Finding Christ in the Classics: Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island

Note: Finding Christ in the Classics will focus on finding Christian elements in old games. Not going crazy with it, such as comparing Mario's coin collecting with the Israelites collecting gold to melt into an idol, but just a general Christian theme. Hopefully I'll run this once a week.

Of all the games under the Mario umbrella, my favorite happens to be one where you don't even control the plumber himself. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island doesn't get the credit it deserves when it comes to the greatest games of all time. Beautiful graphics that looked hand drawn with crayon, relaxing music painted with the word "fun," solid controls, and an interesting way to dispose of your enemies (you can do the hop and bop, or eat them and turn them into eggs which you get to fling).

But can we find Christ in this game without reaching too far? I'd say yes, starting with:

Yoshi's quest to save the children - So here's the general storyline: Baby Luigi is kidnapped by Kamek, and all the Yoshis (yup, there's a lot more than just the green one), travel with Baby Mario throughout different levels, passing him along at the end of each of them.

In some strange way, I can see the parallel to Joseph and Mary taking baby Jesus to Egypt with them. In the Mario universe, Mario grows up to become a hero/saviour to the Mushroom Kingdom, thwarting King Koopa's kidnapping/conquering plans. In Christ's early years, Herod tried killing him because he feared that Jesus would become a mighty king and threaten his reign. No, Mario didn't die on a cross for our sins (staying away from the 1-Up jokes here), but the idea of protecting a child who would go on to become a saviour was perfected 2,000 years ago.

Plus, remember what Jesus said in Matthew 19:14: "Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." I think God would smile kindly on the entire community of Yoshis to sacrifice their lives to save two infant children.

You gotta be patient - Patience is one of the fruits of the spirit. And boy does this game test my patience when you lose baby Mario: that loud wailing might be the most annoying sound in all of video games. However, now that I play the game as an adult, I think it's a great introduction to my OWN screaming children I'll have someday. If an electronic baby Mario can annoy me to no end, what's it going to be like when I have a child with his own annoying wail that I can't silence after seven seconds or by hitting my TV's mute button. I think when my Bride and I get pregnant, I'll play this game once a day to prepare myself. Isn't that what being a good, Godly parent is all about?

And finally, Yoshi makes eggs. - Yoshi doesn't have great powers. He makes eggs that he shoots. And that's it. No fire power, no amazing weaponry. Just simple eggs that he flings through the air to destroy his enemies. Sound familiar? Like maybe a young shepherd boy using five smooth stones to slay a giant?

Actually, Yoshi's eggs bring to mind the fact that God has given all of us special talents. Paragraph 2043 of the Catechism says "The faithful also have the duty of providing for the material needs of the Church, each according to his own abilities." Remember the parable of the three servants who were given money by their masters? Two of them used it for great good, the other hid it. Like Yoshi, we all have different abilities and talents. Some of us have great math skills. Others are good athletes. And some of us blog about classic video games and try to tie them to faith.

And if your Yoshi, you fling eggs because that's what you're good at, and using that talent helps others (like saving the lives of two babies) and in turn, glorifies God.


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    About This Blog

    A blog for the masses, if by masses you mean myself and family members who probably read this out of pity.

    I'm dustin Faber, the 16-bit Catholic. This blog is an amusing, sometimes thought-provoking look at my life and the world around me. Poetry, cooking recipes, gaming, faith, things that make me go awww, things that make me go grrr, and my obsession with a good glass of root beer can be found here.

    If you're looking for gaming-centered posts, check out catholicvideogamers.blogspot.com. If you seek the blog I keep with my fiance, check out thecatholiclovebirds.blogspot.com

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