Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins is a platforming video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Game Boy. It was released in Japan on October 21, 1992, in the United States on November 1, 1992, and in Europe on January 28, 1993. Like its predecessor Super Mario Land, Super Mario Land 2 was not created by Shigeru Miyamoto, but rather by Gunpei Yokoi. Super Mario Land 2 is also the first game to feature Wario. It was one of the largest games on the Game Boy at the time of its release (4 megabits). It won the Player's Choice award and was highly rated. It was released for Virtual Console of the Nintendo 3DS in 2011.
While its predecessor was similar to the original Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Land 2 has more in common with later games (specifically Super Mario World): the player may now scroll the screen to the left, levels are not linear by virtue of a map screen that allows the player to choose a level (from Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World), and the game has battery backup saves. Hidden levels have been added too, another element unavailable in the first game. In addition, the game keeps track of how many enemies the player has defeated. (by jumping on them, hitting them with a fireball, etc.).
Zones and levels
Super Mario Land 2 consists of six themed zones, each culminating with a boss, who possesses a golden coin. There are also four levels that are independent of any zones. The zones are, working clockwise around the map:
- Levels outside Zones: There are a few more levels found outside the themed Zones. The first (Level 1) is an introductory stage. The second (Level 8) is situated between Tree Zone and Space Zone. The third (Level 9) is the entrance to Space Zone. The fourth (Level 32) external stage is Wario's Castle, which you need the six golden coins to get in and confront Wario.
- Tree Zone is set in a tree. Levels are themed to various parts of the tree- the ground around it, the inside, the top and a beehive on it. Appearing adversaries are primarily birds and insects. The chief villain is a crow.
- Space Zone is set in space. The chief villain is Tatanga from Super Mario Land. The only way to get to this zone is if you complete the level with the Hippo statue.
- Macro Zone (Micro Zone) is built around a house, where Mario is shrunk. The levels are themed to an anthill, the sky next to the house (secret level), the house plumbing, the kitchen and fireplace, and the attic. The chief villain is a rat.
- Pumpkin Zone is built around a pumpkin. The levels within it (except for the secret levels) are Halloween-based, as the enemies include monsters, ghosts etc. The chief villain is a witch.
- Mario Zone looks like a large clockwork figure of Mario. The levels are toy-themed and the chief villains are the Three Little Pigs.
- Turtle Zone gets its name from how the player enters the zone (by being swallowed by a giant turtle). It leads to a number of water-themed levels, including a submarine and inside of a whale. The chief villain is an octopus.
There are 32 levels in total. Some of these levels can only be accessed by entering secret entrances located in the regular levels. Once these levels are cleared or if the player lost at them, these stages can only be replayed by entering said entrances once again.
When a golden coin is obtained, its respective level is still available to play. However, the boss won't show up unless a certain Game Genie code is activated.
The game contains three mini-games. In one mini-game you play a game of Skill Crane which you lower a claw over a moving conveyor belt that contains items. The other mini-game requires you to stop a pair of mice that will gnaw through paths to various prizes. Stopping them in the correct position will leave the path to the better items open. This mini-game could be the predecessor to a mini-game in Mario Party called "Pipe Maze" and a similar mini-game in Super Mario 64 DS. The third mini-game is a slot machine that requires coins to play. Winning can gain you either more coins or more lives.
The game has two levels of difficulty, the default being normal mode. Pressing Select at the file select screen displays the words "EASY MODE" at the top of the screen, which reduces the number of enemies encountered in the game and introduces some other minor changes to levels, such as widening the crumbling skull bridges found in the final level, and slowing down the enemy bubbles.
Each subsequent Mario game tends to introduce a new power-up, and Super Mario Land 2 is no exception. While the traditional Super Mushroom, Fire Flower, and Invincible Star from the console games are still present, there are newer power-ups for this handheld edition:
- Heart: The only one to make it from Super Mario Land, this power-up gives Mario a 1-UP, an extra chance to complete the level, also known as an extra life. This replaces the usual green mushroom from the console versions, as it would be difficult to distinguish from the red Super Mushroom on the Game Boy's monochromatic palette.
- Carrot: Original to this game, this power-up transforms Mario into Bunny Mario. Now sporting bunny ears, Mario can flap them to glide down from long heights, similarly to the Cape Mario in Super Mario World and the Raccoon Mario in Super Mario Bros. 3. Unlike these power-ups, Bunny Mario cannot fly.
- Bubble: Allows Mario to fly, but is only present in one level. Unlike other power-ups, this one does not come from a block and instead is blown-up by a hippo face statue. You cannot get this in a mini-game.
- Spacesuit: Automatically equipped when entering the space zone, this power-up gives Mario the ability to jump higher or to propel himself through space. You cannot get this in a mini-game.
- Fire Flower: Transforms Mario into Fire Mario and allows him to shoot fireballs at enemies. Besides the levels, you can get this power-up through mini-games.
Super Mario Land 2 takes place immediately after the original Super Mario Land. Wario has put an evil spell over Mario Land while Mario was away in Sarasaland, renaming the area Warioland. The inhabitants are now brainwashed into thinking that Wario is their master, and Mario is their enemy. Wario's motive behind this sudden attack was to take control of Mario's castle in order to have a palace of his own. To stop Wario, Mario must find the 6 Golden Coins guarded by the Bosses throughout Mario Land to gain access to his castle. Mario eventually infiltrates Wario's castle, and fights him. Mario, inside his stolen castle and defeats him, thus reclaiming his castle and freeing Mario Land from Wario's hypnotic spell. Wario becomes Tiny Wario and last seen jumping out of the castle balcony. It is unknown what happened to Mario Land after because it has never been featured in any other Mario Game, except Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3.
Just like in Super Mario World, most of the music in Super Mario Land 2 is a variation on the same theme. The game shares a tradition of many games whose music is composed by Kazumi Totaka and includes Totaka's trademark track, Totaka's Song. It is a hidden clip which has been found in many games which he has worked on. In this game it can be found at the game over screen when the game is left running for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. The theme song was sampled by the music group Ambassadors of Funk for their song Six Golden Coins. This song was included on the album Super Mario Compact Disco.