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Today in Nerd History | May 13

Grab your goth coats and level up your Mushroom Kingdom skills because today we’re celebrating two groundbreaking moments that have left a lasting impact on pop culture. On May 13, 1994, “The Crow” flew into theaters, bringing a dark, brooding tale of vengeance and redemption to the big screen, and in 1996, “Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars” hit the Super Nintendo, combining the whimsical world of Mario with the epic scope of role-playing games. Let’s delve into some “Nerdy Facts” about these beloved pieces of pop culture history.

Inclusion on this list does not imply that the entry is family friendly, only that is was a nerd culture milestone. Parents should, of course, use discernment.
1994: The Crow (Theaters)​

Based on James O’Barr’s comic book series, “The Crow” introduced moviegoers to Eric Draven, a resurrected avenger who returns to the land of the living to right the wrongs of his past.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • Brandon Lee’s Legacy: Tragically, Brandon Lee, who played the titular character, died in an on-set accident during filming. Despite this, his performance left an indelible mark on the role, elevating “The Crow” to cult status.
  • A Dark and Moody Atmosphere: Director Alex Proyas crafted a dark, atmospheric film that perfectly captured the gothic aesthetic of the source material, making it one of the defining films of 90s alternative culture.
  • Inspirational Soundtrack: The film’s soundtrack became iconic in its own right, featuring bands like The Cure, Nine Inch Nails, and Stone Temple Pilots, whose song “Big Empty” played a crucial role in setting the film’s moody tone.
1996: Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (Super Nintendo)​

“Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars,” developed by Square (now Square Enix) and published by Nintendo, brought Mario into the world of role-playing games, creating an adventure that mixed classic platforming with deep storytelling.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • Unexpected Collaboration: The game marked an unusual collaboration between Nintendo and Square, blending the lighthearted world of Mario with the intricate RPG mechanics and storytelling that Square was known for.
  • Innovative Combat System: The game introduced timed hits, a mechanic where players could deal extra damage by pressing a button at just the right moment during an attack or defense, adding a layer of strategy to the traditional turn-based RPG combat.
  • Beloved New Characters: “Super Mario RPG” introduced fans to new characters like Geno and Mallow, who quickly became fan favorites despite not appearing in many subsequent Mario games.

May 13 is a day to celebrate the richness of storytelling across different mediums, whether it’s through the atmospheric darkness of “The Crow” or the whimsical adventures of “Super Mario RPG.” Happy Nerd History Day to all who continue to enjoy these iconic stories, whether avenging lost love or teaming up with a talking doll to save the Mushroom Kingdom!

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Station Manager of LTN Radio and co-host of the "Nerd History Podcast" & the "Two Words Podcast". Matt is a third-generation radio station manager who has done pretty much every job in the radio industry. Matt is the father of two boys and a little girl. It's probably the best thing about him.

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