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Super Mario World

Super Mario World

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Super Mario World (スーパーマリオワルド, Sūpā Mario Wārudo?, commonly abbreviated SMW) is a platform game developed and published by Nintendo as a pack-in launch title for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. It has gone on to become a tremendous critical and commercial success, becoming the best seller for the platform, with 20 million copies sold worldwide. Like in previous games in the Mario series, the plot involves Mario traversing different lands on a quest to rescue Princess Toadstool who has been kidnapped by Bowser.

In Japan, Super Mario World is also known as Super Mario Bros. 4 and it was one of the launch games for the system, along with Pilotwings and F-Zero.

The game has been re-released three times, first as part of a combo with Super Mario All-Stars on the SNES in 1993. Secondly, on the Game Boy Advance with modified gameplay, as part of the Super Mario Advance series. The third re-release was for the Wii's Virtual Console in North America in 2007; there were no changes from the original SNES version.

Game Play

Super Mario World is a side-scroller as in previous Mario games, and it takes advantage of the Super Nintendo's 16-bit graphics and stereo sound. The game consists of a journey through levels in seven worlds: Yoshi's Island, Donut Plains (later a series of tracks in Super Mario Kart), Vanilla Dome, Twin Bridges Area (including the Cheese & Butter Bridges and Soda Lake) terminating in Cookie Mountain, Forest of Illusion, Chocolate Island, and the Valley of Bowser. There are also two secret worlds - Star Road and Special Zone (accessed via the Star World) - which can be found by finding a key and a key hole in certain levels. Experienced players can utilize the Star Road to reach the end of the game in only 12 levels.

Super Mario World contains an overworld, which provides a passive overview of all the game's levels; each level is accessed individually from the world map. The concept was previously seen in Super Mario Bros. 3, and World's execution is similar but more elaborate. The game features 72 courses laid out across the seven worlds, and 96 exits (some levels have more than one exit; these levels are usually marked as a red dot on the map rather than yellow). Secret exits open up new routes on the overworld map, often leading to secret levels. When a player reaches the completion of the 96 "goals," the beginning screen will display a star next to the number "96" in green color and beside the file the goals were completed on. Something to consider, however, is the fact that the game cover states that it contains "96 levels," implying that the number of stages and exits are equal when in reality there are only 72 true levels. Players can re-enter most completed stages (except for the switch palaces) at anytime (though pressing L and R simultaneously is required to re-enter a fortress or a castle, which does not work in the Japanese version); this is the first Mario game to allow this without hacking.

Numerous changes were made to the graphics, sound and presentation, as expected when a series moves to a more advanced console. For example Princess Toadstool (Princess Peach in the Japanese versions) is for the first time depicted with blond hair and white gloves, in line with her official character design. Mario is capable of a variety of new moves, including a "spin jump". Mario can pick up and throw items, but is now also able to throw them upwards or set them down gently. In addition to the classic Fire Flower ability to project fireballs, the Cape Feather allows Mario to fly with a cape. He can also use the cape to glide down slowly and thus traverse wide distances while airborne. Conveniently, Mario can receive cape and fire power-ups even when he is regular Mario, eliminating the need to "power-up" to Super Mario first. Mario can also spin jump in this game allowing him to ricochet off hazardous surfaces, break through blocks (only when "Super"), and destroy enemies he would normally bounce off; a caped spin jump will cause the cape to hit enemies adjacent to Mario, while a fire spin jump will launch one fireball each to Mario's left and right. Mario can also look straight up, although this ability is not useful in-game, other than controlling "direction coins," coins that move up, down, etc., from blocks. Mario also has the ability to scroll the screen to the left or right by pressing the respective shoulder buttons, very useful in a forced scrolling level. Finally, Super Mario World introduced Yoshi, a dinosaur that Mario can ride.

The Yoshis appear in four different colors (green, yellow, red, and blue), each with different abilities. Upon eating a shell of any color, blue Yoshis can fly, red Yoshis can spit fire, and yellow Yoshis stomp the ground, hurting nearby enemies. A yellow shell that has been entered by a Koopa becomes multicolored, allowing Yoshis of any color to fly, stomp, and spit fire all in one. There are also Baby Yoshis in the Star World levels which can be picked up by Mario. After eating five enemies, three berries, or any power-up, they will become a fully grown Yoshi of the same color.

