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The Palm of My Hand Just Shuddered Because the Tug O’ War Minigame Is Returning to Mario Party Superstars

Will our Joy-Cons survive?

Mario Party Superstars

Mario Party Superstars is set to release on October 29th and will offer a nostalgic trip through the Nintendo 64 and GameCube era of the party game franchise. While there will be new modes and ways to play, the main draw is the ability to revisit the classic minigames that we all enjoyed in the early days of the franchise.

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Except for Tug o’ War.

They can keep that in drafts.

Or not?

Thanks for the warning, I guess?

In case your hand isn’t twitching at the memory of this Nintendo Saw trap, Tug o’ War was one of the minigames in the N64 era of Mario Party. It was a 1 vs 3 minigame where one player, dressed as Bowser, went up against three other players.

The objective? Pull the rope hard enough to send your opponent into a piranha plant-infested canyon (insert Squid Game reference here). Players did this by rotating the analog stick as fast as they could.

I vividly remember this game because the fastest way to rotate the analog stick was to use the palm of your hand, which I did, and yes, I got a nice bruise on my hand from it. So did, well, anyone else who played this game, because it was impossible to move your thumb fast enough to win—at least it was for me, did anyone beat this game without the “have burn cream on standby” trick?

Anyway, it led to Nintendo offering protective gloves for owners of the game.

I’m not kidding.

Nintendo’s agreement to offer the gloves settles a complaint from the New York Attorney General’s office, which had heard from parents of children who had suffered cuts, punctures, blisters and friction burns on their hands because of the intense joystick movements some portions of the multiplayer N64 game require.

“One kid got a tetanus shot,” said Christi Pritchard, a spokeswoman for New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.

“The alarming thing was how little time some of these children spent playing the game before they were injured,” Pritchard said. “One parent said their child had been playing the game for 15 to 20 minutes when they got a second-degree burn.”

Tug o’ War has made a couple of appearances since then, such as the 3DS game Mario Party: The Top 100 and “Pull It Together” on the Nintendo Switch’s Super Mario Party. As if sensing the potential danger of aggressive analog stick rotation, Super Mario Party does NOT have you rotating the analog stick and, instead, it has you button-mashing. I’ve played Super Mario Party and button-mashing was a perfectly fine alternative to hand damage.

I’m not so much surprised to see Tug o’ War returning as I am surprised to see Nintendo risking it all by having it be controlled by the analog stick again, especially since we’re in the age of Joy-Con drift.

That seems to be the general consensus here. The minigame itself isn’t the problem, just the “Nintendo chose violence today” control scheme and the warning that’s been added in an attempt to do damage control ahead of time.

I dunno, maybe it won’t take as much rotating to win?

Or maybe we’re all gonna get protective gloves from Nintendo this holiday season.

You know what? I think I’m fine with gracefully losing this minigame. The AI can have this one.

(Image: Nintendo/Netflix)

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Briana Lawrence
Briana (she/her - bisexual) is trying her best to cosplay as a responsible adult. Her writing tends to focus on the importance of representation, whether it’s through her multiple book series or the pieces she writes. After de-transforming from her magical girl state, she indulges in an ever-growing pile of manga, marathons too much anime, and dedicates an embarrassing amount of time to her Animal Crossing pumpkin patch (it's Halloween forever, deal with it Nook)

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