Representation of Mario Games with Stages in Smash [Part 2]

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

Opposite to its 3DS counterpart, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U‘s exclusive stages are all based on home console Mario titles, having three of them (and a fourth treated as being from its own series). Since the Smash series tends to lean primarily towards having stages based on console games, these stages would have been very likely to have made it in even if Smash 4 was a single game. The My Music feature from Brawl returns, allowing for many unrepresented games to receive nods towards them, including a major spin-off that hasn’t been acknowledged before, and another spin-off title that is rather niche.

ssb4_super_mario_bros-_u
Not pictured: The utter chaos of falling icicles and urchin-carrying geysers.

The first of the Wii U exclusive stages is Mushroom Kingdom U, a combination of various locations from New Super Mario Bros. U. These areas are Acorn Plains, Rock-Candy Mines, Meringue Clouds and a Tower (specifically, Slide Lift Tower). The first three of these have static layouts, but the last has two large rectangular blocks that slide over each over and change positions. Other elements from the game can show up in any of the locales, such as falling icicles, stretch blocks, water geysers and a giant beanstalk. Kamek appears to cause the stage transitions with his magic, and Nabbit can show up sometimes as well to kidnap a fighter. Songs include medleys for Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, an unusual Latin-style remix of Super Mario World‘s Fortress Boss theme, and a direct port of the Ground Themes for New Super Mario Bros. 2 and New Super Mario Bros. U, as well as Super Bell Hill from Super Mario 3D World.

image01
In space no one can hear you shout “Wahoo!”

The second Wii U exclusive stage is Mario Galaxy, a stage based on both Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2. As the Galaxy games were critically acclaimed by fans and critics alike as well as being significant and recent instalments of the 3D Mario platformers, including a stage based off of them was a must. This stage’s unique feature is its gravity. Taking place on a large spherical planet, the ground becomes more curved the closer it is to the blast lines. Both characters and projectiles (with a few exceptions) are affected by the gravity feature. The planet itself isn’t any specific one from the games, but it does borrow elements from the first planet of Gateway Galaxy from the first game, in addition to elements found on Starship Mario from the second. In the background can be seen Bowser’s airships, red and yellow Starshrooms, Starship Mario (complete with Lubba and other Lumas), several small planetoids, and the planet Peewee Piranha is fought on (and the planet prior to it) in Sky Station Galaxy, but with different colours. The stage also applies the games’ characteristic lighting style to fighters. Plenty of ports and remixes of music from both Galaxy games are present, as well as The Great Tower Showdown 2 and Champion Road from Super Mario 3D World and The Grand Finale from Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story; all taken directly from the original games.

 

tumblr_ndyd6zwo3y1sw8d3mo6_1280
Naturally, Peach found the new location of her castle to be an inconvenience.

The last exclusive new stage is Mario Circuit from Mario Kart 8. Unlike the Mario Circuit stage in Brawl, this one is an actual Mario Circuit track, and hence the first time the recurring Mario Kart track has actually appeared in Smash. This specific track was most likely chosen over others from the same game due to how it perfectly shows off Mario Kart 8‘s main new mechanic. Like Rainbow Road in the 3DS version, this stage involves floating platforms that stop off at different parts of the track, but this time, the anti-gravity feature of Mario Kart 8 allows for karts to come at you from the walls and even the ceiling, depending on where you are dropped off. Fighters however, aren’t affected by the anti-gravity, and hence could end up fighting on the side of fences or under the track but with road above. The unusual track design also poses the risk of being smacked into the road at different angles instead of just below, and anyone knocked into the track while it is above will be meteor smashed. Four songs from Mario Kart 8 are included, and Toad Circuit from Mario Kart 7 received a remix. As for direct imports, Mushroom Gorge from Mario Kart Wii was added, and unexpectedly, Pandemonium from Mario Party 9, which marks the first time the Mario Party series has received acknowledgement in Smash beyond a trophy and some stickers in the previous game.

ssb4uwreckingcrew
Foreman Spike must be slacking off, letting random Pokémon and medieval warriors perform demolition duty.

