Video Games

Suspicious Box Found in Tempe Might Be Familiar to Old School Nintendo Fans

In a week when the entire nation is on absolute high alert concerning any sort of suspicious items being left out in the open, one local wisenheimer may have thought it was apparently high time for a little mischief.

Earlier today, officers from the Tempe Police Department investigated a "suspicious package" that was discovered near the intersection of Newberry Lane and Spence Avenue. And what cops found may resemble an object familiar to fans of old school Nintendo games.

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According to a press release and image sent out by Tempe Police, officers called in the cavalry (specifically, the department's bomb squad) in response to a cardboard box covered in golden paper and decorated with large white paper question marks on different sides. The immediate area was also cordoned off and evacuated.

After glancing at the above image of the suspicious parcel, those folks who have played a round or three of the 1985 Nintendo classic Super Mario Bros. will instantly recognize it as a mock-up of one of the golden question blocks that are scattered throughout the game and contain various power-ups used by either Mario or Luigi.

So how did this box get there? We did some detective work of our own and discovered the answer.

Apparently, the item is a remnant of a Mario-themed dance party entitled "Mintendo" that took place last night at The Mint in Scottsdale, which featured patrons dressed as their favorite characters from the game and had said boxes as decorations. We're assuming that either the box might have been placed as an ill-timed prank of sorts that might have been aimed at making light of the tragedies and turmoil surrounding the Boston bombings and the current exhaustive manhunt of suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev.

If so, too soon.

Then again, it could've fallen out of someone's car.

Cops from the Tempe bomb squad searched the box, but didn't find any magic mushrooms or fire-flowers. Per the department, "nothing of concern" was inside, although AZCentral reported it contained various papers.

In respect to all the tragedy of this past week, particularly the last 24 hours, we'll refrain from making any half-witted comparisons between the Tsarnaev brothers and the Mario brothers, although one has to wonder if Tempe Police considered putting an APB out for Mario and Luigi.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.