Game Center CX Season 4 – Back to Contents
The Initial Confrontation! "Super Mario 64"
Oh no, can it be? Yet another Mario game? After such ups and downs with the series, you’d think they’d keep Arino as far away as possible from Bowser and his nefarious ways. Just kidding — it’s the show’s best source for pure entertainment! Arino now jumps straight into Super Mario 64.
Arino enters the castle, gets the lowdown from Toad, and then heads into Course 1, the Bob-Omb Battlefield. He runs up the hill and gets freaked out once he sees a giant cannonball rolling his way. He continues up to the boss, King Bob-Omb. He quickly figures out how to grab the king from behind, but he throws him off the edge of the ring, which doesn’t count. After being tossed himself, he gets back up and defeats the king the right way. With one star collected, Arino heads back out into the castle and right into the slippery slide room. He creeps up to the edge and begins sliding down, freaking out the entire way down. But he makes it and grabs another star. He exits and enters Course 2.
After a stupid death in this course, Arino makes it up the tower to face the next boss, the king Whomp. With one bar of health left, he finishes off the king in one go. He now has three stars, but as he goes back out to enter the next castle hall, Toad tells him he needs six more to get to the next part of the castle. Into Course 4: Cool Cool Mountain. Arino hops in the penguin house and starts down the icy slide to the next star, but it takes a few tries. He slides off more than once, and when he’s in the home stretch, he falls off right next to the goal! Eventually he gets the path down and finishes safely.
But instead of grabbing the star outside, for some reason Arino goes over to the big penguin who wants her baby back. He goes back to find it, grabs the baby, but then drops down into the chimney to the slide again. There he’s challenged by the other penguin, the champion slider. He fails a couple more times thanks to the penguin pushing him and freaking him out. Eventually, after an extremely lucky break, he beats the penguin and earns another star.
He then goes back for the baby penguin, gets that star, and now with six stars total, he decides to go back to Course 1 and get some more. After getting two stars there, he heads back out to the castle. Bowser’s laugh echoes, signaling Arino’s opportunity to enter the first Bowser world and face him. Arino weaves through the intimidating level, dying at least once and eventually getting up to the exit pipe. He reads the sign that confirms Bowser’s inside. Arino, jokingly (?) thinking this is the final battle, is relieved it’s still daytime. He jumps down the pipe. Bowser makes himself known, and the battle begins.
Arino’s singed by Bowser’s fire breath a couple of times, but soon he figures out how to grab the big turtle by the tail and swing him into a bomb. He swings for about a minute or two to set things up properly, and then whoosh! Bowser’s toast, for now. Arino goes back for some more stars, starting again with Course 1. He cleans up house there, and then exits the course. He starts in the middle of the castle, where light is shining down from the ceiling. He looks up and he’s warped to the tower course as Wing Cap Mario. Arino hits the big red switch and returns to Course 1, where he uses the cap to launch himself through the coin hoops and grab another star.
Arino does the same thing in Course 2, and then heads to Course 3, Jolly Roger Bay. He enters the sunken ship when Unagi the eel leaves, but by then he’s too low on life and drowns. Arino decides to head back to Course 4 and tie up the loose ends there. This time he meets the torso-less snowman, who asks Mario to get the rest of his body back to him. Arino races the snowball down the hill, but can’t seem to get it to connect with the snowman’s head. On the third try he finally figures out to stop just ahead of the snowman.
Fast forward to Course 3 again. Arino tries to lure out Unagi the eel to grab the star on the end of his tail, but our hero never quite gets close enough. After much trial and error he finally nabs it. Later, when he’s trying to collect eight red coins, Tojima steps in with a huge hand-drawn map of the upper level to help Arino out with finding the coins. He gets all he can here and then heads back out.
Arino enters the castle’s backyard and gets sucked into Big Boo’s Haunt. He explores every nook and cranny, and eventually comes back out to the main room to face Big Boo himself! Arino stomps him once or twice, until he suddenly has to leave the room. Five minutes pass and Arino returns from the little boy’s room. He lands more stomps on Big Boo’s head until it disappears. He gets his 26th star after seven hours of play. The sun begins to set. Arino gets all the stars he can in the ghost house and heads to the castle basement for the next round of levels. He notices Mips the rabbit and chases after the little bugger until he finally grabs him and gets another star. From there it’s onto Shifting Sand Land.
…Annnnd Arino runs straight into a quicksand pit. But he tries again and gets the star at the top of the pyramid. After that, he goes after Klepto the bird, who’s holding a star in his talons. Arino dons a wing cap and tries to aim himself properly, but keeps missing the bird. After falling into another pit, he tries again, and this time nabs the star. But the star flies away to a safe place, so he has to go after it. Unfortunately he flies right into the pyramid and slides down into another sandy death. The next try is the keeper.
Arino heads inside the pyramid next, and grabs the first star in there. The next star is in the hands (literally) of the pyramid boss, Eyerok. Arino does pretty well in the battle, that is until he launches himself off the side of the platform to a quick death. Sheesh. He wins and gets the star on the second attempt. Arino then moves on to Lethal Lava Land. Like with the desert, there’s a lot of falling off edges, except here Arino just gets singed with lava a lot. But somehow he blazes through and gets most of the stars. He’s broken 40!
The next target: Hazy Maze Cave. Arino goes and finds the sea monster in the lower level (called Doshi in Japan). He gets the star in the center island, and after that goes down into the Metal Mario course! He flips the switch at the end and learns about the now-activated green blocks. With that knowledge, Arino heads back to Course 3 to turn into Metal Mario and get the one star he couldn’t reach in the underwater whirlpool.
Arino runs and launches himself as close as he can get to the whirlpool, but it doesn’t work out. Not until he hops up onto another, further platform that has another green block — oops, that makes it much easier. With Course 3 cleared out, Arino moves forward to the Dire Dire Docks. After he gets the first star there, the entrance to the level is pushed back to reveal a warp hole. He hops down and arrives at the second Bowser level! He runs and jumps through this level, and eventually gets up into the warp to face Bowser for the second time.
Bowser has a couple of new tricks, including teleportation and tipping the platform to wherever he stomps on it. But he also dashes across the ring periodically, making it very easy to grab his tail. Arino, at near-death, manages to grab Bowser and chuck him into another bomb. Is this the end!? No, of course not! Bowser runs away again. Tojima comes by and informs Arino that he has over 40 stars, but to face Bowser in the final battle, he needs 70. The quest ends here, but not in the long run. That’s left for next time.
Back to Akiba again to visit DS Time, a very small shop that, just based on its name, probably won’t be around for much longer. DS Time is a sidewalk shop, but they still have an impressive game selection from the past and present. Arino meets AP Tojima at the shop, and he hands Arino a small envelope. Inside is 5,000 yen! That’s nearly as much as a new game, but it’s Arino’s job to get as many old games as he can with the money. Kibe-kun also has 5,000 big ones to spare, so the two decide to see who can get the better haul.
Arino starts by sidling down the alley looking at the merchandise, but he goes a little too far and starts looking at another store’s selection. Such is the nature of crammed street shops! After getting back on track, he starts pawing through the retro games. He looks at all sorts of Famicom games, and finally decides on a stack of ones to walk away with. He hands them to the cashier, and she gives him a total of 5,200 yen. Hmm, oh well. Then it’s Kibe’s turn. He sees a copy of the special edition Super Tetris 2 + Bombliss, and he just has to have it. It’s a little expensive, but the cashier points him to a slightly more used but less pricey copy.
Kibe also gets Hiryu no Ken III and… that’s it. 5,500 yen. Well, you can’t keep a good game otaku down. The two men are about to leave when Tojima steps into frame with the GCCX Famicom and TV under his arm. Now they’re going to justify their purchases by playing them! Arino starts off with Titan, a Famicom puzzle game much like Arkanoid crossed with Gauntlet. He then samples Wario’s Woods for a bit, and then lets Kibe try out Hiryu no Ken and Tetris. Honestly, they’re both winners.
Urawaza Jet Stream
In the final Jet Stream, we get a slip of a nip in Hokkaido Rensa Satsujin – Ohotsuku ni Kiyu.
Game Collections: 1987: June