ups. I think I’ll play this game again just to have the experience of using those powers. This damn fish ate me at least a hundred times. I would rewind time, try again, and again, and again. Sometimes I got so frustrated that I wouldn’t play the game for days.

What a great super-power rewinding time would be. Even if it was just for a 24-hour period. We could check CoinMarketCap, see which shit-coins made the biggest gains, then do the same thing again the next day like we were Biff from Back to the Future. If you could rewind time and change just one event from your past what would it be? For me, it would be not selling all of my cards. I got greedy and thought selling all of my Splinterlands maxed-out Beta cards would be a good idea because DeFi was all the rage last year. If I had just held on to those cards, I wouldn’t have to worry about money today. Everything happens for a reason. I just hope I get another chance to grow my crypto wallet.

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Super Mario Bros. 3 has to be the best 8-bit game ever made. I wonder if this had been the first game to come out what kind of games would’ve come after it. If I were the CEO of Nintendo I would’ve never stopped making games for the NES. Of course, it wouldn’t make sense to continue making games when you’re trying to sell Super Nintendos, but making just one game a year would be a great way to say thank you to customers and it would also guarantee that your system never becomes obsolete. It would also be interesting seeing how they could innovate and be creative given the technological limits.

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This game was just way too hard. There is no way I would’ve made it to giant world without an endless supply of quarters or a Game Genie when I was a kid, but I sure would’ve enjoyed seeing this back then. Speaking of endless quarters, I remember when I was a kid in a casino in Deadwood, South Dakota back in the 80s, we noticed that they didn’t lock the quarter collection box for the video games. Back then I thought it was just because grown-ups were stupid and didn’t think that we kids would steal quarters, but looking back it makes sense now. They were using the video game machines as virtual babysitters while our parents were losing serious cash on the slot machines and blackjack tables. Even if they did empty out the quarters, we just needed one. We would drop it down, catch it so it didn’t make a sound, then re-drop it so we’d have as many lives as we wanted.

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These hammer brothers used to give me grief, but playing through the game this time, I learned that the best thing to do is to approach them right away before they start raining down hammers. It’s like if someone intends to hurt you with a sword or a bat, the best thing to do is to get up close to them. It doesn’t seem like the right thing to do, but they can do less damage if you’re closer.

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Another thing I didn’t realize until this run-through is how easy it is to get the star at the end of the level. You don’t have to think about it, run, or time it. Just walk over without stopping and jump up to the box and you will get the star every time. By the time I made it to Bowser, I think I had about 70 lives. This really was a genius way of ending a level. It looks and feels like you broke the game. It’s like an early version of The Matrix as you pass from the colorful world to the inverse digital one.

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How many times did this stupid king get changed into some animal? They all still knew and respected him as king so he should have stayed in bird form. If he really cared about his kingdom this would’ve been best. He could’ve served as an eye in the sky warning his people whenever Bowser and his gumbas were approaching.

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There were a couple of spots where I felt it was just impossible to continue and I wish I hadn’t wasted my infinite flying ability power. Did any of these spots ever trip you up too?

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This evil angry sun even comes after you in the dark? Come on man!

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I’m no fan of mazes. They are truly cruel. I quit playing Zelda: Breath of the Wild because I got stuck in the stupid haunted forest maze and couldn’t get out even with YouTube’s help.

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I had so much fun playing the third Mario game that I went back to play the original, but it was too easy and there is a maze at the end. I didn’t even bother looking up how to beat it on YouTube or care to beat it because I’ve done it many times before and it’s a lame ending. I never liked the second Mario so I didn’t play that at all. Besides, it’s not even a real Mario game. It’s a completely different game that Nintendo converted into a Mario game at the last minute because they knew that the American audience wasn’t going to like the Japanese version of Mario 2. It was exactly like the first one, just super difficult.

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This is it! The final level, Bowser’s castle. Are they just going to let me walk up to it without some hand pulling me away? OK, let’s do this!

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Just wonderful! There are Bowser laser-shooting gargoyles!

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You can’t just jump on Bowser’s head like one of his kids.

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This is the moment I’ve been waiting for…

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If your enemy is stupid enough to destroy or kill themself, then don’t get in their way.

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Later alligator, I mean, Bowser.

