In february 1995 a really interesting mariogame got released.
Mario’s game gallery, which later got rereleased under the promising title Mario’s FUNdamentals.
The game looks like the standard 90s mariocash grab game at first.
It’s just a collection of five board games, namely checkers, backgammon, yacht, domino and go fish, featuring mario.
But actually there are several things settingthis weird little game collection apart from other obscure mario games.
First the game features official voice acting(“come here fishy fishy”), second the game wasn’t published by a weird no namepublisher, but got actually published by “interplay”.
Interplay should go on to publish a coupleof legendary games, including the very first fallout, planescape torment and baldur's gate.
But the third, and most important differenceto other odd mario games: The game doesn’t try to teach us anything! So MArio’s FUNdamentals is a really weirdgame, among the weirdest games mario ever did.
But is the game any good? Well, let’s take a deep look into this almostforgotten part of marios career, and let’s find out! So are you ready? Let’s do this! Alright, so let’s take a look at the fivedifferent games.
Let’s start with checkers! So first we have to decide whether we wantto play as yoshi's or as koopas, which .
uhm, that’s kind of a hard question.
to be honest with you.
… I’m team koopa.
Then we enter our name and, hooray! We are playing checkers.
So for anyone not familiar with checkers, the rules are actually surprisingly simple.
Every player has twelve small figures in frontof them called man.
Each man is only allowed to move diagonallyand is only allowed to move forward.
If there is an enemy yoshi in a diagonal fieldthat we are able to move to, while the place behind it is empty then we are able to … uhm… to bubble ? the enemy yoshi, which defeats the figure.
If a figure reaches the end of the game boardit becomes a king, in our case a bowser, in marios case a bigger yoshi.
Kings are allowed to move into all four directions, and the winner is the first person to defeat all the enemies man.
Surprisingly simple right? So I actually played a ton of checkers asa kid, and am quite decent at the game.
So I was really looking forward to play around against mario.
Checkers is kind of a tactical game, a goodplayer usually is able to easily beat a bad player, so I was really looking forward tofinally find out whether I or Mario are better at checkers.
And the answer is.
Well the answer is Mario plays like he isdrunk.
Like Mario is so bad at checkers it’s unreal.
The second time I played against our plumberI literally defeated him with only losing a single man, he plays so bad that I challengedmyself to try to beat him without losing a single one of my precious koopas (is it possibleto beat mario in checkers without losing a single man).
It’s absurd, mario truly plays checkersas if he was totally wasted, which uhm, judging by the things he says during the game he mayvery well be.
(pizza pizza)Though jokes aside, the checkers AI is really a joke.
Mario often simply makes the worst possiblemove.
Checker is always fun, but if mario playeda bit smarter the game would be far more enjoyable.
Let’s take a look at go fish.
So go fish is a far less tactical game thencheckers, in fact, it’s uhm, not a really good game to be honest.
So the idea is that each player has to formpairs of four cards.
A pair is formed as soon as a player has fourcards in their hand, cards can either be gained by asking the enemy player, in our case mario, for a specific card or by drawing them.
If mario has the card we are asking for hehas to hand them to us, otherwise we have to, “go fish”, which means we have todraw a card.
The game ends as soon as all cards are nicelypaired up, which usually takes five to ten minutes.
Which brings us to the biggest problem ofplaying go fish against mario.
It does not take five to ten minutes, a gametakes significantly longer.
Mainly because all the animations are unbearablyslow, and because mario just isn’t able to shut up.
“come here fishy fishy”.
This might be a good moment to talk aboutthe voice acting in this game.
So uhm, the stuff that mario says in thisgame are a bit more on the weird side, but actually, this game is the first time marioever spoke as mario.
You know, like with the actual mario mariovoice.
The gentleman voicing mario is charles martinet, and mario's fundamentals was the first time he lend mario hsi voice.
Before that mario sounded, well, uhm a bitdifferent then he does today.
“old mario line” So mario’s fundamentals is actually thefirst ever game where mario sounds like mario, which leaves us with an eternal question whichI sadly can’t answer definitely.
What were mario's first words.
What was the very first mario voice line everrecorded in his voice? Was it “come here fishy fishy”, was it“Knock knock.
whos there, jamaica the who, .
or, or weremario's first words .
So we will probably never know for sure, but if I had to guess, I’d say mario's first ever words definitely were.
Anyway so back to go fish.
So go fish is a game that relies heavily onrandomness, and isn’t very complicated to begin with, There really isn’t much strategyin go fish to, but there are at least a couple of things to keep in mind when playing thegame.
Like if mario asks me for bowsers.
Wait a second.
That’s not bowsers, it’s bowzers, uhm, alright.
So if he asks me for bowsers and I drew bowsersthe next turn then, well, then it would be kind of logical to, well ask for bowzers sinceI know that mario definitely owns bowzers.
As far as I can tell the AI doesn’t eventake this into consideration, which makes playing this game a bit weird.
So nothing against the game go fish, but playinggo fish against a really mediocre AI, with a really slow interface isn’t a lot of funto be honest.
