Blog: 2009
December 1, 2009
Iwata Asks: NSMB Wii 08:05:09 AM CT [Suffix]
It should probably be worth noting that a new Iwata Asks series has appeared, interviewing Miyamoto about Mario history and the design of New Super Mario Brothers Wii.

There's some interesting information in this interview. I, for one, only hazily recall learning that Donkey Kong was originally going to be a game about Popeye. In addition, we've often thought that Alice in Wonderland was the inspiration for the Super Mushroom, no? Miyamoto reports "that isn't the case!"

Page One: Mario Couldn't Jump at First
November 25, 2009
Mario DSi Bundle for Black Friday 08:38:31 AM CT [David]
Special "Black Friday" DSi bundles are coming in just a few days, including the Metallic Blue DSi.  The bundle comes with Mario's face plastered over the box and with the following DSi titles preinstalled:

* Dr. Mario Express
* Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again!
* WarioWare: Snapped!
* Mario Clock
* Mario Calculator

The bundle should sell for the same price as a standard DSi system, and appears to be a "limited edition" release.  There's also a white DSi with a bunch of Brain/Puzzle/Whatever games being released the same day.

$20 of free DSi software almost makes a DSi worthwhile!  Almost... now, if they just brought back the GBA slot...
November 11, 2009
WTMK is here to make the wait a little easier to bear.  In anticipation of the upcoming release, WTMK is broadcasting a special selection of tunes from all of the classic 2D Super Mario Bros. adventures!  Get yourself ready for the newest member of the Mario gaming family by catching up with the music of its many predecessors.  WTMK is now broadcasting only the most classic of the Mario tunes, directly from the games or as reimagined by so many musicians over the past 20+ years.

WTMK -- All Mario, All the Time.
November 4, 2009
As you may have noticed, WTMK is "Smashing."  It's also "Big in Ecuador."  However, WTMK is currently in need of some new promos.  As a result, I'm giving away five TMK stickers (as seen at e3) to folks who send me a decent radio promo.

E-mail a WTMK promo to me (contact info on the staff page); the first five usable promos I receive will be rewarded with TMK stickers.  Additional stickers may be awarded if I feel generous.

While there is no hard and fast rule as to what constitutes "usable", here are some things which would make me more likely to send stickers in your general direction:

* Mention WTMK at least once.

* Mentioning TMK's URL ("") would be nice. It's not strictly necessary, but if you can work it in...

* Submit your audio file in a lossless format (WAV, FLAC, etc. etc. etc.).  While I'd be happy with a high quality VBR MP3 file, things COULD change in the future, and it would be nice to be able to convert your audio file into whatever the next trend in streaming radio is.

* Clever use of background music or sound effects.  Feel free to be creative here -- if you can get 13 friends to whistle the Starman theme while three altos sing out "WTMK" and a bass man gives us "All Mario, All the Time", so much the better.

* Recording your own rendition of the "Next To Final Battle Music" from the Game Boy Donkey Kong and using it for background music.

* Bribe Charles Martinet to record a special TMK promo.

I'm looking forward to your entries!
November 3, 2009
I recently received an e-mail from a game music band in Brazil names "The Gameboys."  They play music from a variety of video games, including several of the Mario titles.  I'll be adding The Gameboys' music to WTMK in the near future, but for the moment you can listen to their work on their myspace website:

They sound fairly good, and I look forward to their future recordings... and I'll remain ever hopeful that they'll consider doing a cover of the next-to-final battle music from Donkey Kong (94).

October 31, 2009
48 hours of Halloween appropriate Mario music is now playing on WTMK.  Cower in fear as the ghost, dragons, and more invade the spectral spectrum of TMK's radio broadcasting.

Tune in now, and have a happy Mario-een.

WTMK: All Mario, All the Time
October 20, 2009
Popular Mechanics interviewer Seth Porges recently had the chance to speak with Shigeru Miyamoto about the upcoming New Super Mario Bros. Wii.  While few new details were revealed, some interesting Mario tidbits did come out of the interview:

* Mario is Miyamoto's favorite, but he's fond of Goombas.
* Miyamoto hasn't seen The King of Kong, but Bill Trinen promised to show it to him.
* Same for The Wizard.  (Poor Shigeru.)
* Blowing on NES cartridges might seem to fix them, but you should really get an official cleaning kit.

