Huzzah! That’s some pleasingly alliterative title action, right there.
I’d venture that, in the platforming milieu, Crash Bandicoot is the maestro of boss battles. To defeat his aggressors, he has piloted a garish, multicoloured spacecraft, akin to something Boy George would visit his camp pink holiday home on the moon in. He has traversed an asteroid-ridden space-Sodom on a jetpack. Regardless of these ambitious shenanigans, the ginger ninja’s renown has been greatly diminished since Cortex Strikes Back and Warped. Mario, conversely, retains his invitations to the most resplendent gaming celebrity parties, vomiting in taxis after too many complimentary cocktails and cavorting with groupies’ inquisitive hands in his Nintendo-emblazoned underpants.
This egregious miscarriage of justice must be addressed! The foolishly facial-follicled mascot never attained this penchant for pugilism that Crash had. In the fledgling days of his illustrious career, Mario’s scant talents extended to… jumping heroically over his opponents to avoid even the slightest confrontation. Pacifism and cowardice, alas, ensured that touching a switch so the unwitting assailant plummets to a humiliating demise in a pool of blood, urine and bone fragments was the extent of our early battles. Chivalrous and melodramatic it was not.
In Game Boy anomaly Super Mario Land, this method dispatched a bizarre array of Egyptian Sphinxes and Easter Island heads. In the ludicrously acclaimed Super Mario Bros (to wit: I am informed that there are bands of fanatical zealot groups that pray to the chunky NES cartridge. With no pants on), this rudimentary method was sufficient to dispatch the ultimate malevolent miscreant, Bowser himself.
Before we deride Mario, perhaps by urinating in a bottle and mailing it to the Mushroom Kingdom for this transgression, remember Super Mario 64. This revolutionary 3d iteration of the series introduced a new mechanic for the encounter with King Koopa. The liberation afforded by three-dimensional movement allowed the developers to fashion a diminutive arena, festooned with spike-tastic mine-esque bombs around the perimeter. You would engage your formidable foe by grasping his tail, whereupon you could spin him around and release the controller at the appropriate juncture to throw him bomb-wards.
This was both a wondrous departure from tedious switch-slapping anticlimaxes and a preposterous sight to behold. Presumably, Mario’s weight is comparable to a clipping from Bowser’s toenail, so hilarity frequently ensued upon these little contretemps with the big dude.