Actually, it’s incredibly boring.
This might be a good point to talk about themusic in the game.
… … there is none .
So next let’stalk about the dominos game.
Ugh, the dominos game.
The dominos game is the worst minigame inthis obscure little game collection.
So it’s hard to judge the game for dominosnot being fun, but it just isn’t.
We put down dominos when we are able to, andif we are not we draw new ones till we are.
That’s the whole game, and that’s notexactly my definition of good times.
The game, it just, well it just plays itself.
There really isn’t much more to say aboutit.
It’s dominos and it’s boring.
To make matters worse the interface here ishorrible, so first, placing the first domino just doesn’t work like 19 out of 20 times.
Second the stones just sometimes connect tothe wrong row for no reason at all.
At least the AI is decent here, which mightis probably because domino, well, which may be because there really isn't any thinkinginvolved when playing dominoes.
We just place down our little stones whenpossible, and so does mario.
What a boring game.
For a far less boring and much more interestinggame, let’s take a look at backgammon.
So backgammon is a really really cool game.
First the game is among the oldest games thatare still played today, actually it’s origins date back almost 5000 years, second backgammonis a game with a really high skill ceiling.
While the outcome of a single game of backgammonmay be decided by the dice rolls, which are random, over the course of several games thebetter player will win more games.
Think about it as some sort of board gamepoker.
The game is by far the most complex in thisamazing little game collection, and I was really really looking forward to find outhow good they programmed mario to play.
And the answer to this question is unsurprisingly, well they didn’t do that good of a job.
Mario plays backgammon even worse than heplays checkers, and that means something, because, uhm, because he really sucked atcheckers before.
The AI just does strange random moves withoutmuch strategy behind them.
Ugh, to make matters even worse the littlefigures take ages to move from a to b.
Don’t get me wrong, playing backgammon isalways fun, even if your opponent plays like a drunk italian plumber, and moves it’spieces in slow mo but it’s just not as much fun as it could potentially be.
So far all of the games have been a bit disappointing.
Go fish and dominos are just not much funto begin with, and checkers and backgammon really suffer from a stupid AI coupled withextreme slow execution.
There are no difficulty settings, and beatingmario at the only difficulty available is way way to easy in all the games.
At this point, I honestly started to wonderif mario is just horribly bad at board games.
Because there is one last game left to takea look at in this silly little game collection.
One last game to save this obscure littletitle, and this game, is yacht.
Holy fuzzy, yacht is amazing!! I didn’t know that game before doing researchfor this video, but yacht is such a fun little game.
So here’s how it works.
Each player has five dices which we roll.
After the first roll we can decide how manyof the dices we want to keep.
The rest gets rerolled, then we can keep evenmore and finally we reroll one last time.
That’s the boring part, but here’s wherethis gets interesting.
There are twelve different rows where we cannow score with the rolls in front of us, and each row follows different rules and awardsa different amount of points.
A yacht, which is five of a kind for exampleis worth 50 points, a big street is worth 30 points, but we can also just count allaces, or fives, or we use the choice category and gain points equal to the sum of all dicerolls.
Here’s the catch, the game ends as soonas each player filled each category, and each category can only score points ones.
This is where the game gets really strategicand interesting.
Do we score the three twos and the six andthe five as deuces, do we reroll and hope for a full-house, do we want to score thosein the choice category, are we unhappy with the roll and just give up the yacht categoryand hope for a better roll next time? So many questions! The game is really strategic and offers tonsof interesting choices for a dice game.
I honestly love it.
Even mario does less dumb stuff this time.
He may do a couple of, uhm, questionable moveshere or there, but it’s absolutely possible to lose this game against mario, which, uhm, it isn’t in the other strategic games.
Playing yacht against mario is honestly reallyfun, actually it’s the only game in mario’s game gallery that is really really fun toplay, but it is, and it gives this obscure game collection finally a reason to exist.
Hooray! So finally, let’s apply a total score ontomario's fundamentals.
Let’s find out how good or bad this gameis in relation to the other really obscure mario games.
Let’s find out if this game even has a chanceof winning the title as the worst mario game ever made.
Let’s rate the game using our horrific scaleof horrible hammers! So dearest Mario’s FUNdamentals, that’sa total score, of only, two horrific hammers for you! Congratulations! You are almost an okay game.
There really isn’t much fundamentally wrongwith FUNdamentals.
The AI is really bad, and all the games playout way too slow, but other than that, well, it’s actually possible to have a bit offun with this game! Especially the yacht minigame is really reallycool.
The game isn't offensively bad! Great job! Even the voice acting is, while super weird, kind of fun in retrospective! “Mario Go Fish”.
Great job Mario’s FUNdamentals, you aredefinitely not the worst game in the mario series! Alright so here we have it, a quick overviewover mario’s FUNdamentals! I hope you enjoyed this little video, if youenjoyed it don’t forget to leave me a thumbs up, and maybe you feel especially “MarioGo Fish!” today and want to hit the subscribe button as well.
I hope that all of you have a wonderful dayand to see you soon.