Do you love Mappy? I do. Actually, I love Mappy so much that the big blue mouse practically walked me down the aisle.
I got married last September. Being a bit socially-anxious at the best of times, I was pretty stressed in the months leading up to the big day. I was back in my hometown to plan it over the summer, staying with my mom. A good friend of mine who is a massive collector of vintage games and consoles came by one day with an amazing solution to my pre-wedding nerves: a top-loading NES console and a stack of games to keep me busy over the summer.
I played some Battletoads and Mario 3 and a few rare games that I’d never seen before (Little Nemo: The Dream Master was pretty fantastic). However, the 101-in-1 cartridge definitely got the most play. And of those 101 games, Mappy is the one that saved me. When I wasn’t planning, cooking, or out with the dog, I was hiding from the sun in my mom’s basement, basking in the glow of Mappy.
I’d played Mappy before. In high school I had a brief run on 31-in-1 and Mappy was one of my faves. This time was different. I was drawn to it. Helping the namesake mouse-cop recover the valuable loot stolen by cats and stored in some kind of warehouse was my mission. Learning the patterns of the pink cats (did you know they’re called Mewkies?) and how to manipulate them with Mappy’s movements focused my attention and stopped me from going in circles, worrying about the wedding. I became obsessed with catching up to the big cat (“Nyamco”) to get the 1000-point bonus when he hides behind the item you’re collecting. How do I know the names of these characters? I read the wiki.
I set goals for myself: get to level 15, get to level 20, get to level 30. It was thrilling every time I reached a new high level. (I’ve never been much into playing games for high-scores.) I developed and constantly refined patterns for the earlier levels and learned that to make it through the higher levels, you need to be fearless and comfortable speeding along in close proximity to the mewkies. I decided my favorite loot to recover is the big old-timey radio, and my least favorite is the circa-1990-looking computer.
I played right up until the evening before the wedding. I tricked myself into believing that since I’d been playing Mappy all summer was still playing Mappy, it was just a day like any other. I kept it together well and even slept that night. The next day I had an amazing time at my wedding. I have Mappy to thank for helping to get me there with my sanity intact.