After all the times they’ve died and come back to life, is anybody really surprised?
As Aaron started a new game, something seemed… different. On the one hand, Mario seemed slower, his reactions duller, his stride harder to control. Where once he ran, now he lurched. Aaron tried another controller. The problem wasn’t the controller.
On the other hand, Mario lurched right through those turtle shells and Goombas with hardly a stumble. Once, a Koopa Troopa bit his arm off, but he just kept going. To his secret shame, Aaron had never beaten the game – but now his Mario was invincible! This was his chance!
Every stage was a race against the clock with this new, slower Mario, but one by one Aaron and Mario left them behind… finally, there they were, at level 8-3, just one level away from the ending. Mario shrugged off the hammers, stomped on the carnivorous flowers, barely lost a step to those cannon-missile things. Aaron could scarcely breathe, the grey controller dancing in his trembling hands.
At last, Mario bounded up the stairs at the end of the level, the ones suspended in the air over an abyss, one little leap from the top. And Mario lurched. Before Aaron could process it, Mario had tumbled between the stairs, off the screen, and into the void.
Oh well, Aaron thought. I’ve still got plenty of lives. I’ll just start the level over. That weird lurch can’t happen twice, right?
But the screen stayed fixed on the stairs. A minute went by without that familiar musical frisson of death. Then another. The truth struck Aaron like a winged Koopa: Mario may have fallen. But wherever he was, way down at the bottom of the void, he hadn’t died.
Wear this shirt: if your boss is a zombie Italian plumber.
Don’t wear this shirt: when you’re doing actual plumbing, or actual zombieing. They both leave nasty stains.
This shirt tells the world: “You’re about to get a bad case of drain bamage.”
We call this color: As Long As It Destroys Their Brains, It Doesn’t Matter If The Bullet Is Silver. You’re Thinking Of Werewolves.
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