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Nintendo Theme Park Ad Imagines Land of Death Traps Where Only the Strong Survive

Super Nintendo World opens this year at Universal Studios Japan.

by Matthew Gault
Jan 14 2020, 3:21pm

Image: Nintendo

Nintendo has unleashed the trailer for its upcoming Super Nintendo World theme park and it looks like a nightmare. In the trailer, a choreographed flash mob of visitors navigate a world of thwomps, koopa troopers, and fireballs. As you'll probably recall from playing any Mario game, all of these things are designed to kill. The visitors chase glistening stars through platforms, smash blocks with their fists, and never once fall off a cliff and lose a life. What is a Mario level, if you really think about it, if not a series of death traps? It is as if Saw’s Jigsaw Killer designed a Nintendo branded theme park.

I love Mario but I’ve never wanted to live in his world. Take a moment to consider what that would really be like. The powerful plumber navigates a shiny nightmare of fire spitting piranha plants, impossible jumps, and deadly traps. Mario survives these gauntlets because he’s the beloved and agile hero of a popular video game franchise. I’m a writer. My body is doughy and my reaction times slow. I can’t possibly outrun a line of thwomps in pursuit of a star. I’ll be thwomped, my broken body added to the pile. Unlike Mario, I have no extra lives.

According to Bloomberg’s Kurumi Mori, attendees will wear a “power up band” that unlocks the digital delights of Mario in the real world theme park. As they run around the park, they’ll collect coins and compete with other guests on leaderboards. The band will, of course, sync with a smartphone app. Universal Studios Chief Creative Officer called the theme park “a life-size, living video game.” Again, that’s a nightmare. Keep the deadly delights of Mario’s world behind the glass.

Super Nintendo World will also include a Mario Kart ride. No word on whether or not Nintendo and Universal will allow the world’s little brothers to destroy their families with blue shells, leaving the broken bodies of older brothers littering the tarmac as the victorious little brother pulls ahead.

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theme park