Super Mario World contains several new types of blocks, one of which is the yellow block, which spins on its horizontal axis when hit, rendering it temporarily passable, then reverts to its solid state after a few seconds. (To destroy these blocks permanently, Mario must get a Super Mushroom and then spin jump on top of them. Blocks that are not destroyed using this method have items or a vine in them.) There are also blocks which Mario can pick up and throw, but disappear after a few seconds. New red triangular blocks grant Mario the ability to walk on vertical surfaces such as walls or pipes, or can be used as a trampoline when riding on Yoshi.

Enemies hit by fireballs from Fire Mario will turn into coins which can be collected, rather than getting knocked off the screen; the same is true if Yoshi spits out a red Koopa shell (which becomes a trio of fireballs). Koopa Troopas jump out of their shells after being stomped on. Paratroopas become regular Koopa Troopas if stomped on. Stomping on the shell-less Koopa will completely defeat it. Once they are completely defeated, they will not reappear if the player returns to that area unless the player exits and then re-enters the level. Additionally, for the first time Bowser does not breathe fire in the game, and uses a machine to attack Mario.

When any powered-up form of Mario gets hit by an enemy, he will revert back to "Regular Mario". However, when Super Mario receives another power-up, his previous item is transferred to a "reserve box" at the top of the screen. When he is hit, the item drops down and he can catch it. For example, Fire Mario can interchange with Caped Mario at any time as long as the reserved item is held. However a Super Mushroom will never change Fire or Caped Mario, as he is already "super" (it will just be stored in his reserve box instead). Getting hit and reverting to Regular Mario or pressing SELECT releases the item in the box.

Super Mario World was the first Mario game to provide the option of exiting a level without losing a life or completing it. This capability is only activated after the player has finished the level at least once. When replaying a level, players can exit to the map screen by pressing the START button to pause the game, then pressing SELECT. It was also the first Mario game to use a visible halfway point marker in levels; if the player is able to activate the marker, and dies or exits the level before reaching the end, they will arrive at the marker's location when re-entering the level. The marker will stay "set" even if the player does not immediately re-enter the level, and will not be reset until that level is completed. The marker will even turn Regular Mario into Super Mario (if Mario is small when he crosses the line).

In 2-Player mode Mario and Luigi, using the Select key on the World Map, can freely exchange extra lives but can never be left with less than one life.

Star World and Special Zone

The secret exits in some levels lead to one of five portals to Star Road, an otherwise secret realm. Each portal gives the player access to a level in the Star World, though only one portal is needed to gain access, and beat all the Star World levels. However, if all portals have been found it makes for quick travel between distant parts of the game world. The levels here all have a baby Yoshi of a particular color (blue, red, or yellow), which must be fed five enemies or coins or eat a star (if available) for Mario to be able to ride it. Feeding a colored Yoshi a power-up results in it growing up immediately. Yoshis have special abilities when holding Koopa shells in their mouths, based on both their own color and the color of the shell. Blue color allows the Yoshi to fly, red spits three fireballs in a spread pattern instead of releasing the shell, yellow stomps the ground to stun or kill all nearby enemies, and green grants no special abilities. For example, a blue Yoshi who holds a red shell in its mouth can fly, and then will spit the shell out as fireballs, and a red Yoshi who eats a yellow shell can stomp, then shoot fireballs.

Each level in Star World has two exits. The normal exit simply counts toward the total number of exits found; to properly complete it, however, the player must find the key and the keyhole (i.e. the secret exit) in each level to complete the circuit around the Star World and advance to Special Zone by finding the secret exit in Star World 5. In Special Zone, there is a Super Famicom logo in the top-left corner of the screen. This logo is also part of the European SNES logo. In the Special World, there are eight additional levels which are often said to be of particular difficulty. Some have unique characteristics not seen in any other part of the game. In the American translation, the levels are named with expressions from surfer slang (in the following order: Gnarly, Tubular, Way Cool, Awesome, Groovy, Mondo, Outrageous and Funky) whereas the Japanese version has other names describing the approximate difficulty of the courses (each two levels would refer to itself as the same course). Save points are provided after every other level.

