Minecraft Wii U Edition Getting Mario Skins and Music!

Have you ever wished to play as Mario and friends in Minecraft?

Or that you could officially explore places like Princess Peach’s Castle and Isle Delfino in the Minecraft’s iconic style?

Well if so, you’re in luck! Nintendo has just announced that the ‘Super Mario Mash-Up Pack’ is coming to Minecraft: Wii U Edition on May 17th. This pack will be released for free, and feature:

  • Textures based on Mario games like New Super Mario Bros, Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine
  • Tons of character skins, for everyone from Mario and Luigi to Bowser, Wario and even Diddy Kong.
  • Redone enemies based on the Mario series. Like Hammer Bros and Dry Bones replacing the traditional Creepers and Zombies.
  • And even classic Mario music based on Super Mario 64!

There’s even an included Mario World that features all this new content. Here’s a trailer showing some of it in action:

It’s a pretty clever move by Nintendo when you think about it. Minecraft is massively popular with the type of kids who don’t already play Nintendo games that much, and this sort of character pack might inspire some of them to check out Nintendo’s own series. It’s also a nice follow up to Super Mario Maker in general, since it lets Nintendo have a hand in releasing a sort of ‘3D Mario Maker’ without needing to put time and effort into providing a new engine and editor from scratch. Is it as good as an editor for Mario 64, Sunshine and Galaxy might be? Not really, but it does seem like something that will keep a few die hard Mario fans busy for a while.

But what do you think? Do you like the look of this new Mario themed Minecraft pack? And for that matter, should Nintendo do similar deals for Pokemon and Zelda?

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzIqsVRcpC0

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?

WL2_E_PenguinJ

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:

Mario Prohibition

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:

Mario Islam

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):

MarioChristianity

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:

Smash Skate Fire Mountain

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:

wtf

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!

lemmy air guitar

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!

Sources:

Mario & Friends Quiz Cards – That Otter Gamer

My Mario Collection – Imgur (by randis)

Archie Comics Wanted to Make a Mario Comic?

If you’re a fan of the Sonic the Hedgehog series, you probably know how big the comic adaptations are.  Created as a tie in to the Sonic SatAM cartoon back in 1993, they’re popular with much of the series fandom and and are well known for all the new characters and storylines they introduce as a result.

But did you know that Archie Comics was planning to make a Mario comic too?  Or that they actually pitched one to Nintendo?

Yes, it really happened.  Here’s part of their pitch, showing what the comic might have been like:

Mario Comic concept

Unfortunately for some Mario fans (and as confirmed by Archie’s Ian Flynn), Nintendo turned them down and the idea was scrapped.

But it was definitely a close call, and it seems highly likely that said comic could really have come to fruition in a universe not all that different from our own.  Perhaps then we may have even got Miyamoto more interested in putting storylines in his games…

Still, what do you think?  Would you have liked to have seen a Mario comic by the same people behind the Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man ones?

Source:

Archie Comics Nintendo Super Mario Concept Page – Comic Art Fans

The Unused Content of the Mario Series; Five Interesting Things found in Recent Games

When it comes to interesting content that never made it into the final game, the Mario series has quite the history of it.  From the unused Hammer Bro or Petey Piranha in Mario Kart Wii to the Yoshi Egg or Blargg in Super Mario 64, almost every game in the series seems to have at least one interesting idea or character that never made the final cut.

And as it turns out, this is still true of the more recent games!  So here they are, here are five interesting unused things found in more recent Mario games and spinoffs!

5. Kamek as a playable character in Mario Kart 8

So let’s start with an interesting one. Kamek (or perhaps just a generic Magikoopa, it’s hard to tell) was originally planned as a playable character in Mario Kart 8!

Yes really! After his removal from Mario Kart 64 and conspicuous non presence in every Mario Kart roster since, Bowser’s most loyal Magikoopa servant might just have ended up playable in a new Mario Kart game! They even have his emblem ready in the game files:

MarioKart 8 Kamek Emblem

Alas, it’s not to be, and Kamek isn’t playable in this Mario Kart game either. But hey, given the DLC and the new characters those modes have introduced, perhaps there’s still hope for the Yoshi’s Island villain yet. Or maybe Nintendo will decide yet another clone of Mario or Peach is needed because originality is apparently too difficult for them any more. Either way…

4. Mario & Luigi Dream Team’s scrapped attacks

Next on the list, something a tad less interesting. Namely, some beta attacks from Mario & Luigi Dream Team, complete with animations and sprites for how they’d work in game!

But do you know the real interesting thing here?

These attacks are from the last game, Mario & Luigi Bowser’s Inside Story. We’ve got the Yoo Who Cannon, the Jump Helmet, the Ice Flower…

Okay, that last one was actually from Partners in Time. But it was nearly included anyway, with it and the other unused attacks all having various animations and programming set up for them. For example, here are the graphics used for the Jump Helmet:

DreamTeamUnusedJumpHelmetSprite

As well as some of the animations for it, courtesy of the Cutting Room Floor wiki:

Dream Team Jump Helmet Luigi Freakout Dream Team Jump Helmet Luigi Run Dream Team Jump Helmet Luigi Wave Dream Team Jump Helmet Mario Good Jump

As you can see, it was going to have Mario launch into the background rather than to the side, taking advantage of the console’s 3D visuals.  But alas, the Jump Helmet (along with the other aforementioned attacks) was scrapped from Dream Team and never saw the light of day.  Maybe we’ll find a way to bring it back in future?

