Super Mario World
Super Mario World is a 2D Mario platform game and a launch title released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1990, developed by Nintendo EAD. Being a sequel to Super Mario Bros. 3, the game retains many of the elements that debuted in Super Mario Bros. 3, such as the world map and Koopaling boss fights, while introducing a large variety of new gameplay mechanics, such as an expanded and less linear world map and the ability to save the game. Introduced in Super Mario World is Mario's sidekick, Yoshi (and his species that shares his name), where he serves as a playable mount for the Mario Bros. with his own unique abilities and gameplay style.
The game was released to best-selling status on the SNES, received large amounts of critical acclaim, and is commonly seen on Nintendo's best games of all times on various critic listings. Much of the game's introduced characters, game mechanics, and artistic themes influenced later titles in the Mario series, where the character Yoshi was popular enough to receive a series starring him. The game was followed in 1995 by a prequel, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, which is set many years before the events in Super Mario World. The game has spawned various non-game media such as a cartoon series that is based on the game, which debuted on September 14, 1991, one month after the American release. Various manga adaptions of the game have sprung up, one notable series being Super Mario-kun, which has its first volumes based on Super Mario World released in 1991 and is still ongoing today.
Super Mario World is included in the Super Mario All-Stars + Super Mario World compilation title released in December 1994. An enhanced port of Super Mario World was later released on the Game Boy Advance as part of the Super Mario Advance series, titled Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2. The original version was also rereleased on the Wii's Virtual Console in 2006, the Wii U's Virtual Console in 2013, and the New Nintendo 3DS's Virtual Console in 2016. Super Mario World is one of the included titles in the SNES Classic Edition and Super Nintendo Entertainment System - Nintendo Switch Online.
After Bowser's previous defeat, Mario, Luigi, and Princess Toadstool decide to recuperate in Dinosaur Land. Meanwhile in Dinosaur Land, the Koopa King and his Koopalings trap Yoshi and his friends in enchanted eggs, eliminating the opposition as they secretly rebuild their forces. Shortly upon their arrival, the Mario Bros. realize that Princess Toadstool is missing. While searching, they find the Koopa Troop army. Upon the Mario Bros. freeing the friendly Yoshi, he exclaims that the Koopas have invaded, confirming that Toadstool's persistent captor has indeed returned and taken the opportunity to claim the princess.
As Mario and his friends travel through Dinosaur Land, they uncover the Valley of Bowser, where Bowser is fought on his castle roof in his Koopa Clown Car, holding Princess Toadstool hostage. Upon his defeat, he gently drops the princess and retreats. Princess Toadstool rewards Mario or Luigi with a kiss as fireworks celebrate freedom, signifying that their vacation can resume with their new good friends. The reunited team returns to Yoshi's House, where they and three other Yoshis watch the eggs hatch into babies, removing the spell.
As the game is a 2D platformer, the object is to get to the Giant Gate to advance to the next level before the timer runs out. Mario (or Luigi) can jump over and on top of various platforms and obstacles and stomp on various enemies to defeat them. In addition to these basic moves, Mario can spin-jump to destroy certain types of blocks and enemies, whereas or lets Mario dash if held down. When the player presses either of those buttons when Mario is next to some items, he can pick them up and carry them through the level as the buttons are held. Mario can now hold objects underwater; when he does, he can swim quickly using only without pressing the jump button. When Mario hits the Giant Gate at the end of the level, if he touches the vertically moving bar between the gate, he gets awarded star points depending on how high the bar was when he touched it. If he collects 100 star points, Mario can play a bonus minigame that helps him earn extra lives. Some levels contain a Midway Gate, which not only powers Mario up to Super Mario when touched, but also serves as a checkpoint for Mario to respawn near if he gets defeated in the level.
In order to obtain most power-ups, Mario has to hit various blocks, which may contain items. The basic Super Mushroom, which turns Mario into Super Mario, causes Mario to grow bigger and allows him to sustain an extra hit. When Super Mario hits a block, usually a more powerful item spawns in the Super Mushroom's place, such as a Fire Flower or the newly introduced Cape Feather. Introduced in Super Mario World is the Item Storage system, where Mario can hold on to extra items should he find them while in powered-up forms; players can manually drop their reserve item by pressing . If Mario gets damaged and turns into regular Mario, the reserve item automatically deploys. A newly introduced character and power-up in Super Mario World, Yoshi, appears when Mario hits certain blocks. Mario can ride Yoshi when he jumps on him, who helps Mario with his own unique traits and abilities.
