Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins
Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins is a platforming game for the Game Boy released in 1992 and later for the Nintendo 3DS's Virtual Console in 2011. It is the direct sequel to Super Mario Land and also marks the debut of Mario's self-proclaimed arch rival Wario, who would later become a recurring character in the Mario series as well as a protagonist in his own series. Like its predecessor, it received a Player's Choice and was produced by the late Gunpei Yokoi rather than the Mario series creator Shigeru Miyamoto, who was not involved in the development of this game. It is notable for having been the last original side-scrolling Mario game until 2006's New Super Mario Bros., 13½ years later (discounting reissues). Like Super Mario Land, this game was originally excluded from the main Super Mario series by Nintendo, but was 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.
Story from the instruction booklet
After rescuing Princess Daisy from Tatanga in Sarasaland, Mario returns to his own private island, appropriately named Mario Land. Upon returning, however, he finds that an old rival of his named Wario had succeeded in taking over his castle and casted an evil spell to brainwash the island's inhabitants into serving him against Mario. The 6 Golden Coins (the keys to Mario's castle) were spread throughout the island, and Mario must retrieve these coins so that he can confront Wario in order to reclaim his castle and restore order to Mario Land.
The game begins with a simple "tutorial" level, Mushroom Zone, to help the player learn the controls of the game. This level can not be replayed. After this is completed, the player must travel through six different "zones" containing a series of levels to collect the coins:
After gathering the 6 Golden Coins, Mario can venture into a dangerous, transformed version of his old castle. Upon reaching the throne room, Mario finally confronts Wario and they duke it out. Though Wario was bigger and stronger, Mario was able to best him with his wits and superior jumping skills. Wario then begins using the same powerups as Mario used during his journey, such as a Carrot to give him hovering abilities and a Fire Flower to give him the power to throw fireballs. Despite these power-ups, however, Mario was still able to defeat him in battle. As a result, Wario shrinks and begins crying in defeat, but then throws one of his shoes at Mario before making his escape from the castle, with Mario following suit. With Wario gone, the castle returns to normal and peace is restored to Mario Land.
Unlike the gameplay of its predecessor, Super Mario Land 2's gameplay more closely resembles that of past Mario franchise titles. Most notably, this game replaces the Superball Mario with a more traditional Fire Mario and does away with Super Mario Land's vehicle levels. The screen can now scroll to the left, allowing Mario to backtrack through levels, and character sprites have significantly increased in size, enabling more focused and fast-paced action as well as a better overall visual quality to the game. The game is one of the first Mario games to have two different difficulty levels: Normal and Easy mode. The level can be chosen by picking Mario's size with the button before picking which file to save to.
Like in Super Mario World, the game's locations can be traversed via an overworld map. This gives rise to a few secrets, including "shortcuts," which allow Mario to traverse the map more quickly, and a casino where Mario can gamble his coins to earn more lives. Unlike those of Super Mario World and the earlier Super Mario Bros. games, Super Mario Land 2's worlds do not have to be played linearly without requiring a hidden item or exit, although all worlds must still be cleared. The player can return to the world map from a completed level by pressing to pause and then .
In levels, the allows Mario to jump, while holding the will make Mario run faster. Holding up on the will make Mario jump a little higher. The controls where Mario walks or runs. The player can pause in a level with the button. Jumping on most enemies will defeat them, as will attacking them with fireballs, a Star, or hitting them with a Koopa Shell. A Koopa Shell can be picked up by running into it while holding and thrown by letting go, or it can be kicked by walking into it or jumping on top of it.
Super Mario Land 2 continues a tradition established by past games and includes a plethora of level designs. For example, there are water levels through which Mario swims by tapping (Mario can also swim through sap, and movements such as walking and falling are slowed down) and space levels with altered gravity (jump height is increased, as is fall time).
Mario can use Warp Pipes in the same manner as in other games: by holding down on the while standing on top of one, up while jumping up into one above, or left or right for pipes that are horizontal.
