Tons of fans turned up and dressed up to pick up their Mario and Zelda in Melbourne last night

Nintendo Australia hosted yet another amazing launch party at ‘The Nintendo Experience’ store last night. This one was extra special, as it celebrated the release of new games from two of Nintendo’s most beloved franchises. In case you’ve been hiding inside a Koopa shell for the last year, I’m talking about Super Mario 3D Land and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.

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I arrived at 10pm to witness a line zigzagging through the bottom level of EB Games. I quickly joined the queue as the patient fans stormed upstairs, only to be greeted by Nintendo employees handing out bags of what can only be described as awesome. We each received a Nintendo t-shirt featuring one of many designs (mine has Mario in one of his famous poses, with the text underneath reading ‘It’s-a-me! Mario!’), as well as a poster for each of the games, and a Skyward Sword notepad, key ring and pen. Further along the line, we were offered Mario and Zelda cupcakes, soft drinks and other assorted snacks (all of which continued throughout the night). Thanks for the goodies, Nintendo!

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As if all of that wasn’t enough, Nintendo gave us all a chance to star in our very own photograph in the lands of Skyloft or the Mushroom Kingdom. They had a green screen set up, a very friendly photographer and a Photoshopping and printing station. It only took about two minutes to get a photo done, and everyone was allowed to line up and take as many as they wanted. The photos really do make for a great souvenir, especially for the younger fans. Kudos to Nintendo for always coming up with interesting and fun activities for their launch parties.

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I’ve been to quite a few Nintendo game and system launches at The Nintendo Experience but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it so tightly packed with fans. Everyone wanted a go (or five) at Skyward Sword, and the Nintendo and EB Games staff were more than happy to talk everyone through the game areas and Wii controls as they played.

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After everyone settled in and the line for the photos got a little shorter, Nintendo’s Jamie Wilson started quizzing fans about Mario and Zelda games, and handing out cute Nintendo plush toys as prizes. Jamie’s questions range from very easy to insanely difficult, but you can never underestimate a Nintendo fan – if Jamie can think the question up, someone at the launch will know the answer.

We took a bunch of photos we couldn’t include here, so we put them up on the Vooks Facebook page. Tag yourself in them!

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Speaking of Nintendo fans… you should see some of the cosplay outfits they create! I’m always amazed by the attention to detail that is put into the costumes. You can definitely tell that it’s a labour of love. This time was no different. Characters from Mario and Zelda games past were brought to life in front of our eyes. Luigi. Link. Mario. Malon. Zelda. Epona. Hang on… Epona? Yep, you read that right.

Two cosplayers turned up dressed as Link’s horse, making everyone in the room erupt with laughter. Well played. After all the cosplayers paraded up and down the stairs, the winner was chosen by applause. And by winner I mean winners, as the fans could not decide between Zelda and Malon. And they didn’t have to. Jamie handed them both a Nintendo 3DS for their efforts. Congratulations to all the cosplayers, you all looked wonderful!

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Not to be outdone by his fans, Mario was also in attendance, commanding the attention of everyone in the room. He took photos with his fans all night and even tore up the dance floor later on in the evening. Mario definitely still has the moves and it looks like he’s never slowing down.

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As 1am approached, the last few fans purchased their copies of Super Mario 3D Land and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. I suspect everyone rushed home afterwards to start playing. I’m going to do the same right now, but I’ll be back with coverage of the Mario Kart 7 Launch which is happening next week. Thanks again to Nintendo Australia for another successful launch party. We’ll keep coming if you keep throwing them.

We took a bunch of photos we couldn’t include here, so we put them up on the Vooks Facebook page. Tag yourself in them!

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