Completing the Special World results in a drastic change in graphics on whichever file the levels were completed on. Piranha Plants become pumpkins, Koopa Troopas now wear Mario masks and their colors have been switched so blue and yellow shells are now more common, and Bullet Bills become Pidgits. The world map takes on a different color scheme, using more of an Autumn palette. However, the levels themselves do not change color. In the Game Boy Advance port, however, this change does not take effect until all 96 exits are found.

In the English SNES version, the redone enemies have new names, but in the Japanese version and Super Mario Advance 2, the enemies share the same name since they are basically the same enemy. In Super Mario Advance 2, two additional enemies receive a face-lift: Pokey and Goomba (the latter of which is thought to have been considered for it in the SNES version since it has two identical copies in the game data, one of which is used after Dinosaur Land changes).[1]

Development

The game was produced by Shigeru Miyamoto, the music was composed by Koji Kondo, and the graphics were designed by Shigefumi Hino.

Music

Koji Kondo composed all of the music used in Super Mario World, using only an electronic keyboard. Most of the music used in the game, with the exception of the Title Screen Theme, the Ending Theme, the Overworld Map Themes, and Bowser's Theme, is a variation on the same melody. The music is played normally on the overworld levels. It is then slowed down and made to echo in caverns, moves in a slow, wave-like fashion (in 3/4 or waltz time) in Underwater levels, and in the athletic theme it is played fast and lively to suit the level taking place in the air. When riding on Yoshi, the soundtrack of any level is accompanied by bongo drums.

The Castle Theme and Ghost House theme have remnants of the basic SMW theme, but played in a minor key to evoke feelings of anxiety.

Waiting around on the Special Zone map screen for about two minutes (Eight loops of the Special Zone theme, which is itself a variation of the Starman music) causes the map music to change to an updated steel drum version of the original Super Mario Bros. main theme. This resets to the original Special Zone music upon entering and exiting a level. A song comprising the title screen music and ending music is a musical option for the Isle Delfino stage in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The castle theme as well has become available for play in the same game.

Reception

At the time, Nintendo was late to the 16 bit video game market, which was slowly being taken away by Sega and their Mega Drive/Genesis system.[2] A new game, Sonic the Hedgehog, helped create numerous sales and greater popularity for Sega.[2] Shigeru Miyamoto stated at the time that because of the very limited production time, the game was not as good as he had hoped and that with time the quality of games for the system would increase allowing more emotion and story.[2] Despite this, on GameRankings the game received positive scores, with a 97% average score and has been ranked number 3 on the voting average list with the average vote of 9.2.[3] [4] It also received 98% from esteemed British console magazine Mean Machines. It was also rated the 8th best game made on a Nintendo System in Nintendo Power's Top 200 Games list.[5] In 1992, music from Super Mario World was sampled by the Ambassadors of Funk for their song Supermarioworld. This song was included on the album Super Mario Compact Disco.

Impact and Legacy

The game has often been compared to Super Mario Bros., in the sense that both games established the standard for all subsequent side-scrollers released on their respective systems. Super Mario World was one of the first games to reward the player for "getting one-hundred percent" (finding all the secret exits in the levels, many of which lead to secret levels), an idea that has since become very popular.

In addition, with the augmented capabilities of the SNES, Super Mario World advanced the graphics in Mario games. All of the objects and characters in the game moved from flat sprites to a more three-dimensional look. Super Mario World also used the SNES's multiple background layers for parallax scrolling and other background effects such as sparkling stars, as well as occasional sprite scaling and rotation effects. It reinvented the classic gameplay for fans of the series and genre.

A copy of Super Mario World came with each Super Nintendo upon the system's release in Europe and America.[6] Though this package deal was later dropped, it helped Super Mario World on its path to becoming one of the best-selling video games of all time internationally. A prequel was made in 1995 entitled Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island featuring Yoshi as the main protagonist.