That is all the Wii U exclusive stages under the Mario logo, but just like in Melee, there is actually another Mario game with a stage placed under a different series logo. This stage is Wrecking Crew from the NES game of the same name, and is listed under its own series. Unlike other stages based of old-school Mario games, this stage chooses to go for a realistic look rather than trying to recreate the visuals of the original. Perhaps this is the reason it is not listed under the Mario series, as a realistic city doesn’t look like something out of Mario. However, Wrecking Crew is just as much a Mario game as Mario Bros. is, so the decision to not class it as one is odd. Given Wrecking Crew shares some elements with Mario Bros., the choice of the stage seems like a logical follow-up after Brawl had a stage for the latter game. The stage has multiple floors of platforms that feature brick walls, bombs and climbable ladders, just like in the original game. Bombs can destroy brick walls, and if there isn’t enough walls to support a floor it will come down, shifting each layer down by one floor, also causing a new floor to appear at the top.  There are also barrels that can trap fighters if they are under them when a floor collapses, leaving them vulnerable to attacks. The stage features the Wrecking Crew Medley, which is available in both original and remixed versions.

As for returning stages, Delfino Plaza, Luigi’s Mansion and Mario Circuit (now called Mario Circuit (Brawl) to avoid confusion with the new one) all came back. Yoshi’s Island from Melee also returned again, still under the Yoshi series umbrella. As for new music, Luigi’s Mansion received the Luigi’s Mansion Series Medley featuring songs from both Luigi’s Mansion and Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, as well as an instrumental of Gloomy Manor’s version of On the Hunt from the latter game. Yoshi’s Island received a Super Mario World Medley, and the new Woolly World stage includes a direct port of Tough Guy Alert! from Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story. 75m received a new remix of Chill from Dr. Mario, and the Miiverse stage has a Mario Paint Medley.

In comparison to Smash 3DS, Smash Wii U had a much more diverse coverage of games in terms of consoles acknowledged. Unlike how the 3DS version only covered 3DS titles for Mario, the Wii U version not only covered Wii U Mario games, but Wii and even NES ones as well. Similarly to the 3DS version however, Smash Wii U didn’t have any stages based on already-represented games, so old ground wasn’t retread. Due to My Music, a lot more games could be referenced compared to the 3DS version, including some very unexpected inclusions like a Mario Party song and a remix of Mario Paint music. Super Mario Galaxy only barely missed out on getting into Brawl due to its timing, so its presence in Smash Wii U is welcome. Unlike the Galaxy games, New Super Mario Bros. Wii missed out on receiving a stage, but this was softened by the fact that we did get a New Super Mario Bros. U stage instead. Other than that, the only significant absence is Super Mario 3D World, which strangely did not get a stage despite its recency. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U did a great job of representing some of Mario’s newer Wii U outings, as well as covering some of his adventures on the Wii and one of his oldest titles.

Games represented:

Wrecking Crew
Super Mario Galaxy (duology)
New Super Mario Bros. U
Mario Kart 8

Games referenced:

Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels
Super Mario World
New Super Mario Bros. 2
Super Mario 3D World
Mario Kart Wii
Mario Kart 7
Mario Party 9
Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story
Luigi’s Mansion
Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon
Dr. Mario
Mario Paint

Non-Exclusive Stages

While there are many stages in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U that appear in both versions of the game, Mario, like most of the series in Smash that are represented with more than one character and stage, didn’t have any shared stages prior to the DLC. Mario was one of the very few series that is represented in Smash prior to the DLC to receive DLC stages, and was the only one of them that received a brand new stage and not just a returning one.

mario-maker
Truly the greatest tease in all of Smash Brothers is the presence of slopes on the Super Mario Maker stage.

The final new Mario stage, and the only new one to be available in both versions is the DLC stage Super Mario Maker, a stage recreating the hit Wii U title which was not released before Smash Wii U. Since DLC presents the opportunity to add content from games that were not out before Smash 4 was released and Super Mario Maker was a successful new game, the unique title was an excellent choice for a DLC stage, and a very logical one for a new Mario stage. Changing between the art-styles of Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World and New Super Mario Bros. U, the stage also has a unique layout every time you play. When blocks are destroyed, a hand will show up and place new ones, and can even be a cat’s paw sometimes, just like how you could change the hand in the actual game. Unlike the original game, there are level elements in the stage that can’t be added there, including slopes, tilted platforms and lava. The stage boasts a whopping twenty-seven songs, the majority of which appear on other stages. The stage does have some exclusive songs, which are a remix of the Super Mario Maker Title Theme and Style Switch: Ground Theme, which plays each game’s respective Ground Theme while the stage is using their style. It is notable that every song from a 2D Mario platformer is available on this stage, including ones from games whose art-styles don’t show up in Super Mario Maker.

