I had finally made it. I went through level after level, determined to get that Giga Bowser trophy. Roy, four lives left, normal difficulty, midnight, thunderstorm, first attempt—need I say more? I looked in awe as the Bowser trophy slammed down onto the field, warping and mutating. Lightning jolted through him, shedding his skin. His eyes lit up and the camera panned back to give a full view of him. He looked like he popped out of a plumber’s nightmare: gigantic, with horns extending out more, claws more defined and metallic, spikes more intimidating, the colors darkened…It was more Lost World than Super Mario. I felt like I had been running track my whole life and finally made it to the Olympics, just to find out the course is full of land mines.
Overwhelmed with excitement, I raced towards him, starting with a smash and then Sword Dancing. He barely moved. Not a good sign. I jumped back, almost missing the flames dancing across the floor. As soon as I got to my feet, I chucked a bomb at him and got in a few cheap hits, carefully dodging his spinning shell and smiling as he hit a mushroom, shrinking down to a slightly more manageable size. I decided to not to waste this golden opportunity and began attacking him like crazy. We exchanged our blows and a couple of times I almost knocked him out the arena. Unfortunately, tininess doesn’t last nearly long enough and he was back to normal size once more, breathing endless streams of fire at me. I jumped back to the edge, grabbed a laser sword, and slashed a green shell at him. I jumped up, countered his spinning shell, quickly dropped to the floor, and charged my sword up for one more cheap hit. Lightning flashed dramatically as he grabbed hold of the edge and rolled into a falling mushroom.
A wave of uneasiness went through me in that split-second of wondering which mushroom it was. I can normally identify them, but I hadn’t gotten a good glimpse. My fears were put to ease as he shrank back again. Then, I noticed it: the one thing that could definitely tip the scales in my favor. Like a kid drowning in the ocean, I scrambled towards my lifesaver. I counted my blessings, thanked the Lord, and watched in utter amazement as I got bigger. Now we were at an even playing field. I started mashing buttons like crazy, taking full advantage of my luck. His fire wasn’t as effective when we were the same size and my attacks made quite the difference. He came close to death a few times, but I just couldn’t pull it off and, like all good things, it came to an end and we were soon back to duking it out in our original sizes. He knocked me up into the air and then body slammed me outside of the arena.
I dropped down and took advantage of temporary immortality: I ran through fire and used my sword dance. Cheap? Nothing’s cheap against something that’s ten times your size. I tossed a red shell, jumped over his flames, and gave him a few slashes before the shell came back, knocking us both into the air. When we landed, I tried to get in a quick hit buy got caught into his flames before the shell smacked into him. I landed and rolled opposite of the incoming shell. I grabbed a bomb and watched it send him back into the air where he was practically a sitting duck.
The room lit up with lightening as I jumped over the shell, watching it nod off into a puff of smoke. I hurled it at him, crossed my fingers as I watched him fly across the screen. He jumped up and began spinning his shell, getting closer and closer to the edge before it dawned on me that he was going to make it. He was going to make it and I was going to have to keep on doing this over and over…unless I stopped him. I turned my back to him, jumped backwards and latched on to the edge, smiling as he plummeted off-screen.
I was overcome with excitement and adrenaline as I fast-forwarded through the credits and skipped the Roy ending video. Words can’t describe the feelings of accomplishment shooting through me as it told me I unlocked the Giga Bowser trophy. I glanced up at the “Now Saving…” at the top right of the screen. A loud crash of thunder and a blinding flash of lightning decorated the room as all the power briefly shut off. Panicking, I turned the Gamecube on and checked for the Giga Bowser trophy. It wasn’t there. My sole proof that I beat him…and it had vanished as quickly as it came. It took me a few weeks and countless tries until I could finally beat him again.