Fan Hacking

In 2000, FuSoYa Lunaria released a utility for the Super Mario World ROM entitled Lunar Magic which allowed users to modify the overworld map, create their own levels and change certain elements of gameplay. [7] On September 21, 2003, FuSoYa, in collaboration with level designer Zero-G, released a fully-fledged fan-hack entitled Super Demo World: The Legend Continues.[8] The hack featured many changes from the original game, including 84 all-new courses with 120 exits, the ability to store more unusual objects in the reserve box (such as Koopa shells), and new background sprites taken from Mega Man, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, Donkey Kong Country and Super Mario All-Stars. It has gained fame recently due to tool-assisted speedruns released by TASvideos (only a handful of hacks have ever been allowed runs on the site).

Since Lunar Magic was originally released, a large library of fan-made hacks has emerged from all around the world, from the games native country of Japan to North America. Notable titles include Super Mario World: The Second Reality Project, Kaizo Mario World, Brutal Mario, Super Mario Odyssey and many others. Hacks range from reflex-based platforming to intricate puzzle solving, to some that require the player to master some of the game's less documented 'features' or glitches to achieve a particular goal. Many of them also alter the physics, enemies, triggers, even bosses, and most have a completely different story than the original Super Mario World. Some contain almost no resemblance to the original game short of the general interface.

Ports and Re-Makes

Super Mario All-Stars

The game was packaged in a special version of Super Mario All-Stars called Super Mario All-Stars + Super Mario World, which was released in 1994 only in the United States and in Europe as the pack-in game for the Super NES "Super Mario Set" bundle. This version included four save files (instead of three) and a different sprite set for Luigi, instead of being a green recolor of Mario's sprite like before (however, the sprites for Luigi crouching on Yoshi and running sideways via a Triangle Block were not changed, resulting in inconsistency). The PAL version was only available in Australia, the UK, the Scandinavia through Bergsala AB, and in the German-speaking countries (Germany, Austria, Switzerland).

Game Boy Advance

Super Mario World was ported by Nintendo R&D2 to the Game Boy Advance as Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2 in 2002. This version of Super Mario World adds a handful of features, such as Peach Coins, a reward for getting every Yoshi Coin in all levels in the game, and some gameplay differences between Mario and Luigi (notably their jumping, their behavior on Yoshi and what happens upon hitting 10-coin blocks).[9] It has been re-released as a Player's Choice title. This game also includes a new sprite set for Luigi, entirely different from the All-Stars version.

Virtual Console

Super Mario World was one of the first games to be announced for Wii's Virtual Console service with a cost of 800 Wii Points, and was originally intended to be ready for the North American launch of the console. Nintendo of America later removed the game from its list of Virtual Console games for 2006. Eventually it was released in Japan on December 2, in America on February 5, 2007[10] and in Australia and Europe on February 9, 2007.

Related Products

Less than a month after the game's American release, DiC Entertainment produced a Super Mario World animated TV Show based on the game, although some of the game's elements and names were renamed or changed. It was the last Super Mario cartoon series. DiC Entertainment later released Super Mario All Stars, which was a compilation of previous Super Mario cartoons. While this compilation was technically the final Super Mario cartoon series, Super Mario World is regarded as the last original cartoons series.

There was a direct sequel to Super Mario World planned for the Philips CD-i, Super Mario's Wacky Worlds, but this game was canceled during development because of the CD-i's commercial failure and limitations.

References

  1. Goomba Madness. X-Cult
  2. Game Over by David Sheff, 1993, Random House.
  3. Super Mario World Reviews
  4. "The Rankings". Game Rankings. Retrieved on 2008-06-13.
  5. “NP Top 200”, Nintendo Power 200: 58-66, February 2006
  6. Nintendo SNES
  7. FuSoYa's Niche - Lunar Magic SMW Editor Introduction
  8. FuSoYa's Niche - Download Demo World
  9. Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2 for Game Boy Advance Review - Game Boy Advance Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2 Review
  10. March 2007/V213 Issue of Nintendo Power (page 40)