It’s the Retronauts Holiday 2013 Extravaganza!

Retronauts Xmas cover

Hey folks — Bob here with a little disclaimer before we get to the good stuff. As with the past two years, I hauled all of our recording gear to my remote cabin in the woods to record another Retronauts holiday special. Unfortunately, a few of the several thousand wolves in the surrounding wilderness managed to gnaw on the miles of cable I have to lay down so our audio can reach the civilized world. The result is a little distortion that pops up here and there; I edited out as much of it as I could, but had to leave it in a few spots when chunks of conversation couldn’t be tossed away. Anyhow, this only happens a handful of times, so it shouldn’t be too distracting!

In case you couldn’t tell from Retronauts history, I’m kind of a gigantic goober when it comes to Christmas stuff. So this year’s special focuses on two miserable Christmas cartoons I’ve probably seen more times than I’d like to admit: The Super Mario Bros. Super Show’s “Koopa Klaus,” and Super Mario World’s “The Night Before Cave Christmas.” Both come from shows that, in the tradition of Captain N: The Game Master, serve as cheap, shallow attempts by the monsters at DIC Entertainment to cash in on Nintendomania. And, as expected, Super Show and World each deliver the most low-impact take on a Christmas special, where a character inexplicably forgets the True Meaning of Christmas until they learn it once again through contrived circumstances. Bah, humkoop!

Joining us for this one is Chris Antista, emperor of the Laser Time Network, and the creator of A Cartoon Christmas, a site that slavish chronicles every animated holiday special under the sun. And as a special holiday treat, I’ve given this episode a bit of Laser Time flair by filling it with wintry video game music from start to finish. If you don’t like it, don’t worry (or complain); it’s only going to be a one-time thing. Oh, and if you actually need to watch these specials, I’ve embedded them below for the sake of convenience.

Libsyn (1:01:27 | MP3 | 56.3 MB) | SoundCloud

This episode’s description:

“It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been naughty or nice — the Retronauts are back with another holiday spectacular to fill your sinful ears with delight. Join Bob Mackey, Jeremy Parish, Ray Barnholt, and special guest Chris Antista as the crew discusses Christmas specials from The Super Mario Bros. Super Show and Super Mario World, and curses the uncaring god who would let such things happen. (NOTE: This episode has a few audio issues due to unexpected interference from territorial wolves. Sorry!)”

This episode’s musical breakdown:

  • 3:30 | Kirby’s Epic Yarn “Cozy Cabin” (Tomoya Tomita, Jun Ishikawa, Hirokazu Ando)
  • 28:05 | Xenoblade Chronicles “Snowy Mt. Valac” (Yoko Shimomura)
  • 58:41 | Donkey Kong Country 3 “Frosty Frolics” (Eveline Fischer Novakovic, David Wise)

Aaaaand if you’d like to get us something this Christmas, why not make it a review of our show in the iTunes Music Store? It’s the perfect gift!

16 thoughts on “It’s the Retronauts Holiday 2013 Extravaganza!

  1. Those live action segments with Danny Wells and Lou Albano weren’t great, but they were clearly the best part of the show. This made the Club Mario segments all the more irritating. It took a show that was only marginally watchable and pushed it firmly into criminal territory.

    I’ve heard that the Club Mario segments no longer exist. Some kind sole apparently took a bulk magnet eraser to them. I owe that kind soul a drink.

    I was always really irritated by the Super Mario Super Show. I thought it was step down from the cartoons I grew up with. And having grown up in the early 80s, that’s saying something. Say what you will about He-Man and Thundercats, but they were better than this. The Super Mario Super Show is some of the worst animation ever aired.

    Merry Christmas, guys! Peace. Love. Recycle.

    • I have to agree; the live segments with Lou Albano have always had a place in my heart. In retrospect, I can see how the whole thing was just shitty filler for kid’s television, but even now, I don’t hate it. The cartoon itself is just awful, but something about seeing the live-action segments still makes me smile, just a little.

  2. I just watched both of those clips and can safely say I am continuously surprised at how horrid my childhood was.


    So Mario’s Mother’s maiden name (I don’t know if that term is sexist now sorry if it is) was Mario. So when the first child was born, they named him Mario in honor of the Mother’s family. Then the dad walked out and she took her name back and changed the kids last names too. Thus Mario Mario and Luigi Mario.

    • I think Mario doesn’t have a dad because they would have had to pay another actor to play him. (I’m guessing the stagehand who played Mama Mario didn’t even get scale.)

  4. I hear some people liked the show based on that Pocket Men game.

    I always love seeing Christmas levels and references pop up in games, but if I’m picking just one, I’d have to go with Jazz Jackrabbit: Holiday Hare. It’s certainly not the best, either as a game or in its implementation of the theme, and if you didn’t play it then, there’s no reason to care now, but I did and I have a soft spot for it. That snow on the menu screens looked sliiiiiick.

  5. Great podcast guys. I hope you do more podcasts delving into niche topics. You guys mentioned the Simpsons a bit throughout the podcast, would you ever do a podcast regarding the numerous Simpsons games? I would love to hear about all the Simpsons games from the original NES and Gameboy to the PS2 and PS3 games.

  6. I actually really dig the live-action Mario segments – probably the only redeeming part of that Super Show as a grown adult. It’s just such a goofy 80s sitcom version of the Mario brothers, I kind of love them… which is why when the show jumped to Club Mario I just dropped out of watching it entirely, even as a kid.

    I met Captain Lou at a Youmacon years ago, and he seemed genuinely amused that people dug that show as much as they did. Also had zero qualms talking about his wrestling days!

  7. Do you have a link to those panoramic screen grabs mentioned right at the end of the show? Thanks!

  8. Really great show this week, guys. You did the holidays proud.

    My favourite wintry levels? Well, at the risk of being unoriginal, I have to go with two of the areas already mentioned, the town of Narshe from FF6, and the one I would have to consider my favourite of all time, the Ice Forest from Secret of Mana. The Santa Claus/Frost Gigas part was goofy and completely out of left field, but the environment of the forest itself is beautiful, and it features my single favourite piece of video game music of all time. I had never heard anything quite like it in a game up to that point, and along with several of the more unusual pieces from Super Castlevania 4 it really sort of expanded my idea of what music could accomplish in a video game. Mega Man levels be damned, I never dreamed game music could be as incredible as that theme from the Ice Country. (With a special shout-out to the creepy waltz that plays during the Calcabrina fight and other times in Final Fantasy 4.)

    I would also like to complete the holy trinity of Square Enix RPGs by mentioning Chrono Trigger, specifically Death Peak. Even more specifically, there’s a moment when you first come to the summit, where the screen slowly fades up, showing first just the barest highlighted suggestions of the silhouette of the tree on the precipice, then gradually lighting completely before panning down to show the full screen. Again, it was one of those moments when I saw something in a video game I had just never quite encountered before, a moment that really left an indelible mark. Of course, Marle hugging Chrono after he’s revived is a moment I’ve never quite forgotten either, so two snowy scenes within about five minutes of each other that would make my personal all-time list of the best video game moments ever.

    Again, really great episode, and thanks for the amazing work all year.

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