Well, it’s been a few months since our last one of these. So guess what? It’s time for yet more Mario trivia and obscure facts!
And as per usual, there are no clichés in this list. We don’t mention Mario being called Jumpman, Mr Video or Ossan. There’s nothing about how Mario was a carpenter in Donkey Kong or named after Nintendo of America’s landlord. And there’s certainly not going to be any stupid theories here either.
Why? Cause you know about all those. Everyone does. It’s why the average Mario facts list is so boring now, because you know everything that’s going to come up.
But enough background for now. Let’s start the list!
10. Super Mario Land 2’s Friday the 13th Reference
With an interesting little fact that few people know about Super Mario Land on Game Boy. Remember those hockey mask wearing Goombas in the Pumpkin Zone?
Above: A Masked Ghoul
The ones that look a little like Jason Vorhees from Friday the 13th?
Well, they’re a reference to him. But did you know this goes behind the design? That in Japan, they were even more clearly a reference to the horror film series?
Yep, it’s true. Here’s what they named the Masked Ghouls in Japan:
Yeah, no mistaking where that name comes from, is there?
But as could be expected, it was changed to the much less interesting ‘Masked Ghoul’ in the English speaking world. Guess Nintendo thought the original name was a bit much, it being such a clear reference to an M rated film series in a kids game.
9. Mario Kart Double Dash Uses Glitched Textures for Objects
Enough about names for now though. How about something a tad more interesting?
Like some actual glitched graphics in a Nintendo game? Like, in normal gameplay?
Because in Mario Kart Double Dash, this actually happens. As the Youtube series Boundary Break found out, the lamps in the background don’t actually have proper textures. Instead, they use glitchy textures from other random objects in place of actual unique ones. Here’s a picture:
Above: A very broken lamp
As well as the episode showing where they are:
Bet you never expected to see that in a Mario game! Ah those little background details hold so many interesting secrets…
8. Super Mario Sunshine’s Goop is Shaped Like Petey Piranha
And talking of background details, here’s one that a lot of players wouldn’t have noticed in Super Mario Sunshine.
Do you remember how the entrance to Bianco Hills wasn’t immediately accessible in Super Mario Sunshine?
How you’ve got to kill a Polluted Piranha boss to reveal the entrance?
Well it seems like the goop it spawns from has an interesting secret. Namely, if you look at it from above, it’s shaped like Petey Piranha! Yes really, here’s the goop as seen from the air:
Above: This looks familiar…
Seems like the creators of Super Mario Sunshine put a lot of work into even the smallest details!
7. Sea Gull Hunting in the Wario Hop
But let’s move away from background details now, and onto interesting beta findings. Like this one in Wario Land 4’s Wario Hop mini game. Don’t remember what the Wario Hop is? It’s a mini game where Wario rides along on a tyre and has to jump over various comedic obstacles. Here’s a video:
And at a certain part of the mini game, a bird sometimes flies down in front of Wario. It’s only for decoration, and can’t be interacted with, but it’s there none the less.
However, it appears like it wasn’t only there for decoration at one point. Indeed, there are graphics for this bird being killed or knocked out in the game! Here they are:
Above: It’s just resting!
How would this work? Who knows. But it was likely taken out either because it was creepy (killing a random animal that never did anything hostile) or strange in context (hitting anything else causes you to automatically fail the mini game). Either way, it’s there in the ROM, and it’s not been discovered till about a month ago. The more you know?
6. Super Mario Land’s Revised Music
Back to a more traditional Mario game now, with Super Mario Land. You’ve heard Super Mario Land’s music, haven’t you? Songs like the Birabuto Kingdom, the Easton Kingdom, the Chai Kingdom…
Well yeah, and they’re great tunes. But did you know that there are actually two slightly different versions of Super Mario Land’s soundtrack?
Yeah, you heard that right. Two.
Because Super Mario Land actually got a slightly updated rerelease. And in addition to (probably) fixing a few bugs in the game, it also improved the game’s soundtrack ever so slightly. Compare (top is version 1, bottom is version 1.1):
Above: Note the updated music.
The later ones have much better percussion and a few other minor improvements, and make the game sound ever so slightly better than it used to.
Unfortunately, it seems unlikely most fans will ever hear these songs for themselves.
Because Nintendo used version 1.0 for the 3DS Virtual Console release of Super Mario Land. So if you’re buying that one, you’re getting the old and somewhat inferior version of the game with worse music and a very noticeable bug you can exploit in auto scrolling levels.
5. A Donkey Kong Game in Foodfight?
Onto something a bit strange now. In 2012, a movie was released called Foodfight! Panned by most critics for its horrendous animation and blatant product placement, the film bombed hard in cinemas and has mostly been remembered as one of the worst animated movies of all time.
It’s also known for having an early, much better version that got stolen and derailed the whole production as a result. And it’s in this version we see an interesting little reference to the Donkey Kong series that no one would have ever expected.
