Playing with Power: Super Mario Bros.

At face value, “Super Mario Bros.” is weird. Really weird.

It’s about a pair of Italian plumbers, Mario and Luigi, who grow by eating magic mushrooms, jump on their enemies and run their way through the Mushroom Kingdom as they attempt to rescue a princess from an giant, evil, fire-breathing turtle. As a character, Mario had played both hero and villain in the first two “Donkey Kong” games and was joined by Luigi in “Mario Bros.” when the duo worked to clear pests from pipes in a sewer under New York. Needless to say, the story makes quite the departure from Mario’s earlier roles.

But, it’s ha...


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