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The Bizarre World of Super Mario Land

If you were to ask any adult on which old school Nintendo system they identify with being introduced to Super Mario, their most picked answers would likely be the NES, SNES or Nintendo 64, but it's rare to hear mention of the Game Boy, which he also had numerous appearances on.




Much like Super Mario Bros. 2, this game brought Mario into an unfamiliar territory with enemies you wouldn't find in any other Super Mario game. Sarasaland was home to different areas inspired by Egypt, Easter Island and China and those who already recognized Mario from his NES games were likely scratching their heads from all of the differences in this title.



Princess Daisy was introduced in Super Mario Land and was in need of rescue. She later appeared in NES Open Tournament Golf as a cameo, but wouldn't show up again for another several years until Mario Tennis in 2000.


As mentioned before, the enemies you encountered were far different in comparison to the usual Super Mario Bros. ones. Stepping on a Koopa Troopa now has them detonate to explode, and fire breathing snakes, head throwing robots and spear dropping bugs are just a few examples of the weird creatures you'll have Mario go up against.



A Japan-only manga adaption was made for the game, but also included some interesting extras as well, such as mini-guides showing how to get through certain levels in the game, a Tetris crossover story and some Japanese pop culture references that get tossed around throughout. If you want to read the first volume page for page, you can check it out here.


Two new gameplay elements were also introduced for the game as well, having Mario pilot a submarine and a plane making for a couple of 2D shooter segments but only for boss levels. For a launch title made for the Game Boy it was a unique idea for a handheld game at the time. A second flying level was also the final level leading to the game's last boss and villain, the martian Tatanga.



Much like Wart from Super Mario Bros. 2, Tatanga was a short-lived villain in Mario history, however he reappeared as a regular boss in the sequel, Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins.


It's been 30 years, but Super Mario Land still holds up as an interesting, albeit different Mario platformer even if it's a bit on the short side. The new locations helped give a more impressive presentation as a Game Boy Mario title, and I still find myself revisiting the game today.

What are your memories of Super Mario Land? Leave a comment and as always, see you next article!
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Vaporman87 Posted on Jul 19, 2019 at 02:19 AM

Man... that anniversary flew right under the radar didn't it. At least it gave you the opportunity to dig into the finer points of a piece of it's library. Well done.

Benjanime Posted on Jul 18, 2019 at 08:17 PM

i just thought i'd preface the main reason why i wrote this article, nintendo didn't seem to do anything to celebrate the game boy's 30th anniversary, so i thought i'd talk about one of its first games that released with the handheld. thanks for reading!

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