You've been gone for so long
I'm running out of time
I need a doctor
Call me a doctor
I need a doctor, doctor
To bring me back to life..."
For starters, if you know where these lyrics came from, then props to you. Secondly, I have no idea where the idea came from to place Mario in the position of being a doctor - especially because the leap from plumber to doctor is far greater than plumber to demolition crew - but it must have made sense at the time. In reality, Nintendo knew way back then that Mario was going to be the face for the company for as long as they were in business, and they were very proactive about making sure the consumer knew that this portly little Italian plumber was going to be around for the long haul.
At the time, the popularity of Tetris was at an all time high. Everyone and their mother was playing Tetris at the time, and Nintendo obviously wanted to move in on that market share, despite already profiting on Tetris' success. They thought it would be a great idea to make a game like Dr. Mario, but not quite the same, as they didn't exactly want to completely rip off the game completely. Instead, they created a puzzle game where the pieces come falling down from the ceiling, in the shape of colored pills, with the sole intention to rid the board of the viruses infesting the pill-bottle. As Mario, you are just an innocent bystander, watching it all unfold, but you are dressed up in awesomely fashionable doctors coat while doing so.
But look, if you don't know what Dr. Mario is by this point in your life, you need to just stop reading immediately and go find a way to play this game. It's just not a game that you should go on much longer without playing. Seriously. Go play it now. I can describe the game until I am blue in the face, but without playing it, it won't have any context at all. GO PLAY DR. MARIO!
Speaking of Dr. Mario, I remember when the online eShop for the Nintendo Wii came out, one of the first games was Dr. Mario, which wasn't just a virtual console version of the game, but a completely new game designed specifically for the eShop. Sure, it was the same old Dr. Mario game that you (SHOULD) know and love, but it added online capability, where you could play matches against others all over the world. I would jump in to matches and play against random people (which may come as a shock to most of you), which was a lot of fun. I would do really good for a while and rank up, and then promptly get destroyed as I started getting matched up against really good players. Regardless of winning or loosing, it was a lot of fun to play this game competitively.
So going back and playing the original version of this game, it has made me realize that while the original was fantastic, the updated version completely blow the old game out of the water. Nintendo is notorious for going back and revamping old franchises, and Dr. Mario makes me excited to think about the possibilities for some of their other dormant franchises.
I don't know what else to say about this title, really. It's Dr. freaking Mario, for crying out loud. It made me remember how much I will always love drop-from-the-top puzzlers, and how weird and creative Nintendo usually is. A doctor. Really? Mario as a doctor?
I'm about to lose my mind...