Super Smash Bible

Super Smash Bible

Can Nintendo characters make EVERYTHING more fun?

I’ve been playing a lot of Super Smash Brothers: Brawl lately, and I played Super Smash Brothers Melee religiously for years (at least, wow six or seven years by now).

Religiously, hm?

It's a me! Pentecost!

It's-a me! Pentecost!

At the heart of Super Smash Brothers is solid gameplay, but on the surface is misplaced familiarity. Take something that doesn’t belong in a fighting game, put it in a fighting game, and suddenly there are all sorts of unintended joys. It took everybody a while to warm up to the Tekken guys (and I, frankly, still haven’t), but there’s a sincere pleasure to playing with these familiar characters as they fight. It’s the sort of fantasy that’s always part of the artistic imagination. It worked for tennis, it worked for golf, it worked for paper, it worked for karts — when you shoehorn in Nintendo characters, the game becomes more familiar, more interesting and more fun.

Shoehorning, hm?

More fun, hm?

What follows is an experiment . . .  can the Smash Brothers principle make anything fun? How much of the original shines through, and how much is just nonsense? Can it spice up something that’s solid at its core, but could definitely gain something from being more familiar, more interesting and more fun . . .

. . . like the King James Bible?


Cain Able Smaller. . . And Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived, and bare Luigi, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. And she again bare his brother Mario. And Mario was a thrower of fireballs, but Luigi was a breaker of blocks.

And in process of time it came to pass, that Luigi brought of the question blocks a coin to the LORD, and Mario, he also brought of the first of the Koopa Klan and a goomba thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Mario and to his offering: But unto Luigi and to his offering he had not respect. And Luigi was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

And the LORD said unto Luigi, “Why art though wroth? And why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou halt rule over him.”

And Luigi talked with Mario his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in Mushroom Kingdom, that Luigi rose up against Mario his brother, and smashed him. And the LORD said unto Luigi, where is Mario thy brother?

And he said “I know-a not: Am I-a my brother’s keeper? I’m-a Luigi, number one!”

The Mark of Luigi

The Mark of Luigi

And He said, “What hast thou done? The voice of thy brother’s stock crieth unto me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the Mushroom Kingdom, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s stock from thy hand.

When thou breaketh the blocks, they shall not henceforth yield unto thee their coins; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the Mushroom Kingdom.

And Luigi said unto the LORD, “Oh-a No! My punish-a-ment is-a greater than-a I can bear. Behold-a, thou hast-a driven me outta this day from the face of-a the Mushroom-a Kingdom; and-a from-a thy face shall I be-a hid; and I-a shall be a fugitive and a vagabond-a in-a the Mushroom-a Kingdom; and it shall-a come to pass, that every one that findeth-a me shall smash-a me.”

And the LORD said unto him, “Therfore, whosoever smasheth Luigi, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the LORD set a mark upon Luigi, lest any finding him should smash him.

And Luigi went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Mushroom Kingdom II, on the east of the Mushroom Kingdom . . .

Mario Luigi Cain Abel

6 Comments on “Super Smash Bible”

  1. Matt #

    You forgot one part:

    And the falcon which was hanged railed on him, saying, “If thou be Player 1, save thyself and us.” But the fox rebuked the falcon, saying, “Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.” And he said unto Kirby, “Player 1, remember me when thou comest into your kingdom.” And Kirby said unto him, “Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in Green Greens.”


  2. fenzel #

    In retrospect, one Biblical verse seems especially apt.

    Jesus wept.


  3. Gab #

    I think what makes the King James (and a few other, “traditional” versions) Bible hard to access isn’t the themes or characters themselves, but the diction and archaic formula. This is why there are translations like New Living and such, ones that put it in modern English instead- and, to further make it more accessible, lots of Cliff’s Notes-type things come in these modernized translations.*

    Also, there’s the form of media itself: print.

    But I think one very successful way both setbacks have been overcome is _Veggie Tales_. I became exposed to the series as an adult, and in college, the place where I was “supposed” to be questioning faith and religion and stuff. And I liked it. I thought there was enough in there for adults to enjoy, whether they themselves knew the stories at first or not. And of course the kids would enjoy it, too. Sure, it’s indoctrination propaganda, but I don’t see how sitting around a TV to learn about David and Goliath is any less of a form of indoctrination than sitting around the table or going to Sunday School to do it. And if it’s a way to entertain the whole family, why not?

    I have a question, though. If we’re always so busy trying to find religious allegory in popular culture, why can’t we do a reverse-analysis? Instead of trying to prove how The Hulk is a Christ-like figure, why not prove that Christ is a Hulk-like figure? (Does that make sense?)

    *Other texts translated into “modern” English? Shakespeare. There is a whole line of books done similar to the Loeb Classical Library with the Elizabethan English on one side and modern English on the other:


  4. TheGryphon #

    @ Gab :
    The real thing that makes the KJV so impenetrable is that is a very bad translation, designed more to support James’ prejudices than the the meaning of the text itself. Try the NAS (New American Standard) which is translated directly from the earliest surviving texts, and contains a large amount of multiple possible translations and sidebar explanations. The Bible is not thick, difficult, and literary, KJV is. In fact, one of the problems that early Christianity ran into when proselitizing to the Roman world, is that the style of the text was so plain and everyday, serious thinkers had trouble taking it seriously compared to the literate and high flying rhetoric of the Greek schools of philosophy.


  5. Gab #

    @TheGryphon: Not to be nitpicky, but I *did* say “a few other ‘traditional’ translations,” indicating other translations with similarly archaic wording. I’ll admit that I can’t remember any of the names off the top of my head, but I do know the KJV isn’t the only one written so thickly. I also indicated an awareness of more easily understood versions in my mentioning of the New Living Translation- I’ve seen the NAS, and both do similar things (alternate translations, side-explanations, study questions, summaries, etc.).


  6. Gab #

    Oh, yeah, and I totally feel the KJV, that specific one, was meant to fit James’ personal agenda- it was named after the guy, for crying out loud. No argument there.


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