This time around on Warped Pipes I’m digging into Mario’s biggest adventure yet; his SNES debut game...
Effectively acting as Super Mario Bros. 4; World expands on the formula from the previous games with a massive interconnected landmass for Mario and Luigi to explore. Let’s see what the manual has to say:
After saving the Mushroom Kingdom from Bowser and the rest of the Koopas in Super Mario 3, Mario and Luigi needed to recuperate from their adventures. Together they agreed that the best place to vacation was a magical place called Dinosaur Land.
But while Mario and Luigi reclined on the beach for a relaxing nap, Princess Toadstool disappeared, apparently seized by evil forces. After searching for hours for their missing friend, Mario and Luigi came upon an enormous egg in the forest.
Suddenly the egg hatched, and out popped a young dinosaur named Yoshi, who proceeded to tell Mario and Luigi a sad tale of how his dinosaur pals were sealed in similar eggs by a group of monstrous turtles.
“Monstrous turtles!,” exclaimed Luigi. “Bowser and his bunch have returned!” Mario slowly nodded his head in agreement and, along with Luigi and Yoshi, set off across Dinosaur Land to find the Princess and to free Yoshi’s friends. As they began their journey, Yoshi handed Mario a beautiful cape. “This may help you,” Yoshi said. “Some say it has magical powers.”
With a little luck (and help from a magic cape), our hearty crew can defeat the seven worlds of Bowser’s Krazy Koopa Kritters. Many locations are well-hidden so explore everywhere and try everything. Not all locations have to be explored to rescue the dinosaurs and save Princess Toadstool, but there are many “starry” treasures to be found in far-reaching places. You’ll need to search all areas to find what kinds of treasures are there… in Super Mario World.
Following this introduction, the events of the game proceed in a fairly straightforward manner. The brothers trek across Dinosaur Land, defeating Bowser’s army along the way and finding the secrets hidden across this region. This journey leads them across islands, underground, through high cliffs, and into even stranger locales such as the tricky Forest of Illusion and the mysterious Star World.
Once again, the Koopalings act as Bowser’s lieutenants and block the brothers’ path with their fortresses. Additionally, many ghost houses litter Dinosaur Land that our heroes must overcome.
Thankfully, many the friendly dinosaur species known as Yoshis are present on Dinosaur Land to aid the brothers and ferry them across the land.
In the end, the brothers once again defeat Bowser and the Koopalings and rescue the Princess. The trio resumes their vacation but now joined with new allies the Yoshis.
There really isn’t anything tricky to interpret in the story this time around, so I’ll skip straight to the world building.
It’s unclear exactly where Dinosaur Land exists relative to the Mushroom Kingdom. In the GBA version of the game, we see the characters arrive via hot air balloon, so it is fair to say that it is a significant distance away from the Kingdom and somewhere across the ocean. This landmass consists of a number of unique regions, as shown below.
This land itself seems to lack any type of true settlement or civilization. Outside of the occupying Koopa forces, the Yoshis appear to be the only sapient species in Dinosaur Land. Even then, these Yoshis appear to live in relatively small family units or in isolation, as we see with Yoshi’s House. The other dinosaur species that give the land its name, such as the Rex and Dino Rhino, appear to just be animals.
As such, it’s a bit unclear where the ghost houses came from. Were there once settlers on Dinosaur Land that died out at some point? Furthermore, it’s likely that the Koopa have been occupying this land for a while given their numbers and numerous fortresses. Mario, Luigi, and Peach were somehow ignorant to this fact when choosing a vacation spot.
Firstly, it is worth noting that Yoshi refers to both the species as a whole and a member of that species confusingly just named Yoshi. This specifically named Yoshi is the first one encountered by the Mushroom Kingdom group, green in color, and the owner of Yoshi’s House on Yoshi’s Island. Many other Yoshis are encountered throughout the game and come in a variety of colors.
It would seem that each different type of Yoshi has its own special ability, such as flight or fire-breathing. It’s unclear exactly how the genetics of the Yoshi species work and whether each color represents a different subspecies or simply normal biological variance.
This is a unique case where the game manual actually straight up tells us where the game exists in the timeline: immediately following the events of Super Mario Bros. 3. As such, I’ve placed it there in our timeline as the latest point in the Koopa Wars Era. You’ll also notice that I’ve drawn the timeline in a new format as the previous version was getting too large and unwieldy for our purposes.
In the next article I’ll take a look at the final Mario Game & Watch handheld: Mario the Juggler. Check back soon!
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