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It has been one year since I purchased Wario’s Pancake Adventure and my rather disturbing encounter with Wario himself. Since then I have isolated myself from all things Nintendo. I have put all of my Nintendo Products in my attic posters, games, consoles, everything. I joined the military and legally killed several women and children. I have now grown accustomed to Sony and have purchased a PS4. The new God Of War has been my latest and greatest addiction. I mean I don’t care for the game that much, but if there’s I truly enjoy, it’s having something to place my hot cocoa on, and discs make infinitely better coasters than the obtuse, outmoded NES scart grid.  I spent yet another hot and drizzly Saturday Afternoon playing through the game and this time on a much higher difficulty, when I heard a knock at my door. Granted, I never found video games hard. Here’s a video game: real life. Spoilers: abject poverty and death. Collect the gold coin! Digital treasure while your mom makes 8 bucks an hour talking down the taco bell truck line while Hayzuse jacks off his donkey in the refried bean sauce. Anything’s better than school though. I’ll take an hour with the ice climbers over 12 years listening to some fat bespectacled asshole insist the earth is round when I am more than certain it is actually spherical.

Annoyed, I got off of my couch and went to see who was at my door. Well, being that I have referenced Wario multiple times, you probably think it was wario. Let me tell you something, Miss Cleo, if you’re so clairvoyant, then kindly explain to me why I’ve spent the last three years of my

life walling myself off from society because a Nintendo mascot tried to scald me with high-temperature breakfast batter?

I opened my door and saw someone getting into a red corvette stingray and driving away.

I saw something out of the corner of my eye, I looked down and noticed a copy of Wario Ware Smooth Moves. Oh he had smooth moves, alright. He was rubbing an oily can of tuna fish and peanut butter all over his greasy, obese naked body.

“Oh no,” I muttered.

I picked up the wii game and the first thing that I noticed was that it smelled like beer, piss and a Nintendo Zapper that had been in someone’s home . I felt my phone vibrate, when I looked I noticed another threatening email from Nintendo.

I slammed my door and locked it, unlocked it to invite in Mufasa the 2nd, my pet lion (an actual lion this time, a defensive, powerful lion) I then ran to my room with the game still in my shivering hand and locked myself in. I put several rolled up newspapers on the floor to protect my toes from another “mini game” and I then noticed that my Nintendo Wii was hooked up to my flat screen. Before I could process the situation my phone vibrated a second time to remind me that I have an unopened notification. Is Nintendo this fucking petty and trivial? This is what they fucking do in their spare time? Make 200 iterations of “jump on the goomba” and harass an old man who just wants to sit at home and enjoy his pretzel sticks and Monday Night Football.

I opened the email and here is what it said. Hello Dave The Useless. Wii U? “Wii H8 U.” It has been a long time since we last emailed you. We have not forgotten that you murdered our Wario and that you purchased the unreleased Wario’s Pancake Adventure, a prototype of things to come. That was our gold star, our gold standard, our shining moment. You were supposed to play the mini games. You were supposed to become the mascot and have all the pancakes with buttery, sticky, butter goodness. But we see how it is, we offer you pancakes and you murder one of our own. It was literally just Mario with the W reversed, but you couldn’t let something that simple and beautiful exist. Why did you kill love, David? So now we will make you suffer David, this time you will play the mini games and if you refuse, you will pay the ultimate price. That price: your mortal soul and sanity, plus 3.59 cents tax. - Sincerely Nintendo. As soon as I was finished reading the email, I heard my back door open. I then heard it close and someone locking it behind them. I could hear their footsteps slowly creeping their way to my bedroom. You probably think it’s the Wario, but I have something even more shocking to tell you. What’s the only thing worse than Wario?

When the figure was in front of my bedroom door, I gulped my big gulp a big gulp and began preparing myself for what was to come. The door slowly opened and I saw the figure that stood before me. It was TWO Warios, but how? I had killed him when I slid the marble under him last year. Like Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, it’s hard to let the past die.

This time he wore a blue T- shirt that seemed a bit small for him and over it he wore a tattered jean jacket along with purple jeans and dark blue combat boots. “Twins!” The two warios yelled in unison. “One zygote two sperm cells can you cleave the blastocyst before it turns Siamese!” They looked really pissed off. Really, really pissed off. Bloodshot eyes, and thick, enraged blood vessels, filled with spicy hot Italian pasta sauce, the likes of which I never saw at the sausage counter.

