Dark water and the things below give me the shivers

I’m not going in the deep end

If we’re all confessing our gaming-related fears, I might as well share mine. I can’t stand the water. More specifically, I can’t stand what lives under the water. If there is ever a section of a game that will make me want to stop playing, it probably involves getting your toes wet and taking a little swim with, well, whatever. I can thank Super Mario Bros. 3 for this phobia. 

SMB3 is one of the most wonderful and inviting games I can think of, an expression of the pure joy of gaming. Until you make it to World 3-3 and meet the Boss Bass that is. The Boss Bass is an evil shit. A nightmare hellfish that exists to brew horror and ferment fear. A big angry, overgrown Cheep Cheep that skims the surface of the water, snapping at you with his jaws whenever he gets near. The level you meet him on for the first time bobs up and down, always threatening to dunk you in the drink and serve you up as supper to his bucktooth maw.

Not only is the Boss Bass one of the most usually aggressive enemies in a Mario game, it is by far the most unnerving to be killed by. Usually when Mario dies, be it by Goomba, fireball, or tossing himself into a spike pit, it’s not a serious affair. He freezes with that shocked look on his face, bounces up to the top of the screen, and dies to the familiar jingle of failure we all know and love.

But that doesn’t happen if you get caught by the Boss Bass. He just swallows you down, bones and all. No funny little jingle, no shocked expression, Mario is just GONE. The big nasty fish circles around, making sure he didn’t miss any bits and the screen goes to black, chilling. It doesn’t even matter if you’re Super Mario at the time, all that means is a bigger meal for the Boss Bass.

Ever since then, I just don’t care for being in the water with, things. I always found the Ecco the Dolphin games vaguely unnerving. I skipped any quest in Oblivion that involved going in the water and dealing with those big ugly angler fish. And the water monster scene in Amnesia? Nope, nope, nope, nope, peace I’m out.

The water sucks and everything in it can die. Fuck you Greenpeace.

Nic Rowen