Have a look:
See that? That’s a game called Donkey Kong Coconut Crackers. Don’t remember it?
That’s because it never got released. Instead, the game got reworked into an original title known by the name It’s Mr Pants.
So the movie that got drastically overhauled for the worse references a game that also got drastically overhauled (and maybe for the worse). And then if the connection isn’t more blatant, well, It’s Mr Pants itself was originally in development for the Gizmondo.
This game sure did get caught up in a lot of production troubles, didn’t it?
4. Mario’s on Isle Delfino Already?
Just like Mario and his legal troubles on Isle Delfino then. The poor guy got framed for Shadow Mario’s actions, and got blamed for crimes taking place when he wasn’t even on the island! What a kangaroo court!
Or is it?
Because unbeknownst to most players, Mario actually was on Isle Delfino before the game began. Don’t believe me?
Then who’s that standing in the water in Bianco Hills?
Above: How non subtle
It’s definitely Mario. And oh look, he’s even got FLUDD with him!
Hmm, maybe our plumber ‘hero’ isn’t quite as heroic after all. Maybe he’s been the one attacking people and stealing Shine Sprites all along. Perhaps the Pianta police really were justified in throwing him in jail…
Or maybe it’s an error by Nintendo. Nah, we’re going with the funny answer. He’s guilty as charged!
3. Wario Land II’s Missing Fish
So, how about a question?
How often do you see a video game remake remove characters from the original version?
Like, take out a species of enemy that was part of the original game?
It’s pretty rare, isn’t it? Perhaps even non existent?
Well, Wario Land II is an exception. You see, Wario Land II had (appropriately) two versions. One was in black and white and was on the original Game Boy. One was in colour and was for the Game Boy Color.
For the most part, this second version has replaced the first one. It’s the one in 99% of Youtube videos. It’s the one on the 3DS eShop. Basically, everyone considers this one the definitive version of Wario Land II.
But did you know that there was actually an enemy only found in the first version? Yes, this spiky fish enemy was only ever present in the monochrome Wario Land II.
And what’s weirder is that it’s not a sprite swap. It’s got its own unique movement pattern, it’s own attack, and heck, it even seems to be directly connected to one of the bosses in the game. The Big Kamukamu enemy is a bigger version of this same fish creature, with the same general attack pattern.
But in Wario Land II’s colour version, it’s gone. Every single example of this enemy in the game has been replaced by the more common Sawfish enemy.
Strangely though, this was actually a late change. Why? Because the enemy does exist in the updated game’s code. It works the same. It has unique graphics redesigned to fit the updated game. And everything suggests that at one time, it was going to be carried over and used in the same way.
But it wasn’t.
Well, most likely because of glitches. In the original game, this enemy has a tendency to glitch through the wall in certain situations. It’s why in another video of the game, only two of these enemies could be seen instead of 3.
Presumably Nintendo thought it was easier just to cut the monster altogether rather than fix the bugs in its movement code. So now we have a situation where an enemy has been removed from an otherwise updated game, despite its boss version still remaining intact. It’s an interesting situation really.
2. Wet-Dry World Uses a Real World Photo as a Background
Just like Wet-Dry World’s background from Super Mario 64. Many people have wondered quite what those buildings are in the background. Or where the mysterious town you see came from.
Some people theorised it to be a photo of somewhere in the middle east. After all, the infrastructure does resemble a town in Israel or other surrounding regions.
A forum of architecture experts said it was based on a picture of Beirut.
But it turns out that while the level’s background is a real place, it’s actually none of those. So where is it?
Casares in Spain.
It’s a modified version of a photograph showing the town. As you can see here:
And it’s apparently not the only level with a real photo used in the background. Shifting Sand Land’s pyramids are based on photos of the Great Pyramid of Giza.
Just makes you wonder where the others came from, doesn’t it?
1. Super Mario Sunshine’s Multiplayer Mode
So finally we get to the last item on the list. And this is one of the most interesting ones.
Super Mario Sunshine was originally going to have a multiplayer mode! Yes, just like the scrapped Super Mario 64 2, Mario’s Gamecube outing was also going to let two players play the game at once.
But it wasn’t co-operative.
No, it seems like the plan was that Mario and Shadow Mario would be competing with each other in some way. Because if the functionality (associated with the name ‘SMS_isMultiplayerMap’) is activated, the camera shows both of them on screen at once. And if Shadow Mario is defeated here, he doesn’t vanish or give up a star, he warps back to his start point.
Above: The camera view for multiplayer.
Presumably, this implies the mode had the duo trying to kill each other in some sort of battle mode scenario, No idea what the aim would have been; presumably something like a points system existed, or it was set up as a last man standing battle royale. Not enough of the code still exists to make a good guess here.
But yeah, Mario Sunshine was going to have a multiplayer mode.
And so that ends another list. Did you know any of the facts mentioned here? Were any of them interesting to hear about?
If so, post your thoughts here on Gaming Reinvented’s forums or on social media today!