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Hotel Mario is a game that was published by Royal Philips Electronics for the Philips CD-i. Philips Media had acquired the rights to produce Mario and The Legend of Zelda games after initial plans to make a CD-ROM add-on for the Super Nintendo fell through. Released on April 5, 1994 in North America to little fanfare, the game had low sales partially due to a lack of interest in the CD-i system, and received mainly poor reviews.
In the game's plot, Bowser and his seven Koopaling children (Morton, Roy, Larry, Lemmy, Ludwig, Wendy, and Iggy) have taken over the Mushroom Kingdom, where they've claimed seven Koopa hotels and have kidnapped the princess, hiding her in one of them. After Mario and Luigi are informed of this, they set out to rescue her.
The general goal in each stage is to close all the doors on every floor. However, various enemies will interfere and reopen them at times. Elevators are needed to travel between floors. The first six hotels have ten stages, whilst the seventh has fifteen.
The princess is held captive in each hotel until the moment of its destruction, at which point she is taken off to a different hotel. Each hotel is run by a different Koopaling (except for the last one which is run by Bowser) who must be fought by Mario in order to destroy the hotel. The game also has a two player mode, allowing a second player to control Luigi. As with previous titles, Mario and Luigi take turns playing during a two-player game.
Mario and Luigi head to the Mushroom Kingdom after being invited to a picnic by the princess. However, soon after arriving, Mario finds a letter on the front door to a gate, which has a board with the words "Klub Koopa Resort" on it. The letter is from Bowser, who claims that he and the Koopalings have turned the Mushroom Kingdom into their personal resort and have each taken over a hotel. It also states that the princess is being held hostage in one of them, and challenges them to find her.
The brothers come across the first hotel, the Wood Door Hysteria Hotel. With Luigi's help, Mario is able to leap inside the hotel through a window. After conquering the hotel, Morton and the brothers leap out of the tree-hotel, which then sprouts fruit. Mario notices the princess on one of the branches, but it snaps underneath her. She lands in Roy's open arms, and he takes her to his hotel, the HardBrick Hotel. However, the lights continuously flicker on and off inside. Luigi is concerned as to how they will find her, but Mario assumes that there may be a switch somewhere. Inside the hotel itself, Mario finds the cause of the hotel's light problem: a room with several toasters plugged in. He unplugs all the toasters, which returns the hotel's electricity to normal.
After defeating Roy, the Mario Brothers condemn the hotel. The princess is standing on a Warp Pipe, but she is sucked down into it. Mario wonders where she is, but Luigi points out the cave in the distance. This cave turns out to be the Chillton Hotel. It is dark inside, and they do not have a light. Nevertheless, they journey inside.
After Larry is conquered, the cave explodes, with the princess flying out of it. Mario and Luigi prepare to catch her, but find that she is not falling. Mario realizes that she is in the clouds, and the High-ate Regency Hotel is revealed. Luigi kicks a nearby Exclamation Mark Block, which causes a vine to sprout out of it and into the sky above. In the hotel, there is a cloud which diverts Mario. He finds a room where he turns on a fan which blows the cloud away. Once Lemmy is defeated, Mario, Luigi, and the princess escape. Lemmy also tries to flee, but a massive fan blows both him and the hotel away before he can reach them. However, the princess suddenly magically vanishes. Back on the ground, Mario and Luigi take sight of another one of the Koopalings' hotels, this time the Thump Castle Hotel. Just as they are about to enter, the entrance disappears, but reappears near instantly after. In the hotel, there are vanishing doors. Mario finds a room with a liquid that stops the doors vanishing.
After Ludwig is beaten, the Mario Brothers escape as the entire hotel crumbles, leaving only a frame. However, the princess is nowhere in sight. Luigi then points out the location of Wendy's hotel, the Blitz Snarlton Hotel. When they conquer the hotel, the brothers escape and the hotel vanishes. The princess runs over and greets them, but vanishes once again as well, with Bowser's laughter heard in the background. Mario then takes notice of a plume of smoke heading their direction, and find the Seizures Palace Hotel. When Iggy (who works at Bowser's hotel as opposed to running his own) and Bowser are defeated, Mario, Luigi, and the princess flee as the hotel falls to rubble, the landscape transforming back to its previous form. The princess thanks the Mario Brothers for defeating Bowser and freeing the kingdom from the Koopaling clan, giving them both a kiss, and they all thank the player for his or her contributions.
Pre-release and unused content
Several unused audio files are stored in the game, including dialogue from a placeholder voice actor exaplaining how to play, suggesting that the game was planned to have a tutorial. Additionally, the way the game's files are set up suggests that Iggy was going to have his own hotel, rather than appearing in Bowser's.