April 10th, 2007 | Feature
The Game Center CX Episode Guide
The front-to-back tribute to the Japanese TV show that flies in the face of Nintendo's epilepsy warnings.


Game Center CX Special – Back to Contents

Arino’s Challenge: Virtual Console: Super Mario Kart

Something a little more traditional, now: the first Super Mario Kart! Arino once again has a very specific challenge for this special: meet or beat the top Nintendo staff time of 1’03"68 on the very first Mario Circuit track.

Arino starts the game and stares at the character select screen, a little sad that he can’t choose to play as Wario in this one. Instead, he just starts with good ol’ Mario. Unfortunately, his first try may as well be a practice run, because Arino whips Mario around like crazy as he gets used to the controls, and of course, ends up going way over 1’03. 1’31"74, to be exact.

For the next try, Arino goes with Koopa, who is particularly good with cornering. He tries to do the trusty Mario Kart "start dash" right at the starting line, but fails. Again, just about a minute-thirty on that run.

Arino continues going through the roster, and with Donkey Kong Jr., he starts cutting across the large patch of dirt just before the finish line. Doing that consistently gets him 1’17" on the clock, which is an improvement, but still a long way to go. After failing a couple more times with DK, Arino tries Bowser, and gets at least two seconds shaved off.

But even that is short-lived, as Arino fails to outrun his own ghost on the next attempt. He just can’t seem to get much better than 1’15". After giving up with Bowser, Arino lets AD Emoto join him. Emoto offers to try the track, just to show Arino how it’s done. Staying as Bowser, Emoto rips through the track, using plenty of hops and powerslides to hug every single corner, and wind up with a time of 1’08".

Of course, Arino’s not even close to that. A few moments later, AP Nakayama steps in. He tries to get Arino’s attention, but the kacho deliberately ignores him. Nakayama slinks away, but finally Arino stops the teasing and asks what Nakayama has for him. Not much; he just wants to try the game himself. Nakayma’s Bowser time isn’t much better than Arino’s — about 1’11".

More failed attempts with Bowser follow, and Arino’s clearly in a slump. The two helpers return, and read Arino the riot act… in a manner of speaking. It’s more like a set of rules, like "play as Bowser or Donkey Kong! Always nail the start dash! Always hit the shortcut!" and so on. Emoto begins by setting a ghost for Arino to beat. He doesn’t.

The challenge stretches past five hours, as Arino has now attempted to beat the record more than 135 times. Eventually, his time is up. He’s given one last chance, though, and Emoto returns to show off–er, establish another ghost. Just as Emoto’s about to cross the finish line and enter the final lap, he pauses, and hands the controller back to Arino — it’s all him, now.

Arino wipes his eyes, then bravely unpauses. Unfortunately he hits the dirt on the last turns, and comes in with 1’07". Not bad, but not passable. It’s Emoto who finally shows us the perfect lap time Arino was striving for.

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