If Mario gets touched by an enemy or a damaging obstacle while he is in his normal form, he loses a life. If he gets damaged by an enemy while in a power-up form, he reverts to his normal form. If Mario loses all of his lives, the player receives a Game Over and is prompted to continue from their last save with five more lives. Some obstacles defeat Mario instantly regardless of what power-up he has, such as falling into pits or lava, getting crushed, or not making it to the goal in time. Every time Mario gets defeated, he gets sent back to the world map.
Super Mario World returns the world map system from Super Mario Bros. 3 with more expanded features. Rather than having levels and worlds segmented, all worlds and levels are seamlessly connected to each other, with a heavier focus on multiple paths per level clearance, and thus creating a less linear map, with a few exceptions. Typically, prior to entering new areas, Mario has to defeat a castle boss, usually one of Bowser's seven children, the Koopalings. Once they are defeated, the castles they reside in are destroyed and cannot be replayed, though in international versions of the game they can be replayed if players hold and on the castles' remains.
Two-player mode returns, where players take turns playing through the game; Player 1 controls Mario, while Player 2 controls Luigi. Players can opt to use the same controller or two controllers to play the mode. If one player fails to clear a course, the other player takes a turn, and if Midway Gates are touched, the other player starts at the Midway Gate. Players can also hand the other player lives on the map screen if they press or .
After the player beats every special level in the Special Zone, a game aesthetic change called Fall occurs, where the world map obtains a different palette and some enemies get their sprites changed. Once Fall is activated, these changes cannot be reversed unless the save file is deleted and a new game is started.
Worlds and levels
Super Mario World takes place on Dinosaur Land, an archipelago of themed areas, and players navigate on this world map which visualizes traveling through the island. Unlike Super Mario Bros. 3, the levels in the world map are marked directly on Dinosaur Land, creating a seamless, organic appearance between worlds and levels. Players first start out in Yoshi's Island at Yoshi's House, where the path immediately branches off into two levels. The order of the world themes are unique to this title: players first start in a grassy, plainslike worlds while eventually venturing into a cave, twin bridges, a forest, a rocky island, and finally into the Valley of Bowser, which takes on a subterranean, wasteland appearance. Haunted Ghost Houses are introduced in Super Mario World and populate Dinosaur Land; unlike traditional level layouts, they tend to contain puzzles and traps designed to confuse the player. Cave and levels that primarily take place underwater or in places where water is prevalent are additionally marked such in the map, with most cave levels outside Vanilla Dome and Valley of Bowser featuring rocks around them while Mario gets submerged in water for the water levels.
Super Mario World contains nine worlds and 73 (74 if the Back Door and Front Door are counted as separate levels, and 76 if the Top Secret Area and Yoshi's House are counted as levels) levels in total, 24 of which have secret exits for a total of 96 exits. Almost all worlds contain four regular levels and at least one secret level. Levels marked in yellow contain one exit, while levels marked in red contain an alternative, secret exit. Other points of interest include the Switch Palaces, Warp Pipes, and the Super Star-shaped portals to the Star World that are unlocked only when players find the associated secret exit. Switch Palaces activate respectively colored permeable Dotted Line Blocks and turn them into solid ! Blocks that can be stood on or hit from below. Once Switch Palace levels have been completed, they cannot be visited again. Warp Pipes warp players to different areas of the map, usually to different worlds altogether. Finally, Yoshis cannot be taken into castles, fortresses, or Ghost Houses, though Yoshi remains outside for the player if they exit the level. In castles, players have to defeat the Koopalings, while in fortresses, players need to defeat Reznors.
The Star World and Special Zone are bonus worlds that are accessed when players find secret exits throughout Dinosaur Land and are represented by glowing stars, where the player can warp into. Star World levels require the player to find a Key and Keyhole secret exit to progress through it, while the Special Zone is a linear area that is unlocked when players complete all Star World's secret exits. Special Zone levels are much more difficult relative to the levels in this game; none of the levels contain Midway Gates and some can be long while others use level gimmicks.
Mario and Luigi are the main playable characters. In two-player mode, Mario is controlled by Player 1 and Luigi is controlled by Player 2. If Mario loses a life or completes a level in two-player mode, Luigi comes into play until he does the same. The two may also share extra lives on the world map. The two have identical mechanics.
In addition to Mario and Luigi, Yoshis of four different colors appear in the game, and they may be controlled once acquired and help the Mario Bros. in many levels of the game. Green Yoshis hatch out of eggs, usually found in various blocks throughout the game. If an egg is found but the player already has a Yoshi, the egg instead provides a 1-Up Mushroom. If a Yoshi gets hurt, it runs off, requiring the Mario Bros. to chase it down if they want to ride it again. Yoshis can additionally provide an extra jump boost to Mario and Luigi if they jump off the Yoshi. Some levels contain berries, and Yoshis can eat them and produce eggs from them if enough are eaten. Yoshis can eat most enemies, though they cannot immediately swallow most shells, requiring them to spit the shells out before they eventually swallow them.
