Alden Boon

How to Play Super Mario Bros. Literally.


Mario Bros is a classic game. Launched in 1983, the game was a hit and still this day galvanises players who have a hero complex. It is a test of finesse, mental stability and tenacity. Here are some tips that will help you ace the game like a champion.

Earn a MIT degree in physics

How far along do you need to start sprinting so that you can vault to the flagpole’s zenith? If that axe-throwing turtle perched on an elevated row of blocks launches his salvo at an angle of thirty degrees and a horizontal velocity of ten metres per second, how much time do you have to run across and escape his axes unscathed? To complete an underwater world in sixty seconds, how much power should your Mario be producing (that is, how fast should you be tapping your A button) if he swims with an average speed of five metres per second, assuming his drag coefficient is 0.99? Only the brightest minds at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have the answer to these esoteric theories. Spend decades studying the subject, work hard and graduate magna cum laude, just so you can one day embark on a quest to save Princess Peach.

Ditch your feminism beliefs

The Mario Bros milieu is a man’s world. The protagonists and villains are males. The only female character is a damsel in distress, who needs to be rescued by a cherubic man in overalls. To truly enjoy the game, you would have to forget your progressive views.

Get high on mushrooms

They say that art imitates life. The titular character has an unhealthy obsession with mushrooms, the same way Popeye lusts for his spinach. This fungus imbues strength and special abilities. To really feel and channel the moustached Italian, feast on a wide array of mushrooms: Portobello; shiitake; enokitake; Chanterelles; button; and more.  Each time you pop a mushroom, play this sound effect.

Practise the Wilhelm scream
Even the most enlightened Zen master reacts erratically when playing Mario Bros. If you should fail your quest, at least fail with a shred of dignity. Avoid the embarrassment of letting out a high-pitched shriek that would launch your career as a viral “American Funniest Videos” sensation. The Wilhelm scream is featured in over 200 Hollywood productions, cementing its place as the most iconic scream of all time. Scream like Wilhelm each time your Mario character dies.

Monitor your heart rate
We have all read stories of players dying unexpectedly after protracted hours of gaming. Every inevitable plunge to death by lava or slight brush with an evil mushroom will cause heart palpitations, or in extreme cases heart attacks. Hook yourself up to an EKG (electrocardiography) machine and monitor your heart rate. Always have a defibrillator nearby. Needless to say, the best place to play Mario Bros is in the operating room. To play safe, have a cardiothoracic surgeon on standby, because unlike your character the number of lives you have does not correlate with your bank account.

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Alden Boon
Alden Boon is a Quarter-finalist in PAGE International Screenwriting Awards. When he's not busy writing, he pretends he is Gandalf.

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