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“The last metroid is in captivity. The galaxy is at peace.”
The words flashed across the screen as Mari started what felt like her thousandth playthrough of Super Metroid. Despite so many hours spent as Samus Aran, hesitation to start another never presented itself and Super Metroid was her favorite of the series. She will never forget the elation she felt, while watching her mom play the first game, when Mari learned that Samus was a female. As the credits were rolling and the final sequence played, her mom watched Mari’s face light up as she comprehended what she saw.
“How do you like that surpise dear?” asked her mom at the time.
“Holy cow! I thought the manual kept referring to ‘he’.”
“Diversionary tactics and the element of surprise.”
“That is so cool!”
“Mari, when were you planning to take out the garbage?” called up her mom from the kitchen, bringing Mari back from past memories.
“When that jerk Ridley becomes space pirate dust.”
“If you could make it a bit earlier than that, your father and I would appreciate it.”
Mari decided to get the chore taken care of now before she got started at all, as it would avoid breaking a good gaming flow later. She was your typical teenage girl. She got along well with her parents, achieved decent grades, generally got along well with her classmates. It was in college when her mom first got into and fell in love with the original Metroid, after seeing it on the store shelf. Mari, in time, inherited the same love for Metroid and even further, Samus herself. It was this mutual love that formed the strongest bond between her and her mom.
She took the stairs two at a time on her way down to the kitchen, vocalizing “pew pew” sounds with each step, imagining Samus’ arm cannon blasting Ridley in the chest with each one. As she made her way down the back porch steps and across the yard, her imagination continued with needing the grappling beam to cross a large Norfair void. “Oh man, missed the ledge! Gotta get out of the lava! Agh, taking so much damage!” shouted Mari as she tossed the garbage into the can and bounded back to the porch.
“Thanks dear”, said her dad as she came inside. “If I may ‘dad’ for a moment, I hope you never lose this playful innocence about you. I am not as familiar with these games you and mom love, but from what she tells me, Samus is an awesome character.”
This statement caused a rush of both embarrassment and pride to wash over Mari. “Thanks dad, I hope I can embarrass you with it when we’re older” replied Mari with a cheeky grin.
“I’m sure you will.” he said smiling back.
After a fleeting but loving hug, Mari took off back to her room.
“Onward! There’s space pirates to exterminate! Mom, I took out the garbage!”
“Thank you. What number of playthrough are you up to on Super Metroid?”
“I lost count.”
That comment made Roz smirk.
Once Mari had bounded back up to her room, her parents began discussing what they were going to get for Mari’s upcoming birthday the following month. The Astra family were not scraping the bottom of the barrel financially, but also weren’t in the upper echelon of the middle class. They managed well enough through wise spending combined with living within their means.
“Any ideas for what we can get her?” asked her father.
“I saw an ad in the paper earlier about professional wrestling coming to town next month. Do you recall what Mari likes?” asked her mom, as she rummaged on the table to find the ad.
Magnus knew right away that Mari was enthrawled with World Championship Wrestling. “Yes, Roz, she likes WCW. Last week she was complaining that no one was trusting Sting when they should be. She’s convinced he’s still a good guy.”
“Perfect” sighed Roz with a sense of relief as she found the ad, “it looks like that’s who will be here. The ad says tickets go on sale in a week. Think you could get some purchased for all of us?”
“Does it list any prices at all?”
“$20 per person, according to the bottom of the listing.”
“Sounds reasonable, and work has been steady” said Magnus. “I’ll pick some up next week.”
“She’s going to be so excited” agreed both, resuming their previous activities.