Super Mario Land (JP) is a platforming video game developed by Nintendo for the Game Boy video game console in 1989. Super Mario Land was the first Mario game for the Game Boy. In it, Mario had to save Princess Daisy from Tatanga, a mysterious space alien. This game was also a launch title in North America and Japan. This game also marked the debut of Princess Daisy.
Super Mario Land was among the first games to be announced for the Nintendo 3DS's Virtual Console service alongside The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX. It can be bought via the Nintendo eShop for $6.
Super Mario Land plays similarly to the classic Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo Entertainment System, with similar physics and the inability to backtrack to previous screens, as well as lacking any sort of save feature. One unique feature of the game was that at two points in the game, Mario drives two different vehicles, the Sky Pop and the Marine Pop, adding variety to the gameplay.
Also, the traditional Fire Flower power-up was slightly different in this game, instead being called the "Super Flower" and transforming Mario into Superball Mario. Instead of bouncing along the ground like regular fireballs, the superball always bounces at a diagonal angle, allowing it to ricochet around the entire playing field, bouncing off walls, blocks, even ceilings. The superball disappears when it hits an enemy, bounces off screen, or after a short time. The superball is also useful in that it collects coins as it touches them, allowing Superball Mario to collect coins that are out of his reach.
After the game is completed, the game returns to the title screen. However, the mushroom cursor next to "Start" changes to an image of Mario's head, meaning that the player can play in Hard Mode. This is a harder version of the game which has a number of changes, some examples of which are more monsters in certain levels (some in levels that they weren't previously in) and more falling ceilings and stalactites in the indoor levels. Once this mode is completed, the player can access a level select. Due to the inability of Super Mario Land to save, however, Hard Mode and the level select will be lost as soon as the power to the Game Boy runs out or the player shuts the system off.
Unlike all the previous Mario games, Super Mario Land was not created by Shigeru Miyamoto, but rather by his mentor Gunpei Yokoi. As a result, very few elements from this game reappeared in subsequent entries in the Mario Bros. games.
The game's music score was composed by Hirokazu 'Hip' Tanaka.
When Princess Daisy of Sarasaland is kidnapped by the alien Tatanga, Mario sets out to rescue her. Mario chases Tatanga through the four geographical areas of Sarasaland, defeating his minions along the way, as well as finding monsters that pretend to be Daisy to try and fool Mario. Mario finally corners Tatanga in the skies of the Chai Kingdom, bringing down his alien warship and rescuing Daisy.
In the sequel, Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, it is revealed that Wario took the opportunity to take over Mario Land while Mario was gone on this adventure.
Sarasaland, where Super Mario Land takes place, consists of four worlds, with three levels each. Each world has a different theme:
- World 1, Birabuto, is Egyptian-themed and has pyramids in the background. It is relatively easy and used to introduce new players to the game. The boss of this area is King Totomesu, a sphinx/lion creature who breathes fire.
- World 2, Muda, is ocean-themed. The final level has Mario riding his submarine, the Marine Pop. The boss here is Dragonzamasu, a strange seahorse creature with powerful bubble attacks.
- World 3, Easton, has an Easter Island theme and has Moai in the background. Hiyoihoi is the boss here. He's a strong rock creature who attacks Mario with bouncing rocks called Ganchans.
- World 4, Chai, is Asian-themed, with Asian music and bamboo in the background. The last level of Chai includes a level played in Mario's airplane, the Sky Pop. Mario engages Biokinton and Tatanga's powerful spaceship Pagosu in the final stage.
- This game sold 18.14 million copies.
- In 1992, the World 1-1 theme was sampled by the Ambassadors of Funk for the song Super Mario Land. It reached number 8 in the UK Singles Chart. It was soon followed by a similar song titled Go! Mario! Go, which sampled the Underground and Chai Kingdom themes. Both songs were later included on the album Super Mario Compact Disco.
- In 1996, the game was re-released as part of the Game Boy 'Player's Choice' series of games that have sold over one million units.