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Are you kidding me? This is the ending? A lame joke? Not cool Nintendo. Oh wait, you’re going to play some cool music and flashback to all the worlds I defeated along the way?

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Thanks for reading about my old-school gaming adventure today. Have any of you beat this game without cheating?

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MORTAL KOMBAT TRILOGY: Emulating a 24 year old N64 gem with an Android phone + touch controls

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After clearing Super Mario 64 on my phone using only touchscreen controls I’m really getting used to it and am feeling more confident so I decided to take on Shao Kahn, release some fellow Kombater’s souls, and show everyone Scorpion is still boss today. Join us in mortal combat to save some poor sprites!

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Here are the best N64 ROMs to emulate and play with a bluetooth control on a phone in my opinion. What do you think?

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I can’t find a bluetooth controller in Luang Prabang, so I’m limited to using touchscreen controls only. Here is my list of games that work best. Did I forget any great games that can be controlled using touchscreen? I looked for some Super Mario 64 mods, but couldn’t get them to boot on the phone. We’d really appreciate any suggestions you may have!

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I found the AI was still very difficult to trick into a counter-attack trap after all these years even though I cheated like crazy using Mupen64Plus to save state, try again and again, and even slowed down time to 10%. I think Mupen64Plus does a good job of emulating most games, but it fails to fully take screenshots half the time. If you use your phone’s built in screenshot, the image will come out too small and you may see the onscreen N64controller. Do you know of a better emulator than Mupen64Plus?

You can download Mupen64Plus here:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.mupen64plusae.v3.fzurita&hl=en&gl=US

All of the images were saved during gameplay using Mupen64Plus. I used Procreate to stack all the pictures then exported them as animated GIFs. Thank you for looking back on this classic gem from gaming history with us today. No sprites wear harmed during the creation of this post

CLASSIC REVIEW: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

Bueller?…Bueller?…Bueller?

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Have you seen Ferris Bueller? He’s the king of slackers and is considered culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant by the Library of Congress. If you’ve not yet seen it, then I can tell you that it truly captures my nostalgia for the 1980s and is a must watch film from any era. It’s a teen comedy that teaches us not to take life too seriously. I may have taken the movie to heart a bit too much since a few of my good friends have accused me of living my life like this film. When my best buddy who I hadn’t seen in fifteen years visited me and saw my good but lazy life in Bangkok he said, “Damn bro! You just went and took Ferris Bueller’s LIFE off.”

Fourth Wall

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Characters which break through the invisible wall between us and them goes back hundreds of years, but Ferris really made us feel like he was looking and talking directly to us. It was as if he shared a bit of TOP SECRET life information to us back in the day.

Soundtrack Theft

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OK, soundtrack theft isn’t a word. I made it up, but this film is guilty of jacking popular songs from other movies to add emotion at key times.There are many examples, but using the Star Wars theme music for the joyride is my favorite.

Patricidal Grand Theft Auto

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Speaking of that beautiful red car, I wonder how many kids were inspired by Ferris Bueller’s Day Off to jack their parents’ ride.

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You can count me as one. My grandma had this beautiful 1968 Triumph that was her favorite car of all time that I thought I could take for a spin without her knowing, but she caught me red handed at Wal-Mart. She was really mad, but it truly was a joy to ride. It felt like driving a rocket compared to my pickup.

Art

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The director admitted that he made the film as a love letter to Chicago getting as much of the architecture and sites of the city as he could.

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The scene where they visit the art museum always stuck out to me.

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My Favorite Scenes

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Only rich kids had phones like this next to their bed back then. This phone still looks nice to me today.

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How many kids hacked their grades or attendence back then simply because the adults were mostly technologically incompetent? This is something that has really changed today. Now it’s the older generation which grew up with the original computers which are really good and the younger generation is usually lacking the key understanding of how they work.

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Have you ever sniffed White Out? I’m glad this scene went over my head when I was a kid because I would have definitely tried it.

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My mom had the car on the left when we were kids, but I always wanted the one to the right.

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Porn has really come a long way.

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Ferris asking his girlfriend if she’d marry him.

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Getting the best of his enemy.

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And his Dirty Dancing sister.

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Who’s this handsome young juvenile delinquent?