Red, Blue, and Yellow Yoshis are uncommon in Super Mario World. They are first encountered in the Star World, which is accessible by using the five Star Roads found throughout the game. They are found as Baby Yoshis, small and unable to be ridden. However, through carrying them, the Baby Yoshis eat the enemies and items they touch. When they eat either five enemies, shells, coins, or active Grab Blocks, or a single power-up, they transform into adult Yoshis and can be used normally. Baby Yoshis of all colors hatch from the eggs rescued from the castles during the ending credits of the game.
Enemies and obstacles
Super Mario World retains some of the enemies from Super Mario Bros. 3, such as the common Koopa Troopas and their varieties, Ghost House-dwelling Boos, Buzzy Beetles in a cave environment, and Cheep Cheeps underwater, while introducing more species that would regularly appear in later entries in the Super Mario series, such as Magikoopas, Fishbones, Swoopers, and Wigglers. Goombas are featured less prominently in this title and function differently than in prior Super Mario titles; they are later localized as Galoombas. Some of the new enemies introduced are variants of other species, such as the cape-wielding and flying Super Koopas, the large Banzai Bills that are encountered before regular Bullet Bills, the spike-donning Spike Tops, and the pipe-inhabiting Lakitus. Included with the introduced enemies are various new obstacles, most of which populate the castle and fortress levels in the game, and several of these obstacles would make later appearances in the Super Mario series, namely Grinders and Skewers.
When Fall is unlocked, some of these enemies have their graphics changed; however, they do not have their behaviors altered.
The bosses of the game are comprised of Bowser's seven children, the Koopalings, all who guard a castle at the end of every world, and Reznors, the guardians of the fortresses. The Koopalings share the same boss patterns with another Koopaling pair, with the exception of Ludwig, though the later-encountered Koopaling of the shared boss fight has a more difficult variant of the fight. Reznor boss fights are all the same, regardless of which fortress is played on. Once the Koopalings are beaten, a small cutscene plays where Mario rescues a trapped Yoshi inside an egg and destroys the Koopalings' fortifications through various means, unique for each Koopaling. For example, Iggy's Castle crumbles in a typical fashion when Mario hits a TNT switch, Ludwig's Castle rockets off and crashes into a nearby hill, causing a bandage to appear where it impacted, while Roy's Castle causes an accidental explosion to Mario instead. The levels cannot be normally played in again once cleared, though in international versions they can be replayed if the player holds and on the castle's remains. Bowser, the primary antagonist of the game, can be fought at both the Front Door and Back Door, though the Back Door is a far shorter level that provides almost direct access to the boss.
The Big Boo is the game's sole secret boss, encountered in the Donut Secret House, and the only boss not encountered in a castle or fortress. He can also be fought again in all versions of the game by accessing the level normally.
Items and objects
There is a total of six power-ups that provide transformations in the game, with one being exclusive to Yoshi. Most power-ups emerge from the blocks populated in levels, and players are able to carry an extra item in their reserve slot if they are already powered up. While the Super Mushroom, Fire Flower, and Super Star return, Super Mario World introduces the Cape Feather, which gently floats down when they appear onscreen as well as being able to be spawned from defeating Super Koopas with flashing capes. The new Power Balloon is a rare item used in a few levels and serves as a temporary transformation for Mario and Luigi.
In addition to the power-up items, Mario and Luigi can encounter other level features that help them progress through the level, such as 1-Up Mushrooms granting them extra lives or Keys and Keyholes granting them access to secret levels.
Power-ups and transformations
Blocks and other objects
Super Mario World is a compilation soundtrack that additionally contains music from Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. 3. It is a two disc soundtrack released exclusively in Japan in February 25, 1991. The first disc contains original jazz arrangements by Soichi Noriki and performed by the Mario Club Band while the second contains the original music.
Nintendo Super Famicom Game Music contains music from various games released for the SNES, one of them being Super Mario World music, released in 1992 only in Japan.
Super Mario Compact Disco is a compilation soundtrack released originally in Japan on August 1, 1993, which contains pieces that remixes and rearranges music sampling sound effects from the game into a funk and hip-hop-oriented genre with lyrics.
Several of Mario anniversaries contain soundtracks that have Super Mario World music in them, such as Happy! Mario 20th - Super Mario Sound Collection and The 30th Anniversary Super Mario Bros. Music.
