Super Mario Land (series)
The Super Mario Land series is a sub-series in the Mario franchise for the original Game Boy. This series, unlike the previous Mario titles, was not worked on by Shigeru Miyamoto, but his mentor, Gunpei Yokoi instead. It lasted from 1989 to 1994. Starting with the third installment, Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3, the series turned its focus over to Wario, and the series ended up spinning off to the Wario Land series. The title of Super Mario 3D Land is an homage to this series.
Super Mario Land and Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins were originally excluded from the main Super Mario series, but were included alongside the more traditional games for the 30th anniversary of Super Mario Bros., and the history page from the Mario Portal and "The official home for Mario" websites.
Super Mario Land is the first game in the series, released in 1989 for the Game Boy. This game also marks the debut appearances of Princess Daisy and Tatanga. This game possesses many similarities to Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo Entertainment System. As far as gameplay is concerned, it has the same basic gameplay style as the others. The player makes Mario run, jump, collect coins and power-ups (including the new Superball Flower item), kill enemies, go down Warp Pipes (which usually contain underground areas with coins, just like Super Mario Bros), etc. The boss battles are also very similar, where the player either has to avoid a boss' attacks, run underneath it, and hit the switch behind it or just simply shoot it until it's destroyed. Super Mario Land also features a new gameplay gimmick in which Mario has to steer a submarine in an underwater stage and pilot an airplane during the final stage, where Mario has his "final" showdown with Tatanga to rescue Princess Daisy, whom he kidnaps, supposedly in an attempt to get her to become his queen so that he can rule over Sarasaland.
Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins is the second installment in the Super Mario Land series, released in 1992, three years after its predecessor. This game marks the debut appearance of Wario, Mario's arch-rival in the series. In this game, it is revealed that the events of Super Mario Land are merely created by Wario so that he could take over Mario's castle. He also uses the power of six magical coins to seal the castle, leaving them to the care of eight of his followers (including Tatanga) so that Mario cannot get inside. Now, Mario must travel through six different worlds to obtain those coins and get his castle back from the greedy anti-hero. Notable aspects of Super Mario Land 2 are its improved graphics, as well as a save feature, which isn't present in its predecessor due to its short length. However, it keeps the same traditional Mario-style gameplay and even brings back the Fire Flower power-up. There's also a new power-up, which is a carrot that allows Mario to glide across certain areas. Like Super Mario World, Mario now has the spin jump ability, which can be used to kill certain enemies instantly.
Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 is the third and final installment in the Super Mario Land series and the first installment in the Wario Land series, released in 1994, five years after its first predecessor and two years after its second predecessor. Taking place after his defeat in Super Mario Land 2, Wario decides to go on a quest to earn himself enough money and riches to get himself a castle of his own. During his quest, he finds many treasures as he battles Captain Syrup and her army, the Black Sugar Gang. The gameplay in Wario Land differs slightly from the previous Super Mario Land installments. For example, if the player holds down the B button, then Wario does not run. His speed does increase, however, if Wario is using the Jet Wario power-up, which allows him to temporarily fly through the air at super speed. His other power-ups include Bull Wario, which gives him super strength and the ability to stick to ceilings and conveyor belts, and the Dragon Wario power-up, which allows him to breathe fire. Wario is also able to hold and throw enemies (as well as coins, which are usually required to exit a stage).
VB Mario Land, also known as Mario Adventure, is a canceled Virtual Boy game which was revealed at the Winter Consumer Electronics Show in early 1995. A Wario-like object can be seen in one of the released screenshots, so it is thought to be an unproduced follow-up to Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins. The game was to use two-dimensional side-scrolling elements, as well as the use of three-dimensional movement between the background and foreground of the stage. Its three-dimensional Mario Bros.-style mini-game was repurposed as Mario Clash.