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Thanks for reminiscing with me about this classic from the 1980s today. If you’ve never seen Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, are you interested to watch it now? What is your favorite scene from the movie?

CLASSIC REVIEW: The Bridge on the River Kwai

If you’ve never seen or heard of this film it maybe because it was released in 1957. The only person you are likely to recognize is Obi-Wan Kenobi himself or a 42-year-old Alec Guinness.

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How good are your Roman numerals reading skills? I remember being bored to death as a kid during Catholic Mass looking at these strange ancient numbers and self-taught myself how to read them. MCMLVII is 1957.

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This is a fictional story based on true events. The Japanese had allied prisoners they put to work connecting Thailand to Burma. Alec Guinness as Colonel Nicholson refuses to put his officers to work based on the international laws of the Geneva Convention while Colonel Saito has his Japanese honor at stake and a deadline to finish the bridge.

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Colonel Nicholson is a true British soldier through and through. He stands tall in defiance of his Japanese captors even when about to be shot down with a machine gun.

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Lieutenant Commander Shears is the only American in the film. I love what Colonel Nicholson says about him, “Queer bird… even for an American.”

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They called it the Death Railway because so many POWs died working on it. You can visit the bridge today in Kanchanaburi, Thailand. The graves are still there and they have a museum to commemorate the poor soldiers who died there.

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The British send a special team of soldiers to find and blow up the bridge. The Japanese took all of the Siamese men from the village so they use local women to carry the gear.

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I know they are going on a secret mission and need to camouflage themselves, but did they need to use blackface?

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This is still a great film six decades later. I saw it the first time in 1999 on VHS and never forgot about it. It won 8 Academy Awards including best picture. I embedded the Amazon link below, but you can easily find it on torrent sites too. Amazon will sell anything to make a buck, but if people feel that this needs to be shared on torrents even today, it’s a sign that it’s a quality film.

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I can still do the whistling of the British soldiers as they marched. It’s a catchy tune. Thanks for looking back at this classic film with me today. Remember that all work and no play make Jack a dull boy.

CULT CLASSIC REVIEW: Army of Darkness

It’s surprising how many people have never seen this gem. It was made on a shoestring budget of 11 million dollars in 1991 and was released in theaters in 1992. It doubled its money in the theaters, but it really did well on VHS and then on DVD.

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I captured all the shots from the film by pressing the PRT SC (Print Screen) key on the keyboard. I put in the Amazon link to every picture if you want it. This was the first DVD I ever purchased so I feel it was OK for me to download this on The Pirate Bay for free since I had purchased it back in 1999. If movie ownership was stored on a blockchain then this type of thing would be normal. I know that this is off subject a bit, but why the hell should I have paid for GTA V three times? First on the PS3, the PS4, and on PC. Now I’ll have to buy it again when it’s released on PS5. This is bullshit and why people pirate stuff. We should have to purchase software, movies, and music only once then always have access to it even if it changes mediums. If the ownership of such digital rights was implemented via blockchain since the beginning, we consumers would be more likely to purchase it for life rather than use the Pirate Bay. Imagine if when you went to watch a movie in the theater then you had digital rights to that film for life. You could pay the one dollar it takes to print a DVD or you could watch it on all of your devices. This would make moviegoers feel more respected and would boost movie ticket sales.

The Necronomicon

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The Book of the Dead is bound in human flesh and inked in blood. It is the evil book that gives the Army of Darkness its power to rise from the dead. I’ve searched for a copy of this on the internet but never found one. Of course, it wouldn’t be made of dead people or printed in blood, but it would be really cool to have this on your bookshelf.

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It would be possible to make one in a DIY project. You could copy the cover using pig or cow skin and would have to hand draw all the images and write the ancient Sumerian in red ink.

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Ash isn’t perfect, but how many heroes have the intestinal fortitude to cut their own evil possessed hand off?

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If you don’t like this movie by the opening scene, then you’re never going to get it, but most people I’ve introduced this movie to get hooked by the time Ash shows everyone his BOOM Stick!

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I felt it refreshing watching a film that was done by hand and not another CGI porn all in your face.

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Ash is back in a TV show spinoff. You can watch it by clicking on this picture or you can be an evil pirate and watch it for free by searching for Ash vs Evil Dead.