June 15, 2004
If The Shoe Fits

I like video games. I've been playing them for about 20 years now, ever since I first started rockin' the Colecovision back in the early 80's. Between then and now there have been some totally awesome games. But even beyond that, there have been some really great moments within these games. Even games that would have otherwise completely sucked have occasionally had their moments. This week I'd like to thoughtlessly force some of my favorite video game moments upon you, the reader.

One of the greatest games that was or ever will be made in the history of mankind is obviously Super Mario Bros. 3. I don't think anyone possessing at least trace amounts of common sense would try to dispute that. It wasn't just good; it set a whole new standard for all future games to live up to. From the first Goomba all the way through Bowser's bastard children and up to Bowser himself, the game is just pure narcotics-grade fun. The tremendous joy that surged through my body on that fateful night, when Bowser finally crashed through the last layer of blocks (accompanied by the coolest sound effect ever) and into the untold horrors of the abyss, remains unrivaled to this day. But today I want to talk specifically about one particular part of the game, which is one of my favorite video game moments ever. And that is World 5. More specifically, World 5, Level 3.

World 5, also known as "Sky World", has always been my favorite part of Mario 3. Not only does it have the coolest power-up, the Tanooki Suit, but the way it connects from the ground level to the sky level is so bad-ass. But far and away the best part of this world is Level 3, which contains one of the most bizarre, random items in the whole game.

When you start this level, everything seems hunky dory, until you suddenly notice that there are Goombas hopping around in what appears to be an oversized green boot with a winder in the back. Other than the fact that they now have the capability to jump, the Goombas are just as dumb and non-threatening as ever before. If you jump on them, they still die. However, if you're thinking more creatively, you'll notice that if you attack the Goomba from below by busting the blocks underneath it, it will not only die but it will also surrender the green boot, which is formally known as Kuribo's Shoe. I'm not entirely sure who Kuribo is, but he's obviously pretty stupid if Goombas keep making off with his shoes.

After the Goomba has been vanquished, you can proceed to hop in and commandeer the abandoned boot (just ignore that sweaty Goomba stench). Once you have done so, you can bounce way up in the air, and destroy almost any enemy in the level just by stepping on it. Take that, fuckers! Goddamn piranha plants! I particularly like the way the Spinys looks like pizza after you kill them (as shown above). The only things you can't kill with your totally badass new footwear are those asshole plant things that look like Pac-Man's evil second cousin twice-removed, but at least you can still demonstrate your superiority over them by defiantly standing on top of them and not dying. Don't get too full of yourself though, because Kuribo's Shoe only makes you invincible from below. If you're not watching your ass, you might end up running into a fireball or another bouncing Goomba, in which case you're fucked. And unfortunately you can't keep the shoe when you exit the level, which sucks all kinds of ass. But I suppose that just adds to the uniqueness of this great level. Hats off to you, World 5-3 of Super Mario Bros. 3!

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