Volume 0 Author Spotlight: R J Burgess

This week sees the release of The Lost Worlds of Power, Volume 0 as a Groupees exclusive. It contains a total of five stories, unique to this collection, and each with its own illustration. For that reason, this week will be given over to spotlighting one of the featured authors every day. Today, R J Burgess, author of “Mario is Missing!”

R J BurgessThe first magazine I remember buying with my own money was called Total, a Nintendo-focussed monthly that ran for a number of years in the mid-90s.

Overall, I have fond memories of it. It was funny and informative, packed full of content and with just the right ratio of images to text to keep my eight-year-old self entertained on many a long car journey.

It wasn’t without its flaws, however.

Take their review for Mario is Missing! Whatever schmuck reviewed that game ended up giving it a score of 92% out of 100. 92%!

Mario is Missing!That was only 1% less than the score they’d given to The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. It was 2% more than they’d given to SimCity and F-Zero, and they were two of my favourite games on the SNES.

The reviewer called it fun and educational. He said it was unlike anything else on the console. It’s Mario, he said, and we all know you can’t go wrong with Mario, right?

I was instantly sold.

So I saved up for it. I squirreled away my pocket money for half a year in order to buy a copy. I still own it to this day…

Mario is Missing!And I don’t think it would surprise anyone when I say that it was one of the most disappointing experiences of my entire life. I played it once, completed it in just a couple of hours, and never touched it again.

I learned two very valuable lessons that day. First, that not everything with the word “Mario” in the title is made of gold. And second, that opinions are like assholes — everyone has one, no one really cares what yours looks like, and trying to use a 100-point scale to define one is a retarded thing to do. Anyone who buys a game based solely on its review score deserves the sort of soul-crushing disappointment that my eight-year-old self went through.

Mario is Missing!Anyway, as soon as the Lost Worlds of Power contest was announced, I knew that this was one ghost from my past I was going to have a lot of fun exorcising. I had some serious bones to pick with this game and its quote-unquote “story.” I’ve always enjoyed over-analysing things and there were a lot of, shall we say, “character motivations” that I didn’t feel were clear in the original plot of the game.

Hopefully, these things will make a bit more sense now that I’m finished with them.

I hope you have as much fun reading this story as I did writing it. If you fancy checking out some more of my stories afterwards, feel free to visit my blog.

–R J Burgess

3 thoughts on “Volume 0 Author Spotlight: R J Burgess”

  1. I dunno, RJ. If this happened when you were 14, you would’ve deserved it. But 8? The universe should have watched over you better than that.
    In any event, I’m glad something good came of it… however many years afterwards!

    1. Something similar happened to me with the PC version of this game. I saw it on a shelf and absolutely had to have it. I begged and begged until I finally got it for some holiday…and it was indeed terrible. I’ve never played the NES version, but from what I’ve heard (and seen) that’s even worse.

      Of course, since I was a kid I felt obligated to enjoy it, and I’m sure I played through it more than once. It taught me nothing except that at one point Luigi goes to Alcatraz, which is on an island.

      Alcatraz is on an island. That sentence represents the entirety of the knowledge I gleaned from this educational game.

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