Many years ago, I put a thing on the Internet called “Seanbaby’s NES Page” which featured a section called “Dear Nintendo, My Life is a Goddamn Mess.” It was about weird letters fans wrote to Nintendo Power magazine which they somehow chose to print. And here’s something fun: That’s what we’re doing today!
Before we start, I want to update you on the main character from the original. You might remember Mark Discordia, a Connecticut plumber who loved Mario so much he asked people to give him the nickname “Mario!” He wrote in to brag about his Milon’s Secret Castle score and to say how he encouraged local children to be the best at video games by staying drug-free!
I ridiculed Mark, which anyone familiar with the word ridiculous would agree: was fair. But Mark did not have a sense of humor about my bullying, so he sent me a series of hate mails. The main theme of them was that he was wealthy, a frequent drug user, and just crushing ass, so in fact, he was the bully in the situation. I guess I can’t prove he was lying, but he told Nintendo Power about a Mario shirt he made, wasn’t handsome or smart, had a violently short temper, and spent his days unclogging toilets and volunteering as a video game coach for children that weren’t his. For him to take the angle of “You nerd, I fuck more than you,” is like a man biting into a dead rat and challenging anyone to bake a more, aiiieeeee, a more delicious pie.
For the record, ladies, I confidently rate the legacy of my sexual conquests somewhere above the winner of “New England’s Least Desirable Middle-Aged Mario Cosplayer (Plumber and Under Division).” Anyway, as time passed, me-readers emailed Mark to offer kind words or to ask for Mario tips, and he responded to all of them. He sent back deranged insults which, over the course of many different people, turned into death threats which turned into accusations of sexual abuse. Eventually he settled on a story about me getting arrested for an underage girlfriend in Seattle, a thing that didn’t happen in a state where I didn’t live, but it’s hard to be sure since the details were half-formed and spread across emails to all these different people. So my point is, if it looks like everyone who writes in to Nintendo Power is psychologically troubled, that’s because they absolutely are and I have proof. Let’s get started!
At first glance you might think, “Is this what it was like to live in the late ’90s?” No, for most of us, it was not anything like this. This is really stupid. This is the opening line about a movie where a warpdrive sends a ship into a dimension made entirely out of stupid. This is a letter you would write to a parole board to prove to the state you can’t be held responsible for marrying a horse. This guy wrote a letter to a magazine hoping it would get selected for their reader mail section months later so he could get an opinion on the difference between two websites, one of which was free to the world while the other was available on a service whose free trial was included with the purchase of literally any product at any retail location. This is like putting “Should I try the new gordita crunch?” in a bottle and throwing it into the ocean.
Think how lonely Edward must have been. He didn’t have a single person in his life he could ask to look up “Nintendo” on America Online? That means all four of his grandparents were dead. It means every single one of his classmates said, “I already told you to get out of my life forever, Edward.” And when this Nintendo magazine, the closest thing he had to a friend, finally responded to him, they said, and I quote, “NOAGeoff, our online honcho says: ‘We’ve recently revamped and jazzed up our Web site… Zip to WWW.NINTENDO.COM!'” So after all this waiting, hoping against hope his question would get noticed, this piece of shit asking a simple question about the Internet gets told to go check the goddamn Internet. This is the tragic legacy of Edward LaRusic, Nintendo Power reader.
Mike Gallagher isn’t here to ask questions– he’s here to give warnings, and he only has one: don’t poke random “unlicensed products” into your Super Nintendo! Warning! Warning! Warning! Not everything inside your electronics is meant to be poked by “unlicensed products!” Warning! Warning! Do not have sex with the Official Super NES-brand Game Pak entertainment port! Warning! My used (VG+) Nintendo game system is broken, dripping! Gooey! Warning, this is less important, but I’ve damaged my mint-in-box penis as well! Warning!
One of the best things about the Nintendo Power letters section is when they checked in with the winners of their weird contests. They would send kids on fantasy dates with celebrities with a high potential for disinterest like golfers or NASCAR drivers. In this one, they sent three children on a Hudson Hawk scavenger hunt, based on the rated-R action comedy of 1991 starring Bruce Willis and Danny Aiello!
Some movie characters endure forever. We all remember how Indiana Jones hates snakes, how James Bond can never turn down pussy, and of course, how Hudson Hawk is always looking for a cappuccino! “Hey! Where can we get a cappuccino?” says Nintendo Power, referencing our collective love of Hudson Hawk always wanting his favorite drink! Terrific!
▲ “Who’s Handsome Hawk?” asked contest winner, Ross Moskowitz, as he walked right past the first clue in his once-in-a-lifetime Grand Prize Hudson Hawk’s Da Vinci’s Lost Treasure Scavenger Hunt Adventure.
