There’s no “I” in team, right? Well, there’s no “I” in Q-Force either, which, as I’ve just discovered, may or may not be the un-secret name of a new team of bloggers storming the Internet, namely My Two Caps, The Duck of Indeed, Planet Zombo, and yours truly. Together we tackled a simple question: who would you rather hang out with — Mario, Luigi, or Peach? The Duck chose Peach from the Paper Mario series for her take-charge attitude and baking abilities. I get that; and I agree that the strawberry cake that you had to make in Paper Mario, though usually and strangely difficult to complete on occasion, looked quite delicious. Hatm0nster of my Two Caps chose Mario, and for good reason. His staying power and adventuresome heroics are hard to argue with. You’re always bound to see a different part of the Mushroom Kingdom whenever you’re with him. Click on the links to check out their full arguments. This time round, however, it looks like the Duck and I think alike, in principle anyway, for I also chose Peach — from Super Mario Bros. 2, that is.
Like a lot of folks, I first met Mario in Super Mario Bros. on the NES. It was a fun meeting, and we got along pretty well. Therefore, one might think that this little bit of nostalgia would compel me to pick Mario as the best with whom to hang out. But one would be wrong. Wrong enough to illicit a laugh! Ha ha! For you see, I never finished SMB. And though I don’t have sour memories of the game, I did end up growing a little frustrated with that plump, pixel-y plumber. I also never met Luigi in that game, though I knew, we all knew, he was there. Somewhere. Waiting for his chance for glory! So that leaves Princess Peach. But not the forever-in-another- castle damsel-in-distress Peach of SMB. Nope, I’m talking about the mad-vegetable-flinging Peach of Super Mario Bros. 2! And it’s all because of my knees.
Um…knees? What the…?
Yes, knees. And here’s why.
The first time I got to spend any quality time with this trio was in Super Mario Bros. 2. A strange entry in the Mario canon that involved Shy Guys, Ninjis, and turnips. Yes, turnips, radishes, and other vegetables, which were your primary weapons once they were plucked from the ground. In SMB2, you had the choice of who to play: Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, or Toad. And you got more than just a different character to look at, for each of them came with a special ability. Toad was a quick plucker (that’s pluck-er). Mario was a speedy runner. Luigi could jump high. Regardless of the fact that I’d never be able to keep up with Mario or that my intense vertigo would probably make me throw up on Luigi during his long, high jumps, neither seems to think much about the impact of repeated jumping on their knees! I mean, how could all that jumping not take a toll on their poor, poor joints?! Plus, neither of them had very good control with their landings. Quick Mario, run…jump…! Oops, Mario jumped right into that Shy Guy! Aw, too bad Mario. Look, Luigi can reach such heights! How gracef…oh, well he fell right into that gap, now didn’t he?
But Peach — oh, she was a smart one — the only smart one in that game as far as I’m concerned; and possibly the only one with the proper tailoring skills to survive. You see, her secret was her dress. Not merely an ode to gooey stomachache remedies, Peach’s dress had a hidden secret — it was also an umbrella! And this umbrella, like that of Mary Poppins’, allowed Peach to float for a short time (okay, maybe not really like Mary Poppins’), which lessened her falls, allowed her a moment to spot the landing, thereby saving her knees.
People nowadays tend to take their joints for granted. Until they start having major problems with them, they just assume that they’ll always going to be able to walk, run, and jump from point A to point B. I like my knees. I like walking places. I like that all my leg joints work properly. And I think that Peach feels that way too. Okay, so she never used her legs to run away from Bowser, but still. She proved she had the smarts to safely navigate the odd landscape of SMB2. And she probably never tore her ACL or had to have steroid injections in her knees, which is good because I hate hospitals. And needles. In SMB2, Peach lived by the motto “work smarter not harder,” and for that reason, I think she and I would get along just fine.