Barbarians And Commandos And Quarterbacks, Oh My!
July 22, 2006
Over at Retrogaming my blogging pal Racketboy has been featuring (and sometimes scanning) notable issues of old video gaming magazines. His latest feature is the first issue of GamePro from 1989. I had three copies of this issue at one time, as the first issue was given away by major gaming retailers (back then that was Toys 'R' Us, Babbage's and WaldenSoftware) with purchase of anything related to video games. The premiere issue was much thinner than what the magazine would become in later years, and the highlight of the issue was a preview of the Japanese version of Super Mario Bros. 3.
I remember being puzzled by the fact that the preview referred to Mario's arch-nemesis Bowser as "King Kuppa", and while I recognized that supposed to be "Koopa", I didn't understand why Nintendo was changing the spelling of the name. I asked my grandfather for an explanation (because elders know everything when you're only eight years old, right?) and he explained that since it was a fake fictional name it could be spelled however the creators wanted. I understood that, but my question persisted: why change it at all? My world didn't make sense again until the American instruction manual restored order with the proper "Koopa" spelling of the word.