Super Mario by Jeff Ryan

It’s March, and I’m still working my way through the ebooks I got for Christmas.  This week I finished Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America by Jeff Ryan.

Super Mario is a really fun book that covers pretty much all of Nintendo history (the video game part of it, anyway) from the Radar Scope fiasco that became Donkey Kong to the DS.  Being a retro guy, I would have liked more emphasis on the retro part, but it was still a fun and easy to read book about my favorite company.


It also taught me what Nintendo means, which is pretty cool.

A Bunch of Books

I got $200 in Barnes and Nobles and gift cards this Christmas season, and I spent all of it on ebooks.  Not all the ebooks were about video games, but a good many of them were.  Here’s a few of them:

This one is more a scholarly examination of the early video game era than a memoir of early video games, but it is cool.  It also mentions!

A history of Nintendo.  I hope it doesn’t reveal any dark secrets about the company I love.  At least any I don’t already know.

Ditto this one.

This one is a reference book.  It has at least one companion volume, maybe two, and would have been better to have on hard copy because it is one I’d rather flip through than read start to finish.

Add to that this one I checked out from the library.

So I have a lot of reading to do.  When I get done with these books, I’ll let you know what I thought about them.

Damsels In Distress

In a part I cut out of the revised ANESthetized, I wondered why heroes in Nintendo games were always rescuing their girlfriends.  Not every game followed this conceit, of course, even when the heroes were rescuing girls.  Princess Toadstool was not Mario’s girlfriend as far as I know, nor was Zelda Link’s girlfriend.  But lots of games did.  Here are a few of the many games in which the heroes had to rescue their girlfriends:


Kung Fu – Thomas saves Sylvia


River City Ransom – Alex saves Cyndi

Double Dragon – Billy and Jimmy save Miriam

Adventures of Lolo – Lolo saves Lala

These are just a few of the hero-saves-girlfriend games that came to mind.  And I really don’t have any problem with this conceit.  I do have to wonder, though, why nobody in Nintendo-land was ever married.  Why weren’t they ever saving their wives?