Read the entire article today!
Source: Popular Mechanics website
September 29, 2009
Amazon just dropped the price on new copies of the Wii New Play Control Mario Power Tennis and Donkey Kong Jungle Beat.  Originally $30, both are now on sale for a mere $20!

Amazon - New Play Control: Mario Power Tennis
Amazon - New Play Control: Donkey Kong Jungle Beat
September 3, 2009
New(er) Playlist on WTMK 03:29:54 PM CT [David]
Just in time for the first week of school (in a sense), a new, NEW WTMK playlist is running.  Marvel at the increase in fine music!

Go about your business, citizens.
July 31, 2009
WTMK's music selection has been going through a bit of an overhaul over the past week.  As of early this morning, music from the following games is broadcasting on WTMK for the first time:

* Alleyway
* Diddy Kong Racing
* Diddy Kong Racing DS
* Doki Doki Panic
* Donkey Kong Barrel Blast
* Donkey Kong Country (GBC)
* Dr. Mario Online RX
* Famicom Grand Prix II: 3D Hot Rally
* Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games
* Mario Kart Wii
* Mario Party 7
* Mario Party 8
* Mario Strikers Charged
* Super Mario Bros. Deluxe
* Super Mario Galaxy
* Undake 30 Same Game
* Wario Land: Shake It!
* Wario's Woods (NES)
* WarioWare: Twisted!
* Yoshi (GB)
* Yoshi's Cookie (NES)

In addition, the general quality of WTMK's audio should be improved this week.  More updates and games will be coming over the weekend, with the eventual goal of broadcasting music from every Mario game.

Comments? Questions? Death threats?  Feel free to respond in the forums...
July 29, 2009
Gamestop is running a little sale, at least until August 2nd.  A variety of new games are on sale for just $20, including these Mario-related Wii titles:

New Play Control! Donkey Kong Jungle Beat
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games
Wario Land: Shake It

In addition, the following Wii titles are also on sale for $20 (as are a variety of 360 and PS3 games):
Animal Crossing: City Folk (game only)
Excitebots: Trick Racing (game only)
Wii Music

The sale ends on August 2, so you may need to hurry.
July 17, 2009
Were you unable to go to e3 this year?

Wish you could get your hands on some e3 "swag"?

Wish no longer: your chance to win authentic e3 2009 e3 stuff is here!  All you have to do is find e3 2009 photos containing someone wearing the TMK "Trust the Fungus" sticker (as seen throughout my e3 2009 photo spread).  The reader submitting the greatest number of unique TMK sticker photos will win something amazing from my bag of e3 stuff.  I'll post each submission as it arrives, and in a few weeks I'll reward the reader with the highest score.

If I receive enough entries, I'll award 2nd and 3rd place prizes as well.

Submit your entries here (or, if you prefer, send me an e-mail).  Make SURE to include information on where you found the image (i.e. the URL for the website).

Official Rules:

All entries must be received by July 31st.  Each unique photograph of someone wearing a TMK sticker at e3 qualifies as a single point.  The reader with the highest score at the end of July will be declared the winner.  Due to shipping costs, only readers in the USA or Canada will be eligible to receive the prize.
While my e3 2009 photos were uploaded to the site about a month ago, I neglected to add any commentary and notations to them.  This made the photos interesting but rather confusing if you were anyone by myself -- until now!  Marvel at the exciting commentary, gape at the special celebrity cameos, and chuckle at my trials and tribulations. David's e3 2009 photo spectacular is now live!  Highlights include:

* My micro-interview with Steve Wiebe (of The King of Kong fame).

* Charles Martinet just before I clobbered him in New Super Mario Bros. Wii.

* The staff of Wayforward and Artoon expressing their trust of the fungus.

* IGN Editors failing to escape from my photographer.

* Tommy Tallarico likening himself to Mario.

