Worlds of Lamer: When Nintendo Wrote Books and Spandex Wasn’t Ironic

Mar 8th, 2010 | By | Category: Columns

Is good literature dead? Yes. That’s why this column is so successful (I have two loyal readers I don’t even have to PAY). I like to think this is the place where one can focus on the shitty books of now (or then) that would make Wharton cry elegantly or cause Poe to have a tantrum of epic proportions. It’s all about suffering for art, or suffering because the art stinks to high heaven.

Take Worlds of Power: Wizards & Warriors, for example. The book is one of many in the 1980s Worlds of Power series, which were novels based on Nintendo games. You might think “wow, a book based on a videogame, how hard was that to write?” SUPER hard! Why, this classic had two writers: F.X. Nine, author of such scintillating books as Blaster Master and Ellen Miles who writes books about puppies!

Ellen Miles: Master of action-packed adventure and cuddly wuddlly animals who wuv hugs!!

Readers from have stated this book is “Surprisingly Good” and super reviewer “A Customer” stated that the book “was my favorite as a kid. It alows the imagination to wander.” Count me in, random stranger who can’t spell!

This amazing story begins with Matthew, a bored kid who is bored. As he sits in his creative writing class, he ponders about his inability to write about anything interesting, like skateboards. He tries to rouse his muse by staring at the sky, “maybe one of those clouds would start to look like something to him, and he could write a story about that” (1). But just when you think this is a biography about Nicholas Sparks, class is dismissed and Matthew goes home. That’s also pretty boring, and the reader wishes that Matthew could find something to interest him–something that maybe involved a cartridge that could shoot magic into his TV and take him to a fantastic world of fantasy, where his only nourishment is Cheetos, soda and ADHD.

Then, suddenly, as Matthew is in his bedroom changing, he finds a knight watching him in the mirror. Oh, so it’s going to be THAT kind of book. If I had known books based on videogames were this salacious, I would have worked that joystick a long time ago. But, alas, the Knight (named Kuros), is not there for a love connection, but a quest connection! Kuros needs Matthew to journey with him (probably because he doesn’t want a minor pressing charges). Kuros tells Matthew that they must rescue Princess Mirdanda and all her beautiful handmaidens, who have been hidden by the evil Makil, who has “threatened that at sundown tonight he will put an end to Princess Miranda.” Why? Who knows. But it’s probably because she’s a girl and can’t pop a whitehead like a real man.

Just as I am completely enthralled (or completely wasted), the book reveals a GAME HINT, which will help Matthew with his quest! “Don’t fight the bees inside the hollow bee tree. Keep moving down until you find the Wand of Wonder!” With a description of a knight hiding in a boy’s bedroom and items such as “Wand of Wonder,” I’m really beginning to question Nintendo’s true intentions: do they want kids to play more video games or engage in games that are outlawed in over a dozen states?

There are other glorious terms sprinkled through the book, like IronSpire, BrightSword and FuckingStupid. After fighting off a swarm of hornets (cuz that’s what knights do), Kuros and Matthew find a lot of jewelry and dress up like Liberace’s whores. Basically the book is a lot like Choose Your Own Adventure, except there isn’t a 50% chance the main character will die, which is a shame. Sadly, I didn’t realize this until I had finished the book, which is also full of small-town idiosyncrasies such as “it was as hot as a pizza from Sal’s Pizzarea,” or “blacker than the black guy who worked at the bootblack store.”

Applied to the “Literature Has Gone to Shit,” theory, Wizards and Warriors is harmless. It’s for kids back in the day who really connected to their videogame console. And you know what? Better to be connected to that than shackled to a cop after some illegal shenanigans.

I’m not saying books like this kept bored kids out of trouble, I’m just saying I’m feeling really violent right now because someone stole my free Worlds of Power Trading Card. GIVE THAT BACK! KRONOS NEEDS MY HELP TO FIND THE BOOTS OF LAVA WALK.

Eileen really wants that damn trading card.

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