It pleases me to finally be able to reveal to you my latest work, which is also my debut writing for 1UP: “The Many Versions, Ports, and Re-Releases of Super Mario Bros.

What’s funny is that while the 1UP staff did a splendid job in bringing everything together with my words, there is a little bit of irony to it as well. The pitch was originally to simply look at Vs. Super Mario Bros., the arcade version of the game for Nintendo’s “Vs.”-style arcade units. And while that’s included, the game went without illustration, despite my hopes of including a very odd piece of art from it. So instead, I’m sharing it with you here:

Strange, isn’t it?

This came from Tumblr, and sort of helped inspire the idea of looking at Vs. Super Mario Bros. (and then everything else). But the most interesting part is not only the detail of what we can only assume is a Koopa Troopa, but the sheer level of brutality on display by Mario. It really calls back to the time when there weren’t ratings and things could get a little crazy in a game as kid-friendly as Super Mario Bros., to say nothing of when Mario’s enemies would “die,” rather than be “defeated.” And those Toads sure don’t seem to mind their liberator going to some extremes.

“Crash!” and “Gee!”, indeed.