This month on G&TV, we’re taking you back to the early-to-mid-1990s, a time when Sonic and Mario were competing for console supremacy, bespoke promotional home videos were an effective means of advertising, and a skin-headed Craig Charles was the go-to presenter for edgy, youth-oriented, low-budget productions. Combine all three and you get 1993’s Super Mario All-Stars video, given away by Nintendo in the UK to promote its namesake SNES game, and indeed the console in general. The nearly twenty minute tape has been uploaded in full by games journalist Chris Scullion, as part of a VHS preservation project.

In a huge stretch for Craig, he’s playing the only human on board a giant red spaceship, albeit one in the shape of a big N, and which has the ability to beam its crew members down to the Nintendo call centre so that they can meet the staff. In the trademark needlessly aggressive presenting style of Craig’s early work, he introduces segments such as unsurprisingly positive previews of forthcoming games, the making of Nigel Mansell’s World Championship Racing, and reviews of the latest Nintendo games and accessories, delivered by extremely bored-sounding men, which the editors elect to jazz up by throwing every available contemporary video effect at them simultaneously. Along with the obligatory tips and tricks section, this is basically an episode of Bad Influence!, but exclusively about the SNES, and not as good.

Sonic was clearly better than Mario anyway.

32 comments on “G&TV: Super Mario All-Stars Video

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  • craig sounds like he’s loving every minute of this, but everybody else sounds almost suicidally uninterested.

  • >Sonic was clearly better than Mario anyway.
    Haha. No.

    Craig at this early nineties worst. “Parodied” to perfection in GhostWatch.

    I like the way the editor gets confused by the voiceover and shows Super Mario Bros (1985) when Mario Bros (1983) is discussed, and then Super Mario Bros 2 (1988) when SMB is discussed.

    I rate this article:

    GRAMMAR: 97%
    HUMOUR: 92%
    BUM 94%

  • Sonic *is* better than Mario, though.

    And the Megadrive definitely has more processing power than the SNES because of this special chip that can calculate everything faster and do better music too. It was in a magazine.

  • I got James Pond (2) on Gameboy Advance in about 2004 and really enjoyed it, I was surprised to learn it’s a much older game. Never liked 2D Sonic, never played Mario. I was a PlayStation boy, Crash Spyro and Gex. Only know of Keen because of the Doom connection.

    I love the description of Craig’s presenting style as “needlessly aggressive”, that is spot on

  • Only know of Keen because of the Doom connection.

    To be honest so do I Ben. I am way too young to be included in this discussion.

    I did play a lot of the shareware Duke Nukem side scrollers when I was a kid though. In 2003…

  • I downloaded the shareware version of Doom 95 (lol) when I was 11 and absolutely fell in love with it, to the point that it became my most-played game, and right now basically the only game I play (new custom map packs are still being made to this day and provide hours upon hours of content). I first got it for PS1 which had pretty clunky controls but was very atmospheric and engaging, then got it for 360, the port of which is absolutely spot on. Now I have it on PC. Absolutely sublime game, well balanced, looks great, just glorious.

  • I got James Pond (2) on Gameboy Advance in about 2004 and really enjoyed it, I was surprised to learn it’s a much older game.

    Not only is it a much older game, but the version that came out for the GBA (and also, later, the PSone, PS2, DS and DSi) have entirely different levels than the original Amiga/SNES/Genesis /etc. versions. Which left me both annoyed, as I’d wanted to revisit the original, and delighted, because it meant more Robocod.

  • So many childhood memories right there ???? Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past – what a game! Mario is better and could easily beat up Sonic ????

  • the GBA version’s levels aren’t as good, though

    They’re different, certainly. I don’t know that I would say they aren’t as good. Certainly they’re not as polished or refined, but they offer a different sort of challenge. I dug it.

  • Fun fact: The AGA version of James Pond II reversed all of the cheats. You have to collect them in reverse order (tap, apple, earth, hammer, cake).

    The reason for this isn’t known, but there’s a potential clue in the startup-sequence of the CD32 version, where coder Dean Ashton:

    ; Seeing as you’re here, it’s now Sunday 15th August 1993, at 10:05am. I’m
    ; trying to get a final boot partition up and running after spending all
    ; weekend converting some animation into some CDXL streams. We really had a
    ; bad time doing this… I’m not usually superstitious, but Friday 13th was
    ; _so_ bad for us. Mike’s A3000 decided to pack in (we were going to use it
    ; to do the conversion because of the fast SCSI port and the 10Mb of RAM),
    ; the 16-bit TARGA images had been captured incorrectly (the people who did
    ; the capturing had the RED and BLUE cables connected the wrong way around,
    ; which meant we had to write an ARexx script to swap the colours about),
    ; the ISO9660 CD which had the audio for the animation as 2 big AIFF sound
    ; samples had been mastered incorrectly (it contained directories with the
    ; same names as the files, which AmigaDOS barfed on), then to cap it all
    ; off the NEC CD-Rom drive was a tad unreliable with my A4000/040 (although
    ; I was using beta software)
    ; Next project for me is SNES Morph. Should be a laugh, as it’s my first
    ; SNES title… (it’s a conversion from the A1200 version)
    ; Anyway, thanks for reading this… I guess I’d better have some credits
    ; in here, as I had trouble fitting them into the code. Watch out, I’ve
    ; gone a bit overboard with them… :)

    I don’t know if the ARexx stuff affected the game itself or just the animated intro and the mini-cartoon, but there are a couple of weird visual glitches in the AGA versions including a background transparency layer applied for the foreground as well / instead. So maybe it was an unrelated oversight.

    Perhaps most fascinatingly, though, is… oh, you’re asleep. You’re all asleep now. Okay. Alright.

  • I wonder if they changed the C-H-E-A-T code for American releases? A tap is known as a faucet over there, so you’d have a bunch of Americans wondering why the code is C-H-E-A-F.

  • All I can say is that here in my part of Canada people use the words tap and faucet interchangeably.

  • Fun fact: The AGA version of James Pond II reversed all of the cheats. You have to collect them in reverse order (tap, apple, earth, hammer, cake).

    Wellilty, wellity. Thanks for that. Sincerely. What a strange spin on a blast from the past.

  • It’s just people not understanding the difference between two similar-sounding words. Like purposely and purposefully, or imply and infer.

  • I don’t think anybody does the deliberately, it’s a bit like how I see people spelling “definitely” as “defiantly”, it’s either autocorrect or they just can’t spell

    Maybe it’s more like people who say “could of” instead of “could have” because that’s how it sounds

    Either way I’ve never encountered formerly/formally to the best of my recollection

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