Keeping Time With Mario
July 25, 2006
Here we have another item from my private collection of Nintendo memorabilia (read: something else that I couldn't stand to part with from a long time ago). This is a Super Mario Bros. game watch manufactured by Nelsonic near the end of the 1980s. It's a real working functional watch that tells time plus it can play a short primitive LCD rendition of Super Mario Bros.
The watch was a gift from a relative who hated that I enjoyed Nintendo games and who believed that the games would never get me anywhere in life (to which I now retort "Nyah nyah"). How did I wind up with a Nintendo product given by someone with such a limited mindset? This relative told my parents to just get me something worth $X and they'd be reimbursed. So while technically the watch was from my parents, it was paid for by the game-hating relative. But I digress...
Mario is controlled by the directional buttons on the lower part of the watch face. Mario's task is to move from the bottom right part of the watch screen (the castle door) across the bottom level of the world towards the pipe while dodging Goombas and disappearing platforms. Reaching the other side moves Mario up to the second level where a Starman is available, and by reaching the other end of the second level Mario advances to the third and final level of the game world. Bowser can only be defeated with the aid of the Starman. Complete the challenge to earn points and play it all over again. Mario has three lives with which to save the day, after which the game is over.
Oddly enough, the "left" directional button is always used to move Mario forward. That works fine on levels one and three, but since level two requires moving to the right, this quirk can be confusing. Remembering to press "left" to move Mario to the right takes some time. More photos of this little treasure can be found below (click on the photos for a closer look), and to answer your inevitable question: no, this is not the watch I wear everyday. Even I have my limits.