Search This Blog

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My Love/Hate Relationship with Toad

Like Kirby, Toad is one of the cutest characters in the confines of Nintendo. Despite having feet but no legs, it's hard not to find Toad adorable. But unlike Kirby, who I immediately go "Daaaaawww" when I look at, my feelings towards the little fungus are pretty mixed.

I don't think Toad is bad. But at the same time, he's not a character that I fully embrace like other video game stars I've come to know over the years. Where does my hate for Toad come from? With Toad's first appearance, Super Mario Bros. Anyone that's been playing video games knows the story of this game. Princess gets captured by Bowser, Mario has to rescue her. Super Mario Bros. has eight worlds, each ending with a one of Bowser's castles. Imagine getting to the end of the castle, waiting to meet with the princess, only to get this little punk who may very well be flipping you off with both fingers. Toad giving me the double deuce doesn't really bother me. What does grind my gears is that Toad, this character that's supposed to be a guard constantly gets captured. So not only do you spend most of the game searching for Princess Peach, but you also dedicate a good chunk of your time to saving this little snot over and over and over. That's aggravating.

How much is she paying him to
fail at his job?

In Super Mario Bros. 2, there was no princess that needed to be rescued. Instead, the world of Subcon needed saving. We got to play as Mario, Luigi, Peach, and yes, even Toad got in on the action. And he was quite good, too. No, he was better than good, he was great. His jump was very weak, but he was the fastest runner and he could pick things up faster than Scrooge McDuck picking up a dime. He was sporting some spiffy new colored threads to boot. Blue has always been my favorite color, so I approved. This is where my love for Toad comes in. Having had to rescue him so many time in the first Super Mario Bros., it was quite surprising to find out that Toad had considerable skills on the platforming field.

Then came Super Mario Bros. 3 and Toad was useful as well as useless. He was helpful with Toad Houses scattered across the seven worlds in the game, yielding valuable power-ups. Toad failed at life when he probably stood by and did nothing when the Koopalings turned the kings into members of the animal kingdom. Once again Toad sucked at his job. Come to think of it, why weren't there any Toad Houses in World 8? That place was no cakewalk.

You can play all the way through Super
Mario Bros. 2 as Toad. He's that good.

Toad was one of the light weight racers in Super Mario Kart. This meant he could easily be bumped around by the heavy weights, had so-so acceleration but made up for those shortcomings with the best handling. During my first three day rental period with Super Mario Kart, I spent a lot of time playing as Toad. In fact, I think I learned the game playing as him as opposed to Mario and Luigi. Toad has since been one of my favorite characters to play as in any game of Mario Kart.

I'm the best!

When I have to save Toad, I'm annoyed. When I get to play as him, I'm thrilled. That's basically how my love/hate relationship with Toad works. If I have to save him, I wanna punch him in the face when I see him but when I get to play as him, I'm grinning like Grimace. Heck, I have to admit that there were even a few times where he wasn't playable that he came in handy. In Super Mario 64 he had a few hidden Power Stars. In Luigi's Mansion, he saved your game, made the nightmares go away and gave you happy music, and I cannot thank him enough for that last one.


The Toads in New Super Mario Bros. Wii kinda remind me of the Toad from Super Mario Bros. 2. One of them is wearing blue so it's possible he was that Toad. Speaking of New Super Mario Bros. Wii, I don't mind telling you that I rarely saved Toad in those levels that he needed rescuing. Carrying him through an entire stage? Ugh. It's so much easier to just toss him off a cliff. Yeah, I've done it and I'm betting you have, too. With a smile, even. I don't even feel bad when Toad slams into the ground because I failed to catch him in Fire on Game & Watch Gallery. I'm betting Peach doesn't think highly of Toad. In the Super Smash Bros. series, she uses him as a shield!

Look who's back for Luigi's Mansion:
Dark Moon.

So there you have it. My perfectly balanced relationship of love and hate for Toad. I'll never fully love him and I'll never fully hate him. I haven't opened my copy of Mario Kart 7, so I'm sure Toad and I will have more good times together on the track. Since I haven't played New Super Mario Bros. 2, I'm sure he'll do something in that game that will make me want to choke him.

No comments: