Super Mario Bros. Mushroom World
Super Mario Bros. Mushroom World is a coin-operated pinball machine licensed by Nintendo and developed by Gottlieb. It was released to commercial buyers in the U.S.A. in June 1992, being the direct sequel of Super Mario Bros., which was released two months earlier. Unlike its predecessor, Mushroom World was more focused on commercial buyers, as it was given redemption features. It is also a great deal smaller than the average pinball machine, with the table standing at only 30 inches at the lowest adjustable setting. Gameplay is based on the NES game Super Mario Bros. 3, as the cabinet displays the game artwork of the Koopalings and uses power-ups during gameplay such as Frog Mario and Raccoon Mario. A total of 519 units were manufactured, a great deal less than its predecessor. Likewise, Mushroom World is a much sought-after product, receiving high bids at auctions, including machines in very poor condition.
The pinball machine is colored yellow with several Mario-themed artwork, some of it original. The backbox displays a translight artwork that shows seven Koopalings in seven different Worlds, with Bowser in World 8. Mario is seen in the middle holding a Super Mushroom (an artwork from Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels). Below the translight is a small screen that uses a to show the player's current score, several video animations, and interactive games. One of such animations, taking place before the game starts, is a concerned Mario with a "Say no to drugs" message. Two speakers sit on either side of the screen, which are used to emit music and sound effects. On top of the backbox is a red siren, which lights up on certain occasions during gameplay. Artwork is seen on the sides of the backbox, showing Raccoon Mario flying above three Clouds, leaving two mad Chain Chomps snapping below.
Moving down the pinball machine, the 1053 square inches of playfield largely consists of artwork from the Mario franchise, flashing lights, and pinball gameplay elements. The side walls containing the playfield consist of more artwork; the logo of Super Mario Bros. Mushroom World is surrounded by a cloud. Mario and Toad are running from two Chain Chomps, with Morton Koopa Jr. seen on the far right. The back of the machine contains the Gottlieb logo, along with a few notices and warnings. The front of the machine has two coin slots; the left one takes quarters (25¢ American coins), and the right takes certain-sized game tokens from arcade companies. The coins can be retrieved via the coin door, which can be unlocked with a key that comes with the machine. To the right of the coin door is a "Start Game" logo, with a red plunger that is used to pull back to send the pinball into the playfield. Directly below the plunger and logo is the ticket dispenser, which locks to hold a reel of tickets for commercial use. The Gottlieb logo is seen to the left. The system can be set to play with or without ticket redemption.
A main focus of the product was portability. The legs have an adjustable difference of eight inches, and the cabinet is 39 inches in length. The backbox is able to be folded forward onto the playfield area. The cabinet weighs a minimum of 118kg.
Unlike the average pinball machine, Mushroom World contains no inlanes or outlanes at the bottom of the playfield. Two sinkholes that are made to look like Warp Pipes are seen above the flippers, which return the ball below the slingshots. In between the flippers is a picture of Bowser from Super Mario Bros. 3. A plastic ramp on the left that has five pictures of Toad on the surface will lead to a wire ramp. This wire ramp carries the ball back down to the left flipper. Above the Bowser picture and the two flippers are several images of Mario's suits in a vertical alignment. Each image lights up individually during gameplay. These suits, from bottom to top, are Super Mario, Fire Mario, Frog Mario and Raccoon Mario. To the upper left of these is a picture of a Recorder from Super Mario Bros. 3, here referred to as a "Magic Whistle". Above and slightly more to the left of this is an object that is split into four sections, each with a different Power-Up. These are (from left to right); Super Mushroom, Fire Flower, Frog Suit and Super Leaf. Each Power-Up corresponds to Mario's suits mentioned beforehand. Directly to the right is an illustration of Mario and Toad hiding from the rain beneath a large toadstool. A speech bubble shows Mario saying: "Mama mia!".
Towards the upper area, there is a column of five Chain Chomps each facing a drop target, which are made to resemble Brick Blocks. Depending on the machine version, the numbers above the drop targets will vary. In one version, the order of numbers will appear as five, two, three, one, and four. This indicates how many tickets the player may receive on the shot (if Redemption Mode is enabled). On the alternative version, the numbers represent how many points the player will receive once the drop targets are hit. The values (each times one million) are twenty, three, five, two, and ten. Regardless of the version, both will still reward points and be able to dispense tickets; only the numbers shown are different. Above the numbers is a line of text which reads "Complete Worlds 1-8" and "World 8 Darkland", with Darkland being the eighth and final world of Super Mario Bros. 3. There is an identical set of drop targets on the left side, slightly higher up on the playfield.
