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Super Mario World

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Super Mario World
A black box with an image of a cartoon man known as Mario with blue overalls, a yellow cape, red hat and red shirt riding a green cartoon dinosaur
North American SNES boxart
Developer(s) Nintendo EAD
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Director(s) Takashi Tezuka
Producer(s) Shigeru Miyamoto
Artist(s) Shigefumi Hino
Composer(s) Koji Kondo
Series Super Mario
Platform(s) SNES, Game Boy Advance
Release date(s) SNES
  • JP November 21, 1990
  • NA August 23, 1991
  • EU April 11, 1992
  • AUS July 1, 1992
Game Boy Advance
  • JP December 14, 2001
  • NA February 11, 2002
  • PAL April 12, 2002
Genre(s) Platforming
Mode(s) Single-player, sidescroller, multiplayer

Super Mario World (Japanese: スーパーマリオワールド Hepburn: Sūpā Mario Wārudo?), subtitled Super Mario Bros. 4 (スーパーマリオブラザーズ4 Sūpā Mario Burazāzu fō?) for its original Japanese release,[1] is a 1990 platform video game developed and published by Nintendo as a pack-in launch title for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) and is the fifth game in the Super Mario series. Development was handled by Nintendo Entertainment Analysis and Development, led by Shigeru Miyamoto, who produced the game.

The game centers on the quest of Mario and Luigi to save Dinosaur Land from Bowser, the series' antagonist. The two brothers must travel across seven worlds to restore order to Dinosaur Land. It built on the gameplay of previous Mario games, introducing new power-ups that augment character abilities, and established conventions that were carried over to future games in the series. Super Mario World marks one of the first appearances of Yoshi, Mario's dinosaur sidekick and riding mount.

Super Mario World was a critical and commercial success, selling over 20 million copies worldwide, and is considered by many critics to be one of the best games ever made. It has been re-released four times, first as part of a combo with Super Mario All-Stars on the SNES in 1993. Secondly, it was released on the Game Boy Advance as Super Mario Advance 2 (スーパーマリオアドバンス2 Sūpā Mario Adobansu Tsū?) in 2001 and outside Japan as Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2 in 2002 with modified gameplay. The third re-release was for the Wii's Virtual Console in Japan in 2006 and in North America and PAL regions in 2007; there were no changes from the original SNES version. It was also released for the Wii U's Virtual Console which integrated Off-TV Play and Miiverse features to the game.


Mario riding Yoshi in Donut Plains 1.

Super Mario World is a two-dimensional platform game in which the player controls the on-screen protagonist (either Mario or Luigi) from a third-person perspective. The game shares similar gameplay mechanics with previous titles in the series—Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 2, and Super Mario Bros. 3—but introduces several new elements. In addition to the running and jumping moves found in past games, the player can float with the aid of special items and execute new types of jumps such as the spin jump.[2]

The player navigates through the game via two game screens: an overworld map and a sidescrolling playfield. The overworld map displays an overhead representation of the current world and has several paths leading from the world's entrance to a castle. Paths connect to action panels, fortresses, ghost houses and other map icons, and allow players to take different routes to reach the world's goal. Moving the on-screen character to an action panel or fortress will allow access to that level's playfield. The majority of the game takes place in these levels, populated with obstacles and enemies, with the player traversing the stage by running, jumping, and dodging or defeating enemies. The player is given a certain amount of lives, which are lost when Mario is attacked by an enemy while small, falls into a pit or lava, or runs out of time. If all lives are lost at any point in the game, the "Game Over" screen will appear, in which the player can continue from the last level played by selecting "Continue". Each world features a final stage with a boss to defeat; each of the seven worlds feature fortresses controlled by one of the Koopalings, and the player also battles Bowser in his castle in the seventh world. In addition to special items from previous games like the "Super Mushroom" and "Fire Flower", new power-ups are introduced that provide the player with new gameplay options. In addition, the "Spin Attack" jump is initiated with the "A" button. The spin attack allows Mario or Luigi to break blocks beneath him.

The new suit in the game is the cape feather, which gives Mario a cape and allows him to fly. This suit is also similar to the Tanooki Suit from Super Mario Bros. 3 in terms of gameplay mechanics but with a few alterations: you can now hold the B button to fly when Mario is able to do so, and can glide using the cape as a sail. Unlike Raccoon Mario in Super Mario Bros. 3 when powered up with the cape, Mario may fly across the level indefinitely.

