Super Mario Land

Released: April 21, 1989

Super Mario Land is a platforming video game developed by Nintendo for the Game Boy video game console. It debuted in Japan on April 21, 1989 , in the United States in August, 1989, and in Europe on September 28, 1989. Along with Alleyway , Super Mario Land marks Mario's first appearance on the Game Boy and is the first true Mario game for the handheld game console . Furthemore, it was a launch title for the Game Boy in Japan and North America.

The game drove initial sales of the Game Boy, and has sold over 18 million copies in total, which makes it the third highest selling game of the Mario series. Only Super Mario Bros. , at 40 million, and Super Mario World , at 20 million, sold more copies. Super Mario Land was also the first game of the Mario series created by Gunpei Yokoi .

The story of Super Mario Land is set in the peaceful realm of Sarasaland, which is split into the four kingdoms of Birabuto, Muda, Easton, and Chai. One day, a mysterious alien named Tatanga appears and hypnotizes the inhabitants of Sarasaland. He kidnaps Princess Daisy in order to marry her. Mario then sets out to rescue her from Tatanga, traveling through the four geographical areas of Sarasaland, defeating his minions along the way, as well as finding monsters that pretend to be Daisy in order to fool Mario. He finally corners Tatanga in the skies of the Chai kingdom, bringing down his alien warship and rescuing Daisy.

In the sequel, Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins , it is revealed that Wario took this opportunity to take over Mario Land while Mario was gone on this adventure.


Sarasaland, where Super Mario Land takes place, consists of four worlds, with three levels each. Each world has a different theme:

  • World 1, Birabuto , is Egyptian themed and has pyramids in the background. It is relatively easy and is used to introduce new players to the game. The boss of this area is King Totomesu, a sphinx / lion creature who breathes fire.
  • World 2, Muda , is ocean -themed. The final level has Mario riding in his submarine , the Marine Pop. The boss here is Dragonzamasu, a strange seahorse creature with powerful bubble attacks.
  • World 3, Easton , has an Easter Island theme and has Moai in the background. Hiyoholi is the boss here. He's a strong rock creature who attacks Mario with bouncing rocks called Ganchans.
  • World 4, Chai , is Asian -themed, with Asian music and bamboo in the background. The last level of Chai is played in Mario's airplane , the Sky Pop. Mario engages Biokinton and Tatanga's powerful spaceship Pagosu in the final stage.

The gameplay of Super Mario Land is similar to the classic Super Mario Bros. and its successor for the Nintendo Entertainment System . Like in the previous games, the player takes over the role of Mario. The ultimate object is to defeat the alien Tatanga and save Princess Daisy. However, there are some differences from earlier Mario games as well. Many of the previous characters don't make an appereance, such as Bowser , Luigi or Princess Peach .

Mario's primary attack is to jump on top of his enemies, which normally kills them. However, there are a few antagonists who cannot be defeated in this manner or may even cause damage to Mario if he jumps on them.

The point where Mario continues from depends on how far he progressed through the level before dying: either from the very beginning or at an invisible "checkpoint" partway through the level. Mario can obtain 1-ups either through finding 1-up hearts or by collecting 100 coins. Furthermore, by killing enemies, Mario gets points. After collecting 1,000,000 points, he can gain a continue in case he should lose all of his lives.

In level six and level twelve, Mario doesn't walk but rides in either a submarine or an airplane. In these levels, there is no Super Flower because Mario can shoot the entire time. He still can grow up by getting a Super Mushroom or become invincible by getting a Starman . During these levels, there is no possibility to stop. Mario can either be killed by an enemy or when he gets stuck and the display overhauls him.

The game consists of twelve levels split across four worlds. At the end of every level, there is a tower with an access at the top and at the bottom. If Mario can reach the upper access, there is a bonus level in which the player can win a power up by guiding Mario with a ladder to the right level. Mario then either wins one, two, or three 1-ups, or a Super Flower. If he only reaches the lower access, the game continues normally. At the end of every third level, Mario has to fight a boss in order to advance. Mario then comes into a room where Princess Daisy is waiting. However, it's not the real Princess, but an enemy who dresses up like her to fool Mario. After the player has defeated the boss of level twelve, Tatanga appears as the final enemy. The game ends after his death.

After the game is completed, the game returns to the title screen. However, the mushroom cursor next to "Start" changes to an image of Mario's head, meaning that the player can play in Hard Mode. This is a harder version of the game which has a number of changes, some examples of which are more monsters in certain levels (some in levels that they weren't previously in) and more falling ceilings and stalactites in the indoor levels. Once this mode is completed, the player can access a level select. Due to the inability of Super Mario Land to save, however, Hard Mode and the level select will be lost as soon as the power to the Game Boy runs out or the player shuts the system off.