⟨ Treasure ⟩

Totem of the Game World

Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros.

Words / Phaedrus Lam
Photography / Courtesy of Nintendo
Translation / Fanny Chan

隨著今年傳統黑膠唱片的銷量,居然反超前CD唱片,你就大概知道復古科技這潮流,在未來幾年仍然會大行其道。說到復古科技,當然不止音樂格式這一環,像今日一支手機所包含的功能,昔日都可被以分拆開來,聽音樂要帶隨身聽,想拍照要帶相機,更別提是計算機和手電筒。而如果想外出玩遊戲的話,想當然地就是要帶上一台掌上型遊戲機。

「Game & Watch」是任天堂在80年代推出的掌上遊戲機,只有簡陋的黑白螢幕,遊戲也僅止於一款。儘管以現在目光看來,其配置低得可憐,實在想不通有什麼吸引力,然而當年它最初推出市場時,在日本國內可謂是風靡一時,同時候也是它展開了掌上遊戲機的歷史,令往後出門打遊戲這回事,變得像通勤時讀報紙那般平常和自然。

Based on the fact that vinyl sales have outpaced CD sales this year, it’s likely that other retro products and tech will still be popular in the coming years. Speaking of retro tech, of course it’s not just about music. Take for example the all-in-one multi-function mobile phone that we use nowadays; it’s the complete opposite of  single-function electronic gadgets of the past. For example, if you wanted to listen to music, you’d use a walkman. If you wanted to take pictures, you’d use a camera. The same applies to the use of calculator and flashlight.  And of course, if you wanted to play games when out and about, you’d have to bring a handheld game console.

“Game & Watch” is a handheld game console launched by Nintendo in the 1980s. It features a simple black and white screen with only one available game. From our current technological perspective, it’s hard to imagine that this poorly configured console could attract so much attention. But the thing is, when it was first introduced to the Japanese market, it became an instant hit. From there, it started the long history of handheld game consoles. Playing games when out and about has become as common and natural as reading newspapers on the metro.

這一台2020年版本的「Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros.」,不同於80年代的版本,是任天堂為慶祝《超級瑪利歐兄弟》35周年而推出的特別版。黑白畫面換上彩色,遊戲也包含了《超級瑪利歐兄弟》,《超級瑪利歐兄弟2》以及《Game & Watch Ball》等三款遊戲。相較於八十年代的版本,可謂是空前大升級。而如果是有一點資歷的讀者,不難發現其由機體配色,到那可愛的十字方向鍵,其實都致敬著任天堂紅極一時的家用遊戲機「紅白機」(NES),令人熟悉又感動。

既致敬「Game & Watch」,同時也致敬「紅白機」,還有《超級瑪利歐兄弟》這款經典遊戲,一台機體滿足三個願望,相信還沒到發售日的11月,已經令不少任天堂在摩拳擦掌,急著想把遊戲機拿到手上,重拾回兒時日以繼夜、過關殺敵的美夢。

The year 2020 version of “Game & Watch” is a special edition launched by Nintendo to celebrate the 35th anniversary of “Super Mario Bros.” Unlike its 1980s version, the “Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros.” has a drastic upgrade that features a full color screen and comes with three games: “Super Mario Bros.,” “Super Mario Bros. 2.” and “Game & Watch Ball.” Those who are familiar with game consoles might have noticed from the body color and the cute cross arrow keys on the 2020 “Game & Watch” that it is actually paying tribute to Nintendo’s smash hit “Red and White Game Console” (NES).

With a tribute to “Game & Watch,” “Red and White Game Console” as well as the classic game “Super Mario Bros.” the 2020 comeback of the “Game & Watch” is definitely something to look forward to. With a release day set for November, Nintendo fans can once again relive their childhood mem