Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Mario RPG and the Legacy of the Seven Stars

It's been twenty three years since this game came to the market, it has been one of the most influential games even if it only had one installment and fans two decades later still want to see a continuation (including myself) of the game, because after the break of Square and Nintendo I honestly feel there was no proper conclusion to the saga.

It was 1996, I remember I got this game along with Donkey Kong Country 3; the gamed itself came late on the Super Nintendo Life as the N64 was already on the market and creating a buzz with his debut title Mario 64 and subsequently Ocarina of Time which became staples on the brand but also influenced story telling on other games as well on how the gaming can be art but also to reach an audience.

My first impression of the game hasn't change since 1996, I was surprised by the intro music and the sequence, there wasn't anything else as that with the exception of Star Fox but finally the fans we had something more relatable as many of us from that generation we grew up with Mario since day one on the NES and that first jingle that I don't need to describe is in our heads 30 something years later.

At that moment I wasn't a huge fan of turn base RPG's but I was feeling interested as I wanted to see Mario and see what he would do on a more complex enviroment than the platformers. The intro of going inside Bowser's Keep and reaching Peach and learning how the game works it made me feel happy, there was finally this complex story of Mario that still kept the essence of saving the princess but also that you could interact with other character's, it was the first time I learned about what an NPC was as I had no previous interest in genres that contained them and obtaining the Legend of Zelda "Link's Adventure and Link to the Past" were difficult.

It was the first time I feel a connection with video games and I was only 12 years old, it was the moment in my life where I saw them as an item similar to books or puzzles but more entertaining and I was playing the games my father had on the Atari but it was the first time I feel identified with a hobby or an activity and with the merchandise.

The narrative of the game influenced the spin-off such as Paper Mario and the franchise of Mario & Luigi, they contained the elements but not the essence of what was Mario RPG, which let fans for years asking for a sequel a true sequel, a product that maybe will impact the Mario universe or tell a new story of the plumber of the Mushroom Kingdom?.

Surely Mario Galaxy is the epitome of the story telling, it just unifies all the games, it can even be given the possibility on the new universe to set a new RPG game, it can be 3D and bring old characters back such as Bellome or Mallow, it can really happen if Nintendo and Square reach on an agreement, it would be amazing to explore the Mushroom Kingdom far away from the concept of Mario Odyssey, and to see it on a more classical way.

At the end the question is would a sequel would generate the impact the original game had? Probably no, Mario RPG was one of is kind, a game that was meant to be a standalone concept, but a sequel wouldn't be bad, it could be a nice piece of nostalgia that could find is position with the demographics who grew up with Mario and contribute new elements on the Mario Lore.