Super Mario 64 Penguin Race hero
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Credit: Nintendo

Chosen One of the Day: The racing penguin from Mario 64

Contributed by
Sep 22, 2020, 10:30 AM EDT

Three classic Mario games released onto the Nintendo Switch last week, and I — like any good millennial — am returning to my youth and rediscovering that earliest of 3D video games: Super Mario 64. It was the first game I can remember needing to get a truly perfect ending on. I wanted all the stars, I wanted all the wins, I wanted everything. It my memory, it’s a rose-colored haze of Nintendo Magazine clues and laughing with my cousins.

Now, having revisited it, let me talk to you about the hell my mind forgot. 

It’s this guy: 

Credit: Nintendo

This is today’s Chosen One mostly because I want to complain about this absolute bastard. This shady trash bag. This turd. This big blue racing monster. 

“Mario, you ole’ so-and-so!” he says. “Let’s you and I have a quick jaunty race down this horrifying ice slide!” 

Perhaps I am paraphrasing. 

So you try to ice-slide-race against him, and he actively tries to murder you. That’s right. This jerk penguin tries to push you off the ice so you fall to your death — not once, not twice, but over and over for as many extra lives as you have, like some sick Sisyphean joke. 

Credit: Nintendo

Revisiting this course last night reminded me of the sheer anger I held in my heart for this asshole as a 12-year-old. I hated him, and I hate him still. 

After nine or 10 tries, however, the beast was bested and I will never encounter him again. 

… Until I replay this game because actually it’s perfect and wonderful and bless you Mario 64 for the brief respite you are bringing to us all during these horrible times. 
 

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