At the top-center of the playfield, there is a smaller Magic Whistle in front of a spot target. On either side of the Magic Whistle are two sinkholes that are made to resemble Warp Pipes. The pipe on the right is colored yellow and has the words "Boom Boom" along the convex, with a picture of the titular character seen below. The sinkhole itself will send the ball to the left, where it will emerge from a kickout hole. This sends it to a VUK (vertical up-kicker), which takes the ball and rolls it down an enclosed tunnel. This tunnel has a picture of Princess Peach on the front. Along the top are the words "Princess", with her crown pictured below. Directly below this area is the second sinkhole, which is made to resemble a red Warp Pipe. The word "Princess" is written along the convex. Entering this sinkhole will initiate either the Block Buster or Tail Attack game rounds. Further along the tunnel above is a series of three pictures; each of them shows Mario at a different stage of stomping Boom Boom into the ground. Each time the player enters the tunnel, a red light will illuminate beneath a number that progresses to three. Beyond the tunnel is a wire ramp that carries the ball a short distance, then drops it among a group of three bumpers.
The plunger on the right side of the table is used to launch the ball into the playfield. There is a picture of Princess Peach covering the middle of the yellow track the ball follows. A speech bubble shows her saying: "Be careful Mario". Above is a picture of Mario's Glove pointing to text that reads "To Mushroom World".
The aim of the game is to progress through eight worlds, defeating a Koopaling in each of the first seven, with Bowser found in the eighth. The player is able to complete a world by clearing the banks of drop targets found in on either side of the upper playfield. There are two levels of gameplay: easy and hard. Either mode can be selected with the flippers before starting a game. The player can also choose whether to play the actual worlds or just play at leisure without progressing. Before plunging the ball, the game will drop a number of drop targets inversely proportional to the world number. During hard mode, the player, then, has 30 seconds to hit the remaining drop targets to complete the world (the timer is disabled during easy mode). Upon plunging, the ball will first get sent to the jet bumpers at the top of the playfield. This begins the line-up game, which is seen on the screen. Each hit with the Jet Bumper during gameplay brings the pictures closer to lining up after the initial scrambling. Each picture is worth something. The Mushroom picture will reward the player with an extra ball. An Anchor or Music Box will give bonus points, and the rare Starman will drop all of the remaining drop targets, clearing the world.
While playing hard mode, if the player fails to drop the remaining number of drop targets within 30 seconds, the flippers will die. If the player succeeds in clearing all drop targets, then the timer will stop and the field can be played at leisure until entering the VUK, which will clear the world. When not playing a world, clearing the drop targets will have no effect, entering the VUK will start a new line-up game, and the process will repeat.
The upper-right sinkhole, which displays a picture of Boom Boom, can be sunk three times to begin a two-ball multiball. The sinkhole found to the immediate left of Boom Boom is known as "Princess", and entering it will initiate one of two game rounds, which will either be Block Buster or Tail Attack, which are both viewed on the dox matrix display. These rounds reward the player with bonus points, with the amount varying according to how well the player went. Block Buster involves using the flippers to make Mario jump, hitting evenly spaced Blocks along a platformer level. Mario will run automatically, though it's up to the player to jump and break as many blocks as they can during the short gameplay time. The Tail Attack game involves Tanooki Mario standing stationary to the right side of the screen while several Shellcreepers approach from the left. The player must use the flippers to swing Mario's Tanooki Tail and hit the Shellcreepers. The more that are hit during the limited gameplay time, the more points the player will earn.
The Magic Whistle, seen on the center playfield, lights the Mushroom Ramp for a secret. When the ramp is flashing, the secrets can be collected. The first secret is Video Mode, where the player can progress through a Mario-based platformer using the flippers to control the player. There are two types of Video Mode gameplays: one where the player controls Mario to run and jump over gaps and Boos and one where Frog Mario swims and moves up and down to avoid various enemies and obstacles such as Crabs. Other secrets accessible from the ramp are "Luigi's Surprise", which will complete the world the player is currently playing, and "Mario's Countdown", a hurry-up mode, collected on the ramp, that rewards points. A less common secret is an extra ball as well as a large point bonus.
Clearing the first seven worlds and starting the eighth one awards the player with a special, which can be a free ball, point bonus, or other various rewards. A free game might also be rewarded, though not when the machine is set to ticket redemption. During Darkland, the eighth and final world, the drop targets will be lit but will drop in groups of two of their own accord. According to the game's instruction cards, the Chain Chomps "eat" them. The player must hit each target before they drop to gain the target value of points. After clearing the drop targets of Darkland, the player's score will be displayed. If it's a high score, a free game credit will be earned. Only one free game may be earned per paid credit.
Licensing and supervision
Dots and animation
Logos and flyers
Playfield and gameplay