So, here we are again! Another article about Nintendo facts and trivia! It’s been a while since we wrote one of these that isn’t purely about Mario, isn’t it? Either way, we’ll be telling you about some interesting Nintendo trivia, with the games targeted covering all periods of Nintendo history and all franchises even remotely related to the company.
As per usual, there will be no pointless cliches in this trivia list. We all know Super Mario Bros 2 was once Doki Doki Panic. We all know that Mario was named after Nintendo of America’s landlord, or that those creepy figures can be seen on the hilltop in Super Mario Galaxy 2.
No, these are really interesting, really obscure facts about Nintendo games. Ones even most of Nintendo’s die hard forum goers don’t have a clue about. So here it is, here are 7 things you don’t know about Nintendo games!
7. Wario is Mario’s Double
If you’ve been a Nintendo fan for a while now, you’ve probably heard the usual stories about Wario’s name and where it comes from. You know, about how ‘warui’ means ‘bad’ in Japan and how Wario is basically short for ‘warui Mario’ (or ‘bad Mario’).
But did you know his name has another meaning too?
Yes it’s true. As Legends of Localisation has found out, W is often used to mean ‘double’ in Japan. So for instance, W Meteo in Final Fantasy means ‘double meteo’ and the skill ‘W-Item’ in Final Fantasy VII means ‘use two items in one turn’.
Now think about Wario’s name, with the W used to replace the M in Mario. It means Double Mario! Or Mario’s double. Mario’s Doppleganger if you will.
In other words, Mario’s evil twin, or Bizarro esque anti clone. Like this:
Above: Panel is from German Club Nintendo comic, where Dr Light creates Wario by cloning Mario in a laboratory.
So yes. Not only is Wario a ‘bad Mario’ and named after war, he’s also named after the Japanese term for ‘double’ characters or objects.
6. GoldenEye 007 has a ZX Spectrum Emulator In It
Quick history lesson: Before Rare made games for Nintendo systems, they were a company called ‘Ultimate Play the Game’ who made many great titles for ZX Spectrum. Such as Knight Lore, Sabrewulf and Jetpac, some of which you may remember from references in their later work:
Above: Top is Jetpac in Donkey Kong 64, bottom is Sabreman from Banjo Tooie.
But what less people know is that some of these games can actually be played in GoldenEye 007 for the Nintendo 64!
Yes really. Rare programmer Steve Ellis wanted to test out if ZX Spectrum games could be emulated on the N64, so he added an emulator with some of Rare’s classic games to the GoldenEye 007 cartridge! It comes with copies of Alien 8, Atic Atac, Cookie, Gun Fright, Jetpac, Knight Lore, Lunar Jetman, Pssst, Sabre Wulf, and Underwurlde.
You can download a ROM patch that restores access to it from the Cutting Room Floor wiki, as linked below:
Or if you don’t want to, a video:
5. Pols Voices have a new weakness in every Zelda 1 Remake
Played the original Legend of Zelda game when it came out? If so, you may remember all the comments about how ‘Pols Voice hate sound’ and how it turns out that the enemies are actually killed by using the Famicom’s microphone feature.
But did you know that this weakness has been carried through every Zelda 1 remake? Even those on systems without an actual microphone? Oh yes. Nintendo weren’t content to just make Japanese gamers fight them in the same way as the rest of the world, so they went out of their way to add specific features to kill off these enemies like the microphone did!
For example, in the Japanese version of Classic NES Series Legend of Zelda (for Game Boy Advance), you kill Pols Voices by pressing select four times to mimic the microphone function.
And in the 3DS Virtual Console version?
You actually have to Press L and R at the same time, then use Y to switch to a second controller, and then use the 3DSs microphone to defeat these creatures. Yes, they programmed in a way to switch NES controller in order to imitate how the Famicon version worked more than 20 years ago!
Pretty impressive isn’t it, for a port of a game released more than 20 years prior? Got to love how much Nintendo pays attention to details like this.
4. Ocarina of Time 3D Has the Old Fire Temple Song In It
Back in the days of the Nintendo 64 and the original version of Ocarina of Time, there was a bit of controversy about the song played in the Fire Temple. Namely, how the original version has Islamic chants in the background. Here’s the song, in case you forgot what it sounds like:
But did you know that the 3DS remake has the exact same song in it? Yep, despite the original song being cut from the Nintendo 64 game all those years prior, Ocarina of Time 3D actually has the original Fire Temple chants in the source code!
Behold, Voice Spectral Volume 1, Track 76:
Were Nintendo going to use it again? It’s hard to tell…
On another note, you won’t believe just how much stuff from the original made it back into this game. I mean, you’ve got the references to the Wind and Ice temples in level names:
ganontika_kaze.qdb (Ganon’s Basement – Wind)
ganontika_kori.qdb (Ganon’s Basement – Ice)
The music notes you used to hold up above your heard in the ocarina cutscenes:
Unused comments and text descriptions, which have actually been reworded:
Dead Hand’s Hands
If it grabs you, tap any button to escape!
Dead Hand’s Hand
If it grabs you, rapidly tap (A) to escape!
Treasure Chest Shop
We don’t necessarily sell them…
Treasure Chest Shop
We don’t actually sell them…
There was one new thing (a sound effect supposedly tied to Bongo Bongo), but for the most part… all the same beta content from the first Ocarina of Time game returns in the remakes.
Makes you wonder about that ‘remade from the ground up’ speak, right?