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Super Mario Seriality: Nintendo’s Narratives and Audience Targeting within the Video Game Console Industry

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Abstract

At the conclusion of Super Mario Bros. (1986), the archetypal side-scrolling platform game, the player-character Mario confronts his arch-nemesis Bowser for the first time. The demonic monster Bowser — King of the Koopa — awaits Mario upon a drawbridge spanning a lava sea. The player’s game-long narrative goal is Mario’s freeing of Princess Peach by defeating Bowser, her captor;1 the player must guide Mario beneath the Koopa King, who hops up and down hurling axes, having him then leap upon a larger glowing axe hovering at the opposite end of the drawbridge. Successful completion of this task results in the disintegration of the drawbridge and Bowser’s descent into the lava below upon which Mario enters an adjacent room where Peach awaits. Screen text conveys her highness’ gratitude — ‘Thank you Mario!’, confirming that the hero’s ‘quest is over’.

Keywords

  • Video Game
  • Original Game
  • Hardware Manufacturer
  • Player Character
  • Video Game Industry

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Notes

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© 2015 Anthony N. Smith

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Smith, A.N. (2015). Super Mario Seriality: Nintendo’s Narratives and Audience Targeting within the Video Game Console Industry. In: Pearson, R., Smith, A.N. (eds) Storytelling in the Media Convergence Age. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137388155_2

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