Representation of the Mario Series Through Stages in Smash [Part 3]

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Warning: While most of the content in this article is factual, there is some speculation towards the end of it.

Welcome to the final part of my analysis of the Mario games represented in the Super Smash Bros. series with stages. Now that we’ve had a look at all the stages, I thought a good way to conclude this analysis would be taking the information from the previous parts and providing some interesting statistics and trivia, as well providing some information about some cut stages, talking about some games that have oddly been absent and concluding with some speculation on what stages we might see in the next Smash game. If you missed the first two parts, there are links provided below.

Representation of the Mario series through stages in Smash [Part 1] (Smash 64 and Melee)

Representation of the Mario series through stages in Smash [Part 2] (Brawl and Smash 4)

Representation of the Mario series through stages in Smash [Part 3] (Statistics, Trivia and Speculation)

Statistics

Now that we’ve covered every stage in Smash, I thought it would be interesting to list all the games that have received stages and how many times each game has been represented. For convenience, I have placed them in a table.

Game Year of Release Stages Smash game debuted in
Main Series
Super Mario Bros. 1985 Mushroom Kingdom

Mushroom Kingdom

Mushroomy Kingdom

Super Smash Bros.

Super Smash Bros. Melee

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Super Mario Bros. 2 1988 Mushroom Kingdom II Super Smash Bros. Melee
Super Mario World 1990 Yoshi’s Island Super Smash Bros. Melee
Super Mario 64 1996 Peach’s Castle

Princess Peach’s Castle

Rainbow Cruise

Super Smash Bros.

Super Smash Bros. Melee

Super Smash Bros. Melee

Super Mario Sunshine 2002 Delfino Plaza Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Super Mario Galaxy 2007 Mario Galaxy Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
Super Mario Galaxy 2 2010 Mario Galaxy Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
Super Mario 3D Land 2011 3D Land Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS
New Super Mario Bros. 2 2012 Golden Plains Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS
New Super Mario Bros. U 2012 Mushroom Kingdom U Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
Mario Kart
Mario Kart DS 2005 Mario Circuit Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Mario Kart 7 2011 Rainbow Road Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS
Mario Kart 8 2014 Mario Circuit Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
Mario RPGs
Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door 2004 Paper Mario Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS
Paper Mario: Sticker Star 2012 Paper Mario Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS
Other
Mario Bros. 1983 Mario Bros. Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Wrecking Crew 1985 Wrecking Crew Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
Luigi’s Mansion 2001 Luigi’s Mansion Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Super Mario Maker 2015 Super Mario Maker Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U

In addition to this table, I have also made another below, touching on the amount of Mario stages in each instalment. For Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U on their individual rows, I’ll exclude stages that aren’t exclusive.

Game New Mario Stages Returning Mario Stages Total Stages
Super Smash Bros. 2 0 2
Super Smash Bros. Melee 4 (or 5*) 0 4 (or 5*)
Super Smash Bros. Brawl 5 1 (or 2*) 6 (or 7*)
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS 4 1 5
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U 3 (or 4**) 3 (or 4*) 6 or (8* **)
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U (combined) 8 (or 9**) 5 (or 6*) 13 (or 15* **)

*if including Yoshi’s Island as a Mario stage

**if including Wrecking Crew as a Mario stage

Grand total of Super Mario stages in the Super Smash Bros. series: 19 stages (21 if including Yoshi’s Island and Wrecking Crew)

And to cap things off, there is one last table here listing how many times each console had a stage from one of its games in Smash.

Console Number of Stages
Arcade 1
NES 5
SNES 1
N64 3
GameCube 2
Wii 1
Wii U 3
DS 1
3DS 4

Note: Paper Mario is listed as a 3DS stage due to primarily being based on Sticker Star.

Trivia

– The oldest Mario game represented is Mario Bros. (1983) and the latest is Super Mario Maker (2015). Mario’s debut game Donkey Kong (1981) is also represented.

– The Super Mario series is the only series in Smash to have more than one new stage in every instalment.

Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario 64 are the only Mario games to have more than one stage, with both having three each.

Super Mario 64 is the only Mario game to have a stage in every instalment in Smash, having Peach’s Castle in 64, Princess Peach’s Castle and Rainbow Cruise in Melee, Rainbow Cruise again in Brawl, and Peach’s Castle returning in both versions of Smash 4. If one counts both versions of Smash 4 as one game, Super Mario Bros. also qualifies for this, having two different Mushroom Kingdom stages in the first two games, and Mushroomy Kingdom in Brawl and Smash 3DS.

– There are no unlockable Mario series stages in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U. However, there are DLC stages.

– Unlike some other series in Smash, Mario has never had the same stage return more than once (unless one counts Yoshi’s Island as a Mario stage).

– Mario Bros. is the only Mario stage in Brawl that did not return in either version of Smash 4 (although Mushroomy Kingdom’s Underground version was also absent).

– Mushroomy Kingdom being a 3DS exclusive stage in Smash 4 could be an allusion to Super Mario Bros. Deluxe, which was a handheld exclusive port/remake of the original game.

– All Mario Kart stages are based on/allude to Mario Circuit and Rainbow Road, both of which have shown up in every Mario Kart instalment to date.

Super Paper Mario is the only Paper Mario instalment (at the time of Smash 4) that was not referenced in the Paper Mario stage.

– The remaining 2D Mario platformer games that haven’t had a stage in Smash are Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario Land, Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins, New Super Mario Bros. and New Super Mario Bros. Wii.

Super Mario 3D World is the only 3D Mario platformer to not have a stage in Smash.

– There is a retro Mario stage in every instalment of Smash if one counts both versions of Smash 4 as one game. Smash 3DS was planned to have a retro Mario stage of its own, but it was replaced with a stage from another series.

– There has never been a Mario stage with retro visuals return in any subsequent Smash game.

– Dr. Mario is the only playable Mario character (if one does not count sub-series characters like Wario) to never have his debut title receive a stage.
– The only consoles/handhelds not acknowledged by any Mario stages are the Game Boy, Virtual Boy and Game Boy Color. The Game Boy Advance has been alluded to with Mushroom Kingdom II’s visuals.

Continue on Page 2 for scrapped stages, notable absences and predictions for the next game.

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4 comments

  1. When you put into context how many stages are from the Mario series, it’s suddenly understandable why Sakurai was hesitant on adding too much Mario content. Though I guess it’s unavoidable for Nintendo’s most iconic series. It is possible that the Mario game for the Switch could still have a stage even if the game isn’t out before Smash is, isn’t that what happened with the Woolly World stage? Besides that, I think Mario Party does have a lot of potential for a stage based off the series, and it’s a little surprising we haven’t had one so far. Mario and Luigi, not so much, but that’s because I can’t really think of any notable environments from the series that could be recreated in Smash in a unique or interesting way. Anyway, good job with these articles, stages are an overlooked area in Smash worth people’s attention.

    1. Indeed. While I am okay with Mario having the most stages since it’s the biggest franchise, they go way overboard a lot (Smash 3DS having four new stages and Smash Wii U having three or four (Wrecking Crew), when literally only Zelda and Pokemon only got two new stages in a single version). It really says something when the series with the second-largest amount of stages (Zelda/Pokemon are tied for it) has eight in total when Mario has more than double that.

      You are right. Not that I don’t think it would get a stage if it wasn’t out before Smash 4, but I was moreso saying that it is likely it will be out before the next Smash.

      I don’t really see how Mario & Luigi is any different from Paper Mario for stage material. I’d argue it has more due to having a lot more platforming in some instalments. As for interesting locations, there’s stuff like inside Bowser’s Body or the Dream World. I’d personally just be fine with the Beanbean Kingdom Outskirts. The aesthetic there alone is unique.

      Thanks, and thank you for commenting. That’s part of the reason I wrote this analysis (also spoilers, I’m working on one for another series), since stages discussion isn’t that common compared to other areas of Smash.

