Wario's Woods (Japanese: ワリオの森, Wario no Mori) is a puzzle game released for both the NES and SNES in 1994. It was also one of the many playable NES games in Animal Crossing for the Nintendo GameCube.
The game is notable for being the last US NES release given Nintendo's official license, and is the only NES game with an official rating by the ESRB. It is also known for being the only game that has Toad with the main starring role (despite the fact that he has been playable in many games since Super Mario Bros. 2 and not counting Satella-Q). This is also the first Mario game to not feature Mario in any way. Wario's Woods was released to the Wii Virtual Console on November 19th, 2006 in America, and December 7-12, 2006 in the PAL regions and Japan. It was later released on the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console and Wii U Virtual Console.
The Story from the Instruction Booklet (NES):
The Peaceful Woods were once a friendly home for sprites and gentle creatures. Since the invasion of Wario and his band of monsters, though, this quiet community has been turned upside-down. Now it is Wario's Woods and peaceful creatures are not welcome.
Overview from the SNES version
The plot of the game is that Toad was taking a walk to a place he thought was Toadstool's Garden, but he was in fact in Wario's Woods and gets stuck in it. It is then revealed that Wario's monsters are invading the Mushroom Kingdom. Wanda, and Birdo (all misfit characters at the time) set out to help Toad to defeat the monsters. However, the antagonist Wario is not ready to give up his plan so easily and throughout the battles, Wario appears at various points in an attempt to stop the heroes.
The game plays similarly to Tetris. Toad is the main hero, and Birdo and Wanda would help Toad by giving him encouragement and bombs to destroy the monsters (respectively). If Toad took too long to complete a level, the rascal Wario would replace Birdo and replace Wanda with a Pidgit. The Pidgit would then throw more monsters as well as bombs at Toad. Wario would body slam the side of his box to make the Thwomp ceiling descend, destroying enemies would make the ceiling rise up again. Many enemies unique to this game appear. Along with them were several mini-bosses who would attempt to block Toad's path from getting to Wario. Toad would also have to fight Wario several times throughout the game, although most end up just being False Warios.
In the end of the game, Wario himself appears to fight against Toad alone. Oddly, Wario appears at a gargantuan size in this battle. Eventually, Toad defeats him, causing him to shrink back to his original size and therefore his powers were also reduced (it was also revealed that Wario had in fact used an airpump to inflate himself to a much bigger size in order to battle Toad). Toad then proceeds onwards by chasing the antagonist out of the Woods. However, in the SNES version, Toad does not chase Wario out of the Woods but instead bombs his castle; thus, announcing the defeat of the antagonist. Once Wario is defeated, all the creatures who were under the nightmare that Wario had cast upon them had awakened, allowing the woods to finally be restored back to peace.
The NES version has modes: Round Game, Time Race, VS, Lesson, and Option. Round Game is the basic game with 100 levels (this is much like the story mode of the game, featuring the bosses and events within the game). The levels increase in difficulty as the player progresses, starting with more monsters and more kinds of monsters. It also has an A and B game mode. Time Race has three levels of difficulty and has players racing against the clock. VS is the two player mode (the second player has the option of choosing a green Toad as his or her character). Lesson teaches the game basics. The Option menu gives the options such as name change (of the player), data clear, and rankings.
The SNES version has 6 game modes: VS Com, VS 2P, Round Game, Time Race, Lesson, and Option. Most are the same as their NES counterparts, but more robust. VS Com allowed the player to play against an AI player in three Modes of difficulty, and added colorful characters to play against like Katsini. Round game added an overworld map with different locations like Underground Caves and Wario's Castle. Many more mini-bosses were added to the game with the bosses varying from each level in the game (ie. aquatic creatures were the bosses of the underwater levels, while the more powerful ones were located in Wario's Castle). Like in the NES version, they would attempt to decline Toad's attempt of saving the Mushroom Kingdom. Upon defeating all the bosses within the Round Game, Toad would soon meet Wario himself in person and the two would then duel in an intense fight that would determine the fate of the woods.
In the Round Mode of Wario's Woods, the game takes on a story mode sequence with cut scenes being frequently encountered throughout the game. These cut-scenes often take place after every 10 rounds, and they are scenes of Wario taunting Toad as the hero gets closer to defeating Wario. In most of these cut scenes, Wario often calls Toad foul and insulting names such as "'Shroom" in order to discourage the Mushroom Retainer from keeping up with his victory. Wario also appears to grow in size throughout the game; thus, showing his powers increasing. In the final round levels, Wario can be seen to be in a gargantuan size (though it is revealed that he was just inflating himself with an air pump).
However, in some of these scenes it can be assumed that some of Wario's appearances are not actually his own as he appears to send out False Warios at times while the actual Wario carries on with his evil plans. In the ending, Toad can finally be seen chasing Wario out of Peaceful Forest after defeating the antagonistic plumber himself.
In the SNES version of Wario's Woods, cut scenes return; however, they are not only consisting of the interactions between Toad and Wario, but as well as the interactions of Toad and all of the mini-bosses that he encounters throughout his adventure. Their interactions are all based on their respective personalities, and would often taunt Toad before beginning their battles. Additionally, they would also make fun of and insult Toad if he were to lose against them (often causing Toad's emotions to change as depicted by his appearance in each of the cut scenes).
NES Exclusive Bosses
SNES Exclusive Bosses
The first version was called ワリオの森 爆笑バージョン (Wario's Woods Burst Of Laughter Version). In this one, many of the character graphics were replaced with caricatures of Japanese Celebrities.
The second version was called ワリオの森 再び (Wario's Woods Again). This version lacks the edited graphics, making it more similar to the English release. However, there are also other removals, such as the round-game-style Single Player mode and Story Mode Dialog.
References to Other Games
References in Later Games