And this all went down back in the 80s, when she still went by the less-than-regal named Toadstool, so really who knew what Mario was going to find in that last dungeon? A spuming fungal bloom? Some nightmarish mushroom with gender-specific genitalia? Fortunately for Mario, she ended up being a pixelly, kid-friendly babe with Farrah hair, but he did a bad job of keeping her close by. She’d be forever removed to some far-off corner of the world, even though he presumably hopped through the entire world in every previous adventure. She got the joke.
I feel like he didn’t, based on his irrepressible enthusiasm. It turns out there’s a word for this whole situation.
princesse lointaine (PRIN-sess LWAN-tayn) — noun: an ideal but unattainable woman.Translated from French, it’s “distant princess,” which makes sense enough, if you consider it in the contest of dungeon-hopping and damsels imprisoned in towers. But A.Word.A.Day explains that we have this as a literary trope — or, really, a real-life trope, depending on your lifestyle choices — thanks to Edmond Rostand, who wrote Cyrano de Bergerac but also La Princesse Lointaine, a play about Jaufre Rudel. Now that I read the Wikipedia page on Rudel, it’s clear he was some kind of stalker, but I suppose that to a hopeless stalker, the desired woman might as well be locked away in some tower, guarded by a dragon who suggests “Dude, come on — just move on.”
If we get down to it, I’d guess that Mario spends most of his extra lives overcoming lines like “Thanks — really, thanks! — but I think I need some me time after all this. So okay bye.”
Previous words of the week after the jump.