Rewards and setbacks
Getting hit by an enemy or hazard while Mario is in his Small state, falling to the bottom of the screen or in lava, getting crushed behind the screen in an auto-scrolling level, or running out of time, makes Mario lose a life and get booted out of the level and back to the map. If Mario loses all of his lives, he will also lose all of the six coins he has collected and will have to fight their guardians once again, but he does not have to replay the other levels in their worlds to get there. Extra lives are represented as hearts as opposed to green mushrooms in this game, due to the grayscale graphics.
The exits of regular levels are marked "GOAL" and consist of a door in the wall and a bell hanging from a post above it. If Mario enters the door, the level immediately ends, and he returns to the map and progresses to the next stage marker, but if he hits the bell first, he gets to play a bonus game which can reward him with power-ups or more lives.
Collecting 100 coins does not immediately reward Mario with an extra life like it does in other titles, but it does allow the player to enter the casino in the hill between Mario's castle and the tutorial level for a chance to earn lives. Mario can hold up to 999 coins.
There is no "score" in the traditional sense that Mario gets in this game for defeating enemies or completing the level with extra time, but he does have an enemy counter for each enemy he defeats, and defeating 100 enemies will cause a Star to fall down to Mario.
As the game's title suggests, the game is split into six different worlds, and then a final level where Mario fights Wario, the final boss.
Enemies and obstacles
An educational Japanese-only video, called Mario Kirby Meisaku Video, was produced in 1995 based on the game. It featured a segment based off Super Mario Land 2, and another one featuring Kirby and other characters from his series. The video follows an alternative version of the game's plot, where Wario steals treasures from a school, and after being informed by Princess Peach, Mario embarks on a mission to defeat Wario. The intent of the videos was to teach Japanese children kanji.
Sequels and prequels
After the introduction of Wario (who quickly became popular) the Super Mario Land series shifted its attention to him. The next game, Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3, featured Wario as the protagonist, with Mario only making a minor cameo at the very end of the game. The next game in the series was simply titled Wario Land II, thus making Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 the final entry in the Super Mario Land series.
Although this game marks the first appearance of Wario, dialogue in the instruction booklet suggests that Wario is an old enemy of Mario who has been jealous of his fame and fortune. In the comic book inspired by this game, Mario vs. Wario, Wario is portrayed slightly more sympathetically and is shown to have been one of Mario's friends when they were both children. However, because of the numerous indignities Mario (unknowingly) forced Wario to suffer, Wario has now sworn revenge on him (which causes the events of both Super Mario Land and Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins).
References to other games
References in later games
Development for Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins began in November 1991, and took ten months to complete. In a 1992 interview, the game's director and designer Hiroji Kiyotake discussed that the team originally wanted to divert from the conventional ideas established by the past Mario games. Pursuing this concept, the initial work on the game lead to the first draft being turned down, due to disagreements on whether the product properly represented Mario's character and the in-game world he is reknowned for. Realizing that they were on the wrong path, the team reworked it to "something a little closer to the existing Mario world". However, the team still desired to provide Mario with a new objective, rather than fighting to rescue the princess as seen in most Mario games leading up to that time. The game's staff wanted a "change of pace", and decided that Mario should fight to win back something that belongs to him, rather than fighting for "someone else's benefit".
It was Kiyotake's idea to introduce Wario as a new character, with whom he discussed it with the assistant character designer Takehiko Hosokawa, before presenting the idea to the rest of the game's staff. Before Wario's actual character development, his name was the first thing that was decided on. It was derived from the Japanese word "warui", meaning "bad". The idea to have an upside-down "M" on his cap (representing a "W") received immediate, enthusiastic support by the rest of the development staff. Wario's character was based on the idea that a protagonist should have an arch-rival and nemesis. Kiyotake compared Mario and Wario to comic book characters Popeye and Bluto's relationship, where Bluto is larger, stronger, and more cunning than his counterpart, and normally motivated by self-interests. After the idea of Wario was agreed on by the rest of the staff, Kiyotake discussed the details of in-game sprite animation and movement with programmer Takahiro Harada. As well as Wario, there were many other characters which was proposed by Kiyotake. Many of these were either direct rejects, or characters that did not gain approval from the wider staff team.