... and much, MUCH more!
July 4, 2009
In March 2008, 25 years after porting Donkey Kong to the Atari 400/800, Landon Dyer recounted the experience in his blog. He also mentioned a secret in the game: "There's an easter egg, but it's totally not worth it, and I don't remember how to bring it up anyway." A few days ago, Don Hodges discovered that, with the right score and the right moves, you can make "LMD" (Landon Dyer's initials) display on the title screen. Visit the link below for the details.

Link: - Donkey Kong Lays an Easter Egg
May 19, 2009
As Punch-Out!! for Wii makes its way to stores for the first time, news is quickly spreading about a certain character from the "Mario Universe" appearing in the game. We understand some of you may be trying to avoid spoilers, so we'll only post links to the images.

SPOILER WARNING! Click here and here to see Little Mac's latest challenge. SPOILER WARNING!

Thanks to everyone who sent us the news!
March 3, 2009
Japanese Mario picture books 11:36:47 PM CT [J.J. McCullough]
J.J. here, former TMK mailbag contributor, longtime hanger-on.

So I moved to Japan a few months ago yadda yadda yadda you didn't ask for my life story.

Anyway, as a hardcore Mario fan I've obviously been keeping my eyes peeled for anything uniquely Mariotastic that this nation, whose loins birthed Mario in the first place, might be offering.

There is a lot of Mario stuff for sale, but much of it is mainstream and not terribly impressive. Little "capsule" style vending machines are very popular at toy stores here, and lots of them sell Mario key chains of various sorts, as well as Mario-themed DS screen cleaners, or Mario magnets, or other little cheap trinkets of that sort. You also often come across things like Mario pencil bags, Mario pencils, or Mario notebooks for school. Fancier toys are a bit rarer, but one does occasionally see a decent stuffed Yoshi, or Wario, or maybe a small Luigi action figure, or a weird board game. But compared to some of the other video game / cartoon franchises out there, Mario is comparatively unpopular when it comes the sort of intense, thousands-of-toys-of-every-character merchandising that Japan is known for.

Personally, I've been most vigorous in collecting Japanese player's guides. The official ones, produced by Nintendo. Here's my collection thus far:

Japanese player's guides are a tad different than ones in the states. Mainly they're a smaller and thicker. While ours back home tend to be magazine-sized, Japanese ones are about the size of a pocketbook. In terms of content, they're more or less the same. Maps and stuff. The newer ones tend to have rather sterile layouts, but the older ones sometimes have a bit more life, like this Super Mario World one, which contains a few silly little comics.

Yesterday at the used book store I finally stumbled upon something much cooler, however: Mario children's books! They're these thick, cardboard books produced for what I assume are very young kids. Each one has about 10 pages, telling a simple story interspliced with lots of games and mazes and things. There are apparently several different series' of these things, each based on a different game. What I like most about them is the art. While American-made Mario storybooks tend to have weird, Americanized illustrations, the drawings in these books are very authentic-looking, in the style of the art you'd see in instruction manuals and stuff like that. As someone who's always taken a great deal of inspiration from Mario art, these things are quite a find indeed.

For more images, check out my Flickr gallery here:
January 13, 2009
So, I was working on one thing or another, and I discovered a few nifty little Mario music renditions on Youtube.  It's times like this that I'm glad TMK has a blog section now, as I really don't know of how else I'd manage to share this stuff with you folks.

Anyway, for your listening pleasure... the Super Mario Bros. 2 Character Select music!

(Hey, SMB2/USA has ragtime-style music. I prefer its music to most of the rest of the series.  Your tastes, good readers, may vary.)

Nice ragtime piano version, and the primary reason I created this post

Four man arrangement - sounds a little clipped at times, but not bad

... and, just for the sake of it, the overworld theme...

...and, finally: some guy plays drums along with the NES overworld theme
January 7, 2009
It appears that someone out there in Youtube land has constructed their interpretation of a "modern day Super Mario Bros. Super Show" opening.  It's features a pretty decent collection of Mario cinema scenes from the recent games, generally patched together to fit the themes of the "song".

It might be worth taking a look at, if even for just a minute.