Ever wonder why Super Mario 2 on the N.E.S. looks like Mario 1 on a bad acid trip? Where the fuck is Bowser? Why can you play as Toad? How can Princess fly for such long distances with so few upskirts? Why the fuck do you have to defeat ostrich like creatures who shoot “eggs” from their mouths and their stomach is the key to opening a door that is a giant bird beak?
There is a loose theory tossed around by children of the 1980’s that the second installment of many early Nintendo game series were particularly made to be weird and different. This theory almost rests solely on the likes of Mario 2, Castlevania 2: Simon’s Quest and Zelda 2: The Adventures of Link (this theory even stretches to 80’s cinema and the 2nd Indiana Jones film, The Temple of Doom). While, the Zelda and Castlevania games may have been trying deliberately to give video gamers a new experience, Mario 2 is a completely different story.
In 1986, Mario 2 was released in Japan in a very different way. The set up and graphics were the exact same as Mario 1, but the levels were rearranged and made to be much more challenging (i.e. there are mushrooms that can KILL you as opposed to make you giant Mario). This game has since been released to America in the mid 90’s as the “The Lost Levels” on Mario Allstars for the Super N.E.S. America originally feared the game would be too difficult and too similar for its audience. So another more “reasonable” game was asked to be commissioned.
A Japanese game called, Dream Factory: Doki, Doki, about a family trapped inside an Arabian themed story book was more or less altered to become a Mario game. The father was changed into Toad, the mother into Luigi (seriously), and the two kids became Mario and Princess respectively. Other slight alterations were made to thread a minute amount of Mario consistency. Much of Doki Doki’s original vision remained which explains the absence of Goombas and turtles and the additions of Shyguys, weird star fish ninjas, flying carpets, Potions and a giant frog who can’t eat vegetables or he dies.
How did America explain this strange phenomenon? The same way J.R. got shot, it was all just a crazy dream Mario had (certainly drug induced amongst many other things).
-P.S. Whoever told me when I was a kid that if you keep the game on long enough, at the end Mario actually wakes up from his dream. Apparently, 2 days straight still isn’t long enough. Thank you for running up my parent’s electricity bill and getting me grounded. I owe you.