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"Super Mario Land" (Game Boy)

One of the most popular titles that represented the Game Boy during its peak. The quality and gameplay presents a modest challenge to video gamers of all levels.

Mario. No, wait, sorry....Super Mario. Great, I got your attention.

Once a classic, always a classic, and I won't argue why the planet's favorite super hero became another million-selling hit on the Game Boy. A simple platforming game with a simple task: overcome all obstacles, defeat enemies, stomp the worlds' bosses and save the princess. You can define that any which way, if you like. More on that in a bit (unless you're scrolling to the bottom after reading this part).

The worlds themselves have exotic names—World 1 is Birabuto Kingdom, World 2 is Muda Kingdom, World 3 is Easton Kingdom and World 4 is Chai Kingdom. There are three stages (or "areas") in each world, with the third stage being the last stage for that world, as you go head-to-head against the boss. World 1 should look familiar to you Mario fans, while on World 1, Stage 3, it's very Sphinx-themed hosted by the King Totomesu boss. World 2 is very aquatic, but instead of those swimming stages some of you disliked (at least I did from Super Mario: The Lost Levels), Mario attacks and navigates with a submarine called the "Marine Pop." To fellow Polynesians who visit this website, or those who into Polynesian history, World 3 showcases the Easter Island heads. The names of those enemies are as follows: Tokotoko—the one that dashes toward you, Batadon—the one with wings that hops and follows you nonstop, and the boss is Hiyoihoi—throws rocks, known as "Ganchans," at you.

And for those who love studying ancient Chinese history will like World 4, which is based off of ancient China. Not only will you notice the elegant Chinese design at the very top and the theme song, but you will run into likely the most annoying enemy from the entire game: Pionpi. This enemy has its arms out, and hops toward you. Stomping is no good because it comes back to life to attack you again. The key is to kill it with a fire flower. I'm ashamed to admit it: I used to think Pionpi is a little "ragdoll" girl chasing Mario. When I was a kid, I thought, "a female enemy chasing Mario, which must tell me the eerie powers a girl can implant on a guy seems painful." (Yeah, I was very logical and psychologically philosophical when I kid, and even today.) If you've watched the documentary series Deadly Women, or are a fan of it, then you know what I'm saying here. Doesn't seem to me that Pionpi is a female but I used to think it was on the game itself. Whoa!

The last and final boss on World 4 requires a bit of patience, good timing, LOTS of shooting using Mario's plane called the "Sky Pop," and good hand-eye coordination. First, you face this cloud-like enemy named Blokinton, then after defeating it, the finale: the faceoff against Tatanga the Mysterious Spaceman. Here's how the game manual describes the final boss:

Super Mario Land manual page 17

"Attacks with scattered, meandering rockets"? Looks like plasma balls to me. When he shoots, the ball splits in three and charges at you. Positioning correctly is the key, and you likely won't even have to move when the ball splits in three and tries to hit you. That way, you can concentrate on rapidly tapping the button and attacking Tatanga as fast as you can.

Once you defeat him, congratulations! Mario gets a kiss from Daisy as they happily both run and hop into the Sky Pop and fly happily ever after. The game ends with credits, although as you can tell, their full first names aren't provided.

That's it? Nope. Once you defeat the game, you have the option to start a brand new world and play through the game again. This time, the difficulty level has been increased, adding more enemies at random. Personally, when I was sick and had to stay home from school, the most games I've played and defeated in a row was three. By the fourth time, the enemies were getting too much and I lost badly on the first stage of the first world. I'll have to see how long I can last today. (Update on that to come some time soon.)

For those of you who are fans of our website, and our projects, here at Showsotros™, would ask, "hey Kris, what psychological message do you think is behind this game?" Even though the developers don't feel there was an intent to "watermark" any meaning behind this, I will say so: nothing stops a man from chasing and saving a woman he's in love with. Major motion pictures have portrayed this time and time again. As mentioned on my review of Volume VII - Season One of Pokémon begs the question: what does Love really do to us? There goes another long discussion....

And there you have it! A classic game for the casual/dedicated gamer of all ages. Lastly, if you've played and beat the game in one sitting, let me know if you played it past the fourth time. I'm wondering what happens if you play it through and beat the game numerous times. Does it glitch? Is there a different ending? I'll have to check it out for myself, and you should too!





  • An excellent Mario platformer for the handheld.
  • Fun and challenging enough for both kids and adults.
  • A great, introductory title to casual gamers wanting to venture in the Mario series.
  • Inspired many homebrews/hacks using the same graphical elements.
  • None.
100% (A+)
Fan Rating
Game Title Super Mario Land
Description Join Mario in a world
of strange creatures!

Ancient ruins, giant crabs, Koopa Troopas, flying stone heads and hungry sharks await you in this brand new world of adventure.

Travel over land, in the air, and underwater. Mario runs, jumps and bounces his way to fortune and glory on his mission to save the Princess!

A beautiful kingdom on ancient ruins, tempestuous waters, and brand new challenges makes Super Mario Land the best ever!
Story Once upon a time, there was a peaceful world called Sarasaland. In this world there were 4 kingdoms named Birabuto, Muda, Easton and Chai. One day, the skies of Sarasaland were suddenly covered by a huge black cloud. From a crack in this cloud, the unknown space monster Tatanga emerged to try to conquer Sarasaland. Tatanga hypnotized the people of all the kingdoms so that he could control them in any way he liked. In this way he took over Sarasaland. Now, he wants to marry Princess Daisy of Sarasaland and make her his queen.
Mario came to know of these events, and has started on a journey to the Chai Kingdom where Princess Daisy is held captive, in order to restore peace to Sarasaland.
Can Mario defeat Tatanga, release the people from his interstellar hypnosis, and rescue Princess Daisy? It's all up to you and Mario's skill. Go for it Mario!!
ISBN / Bar Code number 0 45496 73004 8
Video Format 1.33:1 (4:3) Full screen
Audio Format Mono (Stereo via Super Game Boy)
Language(s) English
Disk/Cartridge One (1)
Region(s) NTSC, PAL
Genre Action-Platformer
Rated K-A (Kids to Adults)
Released April 21, 1989 (JP), August ??, 1989 (US), September 28, 1990 (EU)
Video Specification Monochrome
Licensed by Nintendo®
Developed by Nintendo®
Company Nintendo® of America Inc.
Product / Item / Catalog Number GBW 1003
Copyright Nintendo is a registered trademark of Nintendo of America, Inc. TM Trademark of Nintendo of America, Inc.
© 1989 Nintendo of America Inc.
Other Formats Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console
Quoted Reviews --
Other --
G. Yokoi

S. Okada

M. Yamamoto
T. Harada

H. Matsuoka

H. Tanaka

M. Yamanaka

T. Harada

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