“Hello David,” They said with a thick Italian accent. He did not sound like his traditional voice from the video game but he sounded as if he had lived a shitty life driving taxis in Brooklyn New York all of his life. He was disheveled as all hell, and a vein was bulging from his neck. “How are you here?” I asked. “That isn’t possible, I killed you. I killed your life” “You killed classic Wario,” He corrected. “You killed our father. Nintendo of America stores cryogenic samples of all of the local mascots in pristine freeze-dried Morula’s shrimpified to sea monkey quality, sleeping for a gestation period of 8 weeks before the cerulean blood moon of san meurto crosses the transpacific blood meridian-“ “Shut up!” I yelled, no longer amused by this two bit, one pump chump, shitty rendered, cockgobbling fist of a “mascot.” You’d have more fun talking to Joe Camel about dick cancer. I was done with this .

“I am the new Wario, the Wario that was made to replace the outdated piece of trash Nintendo had for so long.” Wario chuckled to himself, the other wario.

“Now here’s the deal, you are going to play a series of mini games so that you can become the next mascot and I can get rewarded by father Miyamoto, keeper of the gate. If you refuse then things will get harder for you. I won’t kill you because there are fates worse than death as you well know.” “Your

crazy,” I scoffed. “I’m not playing any stupid mini-games.” I walked passed him to leave the room but Wario snapped his fingers and my bedroom door disappeared. Wait, no it didn’t. He had slid a piece of construction paper colored like my wall over the doorway. What an punk . “What the heck?” I bellowed. “Get ‘em mufasa!” I then realized that mufasa was not a lion, but actually just a raccoon with glued-on feathers that I had been scammed with at the local “petshop.” He licked himself and left the room, foraging for nuts and almonds in my shoe tree.

Wario then waved his hand across the sky and suddenly we were in Bowser’s Castle from Super Mario Brothers! This was amazing and a great effect by the developers of life. It was as hot as an oven in the castle and I was practically surrounded by lava and thin dangerous platforms. Boo the ghost quivered. I turned to face him and he stopped moving, covering his face to hide. What a . This was a real puzzler. A Wario stood next to me, he then got behind me and threw a funyuns bag into the lava but I didn’t dive in. Did he really think I’d dive in to get those fucking funyuyns? I mean I get it, they’re “fun onions” but that’s not something worth risking dying over. The bag was clearly empty. I waited a few minutes and then the asshole started pushing me into the lava. “Wario’s fuck goblin fire lava hot rope! Try to cope and don’t drop the soap!” He started drawing a shitty goblin and dangled it over me and I decided to end it all.

I’d rather kill myself than deal with this . I dove in head first, inviting the sweet embrace of death. I somehow fell through the lava without being burned and back into my bedroom. I landed on my Mario Galaxy Mattress and Pillow set (I’m 36) and I bounced off the mattress and onto the hardwood floor, spraining my ankle and dislodging the orthopedic back pillow that had been stuck in my back for the past 12 hours. I squinted, squinted, and squinted some more. It was all a shitty fucking hologram. One projector was even playing The Adventures of Bayou Billy on NES, the shittiest game of all. He was changing a disk in a projector he had set up and had various mirrors and other devices leading a long, daisy chain of outlets connected to my wall jack which was now sparking, a fire hazard. He got a little nervous and began to sweat, this was fucking pathetic.

“Wario’s flame fiesta! How many set sparks marks makes a house burned down! Kids will learn about the three components of fire as they explore this eductainmental-funtendo entertainment system” Now he was just making up mini games as he went along. Wario one began pouring gasoline while wario 2 carelessly spread phonebooks and newspapers all over the efficiency.

