Super Meat Boy's retro reference guide

Of all the platform genre love Super Meat Boy shows, no mascot is given more tribute than Super Mario. It’s probably no coincidence that Super Meat Boy shares the same initials as Super Mario Bros, or that Meat Boy hit XBLA just in time for Super Mario Bros 25th Anniversary. From beginning to end, Meat Boy wears its affection for Mario on its sleeve. Here’s just some of the meaty love, both great and small.

Warp Zones

When you open up a Warp Zone, Mario love hits you from all sides. The name itself references Super Mario’s innovative use of the cleverly hidden spots that open up new places to explore, though Mario’s warps skip levels, while Meat Boy’s just open up an extra level. Oh, and the Warp Zone specific Achievement is a double whammy of NES worship, referring to Super Mario and Legend of Zelda in one small description.

The Warp Zones are really varied in their styles. Some look like Atari games, others old PC games, NES titles, and our personal favorites are the Game Boy levels.

Once a levels start, you’ll notice how Meat Boy now has a set number of lives via the familiar HUD:

That same display also goes for the random Minus Warp Zones, which refer to Super Mario Bros famous Minus World.

Speaking of HUDs, check out the Character Select screen:

Once you beat a Warp Zone, Meat Boy can reference Mario in obvious ways:

And in slightly more obscure ways:

Like a boss

Super Meat Boy looks to Super Mario when you take down bosses too. For every world, once the boss is defeated, fireworks go off and a flag appears over the space, same as in Mario:

Even the skull emblem matches, though the nose is removed for Meat Boy.

Speaking of the bosses, the one for World 4 reminds us of Game Boy Donkey Kong. Do you see the similarities?

And the way you finally overcome that asshole Dr. Fetus? You hit a switch to take down a bridge and send him to his defeat.

Remind you of anything? Perhaps one of the top 7 most satisfying one-hit boss kills?

So did we miss any old school references? Are you screaming at your monitor about how we missed X, Y and Z from some old NES game? Well then, please tell us how stupid we are in the comments.

Nov 2, 2010

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Henry Gilbert

Henry Gilbert is a former GamesRadar+ Editor, having spent seven years at the site helping to navigate our readers through the PS3 and Xbox 360 generation. Henry is now following another passion of his besides video games, working as the producer and podcast cohost of the popular Talking Simpsons and What a Cartoon podcasts.