The power-ups from Super Mario Bros. 3 did not return: Super Leaf, Tanooki Suit, Frog Suit, and Hammer Suit. The game also introduced the ability to "store" an extra power up in a box located at the top center of the screen. Example: If Super Mario obtains a Fire Flower or Cape Feather or picks up another Super Mushroom, a Mushroom is stored in the box. If Cape Mario finds a Fire Flower, a Cape Feather will be stored in the box. The power-up can be released by pressing the Select button or will automatically deploy if Mario is hit by an enemy.

Super Mario World includes a multiplayer option which allows two players to play the game by alternating turns at navigating the overworld map and accessing stage levels; the first player controls Mario, while the other controls Luigi. Although Mario and Luigi must generally navigate through seven worlds to reach the end of the game, the player can beat the game much faster by using the Star Road routes. In addition, there are a number of levels that have hidden exits, and as a result there exist several ways for Mario to navigate to Bowser's castle. Furthermore, the exploration of these secret stages lead to stages which while not necessary to the main plot, provide the gamer with more playing experience, such as Special World. Completion of Special World permanently alters some sprites and the overworld map's color scheme.


The game introduces Yoshi, a dinosaur companion whom Mario can ride and who is able to eat most enemies.[2] If Yoshi attempts to eat a Koopa shell (or a whole Koopa), he will hold it in his mouth for a period of time before swallowing it. Yoshi gains special abilities while holding a colored shell in his mouth: a blue shell enables Yoshi to fly, a yellow shell causes Yoshi to emit dust clouds that kill nearby enemies, and if Yoshi spits out a red shell he instead produces three fireballs. Flashing Koopa shells produce all three abilities, while green shells produce none. The default Yoshi is green, but the game also contains blue, yellow, and red Yoshis; the player can obtain such a Yoshi by finding its egg in Star World and feeding enemies to it until it matures. When holding any Koopa shell in his mouth, these Yoshis gain the ability that corresponds to its own color, in addition to that of the shell.


After saving the Mushroom Kingdom in Super Mario Bros. 3, brothers Mario and Luigi agree to take a vacation to a place called Dinosaur Land, where there are many types of dinosaurs. However, while resting on the beach, Princess Toadstool disappears. When Mario and Luigi wake up they try to find her and, after hours of searching, come across a giant egg in the forest. It suddenly hatches and out of it comes a young dinosaur named Yoshi, who then tells them that his dinosaur friends have also been imprisoned in eggs by evil Koopas. Mario and Luigi soon realize that it must be the evil King Bowser and his Koopalings.[3]

Mario, Luigi and Yoshi set out to save Princess Toadstool and Yoshi's dinosaur friends, exploring Dinosaur Land for Bowser and his Koopalings. To aid him, Yoshi gives Mario a cape as they begin their journey. Mario and Luigi continue to follow Bowser, defeating the Koopalings in the process, and save all of Yoshi's dinosaur friends. They eventually make it to Bowser's castle, where they fight him in a final battle. They defeat Bowser and save the Princess, restoring peace to Dinosaur Land.[4]


Shigeru Miyamoto, the producer for Super Mario World, has been involved in the development of every Super Mario Bros. console game.

The game was directed by Takashi Tezuka and produced by Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Mario and The Legend of Zelda, with Shigefumi Hino as the graphics designer. Development was handled by Nintendo EAD, headed by Miyamoto. It took three years to develop the game with a team of sixteen people. However, Miyamoto stated that he felt that the game was incomplete and that development was rushed toward the end, voicing hope that with time the games for the system would allow for more emotion and story.[5]

Miyamoto stated that he had wanted Mario to have a dinosaur companion ever since Super Mario Bros.; however, Nintendo engineers could not fit the companion into the limitations of the Nintendo Entertainment System. He said that "we were finally able to get Yoshi off the drawing boards with the SNES".[5] Yoshi came in one size and four colors, with different powers and huge appetites.[5] Super Mario World arrived in 1991 alongside the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in North America.[5]