  2. Been meaning to reply to this, but then Pokemon happened. Whoops.

    It was kinda curious to me that you went so far as to talk about Meta Crystal but didn’t have any mention of the Mushroom Kingdom stage in Melee’s adventure mode. Would have been interesting to see if it had any interesting references I failed to notice.

    Overall I feel Mario is pretty well represented in terms of stages, given how many it has that’s no surprise. Super Mario Bros 3 is the one really notable exclusion (an Airship stage could be cool), there are some other Mario games I’d certainly like to see but that’s the only one that strikes me as a necessity. There are a few specific games that get a few too many stages, but once again considering how many stages the series as a whole gets its less of an issue.

    Stage location variety is also pretty good. They tend to stick to the somewhat same-y level 1 type areas a bit much but there’s still a fair number of others that showcase other types of locations like Rainbow Cruise(sky), Mario Galaxy(space), Luigi’s Mansion(ghost house), Mushroomy Kingdom(desert?), etc. You’ve also got stuff like Mushroom Kingdom U which changes locations throughout the fight.

    I’m kinda surprised we still don’t really have a dedicated Bowser’s Castle stage (Paper Mario to and extent, but its only one form of 3 and uses the paper ascetic rather than that of the main series). It serves as the final level of most 2D platformers and some variation of it crops up in the 3D games from time to time. Its also a really common location in the spin offs: Kart, Sport, and RPG alike. As far as iconic Mario locals go, Peach’s Castle and World 1-1 are the only ones I can come up with that might be on its level, both of which have had a stage or two.

    1. So sorry for the late reply. I haven’t checked this article in a while.

      I had actually thought about the Adventure Mode stage just after I submitted Part 3 (it didn’t even cross my mind while writing the entire article), but I really couldn’t figure out how to add it without shoehorning it in (I feel like I had already written the Melee segment in a way that I’d have to change quite a bit to fit it in), plus PushDustIn felt it was okay since it’s not a conventional stage. You’re not really missing out on any references though; it’s just based on Super Mario Bros. with references to Mario Golf (a generic golf course) and Super Mario 64 (Peach’s Castle) in the background. Maybe if they ever bring back Adventure Mode and have another Mario stage in it I might do another part analysing them.

      Yeah, Super Mario Bros. 3’s absence is pretty baffling. I’m not really fond of it but it needs to be in already. An Airship level would be perfect and much more unique than the more commonly-seen Mushroom Kingdom III mock-ups people have made. While it does appear in the Super Mario Maker stage I don’t think it should count, especially since the other three games in it got stages of their own.

      What games would those be, exactly? I’d like another Super Mario World stage personally, since Super Mario Advance 2 was a big part of my childhood (Chocolate Island or the Forest of Illusion would make good stages), and as petty as it sounds, also so there can be one under the Mario series logo. Also, ever since Melee I’ve wanted Bob-omb Battlefield as a stage. It’s probably the longest time I’ve wanted a specific stage in Smash.

      To be honest I don’t really feel Mushroomy Kingdom serves as a proper desert level (it’s more of a wasteland), mainly because it’s just a decayed version of World 1-1 (although it did provide some desert music). I’d like a proper desert level, like Desert Land, Birabuto Kingdom or Shifting Sand Land. Mushroom Kingdom U was cool, but I wish they chose some better/more unique world themes from that game. Meringue Clouds and a Tower aren’t exactly that unique compared to some of the other worlds/levels, like Layer Cake Desert and the Painted Swampland level.

      I’m kinda not that fussed on getting a Bowser’s Castle stage since it’s sorta a non-game specific location, but yeah it’s weird that it hasn’t appeared yet. If they did add it, I’d hope it looks reminiscent of a specific game rather than just a generic one, but as long as it has lava, podoboos and an axe that breaks the bridge, it’d be cool. Plus it would be an opportunity to add what I think is one of the most needed Mario songs absent in Smash; Bowser’s Road.

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