Kiyotake was very fond of the untouchable Bē enemies used in Tree and Macro Zones, even causing him to "burst out laughing" after he first interacted with them after they were programmed. He was eager to see the Bē remain in the final game, as he was amused by how it would likely annoy players. While developing the controls for the game, Harada considered that players may find it difficult to hold down two buttons on the Game Boy's D-pad to move in a diagonal direction. This was kept in mind while programming how Mario's Bunny and Spacesuit performed high jumps.
Kazumi Totaka, who composed the music for Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, acknowledged that the sound effect played when transforming into Super Mario was originally identical to the one used for Super Mario World until about midway through development. However, he was afraid that the player would be given an impression that they are playing a game that overlaps with Super Mario World, and become "negatively conscious" that they were playing on a small Game Boy screen compared to the television screen used by the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Therefore, Totaka chose to use many different sound effects across other past Mario games. Asides from composing, Totaka also had a partial role in some of the discussions between Kiyotake, Harada, and Hosokawa. Totaka was able to provide comments and feedback while proposed ideas were being evaluated. He was also able to come up with suggestions of his own, although these were mostly rejected.
According to Takahiro Harada, the most challenging stage of development was adjusting and fine-tuning the test version after it was presented to playtesters. As he and the team had been playing and testing the gameplay since the beginning, they initially believed that the test version was too easy. However, Harada stated that the testers generally found the game very difficult. About 2-3 months was spent on making small changes to the stages, according to the feedback which they received from the playtesters.
Pre-release and unused content
A pre-release screenshot, as well as a video, showed a different, less detailed title screen in at least one build, featuring a sign more similar to the one from Super Mario Land.
Early variations of certain graphics exist and may be found within the data of the game. Mario’s front poses in his different forms appear slightly different and thinner, with darker fireballs. Shadows were added to the fonts, while a time font used to indicate time remaining was removed. Pipes were made thicker, likely so that Mario could pass through completely. The goal had no bell and the goal sign was raised all the way up, likely indicating that the goal sign would lower down once Mario completed the level. On the other hand, platforms became thinner, with a cracked variety of platform remaining unused.
Some sprites were completely unused, such as swimming animations and forward-facing poses for Mario as Small Mario and Super Mario in the Space Zone. A trampoline highly reminiscent of one from Super Mario World may also be found.
Additionally, there were multiple changes to the overworld map that did not make the final cut. There is a cloud is positioned above the Pumpkin Zone. Despite being fully functional, its code was disabled in the final game. Tiles for the top of Mario's castle are present as well, though are obscured by the darkened cloud in front of the castle. For reasons unknown, some water tiles next to Macro Zone's right chimney were switched around. A piece of the fence surrounding Tenbōdai Course is missing.
In area 4 of Tree Zone, the player can lure a Skeleton Bee to the far left part of the stage, then lure it to a greater height, then hold up and jump to do a high jump and bounce off of the Skeleton Bee to reach a normally inaccessible area. The player should then wait for the Skeleton Bee to follow Mario, then go as high as they can to bounce off of the Skeleton Bee again. Mario will go into the wall and slide to the right until he falls out of it, then he will enter an out-of-bounds area that contains glitched tiles (which can crash the game, reset it, or even unlock a stage).
This glitch only works for ROM versions v1.0 and v1.1. In any level with a pipe in it, if the player presses Start and Select at the same time they leave a stage or enter a pipe and return to that level, they can then move through the floor. If there is nothing underneath the stage, the player can see a number of glitchy tiles. These tiles are actually the entire game's code and Game Boy's code being displayed as graphics.
Names in other languages