3. Wario Land 4’s Beta Tiles are actually used?

If you know anything about Wario Land 4, you probably know all about the debug level.  Only accessible with a Game Shark or Action Replay and made up of various monochrome grid like tiles, it’s an area designed to test the game’s features and how Wario’s different moves and abilities work.  Here’s a video:

But did you know that these very tiles are actually used in game?  That an actual level in Wario Land 4 somehow uses them?

We’re not kidding.  Look what happens when you disable layer 1 in Palm Tree Paradise…

Yep, those are tiles from the debug level alright.  They’re just hidden away underneath the floor, presumably so the creators can test the collision detection in an actual level rather than a blank void.  They might also prove that Palm Tree Paradise was actually the first Wario Land 4 level ever made, given that these test tiles are only present there rather than any of the 17 or so levels in the game.

Cool eh?

2. Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon’s Unused Music

Now, onto a few interesting things found in a more recent Mario title.  Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon, just like its predecessor, has a whole array of unused content including music and sound effects!

So what is this stuff?  Well, how about a creepy nursery rhyme for starters?  This Haunted Towers esque version of the ‘Ring around the rosies’ song isn’t used anywhere in the final game, but it sure sounds menacing:

As does this… possibly also unused march like tune:

And that’s only the tip of the iceberg!  You see, Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon… has a very interesting soundtrack format.  Namely, it’s not labelled in any way whatsoever, meaning that trying to figure what’s actually used in game and what isn’t is virtually impossible.

Did I mention there are nearly 1050 songs in the game?  Or that some poor shmuck at some ‘beta’ content site is gonna have to sort through that list somehow?

Yeah, it’s pretty obvious there are going to be a good thirty or so ‘beta’ songs in there, perhaps minimum.  Either way, the game has some interesting unused music, and will likely have even more of it found and identified in the foreseeable future.

1. The scrapped costumes of Super Mario Maker

Finally, let’s get to something that everyone wants to hear about.  Namely, unused content in the game of the moment, Super Mario Maker.

You know how Mario can get certain mushrooms to become ‘Costume Mario’ and take the form of characters from other games?

Well, it seems like the list of costumes/forms we got wasn’t all that was planned.  Oh no, there were some very interesting Costume Mario forms planned for Super Mario Maker.  Namely:

  • Baby Mario
  • Balloon Fight
  • E Gadd
  • Golden Retriever
  • SMB 2 Mario
  • Mashiko
  • Mr Saturn
  • Muncher
  • Nabbit
  • Pink Rabbit
  • Popo
  • Tetris
  • Windows Logo

Quite the list eh?  Based on the names, we’re assuming that Baby Mario is the one from Yoshi’s Island, the Balloon Fight one was based on the NES and arcade game of the same name and that Professor E Gadd would be another Luigi’s Mansion reference perhaps complete with the Poltergust or songs from those games.  But a Golden Retriever?  Like the dog from Nintendogs?

Professor_Elvin_Gadd_Artwork

Above: E Gadd was a planned costume Mario form

A playable Muncher from Super Mario World (aka SMW Central’s worst nightmare?).

The rabbit form from A Link to the Past?

The bloody Windows logo?

Huh, seems like Nintendo sure had some interesting ideas for Mario forms back in development.  What’s more, given the presence of what I assume is a Microsoft character, does that mean the likes of Banjo-Kazooie could have been possible as a form?  Or someone from Minecraft or such likes?

And that concludes our list.  Do you like it?  Do you think some of these elements should have been included in the final game?  Post your thoughts on the list either here in the comments or at the Gaming Reinvented forums today!

Sources:

The Cutting Room Floor Wiki

Private Research

Link Should be Played by a Woman in a Zelda Movie?

That’s according to Nintendo’s Takashi Tezuka anyway. In a recent interview, he says that “It would be very fun and awesome if Link was played by a female actress, a boyish female actress“, likely surprising a significant amount of the Zelda fanbase in the process.

In addition to this, Shigeru Miyamoto says that “This is something I never imagined because Link is very different to how a Japanese person looks. At the Japanese Expo I attended there were so many people in cosplay who looked very good. They would be good actors! in regards to who should play Link, as well as that said individual should be an unknown actor rather than a big name (“With Japanese TV drama and film they always use the same actors, so I actually think we should have someone completely new.”).

They also discuss the cast for a potential Mario movie. Which becomes kind of funny given that he seeming says how ‘handsome’ Luigi was in the original live action movie based on the series:

One thing we can say about the original film was that Luigi was very young and handsome in the original movie

And aside from his seeming admiration for John Leguizamo? Miyamoto comments about how ‘Mario and Luigi should be played by twins because the original characters were meant as such. In his own words again:

But Mario and Luigi are supposed to be twins. So a new cast would definitely have to be twins.

So yes, some interesting thoughts on potential adaptation casting all around. Nothing confirmed in regards to an actual movie based on either franchise being in development or greenlit, but hey, that wasn’t ruled out either. Here’s the original interview courtesy of MTV:

What do you think on Miyamoto and Tezuka’s ideas on casting for theoretical Mario and Zelda movies? Do you agree with their reasoning?