Mario Trivia Time; Ten Facts about the Mario Franchise You Don’t Know
It’s been a while coming, but we’ve finally put together a new list of Mario related facts and trivia! Unlike the mass media though and their obsession with the same old clichés everyone’s already heard of (Super Mario Bros 3 is a play, Birdo’s gender is variable, Super Mario Bros 2 was Doki Doki Panic, ad nauseum), these are some… more obscure factoids. The kind that even most of the Mario fanbase on sites like Mario Wiki and Reddit would likely be surprised to know, let alone the average Joe who’s knowledge of Mario comes from a bunch of games on the NES and Wii.
Hence here they are. Ten facts about the Mario series that you don’t (or at least, are very unlikely) to know…
1. Mario likes his alcohol
So let’s start this list off with an interesting question. When has alcohol appeared in the Mario series?
Well, there’s that Chuckola Cola stuff. That’s called ‘Laugh Wine’ in Japanese games, which means it’s presumably alcoholic.
Above: And this makes just as little sense if it’s wine as it does if it’s soda.
Okay, how about real world alcohol?
Didn’t Wario get drunk on it in the Japanese version of Wario Land 2?
Fine, okay, it’s appeared a few times then. But did you know Mario also seems to like his drink? Yes really, as can be seen in the image on this amusing trivia card:
Part of a series meant to teach kids about real world events, history and culture, the cards feature the Mario cast in all kinds of situations inspired by those same events. And the one above (about Prohibition in America) features a rather annoyed Mario chasing a Goomba who’s nicked his booze. Guess all those Mario fan art pics showing him drunk off his arse in the street had a canon basis after all!
Talking of quiz cards, they also show that…
2. He’s been involved in various religions
And talking of real world stuff in Mario games, here’s an image that’s sure to stir up a bit of controversy online:
It’s almost perfect ammo for certain moral guardians. Though that said, it’s not Islam that Mario’s been shown studying, here’s him reading the Bible (from another quiz card):
Guess real world religions aren’t as foreign to the Mario cast as we’d otherwise think!
3. Corona Mountain appeared outside of Super Mario Sunshine
On a more typical Mario related note, do you remember Corona Mountain from Super Mario Sunshine? It was a pretty unexciting final level that ended with a corny Bowser cutscene and battle, and then never got referred to ever again…
Unless you’re living in Japan and playing Mario Sports Mix that is! There, an arena called ‘Fire Mountain’ was actually named Corona Mountain in Japan, and hinted as being the same place as the Super Mario Sunshine location! Here’s a picture:
So why was it changed? Poor localisation I guess. Someone came across the name, hadn’t heard of Super Mario Sunshine or the level in said game and just translated it to the first random term that came to their head.
But it’s a returning location, none the less!
4. King Boo Has Unique Dialog For Killing Paper Mario
If you’ve played any previous Mario & Luigi games, it shouldn’t be a surprise that AlphaDream have basically prepared for every possible situation.
But in the King Boo fight where he holds poor Paper Mario hostage, did you know he has extra dialogue if his attack actually kills the guy? No really. His original dialogue (if Paper Mario is hurt normally) is:
You… you really didn’t understand? Even when I shouted? Well now this is happening.
And if he kills Paper Mario? He says this:
Did I not make myself clear? Yeesh!
It’s pretty cool. And it’s not the only example. Koopalings have special quotes if they kill the trio in battle:
Morton: Guhuhuh… I knew I could beat ya!
Lemmy: Heehee! I won!
It’s a rather neat touch, especially in a game where every possible situation seems to give you a unique quote or animation.
5. A Mario product has included swearing
No, really. This was apparently on an official record cover for a Mario music CD:
Well, that’s certainly a side of Mario that Nintendo would like to play down nowadays!
6. The Koopalings are still Bowser’s children… in Germany
Shigeru Miyamoto may have said otherwise, but it seems like someone over there on the German localisation team disagrees! Because in the German language version of Mario & Luigi Paper Jam, Morton explicitly refers to Bowser as his father, as quoted here:
Vergib uns… Vater. Ich meine naturlich… Meister Bowser!
Or in English:
Forgive us… Father. I mean of course… Master Bowser!
Above: See 9:21 in the above video.
Seems like someone on the writing team had a bit of fun with the whole retcon thing! Either way, it’s a nice touch.
7. Lemmy Koopa References his Namesake in Paper Jam
It’s not really a tribute to Motorhead band member Lemmy due to the game’s development time (it was being made long before the unfortunate news of his death was announced online), but it’s a nice shout out regardless.
Because in battle, as can be seen here, he’s playing an air guitar in the style of his namesake!
Above: It’s hard to see, but he’s definitely playing air guitar. See it more clearly in this guy’s Youtube video.
Either way, it’s a very cool thing to have in a Mario game, and a great minor tribute to someone who’s made as much of an effect on the world of music as Lemmy did.
8. There’s a Spare Enemy or Two for Expert Challenge Grinders in Neo Bowser Castle
In Mario & Luigi Paper Jam, there are two versions of Bowser’s Castle. One is the normal version, set in a lava filled volcano setting with traditional Mario enemies like Dry Bones and Boomerang Bros, and one is a floating sky castle filled with… also traditional enemies like Mechakoopas, Broozers and Chain Chomps. Obviously, since the first castle becomes the second castle, you can’t revisit the former once the latter becomes a reality.
But in this game, there are Expert Challenges you can complete for reward points. These involved dodging at least five attacks in a row from every enemy in the game.
So what do you do when an area becomes inaccessible and an enemy species is seemingly lost forever? Do you basically screw over any completionists who didn’t get everything done the first time round?
Of course not! So Nintendo added exactly two special enemies into Neo Bowser Castle. One is a Dry Bones, which fights alongside another one of its kind, one is a Boomerang Bro (which fights alongside another Boomerang Bro or two and maybe a Big Tail Goomba). And guess what? They’re all enemies from the original Bowser’s Castle! They’ve been added in so players can never miss an expert challenge, and can refight them whenever necessary to get the points for dodging their attacks.
They’re found in a row with dash pads/arrows and bridges you pull down with Trio Grab and bombs. Hope that helps!
9. WarioWare’s Cutscene Songs are Actually Full Length Tunes
Well, full length in a certain sense of the word anyway, they go on far longer than the cutscenes they’re set to. For example, this is the tune played in Ashley’s introduction and ending scenes in WarioWare Touched:
It’s not the best as far as looping goes, but quite a bit of that song is never usually heard in game. Pretty neat eh?
10. Product Placement was around in 80s Mario Games!
Finally, here’s an interesting one for historians and retro gamers. Did you know that product placement is actually not new to the Mario series?
That Nintendo’s deals with Mercedes and other companies actually weren’t the start of this somewhat deplorable trend?
No, we’re not lying. You see, back in 1988, Nintendo released a game called Kaettekita Mario Bros., or ‘Return of Mario Bros’ if it was translated into English. This game was a modified version of the original Mario Bros (the one you get with the Super Mario Advance games and Superstar Saga). But it actually had advertisements between levels!
Above: You could also register to win a copy of Super Mario Bros 3, or an exclusive trading card
Pretty blatant isn’t it? Well funny enough, that’s not the only example. Remember Doki Doki Panic, the game Super Mario Bros 2 is based on?
Well, the original heroes aren’t Nintendo’s creations. Instead, it’s part of a deal with Fuji Television network to promote an event called Yume Kojo 87 (Dream Factory 87 in English). So to some degree, the WHOLE game is technically a licensed game based off an event run by a Japanese TV network.
And let’s not forget about All Night Nippon Mario Bros, where the enemies and objects were replaced by Japanese celebrities! Gee, guess Nintendo were really ahead of the game in the 1980s, pioneering app store standbys like in app ads and product placement years before smartphones were ever even a thing!
So that wraps up another set of Mario facts and trivia. But which ones did you know? Tell us on the Gaming Reinvented forum or our official Twitter channel today!