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  • So, how well do you know your enemies? Hmm? Probably not as well as you think. But don't

  • worry. I'm here to help by providing the origins, history, and even trivia of some of your favorite

  • enemies. They can be from well-known titles or absolute bombs. But they are memorable,

  • and that's what matters. And who better to begin with than the humble Goomba.

  • This little guy is well known since he is the first enemy encountered in the original

  • Super Mario Bros. However, that wasn't always the case. It used to be the Koopa Troopa.

  • But as the game was being developed, testers at the time felt that the iconic turtles were

  • far too tricky to take out. Shigeru Miyamoto and his team knew they needed a much simpler

  • enemy. One that could teach players that Mario could jump on enemies without fear of being

  • hurt. The problem was they were nearly out of space

  • on the cartridge. So, the only way they could solve this was

  • by making the new enemy design as simple as possible. Hence, the Goomba. And after the

  • design of Goombas was settled, they used a single image twice to convey the Goombas walking

  • animation. The flipping of these two images provided the illusion that the Goombas were

  • walking along at a nice trot. See? One foot forward then the other. Very clever.

  • The design of the Goomba was also very purposeful. Players will note that they are almost the

  • exact same size and shape as the Super Mushroom. Since power-ups weren't yet common in the

  • days of early gaming, the first Goomba served as a teaching tool. You see, even if players

  • thought the Super Mushroom was an enemy, when they went to jump on one, it would provide

  • the power-up. Incidentally, Goombas themselves were designed

  • to resemble a shitake mushroom. Though that is a little odd since its Japanese name, Kuribo,

  • means Chestnut People. But that's not the only odd thing about Goomba's name.

  • Coincidentally, the word Goomba also serves as an Italian slang word though this version

  • is spelled with an 'H' at the end. It's a term that is often used by Italian-Americans

  • to describe themselves and others though it has emerged as a derogatory word over the

  • years. Goombahs also serve as a way to say a man is in the mafia which is oddly appropriate

  • considering that Goombas are in Bowser's Koopa Troop.

  • In the story of Super Mario Bros., at least the one found in the manual, it's revealed

  • that the Goombas used to live peacefully with the rest of the Mushroom Kingdom. But at some

  • unknown point they decided to turn traitorous and joined up with Bowser. But even though

  • most Goombas work for Bowser, that doesn't mean that they're all evil. At least not in

  • the Mario RPGs. While they still serve as enemies in those games, Mario will also encounter

  • nicer ones, most notably the Goomba Village in Paper Mario and Goombella and Professor

  • Frankly in Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door.

  • Over the years and across the many Mario games, Goombas have appeared in almost every one

  • of them in some capacity. Their tactics rarely change, if they even have any tactics at all.

  • In the 2D games, Goombas would just kind of wander aimlessly hoping to bump into Mario.

  • Maybe it was because they always sidled along not looking ahead. When the 3D games came

  • along, they would actually rush after Mario whenever he came into sight. They still weren't

  • that effective, but at least they were trying at this point.

  • Goombas have changed little over the years. They didn't even have a visible mouth until

  • Super Mario Bros. 3. However, they are about the most adaptable of the Koopa Troop. They've

  • appeared in almost every area save for underwater and even took on the form of Bowser in the

  • first castle of the original game. And though the basic Goomba hasn't really changed after

  • all this time, that doesn't mean there aren't variants. In Mario 3 they used a special shoe

  • that could even stomp on spikes. Known as Kuribo's shoe, it became an immensely popular

  • item despite appearing in only one level. And it really should have been called Goomba's

  • Shoe since Kuribo is its Japanese name. But then there's the Goombas in Super Mario

  • World. Unlike every other game, these guys are rounded and simply cannot be stomped.

  • Instead they are flipped over and can be carried and thrown much like a Koopa shell. The reason

  • for this change was never really made known and never carried over into any of the future

  • games. That is, until the revelation of Super Mario 3D World. Before this game, they were

  • never given a distinction from regular Goombas in the American releases while in Japan they

  • were referred to as Kuribon. However, they were officially given the American name Galoombas

  • for their appearance in 3D World. Of course this isn't even counting all the

  • other variants of the Goombas that have popped up over the years. Paragoombas, Microgoombas,

  • Goombos, Grand Goombas, Red Paragoombas, Octoombas, Goombeetles, Jack O' Goombas, Prickly Goombas,

  • Tail Goombas, Goomba Stacks, Bone Goombas, Mad Goombas, Sad Goombas, Sad Paragoombas,

  • Mad Red Paragoombas, and even the Goomboss. And there's still more out there from the

  • Mario RPGs. Goombas are everywhere in the Mario universe. Perhaps even the world of

  • Zelda where a few made an appearance in Link's Awakening along with other Mario enemies.

  • Heck, Goombas even appeared in the Super Mario Bros. Movie. Well, not really. I mean seriously

  • guys. Goomba. Not Goomba. Goomba. Not Goomba. These...things look more like shell-less Koopa

  • Troopas. Come on Hollywood. For shame. And they really should feel shame. Because

  • for many, the Goomba was the first enemy they ever fought. He's not hard, not strong, not

  • even that intelligent. But he is everywhere, ready to get in Mario's way and maybe, just

  • maybe, take him down. And that, my friends, is why you should know your enemy. It just

  • may save your virtual life.

So, how well do you know your enemies? Hmm? Probably not as well as you think. But don't

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Know Your Enemy - Goombas

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    阿多賓 posted on 2014/01/01
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