The instruments used for the songs and sound effects in the game were sampled from the Roland D-550, Roland S-550 and Kawai K1R modules, along with the Roland R-8 drum machine and possibly other equipment.
23 people were listed in the credits of Super Mario World, including notable Nintendo composer Koji Kondo for the sound programming and Shigeru Miyamoto as the producer. Takashi Tezuka was the overall director of the game, listed as the "Total Director" in the original Japanese version of the credits.
The game was produced by Shigeru Miyamoto, featuring music composed by Koji Kondo and graphics designed by Shigefumi Hino, and it was the first game designed for the SNES. As an experiment, the team ported Super Mario Bros. 3 to the console, and it felt like the same game to them despite the enhanced graphics, so they wanted to create something new for the console. Miyamoto has stated that ever since they finished Super Mario Bros., the design staff wanted to have Mario ride a horse. It was believed to be impossible technically until the Super NES was developed, and it was changed to a dinosaur due to the team working with a dinosaur land. They first came up with a crocodile, which the team felt did not fit in Mario's world, so the design was altered to eventually evolve into Yoshi. According to Miyamoto, sixteen people were involved in the creation of the game, and it took about three years to make.
As for composing the soundtrack of the game, while Koji Kondo composed many different melodies for Super Mario Bros. 3, he decided to create variations of the same melody in Super Mario World so that the melody would stick to the game's listeners. The increased technological capability which allowed eight instruments to be used at once was taken advantage of, especially in the title song where they are used one after another. The jumping sound effect is a pan flute instrument that was reappropriated.
At some point during the game's development, it was meant to be released in North America and Europe under the full Super Mario Bros. 4 title, but it was later shortened to simply Super Mario World. Miyamoto has stated that this is his favorite Mario game.
Pre-release and unused content
Dinosaur Land was drastically different from the final version, possessing an appearance similar to the various kingdoms of Super Mario Bros. 3. Specifically, it was to feature things such as Toad Houses (which could possibly mean that Toads were once considered to populate Dinosaur Land) and more Super Mario Bros. 3-style fortresses. In addition to this, the game originally had the subtitle "Super Mario Bros. 4" on the Title Screen.
Glitchy graphics from defeated enemies
The balls on Iggy's and Larry's platforms can be destroyed by the sliding attack, as can the Grinders (using a triangular block). This results in glitchy graphics, most likely because the developers did not intend for these enemies to be defeated. The same thing happens if Mario does a nosedive in the second level of the Bowser battle. The Big Steely is defeated as a red sprite of Princess Toadstool's head.
In order to do this glitch, the player must go to the end of Chocolate Island 3. Under the goal, the player must jump off Yoshi to the Giant Gate so that the screen does not scroll up. If this is done correctly, Mario is barely seen when he finishes the level, and because Mario is not present on the bottom of the screen, the screen begins to flicker in many colors as the stage begins to fade out. When he comes back to the overworld map, the entire world is glitchy and colored with red and blue. If Mario visits the Forest of Illusion or the Valley of Bowser and comes back to the main overworld, the entire world will be ivory-colored instead. The glitch ends if the player completes a level or visits Star Road.
A number of changes were made to Super Mario World when it was released internationally following its initial Japanese version. This included translating the Japanese names and words and tweaking various levels to make the game easier for international audiences.
Level design changes
Notable mistakes and errors
Super Mario World received universal critical acclaim, and it is held as among Nintendo's best games with a strong legacy. The game ranks with an average of 94.44% aggregate score in GameRankings before it was merged with Metacritic. Although Metacritic does not have an official aggregate score on the game, due to it being released before Metacritic's inception, the user review is shown to be mostly positive. Much of the game's general praise is directed to the game's visuals, gameplay, level design, secrets, and music, while modern reviews often opine that the game is still very playable today and that new players should play it.
Alex Navarro of GameSpot scored the game an 8.5 out of 10 in his review for the Virtual Console version of the game on the Wii, recommended players to play the game if they have not already. He has praised the game as a "well-crafted adventure", stating that nothing in the game feels "superfluous", and that while he pointed out that it was rather short for modern game standards, the secrets are easy to overlook on a first playthrough of the game. He has praised the graphics, describing them as "colorful" and "cute" and stands out as one of the best-looking games of the system, saying that the visuals still hold to the modern era; he has praised that the game's music is some of the best the Mario series has ever seen, calling the tunes "supercatchy". The only bad listed in the review of the game is the distinct lack of Kuribo's Shoe. Lucas M. Thomas of IGN also scored the game an 8.5 out of 10 for the Virtual Console version of the game, noting the game's successful history and how the game still feels good to play today despite the age. However, Thomas felt that Super Mario World does feel lacking, and he pointed out how Miyamoto felt he could have done more to the game to distinguish it from being a graphically-upgraded continuation of Super Mario Bros. 3 and that during the time, Nintendo's competitor, Sega, took advantage of it and introduced Sonic the Hedgehog.
