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Saturday, November 21, 2015

Super Mario World 25th Anniversary

Scott Balmer 25th Anniversary Tribute Art
Super Mario World came out in Japan twenty-five years ago today on November 21, 1990. It would take the US a year to get the game on November 21, 1990. At TTDILA we wanted to celebrate the game anniversary as it means so much to me, the editor, as it's my favorite game. Not my favorite game in the series, my favorite game of all time.

The mustachioed brother plumbers of Mario and Luigi first foray on the SNES to rescue Princes Toadstool, not Princess Peach, was ground-breaking at the time and remains today as one, if not the best, best in our books, platformers.

The animation, the look, the backgrounds, the music they all meld into one of the best game experiences of all time. It wrote the book on secrets, just venture to the Donut Plains and you would have the Top Secret Area to get all your power-ups. What about Star Road, off the map? Or how about if you beat Star Road and saw Mario's mug on all the Koopas as now Mask Koopas? What about a green dinosaur compadre?

The game introduced one of the favorite characters of the series, Yoshi! Yes, Yoshi, the green dinosaur you could ride and that would eat most any enemy. In this game he started out green. Later incarnations of Yoshis came in different colors. Blue Yoshi would gain wings and be able to fly once you ate a Koopa shell. Yellow Yoshi would kick up sand when it landed killing nearby enemies. It made the saying, "Eat my dust, " stick. Red Yoshi, any shell he eats and throws up will be turned into fireballs.

Yoshi was a companion, a power-up that made you feel even more powerful. You had a dinosaur to ride, something Miyamato, creator of Mario, wanted since the start of the series. The sound he makes when he gulps down some enemy or eats some fruit by sticking out his big red tongue, just too funny.

Mario himself became like Superman or at least took on the title of every game going on the Super NES with the feather power-up. He became Cape Mario, able to fly across levels and hit the ground knocking enemies over. This new ability was eye-catching and would cause almost any enemy die when he twirled his cape killing them. Mario, even with out the cape, could also twirl on top of enemies to kill them or not be kill by certain sharp dangers. Fire Flowers gave him the ability to shoot fireballs out of his hands killing enemies from a distance.

He could do all this while transversing levels in the air, in the mountains, underwater, in caves and castles and even haunted houses. There were so many different areas to explore with levels taking you to new corners of Dinosaur Land with new platforming feats to master.

Not set in the Mushroom Kingdom, the game takes place in Dinosaur Land. Though named that some of the areas in it were named after sweets and snacks, nothing was really named after dinosaurs.
Ye Old Mario World by Glen Brogan

  • World 1- Yoshi's Island
  • World 2- Donut Land
  • World 3- Vanilla Dome
  • World 4- Twin Bridges
  • World 5- Forest of Illusion
  • World 6- Chocolate Island
  • World 7- Valley of Bowser

An over-world map would change its topography as you unlocked levels. Every step of the way you could see the world expand.

The simple plot has you saving this new land-you were vising on vacation - from Bowser, which the cartoon series makes me think of as King Koopa. He of course took Princess Toadstool who you and your brother have to rescue. In the new land there were some major redesigns of classic characters and new ones created. The way Goombas look, they just look like a new species compared to the other games in the series. We were introduced to Banzai Bills,Wigglers, Swoopers, Monty Moles and the fierce Magikoopas.

Added to the game was defeating bosses on each world, Bower's awful kids, the Koopalings.

World 1 Boss:             Iggy Koopa
World 2 Boss:             Morton Koopa Jr.
World 3 Boss:             Lemmy Koopa
World 4 Boss:             Ludwig Von Koopa
World 5 Boss:             Roy Koopa
World 6 Boss:             Wendy O. Koopa
World 7 Boss:             Larry Koopa and Bowser

Each of these tikes had a different way they needed to be taken out. Then Bowser/King Koopa was the hardest of all to figure out. In his mighty Clown Car, which is in fact a flying clown-faced vehicle, he would throw Mecha-Koopas at you. You would need to jump on them throw them back up at him. Not easy to figure out. His appearance in the game might be the only draw, his design is way off-model comapred to other games in the series.

When I think of how funny as smashed in Rex looks after being jumped on and still coming after you or just the cartoon feel of the levels with it's chip-tune's almost too much. I have to start talking about the game or maybe turn on the Wii U to play it.

The influence and popularity created a follow-up cartoon series, Super Mario World. It could not compare to it's predecessor, "The Super Mario Bros Super Show!, " which had a live action segment action with Lou Albano, who in real-life was a WWF Wrestler, he played  Mario. Luigi was played by Danny Wells and guest stars and problems would happen every episode for the two Brooklyn plumbers. By Super Mario World era of the cartoon it had lost the live action segments. Yet, the memory of the live action segments remains strong in memories of fans. So much so that this fan made a tribute video based on the old opening of the series and probably would have not done so if not for Super Mario World.

The cartoon, Super Mario World, is in no way a great cartoon series, the animation is inconsistent and the plots are complete nonsense. Whatever time the animators or staff had learning about the game prior to its release to the US may have been wasted as they made severe changes including making Dinosaur Land, where Super Mario World takes place, inhabited by cavemen. The cartoon does use many of the sound effects-ad nauseam- and places from the game. It lasted a mere twelve episodes compared to the sixty-five episode series before it.

Other fans have payed tribute, such as artists Scott Balmer and Arkotype. While certain groups like Game Paused, pay tribute to Mario overall with an upcoming book Game Icons: Mario. Here's some of the piece from artists from around the world for the upcoming title.

Today Super Mario World lives on in Super Mario Maker. The style of the game is its own mode. Fans of the game are delighted to create new levels using the same art and characters or just to play with it to better see how the whole game works. The game is also available on the Wii U right now, as of writing this, for only $7.99.

In closing, Super Mario World was the pinnacle platformer and remains as the one game you could easily pick up and play today as you could twenty-five years ago and still be entertained.

Thank You


Takashi Tezuka          Shigeru Miyamoto
Game Director           Creator of Mario Bros and Game Producer

Koji Kondo                Shigefumi Hino
Music                         Graphic Designer

American Box art

Japanese Box Art