This isn’t how games work. A game is supposed to be fun. Everybody wants to be a “winner” but nobody really wins, we’re all going to die one day. Why not spend this time focusing on the things you love instead of timing button presses to win intangible digital “loot?” Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony, they all lied to us as kids. Much like a coke addict needing a greater fix, they designed the games to get us hooked, and left us broke, penniless and when that didn’t work, they decided to assault us with fat Italian men. Now we’re just a generation of “men” that can’t grow up. Hey Nintendo. You can keep your “achievement points and fake medals.” We tend to forget that we’re spinning 800 miles on a ball made of collateral damage from an explosion, slowly decaying as our cells replicate until they can replicate no more, and then die. Everything you love will die. Even ideas will die, hell, trends change, the next generation takes over, and you’re a footnote in history, if that at all. But one thing will never die: the Wario clones, because they undergo cryptobiosis, fused with the genes of sea monkeys. But also, my love for you: the reader. You’ve done the one thing, the only thing that truly matters:

You listened.

“Let’s set one thing straight pal, we’ve used consumerism to paint over the shakespearian horror tragedy that has consumed mankind’s derision since the beginning of time. What you just did was fucking with me. Now here are the rules, Number one is; Don't with me. Number two is; you get five lives with me, if you lose them then you die fucking. But you won't die a traditional death. There are fates worse than death.” He held up a copy of big rigs: over the road racing.

“What does that mean?” I asked, confused over the immediate shift in tone. I was starting to think there was something wrong with Wario. “It means that if you lose all of your lives then you are deleted, wiped from existence like dirt on a window!” Wario explained firmly. I mean I’m not the cleanest person in the world, but how dare he insult my personal hygiene. “And after that, you will suffer: a fate worse than death. Open the vortex you warty little frog!” “Now last but not least, rule number three is; don’t cheat.” “What happens if I cheat?” I asked. He smiled an Italian smile, opened my cover and gasped as he saw a game genie! “It’s not mine!” I cried. I started to cry. “It’s not mine I never used the game geniue.” Wario snapped his fingers. “Your wish is my command, biatch.” He was now dressed as a sultan, and he had a red dot on his head.

I know what you’re thinking: wario is indian. Well, no. It wasn’t that.

It wasn’t that at all.

It was…the red laser sight attached to a handgun. I heard a loud “bang” and wario fell on the floor, bleeding from the head, black X’s over his eyes and blood pouring out of his cranium. And who was the holding the gun? You’ll never believe it.

Super Mario! I heard the traditional NES Mario theme play as he jumped into the room! “It’s-a-me! Mario! I-a killed your ’ friend!” He smiled, but he was holding a gun. “Now sit-a-the--down and open up to page 236.”

At first I thought this was a happy ending, but then I realized he was pointing the gun at me as well.

He cocked the gun, revealing there was another bullet in the chamber. I obliged, somehow a desk had appeared in my bedroom. The fat, washed-up mascot smelled of onions and gravie and burped loudly, the smell of alcohol on his breath. He picked up a ruler and dragged in a makeshift chalk board and drew a time machine on the board. Oh no. Oh god no! NO!

Three men dressed as Isaac Newton, George Washington and some third guy named John Maynard Keynes walked in. “Now we’re-a-gonna learn!” “No!” I screamed. “NOOOOO!” I screamed, and screamed, and screamed some more. “Help me! They’re making me LEEEAAARRRRRN! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” “Save me Wario!” I screamed. I screamed, and I screamed. “I’ll play the mini-games, please” I cried. “It was just three mini games and I didn’t play them…” I sobbed, I sobbed loudly. Nintendo of America had won all along. Hours and hours passed as I listened to long exposition about Christopher Columbus’ discovery of “The New World” and who invented those little things that go on the end of shoelaces. I had to watch several powerpoints about income to debt ratio and write a college-level thesis about how the bourgeois bowser of the mushroom kingdom was manipulating the goombas to use the means of production to increase working-class capital to suppress the working-class powers of the proletariat. I just wanted my old life back.

After twelve hours he said “Let’s get into a time machine and go to 200 b.c.!” but nothing happened, he just spread some shitty ferns and mesopotamian clay pots around my shitty apartment. “Save me wario!” I screamed. Too many text fonts. Indeed, Wario was right, this was a fate truly worse than death. No platforming mayhem, no 64-bit blast processing or mode 7 parallax scrolling, no powerups, no coins, none of the “Nintendo Magic” we all loved. Just chalk dust and broken dreams, history books full of people who died or never existed, and the fourth, lesser known law of thermodynamics: life sucks, and then you die.

I hate educational games.

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