These are kind of my Father’s Day tribute this year, because when I was a kid, we got the original Nintendo system when it first came out, and my dad absolutely loved to play Super Mario Bros. He totally beat the entire game before any of us kids did, and we were always Player Two to his Player One.
The original Nintendo system came out right around the same time my dad was first diagnosed with his illness, shortly before he was forced to retire early, due to medical reasons. Silly as it may sound, I have no doubt that he took comfort in losing himself in the running and jumping to rescue the princess. The repetitiveness, and maybe even monotony, was probably a great distraction from the fears that come tied to terminal illnesses.
I’ll always have happy memories of coming home from school and taking turns with my sisters to play Super Mario Bros. with my dad before he got too sick to spend as much time doing things like that. Back when dying in the game meant starting over again all the way from the beginning until you had every last coin, brick, power-up, and pipe memorized long before you finally finished the level, slid down the flagpole, and ran into the castle that waited.
We eventually graduated to a Super Nintendo, and then on to Sega game systems and PlayStations, but for me, there will never be another game like this one…and that means it deserves cake.
The decorations are pretty simple: Mario Bros. pipe green-colored fondant on the top tier, brick orange for the middle, and black and blue bricks from the underground pipe world for the bottom tier. The brick design from the game is ridiculously simple, and easy to recreate, and I added some green lines to the pipes to match the 8-bit shading from the game.
I had initially planned to top the cakes with cake bite piranha plants, but I really wanted to represent the characters, so instead, I printed out a simple 8-bit Mario, in his jumping pose, of course, and glued him to a candy stick.
And then there’s this guy. Luigi holds a special place in my heart, because I’m the youngest. That means that I was absolutely always Luigi when my sisters and I would play. I used to hate it, but I grew really fond of poor, neglected Luigi, and now appreciate him very much. Plus, green and white suit me much better than red and brown.