After the success of Super Mario World, the game was packaged in a special version of Super Mario All-Stars titled Super Mario All-Stars + Super Mario World, which was released in 1993 in the United States and in Europe as the pack-in game for the SNES "Super Mario Set" bundle.[6] In this version, Luigi has his own sprite (in the original, Luigi's sprite was simply a palette swap of the Mario sprite), while the rest remained the same. In 1995, two companies known as Hummer Team and JY Company ported the Super Famicom version of Super Mario World to the Famicom in China with no license. Super Mario World was one of the first games to be announced for the Wii's Virtual Console. It was released in Japan on December 2, 2006, in the United States on February 5, 2007, and in the Europe on February 9, 2007.[7] A short timed demo of the game is one of the unlockable "Masterpieces" in the 2008 Wii game Super Smash Bros. Brawl. It was also released for the Wii U in North America and Japan on April 26, 2013, and in Europe on April 27, 2013, along with the full launch of the Virtual Console for that console.

Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2[edit]

Between 2001 and 2002, Super Mario World was ported to the Game Boy Advance as Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2.[8][9] Some levels were minimally changed, but the most noticeable alteration was making the game for one player only instead of two. However, Luigi was still usable, but this time as an alternate character; he could jump higher than Mario, but he ran slightly slower. Mario or Luigi could be selected by pressing the GBA shoulder buttons on the map screen. They were also given voices, which were done by Charles Martinet. Luigi's sprites were changed once again with his appearance closer to the original Super Mario Advance game, which was based on Super Mario Bros. 2.[10]


Koji Kondo composed the music used in Super Mario World, using only an electronic keyboard. The entirety of the music heard in the game, with the exception of the music played in the title screen, credits, maps, and fighting Bowser, is a variation on the same melody. The melody, played in F major is heard normally on the standard overworld levels. It is slowed down and made to echo in caverns, whereas it moves in a slow, wave-like fashion, a slow (in 3/4 or waltz time) in underwater levels (a recurring musical tradition in underwater levels played in Super Mario games); in the athletic theme, it is played quickly and energetically to suit the more risky and lively nature of a level taking place in the air. The castle theme is a symphonic variation of the melody in F minor, then C minor, giving the song an overall ominous tone.

The Super Mario Bros. theme can be heard in the Special Zone if the player leaves the overworld screen open for a few minutes. When riding on Yoshi, the soundtrack of any level is accompanied by bongo drums,[11] a sound design element that was carried over into Super Mario Sunshine, as well as New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Super Mario Galaxy 2 some 18 years later.[citation needed]

The soundtrack for Super Mario World's overworld and castle levels are present in the animated series and in later Super Mario games.


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 94.44%[12]
Review scores
Publication Score
AllGame 5/5 stars[2](SNES)
Famitsu GBA 34/40[13]
Game Informer 10/10
IGN GBA 9.3/10[9]
VC 8.5/10 [14]

Super Mario World was met with widespread critical acclaim upon release. The game has continued to receive highly favorable reviews for many years. It is ranked as the seventeenth-highest rated video game of all time on GameRankings, where the game received very positive scores, with a 94.44% average score.[12][15] Allgame gave the game five stars out of five, praising the graphics, sound, and replay value.[2] It was ranked as the eighth best game for a Nintendo console in Nintendo Power's "Top 200 Games" list.[16] Official Nintendo Magazine ranked the game seventh in its "100 greatest Nintendo games of all time".[17] Famitsu readers ranked it 61st in the magazine's list of the top 100 video games.[18] In 2009, a poll conducted by British film magazine Empire voted it "the greatest game of all time."[19] In the Virtual Console review of the game, IGN said that the game should be downloaded by people who did not own the Game Boy Advance version of the game and gave it an 8.5 out of 10, a Great score.[14] Super Mario World won Nintendo Power's game of the year award for 1991. The game has also appeared on several "best video games of all time" lists such as those from Edge Magazine and Retrogamer. GameSpot consider the game to be one of the greatest games of all time.[20] Game Informer reviewed this game with a 10/10 in a classic review.[citation needed] In its final issue, Nintendo Power named Super Mario World the fifth greatest game of all time.[citation needed] In 2015, USgamer ranked the game the best Mario platformer ever.[21]

More than 20 million copies have been sold worldwide, making it one of the best-selling video games of all time.[22] As a pack-in title for the SNES, Super Mario World helped popularize the console,[2] which has sold 49.10 million units worldwide, including 23.35 million in the Americas and 17.17 million in Japan.[23] In a poll conducted in 2008, Yoshi was voted as the third-favorite video game character in Japan, with Cloud Strife and Mario placing second and first, respectively.[24]


The title card for the Super Mario World animated series.