◀ “Why would anyone do this?” asked contest-winning Ross’ father, who told Nintendo Power he had to use three unpaid sick days to fly out for this amazing experience. He raved, “You’re telling me with all that Segasonic Hodgemonster money I’m payin’ for, you couldn’t afford the licensing fee for something more kid-friendly like Barbra Streisand’s Prince of Tides? Maybe they don’t cover this in video game magazine school, but you can’t feed fuckin’ kids cappuccino! I’ve never seen the boy this bored with anything and he was once accompanied by me to a screening of Hudson Hawk.”
▶ In the end, the lucky team didn’t manage to solve the mystery or decipher a single clue about Da Vinci’s lost treasure! Better luck next time, contest winner Ross Moskowitz! Hope you at least managed to get that trademark cappuccino!
I actually worked in video game media for many years, so I can say with some expertise that printing a picture of a young child holding up a magazine by a wall of human remains with the expression of a hostage’s proof-of-life is fucking crazy. I’ve also read enough issues of Nintendo Power to know their response of “We’d much rather see piles of creepy bones than the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre or something really ho-hum like that,” is a very specific FUCK YOU to young Raymond Camarillo from San Jose, California who mailed them this photo:
▲ Nice skeletons, Raymond. Oh, there aren’t any? That’s why you look like a little asshole.
– Nintendo Power
Another theme of Nintendo Power contests is having celebrities come to your home and try out mediocre games their agent sold their likeness to. And if there is a way to make sports stars look like they’re having fun getting their ass kicked at SNES games by a teenager, Nintendo Power never found it. Charles Barkley looks like he’s suffering through a Hudson Hawk Scavenger Hunt safety orientation. He looks like he’s saying, “Good game, Mamp. But jokes on you, Monty, because I bet your mama $18,000 you would beat me. Ha ha. I’m not playin’, Melt. Go get your mama’s checkbook, or some people gonna come in here and break both our legs.”
From the darkness came a cough followed by a wretched, pathetic voice. “Please… give me free underpants, I have included a drawing of them.” Seriously, Nintendo Power, what the hell are you doing? You can choose not to print some of these. The section editor didn’t even bother to respond to it. They just let this weird idiot in West Virginia’s request for free boxer shorts fall there without comment like the leader of a tour group calling out, “I don’t need to tell anyone here what awaits us at the end of our Officially Licensed Hudson Hawk Scavenger Hunt…
… that’s right! A… cappuccino!”
Nintendo Power often called for Top 10 Lists, but not about anything specific. It was only the format that was important to them, and they had no editorial standards when it came to publishing them. Deranged, neglected children from around the country would mash together vaguely video game-related words and Nintendo Power proudly shared them all. Was the theme of your Top 10 list just “crime?” Okay, Karl Warsop of Gastonia, North Carolina. Was one of the “jokes” in its entirety just the name “Secret of Mana” except “Secret of Murder?” Fine. Did it open with a parody title referencing the World Trade Center bombing? Jesus fucking Christ, Karl.
This is a magazine about the whimsical and exciting world of Nintendo games and they printed this brain vomit from a future serial killer. If you handed this “Top 10 Crime Games” list to the creative director of a Laffy Taffy knockoff for death row inmates, he would say, “It’s a no. This is actually the kind of lazy shit we’re trying to get away from here at Bitchkiller Sour Chews.”
Ugh, Debby, this is worse than the kid listing felonies next to partial video game titles. Did “Someone took it” make the Nintendo Power editors laugh, or were they only trying to finally give a voice to Surinamese children writing jokes about stealing from Blockbuster Video?
10. My machete says Best of the Best: Championship Karate is now mine, coward.
9. Eat this shit instead. My life of hardship does not reward honesty or kindness.
8. Outer space aliens took it!
7. Bouterse’s soldiers are here in my home.
6. They are asking questions for which I have no answers.
5. They do not believe m
Is there a single coherent play on words in any of these? Hey, Ben Salinas from McAllen, Texas, did you learn English from the inside of a Hong Kong shipping container? You write Top 10 lists like the copy on an OK Fun-System Supergame 2000 (19.99 $USD). “16 bits of quality! It is not Sega!” You should be ashamed of yourself.
And look at what you’ve done, Joel Self from California. These aren’t “parodies.” This is nonsense. Did you really fucking write down, “Porthole Kombat: Adventures on the High Seas” and send it to Nintendo Power? I spit on the inbred Santa Clara bloodline that spawned you. I wouldn’t write that cursed series of words on the grave of someone named Porthole Kombat who died feeding flood-displaced refugees with his non-profit, Adventures on the High Seas, Inc.
I think I need to move on to letters with a happier tone than these miserable Top 10 lists Nintendo Power used to fill space between maniacs posing with human remains or asking for free underwear.
No, that’s not what I was thinking. At all. But speaking of AWESOME TWOSOME, this article is one! Come back this Upsetting Day for Part II of Dear Nintendo, My Life is a Goddamn Mess!
This article is brought to you by our fine sponsor and Hot Dog Supreme, Mike Stiles, who only writes to Nintendo the normal way: Erotically.