Toad’s Top Five

toadToad is my favorite Mario game character.  And he’s probably one of my top five favorite Nintendo characters overall, alongside Kirby, Samus, Princess Zelda, and Captain Syrup.  So in honor of that and the new release of Captain Toad:  Treasure Tracker for Wii U, here is a top five list of my favorite Toad moments in gaming.

In a way, I’m a lot like Toad.  I’m not very big or fearsome, but I’m stronger than what I look.  I don’t really have any special or unique skills.  And just like Toad, while some people may find me adorable and friendly, others find me annoying, believe it or not.  Plus, if I were in a video game, I’d be just as happy being behind the scenes, giving out power-ups to whatever heroes may pass.  So that’s one of the main reasons why Toad is one of my favorites. Anyway, let’s look at my best Toad moments in games.

5. Super Mario Kart

Super Mario Kart on the SNES is one of my top five favorite games of all time, and Toad was one of the playable racers.  While this wasn’t Toad’s first playable role in a game, it was significant for me for many reasons.  He ended up being my favorite racer to play as in this game, and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that Toad was really my favorite Mario character.  Yup, it was Super Mario Kart that made me realize that.  You see, before Super Mario Kart came along, my favorite Mario character was probably Luigi.  But after this game, I realized that I liked Toad a little more.  Toad was certainly cool in the cartoon and in the other games I played with him in it. So now in every Mario Kart game, I always play as Toad.  The only time I ever picked another character was with the Mario Kart Arcade GP games, because those let you play as Pac-Man! (Namco made them so that’s why)

4. Super Mario 3-D World

In last year’s Wii U Mario title, you could choose to play as Mario, Luigi, Peach, or Toad.  Each had their own special skills, so it was kind of paying homage to Mario 2 on the NES.  Toad was the worst jumper, but he ran the fastest, which was more useful than you might think.  While it was a four-player simultaneous game, I mostly played it by myself, and I beat every one of the main levels first as Toad.  It was a bit challenging on some of them, but I did it!  Mario 3-D World is also significant for Toad because it first introduced the puzzle Captain Toad levels.  I loved this part of the game and I even wrote a Miiverse post that they should make a whole game out of these levels.  Did Nintendo really take my advice?  I thought that if Super Mario 3-D World ever had any DLC, it would be extra Captain Toad levels.  But I’m glad they made a whole game out of it instead.

3. Super Mario Bros. 2

I know a lot of people say this isn’t a TRUE Mario game, but Miyamoto made the game this is based off of: Doki Doki Panic, and he did say he used a lot of ideas that he would’ve liked to have used in a Mario game.  So maybe it’s more related to Mario than we think.  At any rate, I’m glad that we got this game instead of the REAL Super Mario Bros. 2.  I think that if we got the real one, most American kids would’ve sworn off gaming for good, as it was ridiculously hard.  I know it’s a bold statement, but I actually like Mario 2 more than Mario 3.  Don’t get me wrong, Mario 3 was fantastic, but I just liked Mario 2 a little more.  When I was a kid and didn’t realize that Toad was my favorite Mario character yet, I wasn’t quite as good at 2-D platformers so I usually picked Luigi or Peach for their jumping prowess.  But later on, as I began to appreciate Toad more, I usually picked him instead.  Sure he didn’t jump as well, but he sure was fast in picking up enemies and veggies and running with them.  Even though you saw Toad in every castle in the first Super Mario Bros. game, it was really Mario 2 that put Toad on the map.

2. Wario’s Woods

Everyone on the Internet is all like, “Oh, Captain Toad is Toad’s very first game with him in a starring role!”  But it’s actually not!  Back on the NES and SNES, Nintendo made a puzzle game called Wario’s Woods.  Sure, Toad wasn’t in the title, but he’s who you played as.  Toad was made famous for picking up and throwing veggies the best in Mario 2, so maybe that’s why they used him here.  In the puzzle game, you must match colored bombs to same colored veggies and monsters to make them disappear, and you moved them around by carrying and throwing them!  I had the SNES version (the NES one is significant for being the last Nintendo published NES game, though).  It’s a really fun puzzler but it has a steep learning curve because of the controls.  You could pick up and throw bombs and monsters, but could also run up the sides of them, pick up and toss whole stacks or just individual pieces, and even kick ones next to you.  But once you got the hang of things, it was really fun.  Nintendo did make a touch screen version of Wario’s Woods that you could play on the 3DS Brain Age game, but they took out Toad and Wario.  Anyway, when I was in college, my roommate and his girlfriend played two-player Wario’s Woods a lot and even got in fights over it, so it was pretty entertaining.  But don’t worry; they’re both happily married now!  I wish I could see them more than what I used to, though.

 1. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

So even though this isn’t Toad’s first game, it is significant to have him as the title character.  If you’ve played the Captain Toad levels in Super Mario 3-D World, you know what to expect here.  I love how they even have little patches of grass for you to pluck up and carry and toss turnips from them!  Really the best way to describe Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is that it is a “Cary” kind of game.  So if you want to see a good example of the kinds of games I like, and want to see how the inner workings of my mind work, just play this game!  It’s a really fun action puzzler that makes good use of the Wii U’s unique capabilities.

I guess before I stop, I should say a couple of things about Toadette, too.  I never really liked this character because it just seemed like they made her as a counterpart for sports and kart games, kind of like Waluigi or Daisy. Plus she looks like a Strawberry Shortcake reject character.  But she does have a couple of significant roles, too.  You can play as her in certain parts of Captain Toad.  It kind of reminds me of Adventures of Lolo 3 on the NES.  In that one, you could either play as Lolo or Lala, but about two thirds of the way through the game, one of them would get captured and you had to play the rest of the game as the other one.  But my favorite Toadette role was in Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door on GameCube.  In that game, Toadette will come out at various points of the game to teach you a special skill you just obtained.  What’s funny is that once you learn all the skills, Toadette will come out to tell you about the last skill. Then she says, “Well, you’ve learned all your skills *sniff*.  I guess this means I’ll never see you again!” Then she runs off crying!  Aw!  How sad!  The GameCube Paper Mario game really was brilliant.

Conclusions

And that’s all for now!  In the comments section, let me know what you think of my list, and tell me your favorite Toad moments.  Do you even like Toad?  Tell me your favorite Mario characters and other Nintendo stars, too!  Later!  –Cary

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