Yoshi became one of the most important characters in the Mario franchise, re-appearing in later Super Mario games and in nearly all Mario sports and spin-off games. Yoshi appears as the main playable character in Super Mario World's 1995 sequel Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, which helped lead to multiple video games focused on the character. A Super Mario World clone, titled Super Mario's Wacky Worlds, was in development for the Philips CD-i device by NovaLogic from 1992 to 1993, but was cancelled due to console's commercial failure.[25]

DIC Entertainment produced a Super Mario World animated series based on the game, which consists of thirteen episodes and ran on NBC from September to December 1991.

A number of Super Mario World ROM hacks have been made by fans, notably Kaizo Mario World.[citation needed]

Super Mario World is one of the four games whose styles are available in Super Mario Maker for the Wii U.


  1. ^ Nintendo. Super Mario World (in Japanese). Super Famicom. Level/area: Front packaging. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Miller, Skyler. "Super Mario World". Review. Allgame. Archived from the original on February 16, 2010. Retrieved 2009-07-13. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Nintendo R&D1. Super Mario World instruction manual. Nintendo. 
  5. ^ a b c d McLaughlin, Rus (2007-11-08). "IGN Presents The History of Super Mario Bros.". Retrieved 2009-04-13. 
  6. ^ "Super Mario All-Stars / Super Mario World Release Information for SNES". GameFAQs. GameSpot. Retrieved 2009-05-11. 
  7. ^ "Virtual Console". Nintendo Power 213: 40. March 2007. 
  8. ^ "Joining Nintendo After Super Mario". Iwata Asks: Super Mario Bros. 25th Anniversary. Nintendo. 13 September 2010. Retrieved 19 January 2011. 
  9. ^ a b Harris, Craig (2002-02-11). "Super Mario Advance 2: Super Mario World". IGN. Retrieved 2010-04-13. 
  10. ^ Gerstmann, Jeff (2002-02-12). "Super Mario Advance 2 Review". GameSpot UK. Retrieved 2009-04-13. 
  11. ^ Nintendo EAD (1990-11-21). Super Mario World (in Japanese and English) SNES. Nintendo. 
  12. ^ a b "Super Mario World for SNES". GameRankings. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  13. ^ ゲームボーイアドバンス - スーパーマリオアドバンス2. Weekly Famitsu. No.915 Pt.2. Pg.116. 30 June 2006.
  14. ^ a b Thomas, Lucas (2007-02-05). "Super Mario World VC Review". IGN. Retrieved 2010-04-14. 
  15. ^ "All-Time Best". GameRankings. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  16. ^ "NP Top 200". Nintendo Power 200: 58–66. February 2006. 
  17. ^ East, Tom (2009-03-02). "100 Best Nintendo Games — Part Six". Official Nintendo Magazine. Future plc. Retrieved 2009-03-02. 
  18. ^ "Japan Votes on All Time Top 100 Video Games". Edge. 2006-03-03. Retrieved 2009-08-06. 
  19. ^ "The 100 Greatest Games Of All Time". Empire. Bauer Consumer Media. Retrieved 2009-05-30. 
  20. ^ Alex Navarro. "The Greates Games Of All Time". Retrieved 2012-03-20. 
  21. ^ Parish, Jeremy (2015-09-09). "Page 3: What's the Greatest Mario Game Ever? We Ranked Them All, and You Can Too!". USgamer. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on 2015-09-11. Retrieved 2015-09-11. 
  22. ^ "The Nintendo Years: 1990". 2007-06-25. p. 2. Archived from the original on 2012-08-20. Retrieved 2007-06-27. 
  23. ^ "Consolidated Sales Transition by Region". Nintendo. 2010-01-27. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-02-14. Retrieved 2010-02-14. 
  24. ^ Ashcraft, Brian (2008-08-12). "And Japan's Favorite Video Game Characters Are...?". Kotaku. Retrieved 2009-09-12. 
  25. ^ "Super Mario's Wacky Worlds". IGN. Retrieved 2013-12-08. 

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