A little known NES fact

Super Mario, the first game of the series; the original NES game. The hero: a plumber, i.e. a hard-working member of the proletariat, dressed red, the color of international communism; his way is single-minded violence and striking right at the heart of the grossly caricatured enemy; whenever he reaches a castle, he draws up a white flag with a red star in it — a surrender to communist tyranny effected by an inconspicuous guerilla, in other words!

If this seems sinister, one clearly has not heard of the “lost levels” of the next game, Super Mario 2 — the levels that were too much for America. The levels that brought a million-dollar lawsuit on Nintendo US, and cost three million dollars to hush up and cover up the truth. The Japanese, original release of the game had the bloodred plumber galloping through such gloomy, nightmarish levels as Drugland Los Angeles, Gang Warfare Mecca New York, and Prostitution Alley Washington to the final castle — the White House! — to fight the Ultimate Koopa Bowser of Kapitalistic Badness, US President George H. W. Bush, in a damnably cruel pixelated caricature likeness!

In the eventual American release this propaganda was removed, and Mario defeated Hitler instead — but since later releases turned Mario into more of a “fantasy” vehicle the original Hitler releases of Super Mario 2 are a bit difficult to find nowadays. (They’re not likely to be re-released, either: the levels leading to Hitler’s lava lair and his hammer-hurling hard-shelled form aren’t the sort of scenes that are acceptable these days. Modern gaming isn’t likely to like koopas with swastikas on them, especially ones that beep-scream “Heil Hitler!” and go splat in a misty spray of blood when stepped on.)

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