There is also one returning stage that is available in both versions as DLC, and that is Smash 64‘s Peach’s Castle stage. This stage came with a brand-new remix of Super Mario 64‘s Main Theme (which also includes the opening cutscene music), as well as the Slider theme directly ported from the same game.

Across both versions of Super Smash Bros. 4, there is a grand total of thirteen Mario stages (fifteen if you count Yoshi’s Island and Wrecking Crew), and this instalment features the widest coverage of the Mario franchise by far. From new stages alone, the newest 3D Mario outings like the two Super Mario Galaxy games and Super Mario 3D Land were represented, and for the first time ever, the New Super Mario Bros. series received stages for two of its instalments. Both Mario Kart 7 and Mario Kart 8 received stages based one of their tracks, and the coverage of Mario spin-offs broadened even further with a Paper Mario stage. Mario‘s ancient history was returned to again with a Wrecking Crew stage, and his most recent game Super Mario Maker was celebrated as a DLC addition. Returning stages covered Super Mario Bros., Super Mario World, Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, Luigi’s Mansion and the general Mario Kart series. The only glaring absence is the lack of a Super Mario 3D World stage, which did not make it into the game, even as DLC. It was acknowledge with several songs, but its absence is rather unusual given it came out almost a full year before Smash Wii U was released. While Super Mario Bros. 3 has still yet to receive a stage, it has least showed up in one now thanks to Super Mario Maker. Overall, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U has provided an outstanding representation of thirty years of Mario history with stages from every Nintendo home console showing up, as well as the 3DS. One can only imagine how much the coverage will grow in the next game.

Games represented:

Wrecking Crew
Super Mario Galaxy (duology)
New Super Mario Bros. 2
New Super Mario Bros. U
Super Mario 3D Land
Super Mario Maker
Mario Kart 7
Mario Kart 8
Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door
Paper Mario: Sticker Star

Games referenced:

Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels
Super Mario Bros. 3
Super Mario World
Super Mario 64
Super Mario 3D World
Mario Kart: Super Circuit
Mario Kart DS
Mario Kart Wii
Mario Party 9
Paper Mario
Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story
Mario & Luigi: Dream Team
Luigi’s Mansion
Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon
Dr. Mario
Mario Paint

And with that we have covered every Mario stage that appears in the Super Smash Bros. series. Join us again for the conclusion to this analysis in Part 3, where we will look at statistics, trivia and more!

PushDustIn
Look at me!

PushDustIn

Founder at Source Gaming
PushDustIn is the founder and administrator of Source Gaming. Being obsessed with the history and development of games isn’t easy. Building a reputation on his research, translations and article write ups, PushDustIn fully encapsulates the meaning of data-miner. PushDustIn has studied Japanese for over six years, and has lived there for over four. The name PushDustIn comes from a garbage can in Osaka (Push Dust In). He lives with a very spoiled cat named Kuma.

Mains: Yoshi (64), Game and Watch (Melee), Wario (Brawl), Wario/Pac-Man (Smash for 3DS/Wii U)
PushDustIn
Look at me!
Share this!

6 comments

    1. I thought about it, but one of the problems is there is much less to talk about. I mean, this might be a good thing. since it means the article wouldn’t be as long, but at the same time with less games covered I feel there’s less interesting stuff to talk about.

      For example, the series with the second largest amount of stages is The Legend of Zelda, which has only had eight stages and only covers six games (Temple is debatable on whether it is actually a Zelda II stage or not). Then most other series have only covered three to four games (even Pokemon only has stages based on three games).

      I might do a Zelda one if one of the staff doesn’t want to (they said I might use this article as a template for other stage analysis). I think I should wait until I get a bit more feedback from others on this analysis first.

Leave a comment below!