Saturday, September 14, 2013

Super Mario Bros 3: Interesting Stuff

Tidbits of Super Mario Bros 3 Trivia...

Examining a few of the intriguing little details that help keep me fascinated with Super Mario Bros 3... Some of them I've known about forever, some of them I'm just learning about now...

There Be Treasure! 
Turning a Hammer Brother into a ship full of coins was always one of my favorite things to do in SMB3. And it's neat to learn that the symbol found on the sail of the coin ship is actually an Oriental character meaning "Treasure". Arr Matey!

World 9
I'll never forget being told that SMB3 had a 9th World... Of course, I was instantly disappointed to learn that World 9 was in fact just the Warp Zone that I'd already been to. The classic Mario adventures tend to have 8 levels, so it's still kinda interesting that they decided to actually label the Warp Zone as a world. A little easter egg for us to notice? Or just a map reference number that was simply left in?

Mario Incognito
Interesting how the Raccoon costume is the only special suit where the King does not recognize Mario... With the other costumes, the King still acknowledges that Mario is wearing a suit, or the Hammer Brother clothes... Why on earth the King would want to borrow a Hammer Brother shell and helmet is beyond me...

Koopa Klan...
I always thought there was something odd about the names of Bowser's Kids... Ludwig Van Koopa is the only one that's always been obvious to me, named after composer Ludwig Van Beethoven. But in North America, Nintendo decided to name the Koopalings after various musicians and entertainers.

It's always been additionally strange that all of the Koopa Kids even had completely different names on "The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3" TV show. I assumed it had something to too with licensing the characters, but apparently when the first episodes were being made, the Koopa Kids themselves had yet to be named, hence a completely different set of names was used in the North American TV show.

Koopaling's NameSMB3 TV Show NameNamesake
Larry KoopaCheatsy KoopaLarry Mullen from U2
Morton Koopa Jr.Big Mouth KoopaMorton Downey Jr
Wendy O KoopaKootie Pie KoopaWendy O. Williams
Iggy KoopaHop KoopaIggy Pop
Roy KoopaBully KoopaRoy Orbison
Lemmy KoopaHip Koopa Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead
Ludwig Van KoopaKooky Van KoopaLudwig van Beethoven

The musical influence is this generation of the Koopa family is apparent...
(When your're stuck guarding a castle all day, the only way to stay sane is to crank some tunes and rock out.)

Most of the Koopalings sport Punk rock hairstyles, and Morton Koopa Jr has a pale white face with a star covering the upper portion of his face, resembling none other than Paul Stanley of KISS.

White Neighborhood...
Like the infamous white block in stage 1-3 that leads to the Warp Whistle, there are only several of these white blocks in the entire game... Mario falls into the background, and in addition to accessing the first Whistle, he can often avoid enemy attacks. In a couple locations, if Mario can travel quick enough through a pipe, he'll remain invulnerable for even longer.
Lone white blocks can also be found in Worlds 1-1, 3-8, 5-7 and  7-8. Most of them will allow you to fall into the background if you crouch and hold down while standing on them.  I knew it worked in a few locations, but it this neat trick was successful on all the white blocks that I tested.

Grey Boom Boom
The Koopa kids come in a variety of colors, with different shells and hair... But Boom Boom, the mini-boss tends to be a standard tan color dark brown... But it always struck me as odd that the Boom Boom found in the Desert (World 2) is mostly grey in color... Maybe it's an undead Boom Boom muffification job gone wrong?

Red White and Boo
Sometimes in a Fortress, Boo Diddly appears to be red...I once thought that it was a scarier, more intimidating and possibly aggressive variety of Boo ghost... Especially after witnessing the behavior of the red "heat seeking" Bullet Bills known as Missile Bills. Of course, the behavior of the "red" ghosts is no different than their white counterparts. I believe that it's just an lighting effect to make the castles seem scarier.

Red Like The Fires of Hell...
The look of Bowser Koopa changed slightly in Super Mario Bros 3, with the addition of Bowser Koopa's evil looking mane of red hair. The look seemed to work for him, as he's been portrayed as such ever since... Adding more fuel to the fire on the stereotype of redheads being hot-tempered...

In the televised "Adventures of Super Mario Bros 3", the Bowser character does not have red hair, and appears to more closely resemble his appearance in the original Super Mario Bros game.

Hail to the King?
Somehow, a few of the Kings from each Kingdom don't seem to fit with the world they're in...
I've always thought the King of World 4 wears an almost pharoah-like turban that seems more fitting for a desert world... World 2 is the Desert world...

The King of World 7 has a Viking Helmet... An odd fashion statement.
Somehow, his choice of headgear would have made a bit more sense in World 6, which is Ice World.

Style Points
I was amused to learn that after defeating a Koopa kid, it's a common tendency for players to jump and catch the Magic Wand in midair. Glad I'm not the only one with this habit. Part superstition, part celebration, and a good dose of being a tenacious Mario fanatic hungry to devour the item and get on with exploring the next area.

 Turning Japanese...?
I played through this map of Super Mario Bros 3 dozens of times, never even having a second thought about these oddly sized and positioned islands at the end of World 3... It turns out that the formation of the islands really looks like the four major islands that make up Japan... Seems a bit too convenient, especially since that's where Nintendo is based.

Hammer Brother and Koopa Troopa minigames?
Toad hosts various Mini Games in SMB3 where Mario can win lives and prizes, but evidence suggests there may have been intentions to feature a Hammer Brother and/or Koopa Troopa as the host of other mini-games... The games are unfinished, but apparently do have some functionality. Read more here:

Defeat Bowser as Fire Mario or Hammer Brother Mario...
I must admit, I never even thought to try this one... I recall that Koopa Kids can be defeated with fireballs, though I never usually bother because it takes so many damned fireballs to do so... Which is why I never even considered trying to take out Bowser as Fire Mario... Or the Hammer Bros suit for that matter...

Traditionally, Mario weathers the storm and lures the tubby turtle to the bridge's weakest point... Bowser slams himself down in an attempt to crush Mario... Eventually, he smashes through all the bricks, falling to his death.

Turns out that Mario's Hammers can easily knock out Bowser, defeating the Koopa King by hitting him with just a few hammers. Of course, Fire Mario can also defeat Bowser... It  just takes a considerable number of fireballs to KO Bowser.


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