Thrilling Tales of Old Video Games

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Thrilling Tales of Old Video Games: The Story Behind Super Mario RPG’s Valentina

2022-11-29T21:40:13+00:00November 28th, 2022|

This is not a Mario blog, even if this is the third Mario-related post in a row. There’s actually a much bigger one coming in the not-too-distant future, but I’m only offering up so much of this one franchise because I happen to know a lot about the Mario games — [...]

Thrilling Tales of Old Video Games: A Parade of Princess Peach Prototypes

2022-11-15T03:48:34+00:00November 14th, 2022|

The prettiest pink princess in video games did not always look how she looks today, it turns out. She wasn’t even always pink. In doing research for the previous post on how the Goomba might have gotten its name from a language that’s not Italian, I found an early design for [...]

Thrilling Tales of Old Video Games: What Is the Etymology of ‘Goomba’?

2022-11-15T03:41:52+00:00November 9th, 2022|

I’ve already written about the origin story of the Goomba, the lowliest enemy in the Super Mario games, and how and why there’s confusion about whether the Goomba is a mushroom or a chestnut. But this site exists to explore the origins of things and also to revisit the accepted stories [...]

Thrilling Tales of Old Video Games: The Extended Capcom Darkstalkers Universe

2022-11-04T17:42:16+00:00October 30th, 2022|

When I started this project earlier this year, people saw what I was doing and responded with something along the lines of “Oh, it’s a blog.” And every time I heard that word, I could tell that it struck me wrong. Not that there’s anything wrong with blogs or blogging; after [...]

Thrilling Tales of Old Video Games: Dogs, Popeye and the Super Mario Bros. Anime

2022-11-04T17:33:38+00:00October 9th, 2022|

If we’re having a discussion about dogs in the Mario series, then I guess it should begin with Poochy, the noseless dog who debuted in Yoshi’s Island and has since become a recurring canine buddy. But if not Poochy, then the next candidate would probably be the Chain Chomp, the recurring [...]

Thrilling Tales of Old Video Games: The Many Mysteries of Castlevania’s Sypha Belnades

2022-11-04T17:22:04+00:00September 23rd, 2022|

This being the first post going up in the spooky month, I am obligated to talk about Castlevania. However, because it’s me, I’m using Castlevania as a lure to get you to read a post that’s actually about linguistics, which is a fun Halloween prank if there ever was one. Read [...]

Thrilling Tales of Old Video Games: How Popeye Changed Video Games

2022-09-20T22:27:47+00:00September 7th, 2022|

Earlier this summer, I was listening to a dauntingly thorough feat of podcasting about Who Framed Roger Rabbit. The episode clocked in at nearly seven hours, because a lot of animation history is crammed into that film. One of the things it pointed out is that even though Who Framed [...]

Thrilling Tales of Old Video Games: Unpacking the Sounds of Earthbound’s Arcade

2022-09-20T22:10:00+00:00August 24th, 2022|

In between my original blog and this current project, my way of discussing video games was Singing Mountain, a podcast about video game music. It is *essentially* retired, though I still have a handful of episodes I need to post, including a proper finale. However, when I started this project, I [...]

Thrilling Tales of Old Video Games: Super Mario Bros. 3 Happened Before Super Mario Bros. 2

2022-09-20T21:53:56+00:00August 14th, 2022|

There’s a reason that Mario’s sprite in SMB2 looks better than his sprite in SMB3. Japanese players beating Super Mario Bros. 3 would have been greeted with a first: Princess Peach looking more how she’d looked in official Nintendo artwork. Sorta. She is finally wearing a pink dress, after having [...]

Thrilling Tales of Old Video Games: Who Put the “P” in the P-Wing?

2022-09-20T21:36:15+00:00August 9th, 2022|

Who Put the “P” in the P-Wing? It’s one of Super Mario Bros. 3’s most valuable items for people who are bad at video games. It’s the P-Wing. And it’s hiding a connection to the Mario series lore that’s not obvious in the western localization. This is weird because Super Mario [...]


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