Super Mario Land
Description official descriptions
Super Mario Land, the plumber's first outing on the Game Boy, is a side-scrolling platformer much in the vein of the previous Super Mario Bros. This time, Mario must save Princess Daisy, rather than Princess Toadstool, from her kidnapper, Tatanga, a mysterious spaceman.
The game follows largely the same formula of its aforementioned predecessor, with Mario defeating enemies by jumping on them and collecting coins and power ups by hitting floating blocks, with each world leading up to a boss fight which is defeated using by collapsing the floor. A unique feature of this instalment is two scrolling shoot-'em-up levels, the first of which Mario pilots a submarine, and the second an aeroplane.
- スーパーマリオランド - Japanese spelling
Credits (Game Boy version)
13 People (8 developers, 5 thanks)
Average score: 80% (based on 34 ratings)
Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 134 ratings with 9 reviews)
This was one of the first games I ever bought for the Gameboy, my first video game system. I've probably beaten the game half a dozen times, and even attempted to beat the challenging secondary mode.
Mario was a little different in this game than in any of his others. Alot of his enemies were based on real life characters, such as monks and statues. Another first for Mario was that he got to pilot two different vehicles: a submarine and a spaceship.
And hands down it has the best Mario boss: a fire breathing lion.
Being one of the first games designed on this system, the platforming mechanic is very unforgiving. Mario is really small, and the blocks he needs to jump on do not have any extra room. Pinpoint jumping ability is needed in this game, and much frustration can come out of it.
The Bottom Line
While Mario's first foray in handhelds is not perfect, it is however a classic game. Not as good as it's followup, it nonetheless provides an excellent beginner game on Gameboy, as well as giving you a prime example of just how far video games have come in recent years.
Game Boy · by STU2 (52) · 2006
For being one of the very first Game Boy games, the music in this game is fantastic. Every track (maybe aside from the boss music) is really good and I have fond memories of the first stage music. The music that plays in the third level of each world (incorrectly referred to as Easton Kingdom in the soundtrack) is my favorite. The whole game is very derivative but honestly I kinda like it. Most of the classic Mario powerups and enemies are gone and replaced with unique enemies not found in any other Mario game (don't confuse the Goomba-looking things for Goombas, because they aren't!) and the Super Ball is actually quite a fun powerup that I'm surprised didn't see any sort of reference to until Mario Maker 2, to my knowledge. Also, this game's version of Koopas explode, so that's fun. My favorite part of the game was the shmup sections, which are genuinely quite good and add a bit of a nice break from the platforming.
This is where it goes downhill. The platforming is absolutely horrendous. I don't know if it's just me that sucks at it or if it's just bad but it feels very stiff, almost as if you have to stick to your jump (although you don't have to). The enemies can be rather brutal, too, so having a mushroom is key to getting anywhere. I posted this review under 3DS as I played the game through the 3DS's Virtual Console. I'm so glad that I did because goodness gracious, I had to CONSTANTLY use restore points. I got tons of cheap deaths because of the stiff platforming. The bosses are also rather hard, ESPECIALLY the final boss who's constantly firing bullets at you. This is a Mario game, not a bullet hell! The game is also rather short, but in my case I couldn't be happier that it's short because it felt like an eternity to beat.
The Bottom Line
If you're a Mario die-hard, check this game out. It's a unique game in the franchise that broke many of the rules set in place by previous Mario games (being even more deviant than the American Mario 2 in some cases). However if you're new to the franchise and are looking for somewhere to start, avoid this. The brutal platforming and difficulty is infuriating at times.
Nintendo 3DS · by a32bitmint (61) · 2022
As you probably noticed by now, I'm extremely biased towards the kind of games that keep you nailed to your seat for hours at a time. Super Mario Land is one of them, and being one of the first games to ever come out for the Game Boy (not to mention a mandatory game in any Game Boy fan's collection), it does so with extreme perfection.
While the graphics in Super Mario Land aren't stunning, they're at the least pleasing to the eye, and more importantly, they're faithful to the original NES classic. The music is nothing short of wonderful, a testament to true Game Boy programming prowess (limited FM sound hardware producing excellent sound tracks), as it is in every Mario game in history.
Level design is excellent, with the typical Super Mario plethora of tunnels, bizarre secret areas and hidden blocks; still it improves on the old NES classic with some underwater levels and an Egyptian level. Bosses are not overly difficult, which provides for smooth, non-frustrating gameplay. Controls are excellent as usual (though only on the Game Boy itself - they're horrible on an emulator).
In short, Super Mario Land is a good, fun game!
No save option (unlike in 6 Golden Coins, it's sequel), so unless you intend to spend a few hours on it, don't even bother to start a game.
The Bottom Line
Extremely well-made platform game. Heartily recommended!
Game Boy · by Tomer Gabel (4539) · 2001
Ambassadors of Funk
The main music to World 1 was used in a single called Supermarioland and was released by Ambassadors of Funk Featuring MC Mario in 1992, which reached #8 in the UK Singles Chart.
This is the only Mario game to include real world locations and enemies. Examples include fire breathing sphinxes, Chinese vampires, and the stone heads that appear in island nations. It is also the only Mario game that lets you pilot a submarine and airplane.
The manual for the U.S. version still lists all the enemies with their original Japanese names.
Information also contributed by STU2
- MobyGames ID: 4275
- Wikipedia (en)
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Tomer Gabel.
Nintendo 3DS added by ResidentHazard.
Game added June 13th, 2001. Last modified October 9th, 2023.