Jamie O' Neill of Nintendo Life gave the game a 10/10, writing about the game's legacy and history when it was first released and that the game is still playable today; he has written that while many games can be considered "classics", only a few can be considered "masterpieces" which O' Neill has referred to as. He has stated that while the game isn't the flashiest showcase of the SNES's graphical effects, but has praised the game's bright and colorful aesthetics. He has praised Koji Kondo's efforts on the soundtrack, where the themes are diverse and they carry on various moods, such as the atmospheric Ghost Houses and the energized credits tune that settles into a "beautiful melancholy" when the characters reach Yoshi's House to conclude their adventure. He has called the game's controls "perfect" and that the game's meticulous secrets lend it a long-lasting appeal. O' Neill has then mentioned that the game scored number 2 on Nintendo Life's 20 debut SNES games from the Nintendo Switch Online.
Dan Whitehead of Eurogamer gave the game a 10/10 on his brief overview of various Virtual Console games, stating that the column nearly missed its deadline because he "ended up losing the best part of an afternoon to rediscovering its impeccable design."
The game was placed 16th in the 100th issue of Nintendo Power's "100 best Nintendo games of all time" in 1997. The game placed 47th in the 200th issue of GameInformer's "Top 200 Games of All Time."
Super Mario World was bundled with the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, making it the most sold game for the SNES, selling 20 million copies.
Remakes and ports
Nintendo Super System
The game was ported to the Nintendo Super System, an arcade machine, in 1991. It is the only Mario title released on this system. There are a few differences such as a message on the title screen letting the player know what version it is. There is no way to save progress and a timer counts down on the bottom right corner when play begins, which reappears when time is almost up. Afterwards, a screen will appear asking if the player wants to continue by inserting coins.
Super Mario All-Stars + Super Mario World
The Super Mario All-Stars version of Super Mario World gave Luigi a more distinctive sprite where he is taller and thinner and animates differently, while in the original, he is simply a palette swap of Mario, and his moves are identical to Mario's.
Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2
Super Mario World was remade for the Game Boy Advance as the second installment in the Super Mario Advance series, Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2. Some of the more notable changes include new sprites for Luigi, the maximum number of lives being 999 that can now be saved, and a list of levels showing whether the secret exit and the Dragon Coins have been found.
SNES Classic Edition
Super Mario World is one of the 21 titles included on the Super NES Classic Edition.
Super Nintendo Entertainment System - Nintendo Switch Online
Super Mario World is one of the 20 launch titles for Super Nintendo Entertainment System - Nintendo Switch Online, along with Super Mario Kart and Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island.
4koma Manga Kingdom
The Japanese manga series 4koma Manga Kingdom has a series called Super Mario, in which its seven entries have stories and gags based off Super Mario World.
Super Mario 4koma Manga Theater
The Super Mario 4koma Manga Theater is another Japanese 4koma series that features many 4-panel visual gags based off Super Mario World. For example, one comic has Mario running out of time just as he was about to face Iggy Koopa, as Iggy Koopa dives into Mario: the mometum causes Iggy Koopa to fall into the lava and get defeated as well.
The Super Mario-Kun's first six volumes are all based off Super Mario World, kick-starting the series and being the game with the most arcs associated with it. While the first four arcs follow the games closely, with each arc having the characters travel through the game's locations, the fifth and sixth arcs have their own storylines which feature content from other Mario titles released at the time such as Yoshi and Super Mario Kart.
Super Mario Kodansha manga
Seven entries based on Super Mario World were released for the Super Mario manga series by Kazuki Motoyama.
Super Mario World television series
Super Mario World has an animated television series produced by DIC, being the last of the Mario cartoons DIC has produced. It has aired from September 14, 1991 to December 7, 1991, featuring 13 episodes, the least amount of the Mario cartoons. While it has faithful elements to the original series, the cartoon has a focus on common prehistoric stereotypes and themes such as the Mario characters living with cavepeople and relying on anachronistic themes to introduce to the cavepeople such as cars, television, and telephones.
The game's success led to five games being released for Japanese and North American arcades.
Due to the game's overwhelming popularity and success, much merchandise has been released using the Super Mario World theme.
References to other games
References in later games
Names in other languages