Super Mario's Wacky Worlds
|Super Mario's Wacky Worlds|
Super Mario's Wacky Worlds was a planned successor to Super Mario World, developed by NovaLogic for Royal Philips Electronics's unsuccessful CD-i system. The game was never officially released, although three prototype copies are in circulation.
Super Mario's Wacky Worlds emerged in a time in which its developing company, NovaLogic, was hoping to be hired by Nintendo. Philips obtained the rights to release CD-i games based on Nintendo IPs as the result of a failed deal with Nintendo to develop a CD-ROM add-on for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Consequently, a Nintendo sales executive suggested to NovaLogic that simple Nintendo titles could play on the CD-i, sparking the idea of putting "a popular Nintendo game, Super Mario World onto a CD-i disc", making the project an intended sequel or follow-up to the launch title exclusively for the CD-i hardware.
Developers Silas Warner and John Brooks were drafted as the game's designers and worked 24 hours a day for two weeks on the game, finishing only a part of one level to present to Nintendo. Their meeting with the Nintendo developers came at 8:00 a.m. on a Friday morning, and they had put their short part of the game on a disc four hours beforehand.
Nintendo was impressed at the two men's job, but ultimately decided to cancel the game due to the commercial failure of the CD-i. This ended the CD-i career of Warner, who had expected Nintendo's exact reaction; however, other developers such as lead artist Nina Stanley stayed with the project.
Though the developers were highly enthusiastic about making a traditional Super Mario game (partly to clear their reputation surrounding Nintendo-licensed characters), NovaLogic hoped to use as little money as possible on the project, which was mostly executed with the intentions of making a small amount of profit while games such as those of the Comanche series had focus.
Version 0.11, the game's final prototype (an early alpha), was finished on March 3, 1993 after the project had about a year of work. Approximately 80% of the game's art, 95% percent of its design, and around 30% of its code were finished.
Three prototypes are in circulation, one of which was sold on the online auction website eBay for $1,000. A certain prototype, perhaps the same one as that sold on eBay, has been leaked to the internet in ISO form and can be played both on emulators and as a burned disc on an actual CD-i.
As it is a pre-alpha, the prototype is rather limited; Super Mario can only walk both ways and jump, and no Power-ups exist. He cannot slide or swim, but it would appear that these abilities would have been implemented had development continued. Enemies are also not programmed correctly; they disappear when Mario ends up above them, suggesting incomplete stomping attempts. Enemies also cannot harm Mario and are stopped in their tracks if touched, even if it means ending up floating in the air.
Level progression is not explicit, but can be pieced together by the selectable stages. Most worlds have two or three levels, the first of which end with Warp Pipes (or similar things, such as the Trojan Horse in Greek 1), whereas the last most often has a stylized "M" object holding tape, presumably a similar aspect to the Giant Gates, but ending worlds instead of levels. However, the mysterious "M"s may serve another purpose, as one is found alongside a Warp Pipe in Igloo 1; perhaps they would have signified bonuses.
Accurately capturing the sprites of Super Mario World was difficult for the Super Mario's Wacky Worlds development team, since the CD-i had a different sprite-making style than that of the SNES. To create their characters, they actually pirated their designs from Super Mario World, producing Mario, as well as several Koopa Troopa variations based on the Super Mario World sprites: Greek Koopa Troopas clad in tunics and laurel wreaths, knight Koopa Troopas with feathered helmets, blue Inuit Koopa Troopas in parkas, and dark vampire Koopa Troopas with capes and fangs. The development team also sprited an enemy of their own creation, a walrus drawn in a similar manner to the Koopa Troopas, with similar poses and a turning animation.
The various backgrounds of the game were all hand-drawn by the development team; in fact, they were indeed based off of paper drawings. Of related note is that the game's levels are based on real-world Earth locations.
The prototype contains music taken from Super Mario World and no sound effects besides the jumping sound. This seems to be an early placeholder, as the idea for the final game was to take advantage of the disc format and use a flexible audio range rather than port unimproved synthesized sound.
|Greek 1||A very short desert level with a few brown ruins and five Greek Koopa Troopas. It ends with some stone steps up into the mouth of a model of the Trojan Horse, which cannot be entered but presumably could have had development continued.|
|Greek 2||Mostly consists of the interior of the Trojan Horse, inside of which are some knight Koopas and, oddly, a walrus. There are exits at the bottom of both of the legs, one of which leads to a small enclosed area before the other, which lets off at a small ledge before much completely blank space (which, perhaps because of unfinished programming, pulls Mario toward itself), which would have either been removed or expanded upon later.|
|Greek 3||A water stage completely without enemies. Mario must walk through it in the prototype, as swimming had not yet been programmed. The farthest Mario can go is to a large stone pillar after some volcanoes; although a Warp Pipe of unknown purpose lies beyond the pillar, Mario cannot jump high enough to reach it.|
Completely unfinished, with no levels made in any form. However, its two stages are named.
- Aztec 1
- Aztec 2
|Ship 1||A large pirate ship without enemies. Mario can climb on its masts, and can see the Moon far off in the background if he jumps high enough. It ends with two pipes.|
|Ship 2||A very short level that seems to finish the unseen rightmost part of the pirate ship, with two pipes (different from the two at Ship 1's end) and an "M" mark. A Koopa figurehead can also be seen at the ship's front.|
|Ship 3||The ship's hold, in which are several platforms and some water. Its end is unknown, for Mario cannot jump high enough to reach it. This level seems to break normal level progression, being located after a stage with an "M", meaning it may have not technically been Ship's third level or could have been unlockable.|
Like Aztec, neither of these levels have data.
- House 1
- House 2
|Cave 1||A cave with a waterfall, skull platforms similar to Lava Lifts, and Inuit Koopas (once more, possibly placeholders) and walruses as enemies (oddly found only at the stage's end).|
|Cave 2||A falling, enemy-less level that starts out in a circular room and has one other compartment, an open space filled with animated, solid mask objects similar to Phantos or Mask Gates. Then, there is a small section of floor with an Easter Island moai-like statue that, like the Trojan horse, would presumably serve as a Warp Pipe substitute.|
|Cave 3||Begins with another stone statue that exits into a hilly cave with some more Inuit Koopas and walruses, as well as a bottomless pit. The cave is exited at the end, which features an "M".|
Another world without level data. Its high stage amount might suggest a final layout similar to Swamp.
- Village 1
- Village 2
- Village 3
- Village 4
- Village 5
- Village 6
|Ice Mountain 1||A climb across a mountain that deviates from a simple slope up and slope down very little (only with holes does it change). After this, Mario must traverse down clumps of snow to reach an "M".|
|Neon City 1||Though some of its data is finished, the level's graphics are not and it hence appears as only a blue-and-green void. Presumably, it would have been a colorfully-lit metropolis.|
Land o' Plaid
|Land o' Plaid 1||Like Neon City 1, this level has some solid layouts but no graphics. It would presumably end up having some relation to the plaid color or pattern in the final game.|
|Pipeworks 1||A stage with many pipes (some of which are small and may be oriented diagonally) and water elements such as water-shooting pipes, showers, and metal Koopa heads. Greek and Inuit Koopas are found here.|
This world's one level lacks data, like many above.
- Sewer 1
This world and its one level are also without data, although its theme is already explored in the prototype with Castle 1.
- Chemistry Lab 1
Koopa Troopa (Greek)