Mole Mania (モグラ〜ニャ, Mogura~Nya) was released for the Game Boy in 1996. Produced by video game legend Shigeru Miyamoto, Mania is one of his lesser known titles. The game stars "Muddy“ (a sunglasses wearing mole) who navigates his way through eight worlds, each with their own uniquely difficult series of mazes, in an attempt to rescue his kidnapped mole family from an evil farmer.
Finishing each maze requires "Muddy" to rely on his ability to dig tunnels underground, avoiding obstacles and enemies while manipulating steel balls until they are close enoug to smash through the stone gates blocking his path. Planning and placement of holes, balls, enemies, cabbages, pipes, and barrels are critical Muddy's success.
Though Muddy had not appeared in any other Nintendo games after his debut until appearing as a spirit in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, a similar character Monty Mole, of the Mario series, can often be observed navigating underground, plotting sneak attacks on enemies from below.
A likeness between the evil farmer Jimbe (a wrench wielding farmer who uses pipes to angle projectiles) to Mario ( A plumber who often lights animals on fire or simply stomps on their heads) is often cited. Additionally Jimbe's minions include a cast of Yoshi-esc dinosaurs. Similar antagonist/ protagonist role reversals of characters like Donkey Kong, when paired with the substantially similar character designs between the Mole Mania and Mario franchises, lend credence to the theory that Muddy and Monty are actually the same character; as are Mario and Jimbe.