#3. Super Mario Bros. (1985) -- Mario Has a Complete Mental Breakdown
At first sight, Mario's new surroundings seemed a lot more pleasant than the sewers he'd been previously trapped in.
And "misspelled." Again, Italian parents.
After the unprovoked attack by the strange owl-person, everything turned black for Mario. The world around him ceased to exist and his soul finally found peace. That peace, sadly, only lasted a few seconds.
Avoiding the owl-person this time around (by taking a freakishly high jump in the air), Mario continued exploring his surroundings and came across a bizarre and terrifying sight.
Mario's frail psyche was beginning to crack as a result of the inexplicable transformations he was undergoing. Worst of all, he misspelled another word ("changed").
A conversation below that post confirms that Mario was indeed going through some sort of psychotic break (and he wasn't the only one).
This is what this place does to people.
Just then, Mario was shocked back into sanity by a horrifying development.
Now a serial murderer and no doubt wanted by the local authorities, Mario rushed forward, only to come across his biggest obstacle yet.
Mario landed in some sort of underground corridor -- probably a mine, judging by the elevators and the black-faced versions of the same owl-people he'd encountered above. An encounter with his least favorite reptiles led to the most bizarre series of events yet.
Mario jumped into another tube with the number 5 on it, thinking that whatever was on the other side couldn't be worse than this. Naturally, he was wrong again.
Miraculously managing to hold his breath long enough to escape this underground lake, Mario emerged to find it was probably the septic tank of a nearby building. Still, he tried to look on the positive side.
Mario attempted to explain to the fire-breathing monstrosity that he only came into his house because the door was open and he wanted to ask if he could use a phone, to which the castle's owner answered by spitting more fire. Eventually, Mario ran past the monster and in the process triggered a mechanism that dropped the guy into a pit of lava. Mario felt horribly guilty about that until he realized that the monster was holding a scantily clad dwarf hostage in his basement, for God knows what twisted purpose. This was the first English speaker Mario had come across in his entire quest, but unfortunately he didn't make much sense.
As he continued his adventures (highlights include being shot at with giant bullets for no apparent reason and getting stuck in a castle maze for half an hour), Mario grew increasingly desensitized to the madness and violence around him.
But, just as Mario was beginning to remember how to feel joy again, this sick universe delivered its greatest blow ...
Suddenly, Mario found himself exactly where he started, standing in the meadow-looking place with bricks on the floor. His exact reaction to this development has been lost to the sands of time, for it was deemed unfit to be displayed on a Nintendo console.
There was only one thing Mario could do now. It's hard to argue with his decision.
Once again, a brief moment of peace. And once again, Mario came back to life, as he always does -- if you can call that living. He's still trapped somewhere in this Mushroom Kingdom, but by now he has given up trying to return to Brooklyn (if he remembers what that is). Think about that the next time you see Mario running around, chasing turtles while smiling vacantly and screaming inane catchphrases. Think about what has to happen to a man's mind for it to end up so thoroughly broken. Think about that, and ask yourself who the real monster is: the turtle that spits fire, or you?
Wait, HE HAS A CAT COSTUME NOW? Fuck it, I need this game.