Mario is the face of the Nintendo brand and despite being over 30 years old he remains one of gaming’s most important figures. The character first appeared in the Donkey Kong series in 1981 and was then given his own series, Super Mario, in 1985. Since then, the Super Mario series has gone on to become the best selling videogame series of all time, as well as spawning a number of popular spin-off series. Over the course of its three-decade history, Super Mario has managed to capture the imagination of generations of gamers. One such reason for this is the vast world of Mario, which offers an almost inexhaustible range of zones and variations for gamers to discover. To celebrate the upcoming Mario Day, here are 10 of the best features in Mario games.
Without doubt one of the best-known hidden worlds in the Super Mario series is Negative World. The secret level appears in the second level of Super Mario Bros., available for the NES. Negative World takes its name from the top of the screen that reads, World -1, and it sees Mario go underwater.
A great secret world on the GameCube’s Super Mario Sunshine is Casino Delfino. Situated in the Hotel Delfino, the casino is filled with slot machines and roulette wheels. Through the casino you can pick up Blue Coins by spraying the slot machines with water.
The earlier games in the Super Mario were famously difficult, luckily though there were way to make life slightly easier for yourself. The infinite lives cheat in Super Mario Bros. afforded gamers the chance to make as many mistakes as they want. To get unlimited lives, players had to stomp on the Koopa on the staircase at the end of world 3-1.
In his 35-year history, Mario’s look has changed a lot. Super Mario RPG was a 3-D game but if gamers knew how, they could briefly transform Mario into his vintage 8-bit former self. This could be done by running behind the curtains in one of the smaller rooms in Booster Tower.
Super Mario Kart was the first of the Mario Kart series, a series that has gone onto become an immensely popular series in its own right. The game, released in 1992, includes a cheat that will really test your driving skills to the max. Hold Y and press A when selecting your driver and they will spend duration of the race shrunken, making the game even harder.
Grate Guy’s Casino
Another fun casino level in the Mario series is Grate Guy’s Casino, which appears in Super Mario RPG: The Legend of the Seven Stars for the SNES. The casino, owned by the evil boss, Grate Guy, is home to a number of games including blackjack. There’s even the chance to win the Star Egg, which does 100 damage to all enemies.
There are many features of Mario that have made the game become so popular, one of which is its legendary title music. Enter the Special Zone in Super Mario Land, released in 1989 for the GameBoy, and after a few minutes the classic theme will begin to play while you explore the zone.
Mario Kart 64 gives gamers the chance to go off-track and explore the courtyard of Princess Peach’s castle. Keep an eye out for a small dirt track that will take you to the castle’s exterior. While you can’t enter the castle, it does give you the opportunity to take in a close up view of the icon Super Mario building.
Yoshi Island, released for the SNES and GameBoy, included the unlockable bonus zone, Mini Battles. As well as harder stages, Mini Battles also included a multiplayer option (not as common in 1995). Gamers unlocked the zone by pressing X,X,Y,B and A on the level select screen.
Finish in Style
There’s always cause for celebration when Mario reaches the flagpole as you know you are about to enter another cool new level. It’s fitting then that if when you reach the flagpole the last digit of the time is 1,3 or 6, the corresponding number of fireworks goes off in the backdrop to celebrate.
March 10th is the official Mario Day, and as such will be celebrated around the world by hordes of videogame fans of all ages.