Today’s boss is actually one of my personal favorites from the previous generation of consoles. Meet Rawk Hawk, the undisputed champ of the Glitz Pit from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. Right out of the gate, you’ll notice that our bird-brained bruiser pays homage to many past professional wrestlers; Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, and “Macho Man” Randy Savage to name a few. Yup, Rawk Hawk sure is one high-testosterone heavyweight with a fan following the size of Ron Workman’s bar tab.
But, as with every great angle (that’s wrasslin’ talk for “storyline”) we need a young upstart to challenge the undefeated champion with a huge, branching backstory to go with it. Voila! Enter The Great Gonzales! Yes, that is seriously the name Mario is given as his wrestling name. Not exactly the best name to give an Italian plumber from Brooklyn, but it’ll have to do.
Our story begins in the lowly depths of the minor league locker room from which our hero The Great Gorgonzola (a more fitting name, if you ask me) must battle his way through the ranks to advance up the ladder until he inevitably fights Rawk Hawk. But wait a second, why the hell are we here in the first place? Let me back up and explain for those of you who haven’t played PM:TTYD.
(Hit the jump to lower gas prices by $0.000001 — I mean, continue reading.)
Here’s the short end of the long story; as with most other Mario games on the planet, stars are a super-hot commodity. In PM:TTYD, Crystal Stars are needed to unlock the giant door that is, you guessed it, a thousand years old. When you first arrive in Glitzville and pay a visit to the Glitz Pit, you’ll catch wind that good ol’ Rawk Hawk’s championship belt is adorned with one of these precious stars. Sounds like reason enough to me to knock Big Bird’s teeth in for the greater good.
Anyway, now that you’re up to speed on the goings-on, let’s rejoin our plucky hero as he begins his climb to the top from the bottom of the barrel. As with any great tale, there’s gotta be some sort of mystery going on as well as some shady dealin’s. Apparently, fighters have been vanishing without a trace. Now, I’m no expert, but I have watched enough episodes of Law & Order to know that something is definitely amiss here.
After a gauntlet of fights and some fallen comrades, we finally come to the main event. The match of the century, the grand-daddy of all great face-offs since Stallone faced that Russian guy. But now, the tables have turned. The Great Gonzales has taken the spotlight away from Rawk Hawk, and all of Glitzville’s got underdog fever. Let the match begin!
No more than a few moments after the curtain rises, the match is seemingly already over. How anti-climactic. They gave one of the coolest characters in the game only 30 HP? Come on, Nintendo, we fought long and hard to get here, and now we’ve bested the best in less time than it takes to get through the dialogue before the match? Oh wait! I see what they did there! It’s just like real professional wrestling (or commercial radio) these days; all talk, no Rawk. Well played, Ninty…
Congratulations! You just spent four hours getting to the guy, and the belt is yours! But wait a second here, this doesn’t look quite right. Sorry, but your Crystal Star is in another castle… or something. Turns out after all this time, the gem ain’t the real McCoy. Good job winning it and all, we’re realy proud of you and stuff.
The story, of course, does not end here but I won’t spoil all the fun. The only thing I can say is that I was pretty disappointed that Rawk Hawk was not someone you could have join your party, as he would easily be the best character out of the bunch.
This concludes this week’s MBM. Feel free to voice your disgust that Nintendo has overlooked Rawk Hawk in Brawl in our lovely comments section that I’m sure you’re all too familiar with.