Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3
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|Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3|
North American Box art
|Release date(s)||Game Boy |
Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 (スーパーマリオランド3 ワリオランド Sūpā Mario Rando Surī: Wario Rando?, "Super Mario Land 3: Wario Land") is a platforming video game developed by Nintendo on the Game Boy in 1994. It is the first video game to feature Wario as both a playable character and the main character, as well as the first appearance of Captain Syrup and her Brown Sugar Pirates, recurring villains in the Wario Land series.
The game comes after Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins. Wario Land features a theme of greed remarkably different from almost all of Nintendo's other franchises: It is the first game Nintendo has made where the main character's cause is decidedly selfish. A notable catch phrase in its advertisement campaign was "Be the bad guy". There are no princesses to save, no world in peril. There is only one goal: for Wario to earn as much money as possible, in an effort to buy his own massive castle and make Mario jealous. The larger the cash total Wario has collected at the end of the game, the better house (and ending) that Wario will receive. For this reason, there are multiple possible endings to the game, a concept fairly new to video games at the time of its release.
The Super Mario Land 3 subtitle links the game with the popular Super Mario Land 2. The game also increases its replay value by including a large hidden treasure chest in some levels. The chests (which can only be accessed by finding a special key placed elsewhere in the level) contain special one-of-a-kind treasures, which add a considerable amount to Wario's coin total at the end of the game.
Despite being advertised as Super Mario Land 3, Wario Land gameplay proves completely different from that of the Mario titles. The game takes place on a linear route through several themed areas, which are split into several courses culminating in a boss fight. Wario is able to jump on or bump into enemies to knock them over, during which he can pick them up and throw them at other enemies. When in his grown form, Wario is also able to perform a shoulder charge, which is used to attack enemies, break through blocks and open hidden treasure chests.
There are additionally three unique helmets that Wario can obtain, with their own abilities, advantages and disadvantages to provide. The Bull Helmet increases Wario's strength and doubles the length of his shoulder charge attack, allowing him to smash through blocks more easily, gives Wario the ability to stick onto ceilings and in mid-air, perform a "butt stomp" into the ground which stuns nearby enemies and breaks through blocks underneath him. The Jet Helmet increases Wario's running speed and lets him fly long distances in the air, as well as to shoulder charge underwater. Finally, the Dragon Helmet lets Wario shoot long-ranged bursts of flames both on land and underwater, making it very useful for defeating enemies and destroying blocks quickly, but in return, replaces his shoulder charge until he takes damage or changes helmets. Players can also collect a Starman to gain temporary invincibility. If Wario takes damage from an opponent or obstacle, he will shrink, losing his shoulder charge move, and will remain small until he collects a clove of Garlic, another helmet or reaches the end of the level. If Wario is hit while small, or is hit by an instant kill obstacle, such as pits or lava, he will lose a life and all the coins he had collected in that level.
Unlike the Mario series, in which coins are typically used to earn extra lives, coins in this game are instead used as currency, the goal being to try and collect as much treasure as possible by the end of the game. These can be earned by collecting them, finding them in blocks, or shoulder charging enemies. During gameplay, Wario can pull out a large coin, worth 10 coins, which he can throw, and pick up again if necessary. This can be used to attack opponents, open the exit at the end of each stage, or activate checkpoints where players can restart should they lose a life. Conversely, extra lives are earned by collecting heart points, which are earned by defeating enemies or collecting Hearts, with an extra life earned for every 100 points earned. At the end of each level, the player can choose to either gamble the amount of coins he or she has collected in the level in a game of chance, or spend them to try and earn heart points and extra lives. Also hidden in certain levels are keys which open secret treasure rooms containing treasure. The type of ending the player gets at the end of the game depends on how many coins the player has collected, as well as how many pieces of treasure the player has found.
Wario Land was an attempt to expand the appearance of Wario in Super Mario Land 2 to a starring role and also to expand the Mario universe, which was very successful. Wario Land spawned seven popular sequels: Virtual Boy Wario Land, Wario Land II, Wario Land 3, Wario Land 4, Wario World, Wario: Master of Disguise, and Wario Land: Shake It!, as well as a long list of other titles.
The game was later released on the Nintendo 3DS's eShop Virtual Console download service in Japan on December 14, 2011, Europe on February 16, 2012 and North America on July 26, 2012. The game can be downloaded along with its predecessors, Super Mario Land and Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, and it's three sequels, Wario Land II, Wario Land 3, and Wario Land 4 (available on the Wii U eShop only but also limited to 3DS ambassadors as well).
Wario Land was a huge success in both the United States and Japan regions, as well as the Europe region, with high sales. Game Informer's Ben Reeves called it the 13th best Game Boy game and called it the most successful spin-off from the Mario series.
- Official Super Mario Land 3: Wario Land website (Japanese)
- Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 at MobyGames
- Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 at NinDB