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In the years since, Mario 3 has touched many a gamer, with the most direct way being the several times it’s been offered again to new players. Sure, nowadays you young ‘uns can put your Wiis on the interweb and get the game from the Virtual Console, but when it was rereleased with visual tweaks on the SNES in Super Mario All-Stars, it felt like our birthday and the Rapture all rolled up in one. And about ten years later, that version got repackaged in the confusingly titled Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario 3.
But the ripples have spread out in smaller ways, too. Super Mario Galaxy in many ways channeled the spirit of Mario 3; not only does it have a ton of costume-based power-ups, but Bowser’s airships came back too. It was also the third 3D Mario, which refined the now-crude style of the first one, Super Mario 64, and was a return to the series’ roots after a less-than-perfect predecessor, in this case Super Mario Sunshine.
Above: Super Mario 3-2?
But our favorite call-back came late last year, in New Super Mario Bros Wii. Ever since Mario Sunshine, we’ve had to deal with the annoying Bowser Jr, the Koopa King’s kid, made more annoying as he was treated as Bowser’s only child. Despite some random cameos here and there, we thought the seven Koopa kids were forgotten at Nintendo. We were tickled pink to see them take on their old roles as final bosses of each world, though the continuity nerds in us wish we knew how they interact with their younger (older?) brother.
Thanks to the long lead time between the Japanese and American release, media synergy was alive when the game finally dropped. Not only was the game premiered in the classic film The Wizard, but a whole new animated series based on the game aired on on Saturday mornings. Sure, the animation wasn’t the greatest, Toad’s voice caused migraines, and all the Koopalings had different names, but it was must-see TV, baby. Check out the opening:
Fun Fact: There’s a lost episode, not seen on DVD, that stars Milli Vanilli
Before we end this trip back with Mario, let’s take a look at the best commercial yet, the first Japanese one. With original animation, it quickly and strikingly encapsulates all the best bits of Mario 3 in one 30-second ad. Thanks for the fun flight, Raccoon Mario – we’ll see you next decade.
Feb 12, 2010
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