Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Mysteries of Modern Media: The Super Evil Angry Sun

Mario's had a number of fantastic journeys throughout his thirty-one year career, but none have made quite the splash generated by Super Mario Bros. 3. This game is often hailed as the greatest video game of all time, and there's no question that it ranks up there. Creative sets, the largest arsenal the plumber has ever known, beautiful graphics, and flawless physics make this one of the most memorable gaming experiences ever. It helps that the game is just chock-full of secrets and bizarre oddities that would make hardcore realism...ists wet their pants.

Most notable? In the desert world there is at least one instance where Mario is traversing fairly flat terrain, trying to cross the sea of sand without succumbing to dehydration, when out of the blue the gigantic scowling sun swoops down to swat you out like a pesky little fly! This sun later appears in a really bad-ass black-and-white themed level, and has shown up from time to time in other Mario related games.

Dubbed "The Angry Sun," nobody is quite sure whether this is the celestial body which the Mushroom World orbits, or whether it's some kind of sun-like creature. Nintendo would later stick a haunting face on the moon and send it hurtling into the Zelda universe, so it's not entirely past them to make celestial bodies terrifying adversaries in one sense or another.

The problem arises when you discover that Mario can do away with this Angry Sun simply by bashing it with a Koopa shell. Granted, it returns after a few moments, so it never truly dies, but it does vanish for those few brief seconds. If this sun were in fact the sun for the entire Mushroom World, wouldn't Mario have plunged the planet into an absolute zero ice age? But when it falls, the stage doesn't even change from day to night.

It's possible for the Angry Sun to simply be a sun-like creature which inhabits the Mushroom World. This isn't particularly crazy as the planet is inhabited by literally dozens of star-descended beings, and suns are simply stars, so in a sense The Angry Sun is simply another star creature, like Star Spirits or the Starmen (I think those are alive... they have eyes...). To further support this theory is another living Sun Creature which appears in Paper Mario as the exclusive sun for Flower Fields, a garden kingdom which exists in the clouds.

What other possibilities are there? Perhaps the Mushroom World exists in a multi-sun star system. Perhaps the solar system where the Mushroom World exists has miniature sun satellites which act as gaseous heat-moons. Perhaps The Angry Sun was simply a magical entity created by Bowser to thwart Mario. Perhaps The Angry Sun is some kind of relative to Fry Guy (they do both shoot tiny fireballs [Angry Sun does this in Mario Kart DS]). Perhaps The Angry Sun is a being which inhabits only the Desert World, and is actually the cause for the arid environment.

All we really know is that Mario has battled the sun and won. And for that, we bury him under the many avalanches he has cast upon us all.

Stay cool, hot stuff.

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