In case you missed the memo, at Miketendo64, this week is #MarioWeek and this is Mario & Me! Our latest mini-series of interviews where developers, Miketendo64 staff and even Friends of Miketendo64 reveal just how much Mario means to all of us.
Under the spotlight in today’s first of two new instalments, is none other than good friend over at Wraith Games, Jay Kidd! Here’s what he had to say when undergoing our Quick Fire round:
Q1. Name and/or Known Alias? I’m Jay Kidd, founder and lead designer at Wraith Games.
Q2. First Mario game you played? That’s a tough one. I’m going to have to say probably Mario Bros. in the arcade.
Q3. Last Mario game you played? The last one I played was Super Mario World last week (for the millionth time). The most recent game I played was Super Mario Maker.
Q4. Favourite Power-up? The Cape feather from Super Mario World.
Q5. Least favourite Power-up? Either the Superball Flower from Mario Land or the Gold Flower from New Super Mario Bros. 2.
Q6. Favourite Boss Battle? Culex from Super Mario RPG. If I have to go main series, Megaleg from Super Mario Galaxy.
Q7. Least favourite Boss Battle? Boom Boom from Super Mario 3D Land.
Q8. Mario or Luigi? Luigi.
Q9. Princess Peach or Princess Daisy? Princess Toadsto… I mean Peach.
Q10. Metal Mario or Rabbid Mario? Metal Mario.
Q11. Frog Suit or Racoon Suit? Racoon Suit.
Q12. Goombas or Koopa Troopers? Koopa Troopers.
Q13. Super Mario Odyssey, physical or digital purchase? Physical.
Q14. Playing Mario alone, or with a friend? Both!
Q15. Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine, or Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2? I really like Sunshine, but I was never a fan of 64. Both Galaxy games are phenomenal… let’s go with them!
And from short(ish), yet delightfully sweet answers, it is time we moved on to the longer answers, so here’s the Final Three round:
What does Mario and his associated franchise mean to you?
This a big question for me. See, I know that I played video games before Super Mario World, but it would be a struggle to tell you when, where, or which ones. Mario World was one of the first video games I owned (I say “one of” because I received A Link to the Past” and Donkey Kong Country” on the same Christmas). Mario World is what made me fall in love with video games. It was the game I had been playing at 9 years old when I finally decided that I wanted to make games for a living. It’s even the game that I am still competing for a world record run on! That game, in a way, is everything to me.
It’s funny, though; as a kid, I never actually beat it. It wasn’t until I has sold off my SNES games at a GameStop and later picked up the GBA version at the age of 16 or so that I beat it finally. Again, and again, and again. I would sit down for 10 minutes, beat it, flip the switch and try it all again. I remember being at church one night (a 3 hour surman) and kept repeatedly speed-running it the whole time, non-stop! I was hooked.
At the time, I didn’t much care for the other games in the franchise. I felt that Super Mario Bros. was “too limited”, Mario 2 (USA) was “too weird”, Mario 3 “didn’t feel like World”, 64 was “god-awful”, and Sunshine was “alright”. That changed pretty quickly when my fiancée (and one of Wraith’s programmers), Kristy, was going wedding dress shopping…
For some reason I was dragged along despite not being able to actually go dress shopping (I wasn’t allowed to see the dress.) This was 2009, and I decided to kill time at the GameSTop next to the bridal shop. That’s where I played New Super Mario Bros. Wii. I killed 3 hours on it and it was the most fun I’d had with a game in years! It wasn’t out yet, so I had to wait a month to get it, but when I did… oh man!
I ended up picking up the GBA versions of the games I’d maligned growing up as well as Super Mario All-Stars. It was my mission to beat them as thoroughly as I had World (or as close as I could while balancing adult life and running a company). After that, whenever a new Mario game came out, I picked it up day one and wouldn’t rest until I had it 100% complete! Well, except for Mario Maker, of course.
What is a Mario moment you will always treasure?
Well, since I’ve already told so many, many stories from years ago, I think the moment I will talk about here is something a little more recent…
My best friend, Thorne, and my brother, Cody (business director and level designer here at Wraith respectively), and I spent countless hours (and thousands of lives) trying to beat Champion’s Road in 3D World. The amount of bonding, shouting, and lack of sleep that that level caused has brought us so close together. Don’t get me wrong, that level can BURN for all I care, but it was an experience I had with some of my favorite people.
What are you most looking forwards to doing in Super Mario Odyssey?
Oh so much! New Donk City looks amazing! The new hat possession power is super interesting, all of the costumes and region-specific currencies are a neat twist, and that T-rex? Wow!
It may seem weird, but I’m really looking forward to riding a Vespa around as Mario. I own a Vespa myself (always wanted one growing up) and it’s something I love. Seeing Mario ride one was just really cool! It’s a little thing, but it really does it for me!
Once again Jay, thank you for taking the time to “stop by for a chat”, yourself and your answers are always welcome on iketendo64 and we look forwards to the next time we hear from you! Also, like those before you, thank you for making your mark on #MarioWeek and should any of our readers feel like contributing, here are the two ways you can do so:
1) Comment any answer to any question you want in the comments.
2) Answer them all and send us an email with your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org!
For more Mario & Me, don’t go anywhere as we’ll be posting another instalment within the hour and all our previous interviews can be seen right here: