Nintendo Trivia Time Reloaded: Ten More Amazing Facts You Didn’t Know!
Well, it’s that time again! Yep, it’s another article about Nintendo facts and trivia, including some details so ridiculously obscure that even the fan made wikis online don’t know about them!
And trust us, these are not your everyday ‘trivia’ facts. We’re not talking Super Mario Bros 2 being Doki Doki Panic, Super Mario Bros 3 being a play or even that thing about the Manta Storm being a reference to the Shining. We are talking real obscure here. Enough so that even people who’ve been playing Nintendo games for nigh on 20 years would be lost for words upon reading about these facts.
So do you think you know what’s coming? Consider yourself a real Mario or Zelda trivia genius? If so, we challenge you to find just one fact in this article that you knew before reading it. Because we bet you anything you can’t.
10. Mario Party 9’s Beta Actually used Super Mario World Artwork
It was only a placeholder for a custom drawn boss graphic, but the Wiggler found on Toad Road originally used the official artwork made for Super Mario World back on the SNES. Compare this:
They didn’t even bother to remove the white outlines properly!
9. Recent Zelda Games are Codenamed after Playing Cards
The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time 3D’s internal codename is ‘Queen’, Wind Waker HD is codenamed ‘King’ (perhaps after the King of Hyrule in the game) and A Link Between Worlds is known as ‘Jack’.1
Personally, we prefer stuff like Dolphin or Revolution ourselves…
8. Ganondorf and Sheik were meant to be in Majora’s Mask 3D
Or at least, their Terminian counterparts were, since models of them have been found with names like ‘fishing_man.cmb’ and ‘fishing_man2.cmb’.
So Termina’s counterparts to the princess of Hyrule and the king of evil… are apparently just ordinary fishermen running minigames in the swamp and by the ocean.
Above: Termina has some very, very weird looking fishermen.
Guess Demise’s curse never reached Termina then…
7. Mario Kart Arcade GP has Footage of a Terrorist Attack
Usually, when you come across ‘test’ resources in games, they’re pretty average stuff. Empty rooms filled with checkerboard patterns and objects from across the game. Photos of the games programmers or designers. Stuff reused from the last game the staff were working on…
Above: A typical test room from The Legend of Zelda the Wind Waker. Seems harmless.
But then, you have Mario Kart Arcade GP and… this:
Above: Perhaps not something you’d see in a normal Nintendo game.
That’s a picture of what Wikipedia calls the ‘Beslan School Hostage Crisis’. This was a siege/attack by militant separatist groups in Russia, where a school was attacked and over 1100 people were held as hostages. This eventually led to 385 people being killed and 783 getting non-fatal injuries.
Not exactly Nintendo material, is it? Yet someone at Namco (presumably someone with really, really bad taste) thought it would be just perfect to include as test data to see if the camera system was working correctly.
What the hell were they thinking?
6. The Unused Wario Land 4 song… is actually used in the bad ending
Remember that unused Entry Passage song I posted in an earlier trivia entry? This creepy one?
Well it turns out it’s actually not unused! Nope, as a member on Wario Forums called ChanceTime points out, it’s used in the game’s worst possible ending:
See about 7:50 minutes in. Yeah, that’s the supposedly ‘beta’ song. It’s actually a remix used for the worst possible ending of the game.
To think that for years, no one even knew this song existed, let alone that it was used in the actual game! It goes to show that even old games have some fascinating new stuff yet to find in them!
5. Mario Kart Super Circuit had Online Multiplayer
Well, not quite multiplayer. More like an online system to exchange ghost data, like in Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 82. But still, it’s a Mario Kart game with online functionality back on the GBA. Don’t believe us? Look at this intro from the Japanese version of the game:
Above: And you thought Nintendo only started working on mobile games earlier this year…
Yes, in the same way as in Pokemon Crystal, Mario Kart Super Circuit let you connect the game to a cell phone and interact with others over the internet. Pretty revolutionary for the early 2000s, huh?
Unfortunately, this system kind of failed. Indeed, not only did it not get included in the overseas versions of the game, but the whole service got shut down in around 2002 or so, a mere year or so after the game was initially released.
4. Starfy 3 Remixes Music from Wario Land 3!
Yes, we already know it includes Wario in a cameo appearance. And that he uses his abilities from Wario Land 4 to get through a certain level and find treasure. But did you know that’s not the only Wario game it references? Cause here’s Wario’s theme:
Sound familiar to anyone else? It should do, because it’s a remix of the theme ‘Out of the Woods – Day’ in Wario Land 3 from the Game Boy Color.
Here’s the original version:
That’s pretty awesome if you ask us. Not only did Wario Land 4 manage to get a whole level or two in a completely different game, but they actually went back to an earlier Wario Land game in order to get his theme tune! What a great way to show appreciation for a criminally underrated and unappreciated series.
3. Mario & Luigi Partners in Time Has Region Exclusive Music
As well as a few sound effects, although those are a bit less interesting. Basically, after the credits roll, the US version of the game goes silent on the end screen.
But in Europe and Japan? A whole new ominous music box tune plays instead. Behold, ‘The End’ music from Mario & Luigi Partners in Time:
It’s… not the best music in the world (in this game alone, we’d give that to the actual credits theme or one of the area songs). But a whole song that’s exclusive to certain regional versions of the game? That’s an incredibly cool bonus to give gamers who got the game a few years later than those in North America.
2. Fiery Cavern is Hell
So, here’s one fact I doubt a lot of people have figured out in the last few years. In Wario Land 4, there’s this fire level in the Sapphire Passage called ‘Fiery Cavern’. It’s been designed so when you hit the exit switch, the whole level suddenly freezes over and becomes ice themed, in a rather crazy twist on the whole ‘Hailfire Peaks’ trope so common in the world of gaming.
Above: A fire cave that freezes over. Seems a bit odd?
But did you ever wonder why exactly a fire level was in the middle of the Sapphire Passage? All the other levels had themes based on horror movies, like the creepy abandoned ghost town or the axe ghost infested hell hotel. What the hell does a fire level have to do with horror?
Well, here’s the thing. It’s in the Sapphire Passage because it’s not just any old cave.
It’s hell. You know, that place evil people supposedly go when they die.
And once you realise that, the whole placement and design of the level starts to make a lot more sense.
Why is it in a horror world? Because hell is a common themed in horror fiction, especially ones where the protagonists enter the bad version of the afterlife in order to get some treasure or save a loved one.
Why does it freeze over? Because of the old adage. When hell freezes over, aka when something unlikely occurs.
The name? Well, you can’t really say ‘hell’ in a Nintendo game, can you? These are the people who demanded third party devs remove crosses from background elements because it was ‘too religious’.
And it keeps going. You’ve got what look like faces in the wall, of damned figures supposedly made to suffer for eternity (albeit done in a way that’s super ambiguous and rock like). You’ve got boulder throwing monsters… remember that old Greek story about some guy who had to keep rolling a rock up a hill?
And hell in a Wario game?
Well, what do you expect? The whole of Wario Land 4 has a certain ‘undead’ vibe to it. The locations are mostly long abandoned or deathly quiet. The rest of the passage is based on horror films. The bosses are all ghosts (none of them even have feet!) And Princess Shokora? When she’s transformed back, she even ends up going to heaven with a couple of angels and a halo.
Above: An awesome comic by Wario Forums member ChanceTime, which offers another explanation for the game’s bosses…
Fiery Cavern is just another example of a ‘death’ theme running through the whole Golden Pyramid setting and game. The theme of a world filled with abandoned places and vengeful spirits too corrupted by greed to let go of the past.
1. Horsehead is based on a Japanese Legend
Does anyone remember Zelda 2 back on the NES?
Above: Aka the black sheep of the Zelda franchise
Ever consider it a bit weird that, in a world that’s mostly stock fantasy with a few obvious mythology references, that the first boss is some horse headed guy from absolutely nowhere?
Well, it turns out there’s a reason for that, one that’s actually based in Japanese mythology. Behold the Ox Face and Horse Face from Japanese lore:
Above: Top is ‘Horse face of the underworld’, bottom is Horsehead from a piece of Zelda 2 promotional art.
Treated as guardians of the afterlife, they bear a striking resemblance to Gooma and Horsehead from Zelda 2 the Adventure of Link respectively. And while the former is actually exclusive to the overseas versions of the game, the idea of both being based on the Japanese myths seems like a very convincing one, especially given how the game’s bosses weren’t ever actually associated with Ganon and were deliberately chosen by the kingdom of Hyrule to guard the palaces.3
Add how the Thunderbird is itself based on mythology, or the obvious mythological themes running through the other bosses (Helmethead is a headless horseman/knight remniscient of Dullahan, Carock is a wizard, Volvagia is a dragon), and it only seems logical that the first boss would be based on yet another myth or legend.
So that’s the list. Did you know any of the entries? Disagree with any of our facts or analysis? Either way, go ahead and comment on the article in the comments below or at the beta Gaming Reinvented Forums today! Or share it on social media, if you’re so inclined.
- The Legend of Zelda A Link Between Worlds – The Cutting Room Floor
- Mario Kart Super Circuit, Mario in Japan – The Mushroom Kingdom.net
- The enemies in the palace are those that were made and chosen by the king. They’re abnormally strong. – Zelda 2 Manual