The Nintendo Adventure Books
is a Choose Your Own Adventure
series from 1991-1992
featuring twelve books, ten of which feature you playing as one of the Super Mario Bros
, the other two feature you playing as Link or Princess Zelda
Unlike many gamebooks, each of these had one (and only one)
good ending, which was reachable only by solving puzzles correctly (or in a couple of cases, incorrectly
) and collecting items. All the others awarded you with a nice, big, bold GAME OVER!
These books also had a point scoring
system; after reaching an ending, you turned to a final page at the end of the book where you added up your points (or coins in some of the books) and received a ranking.
Books in the original series:
- Double Trouble
- Leaping Lizards
- Monster Mix-Up
- Koopa Capers
- Pipe Down!
- Doors to Doom
- Dinosaur Dilemma
- Flown the Koopa
- The Crystal Trap
- The Shadow Prince
- Unjust Desserts
- Brain Drain
The Nintendo Adventure Books provide examples of the following tropes:
- Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Pipe Down!
- Choose Your Own Adventure: More accurately, Mario's, Luigi's, Link's, or Zelda's adventure.
- Clingy MacGuffin: Pipe Down has this happen to Princess Peach when she receives a mysterious pair of red sneakers for her birthday. When she puts them on, they begin forcing her to dance a la the Hans Christian Andersen tale The Red Shoes, and she eventually becomes the unwilling star of a Koopa basketball ballet. If Mario and Luigi manage to find her in the desert in one sequence, she'll tell them that she's tried over and over again, but the sneakers just won't come off her feet.
- Cruel Twist Ending: As much a staple of this series as other CYOA-type books. In one particular ending in Monster Mix-Up you can have Mario knock down a brick wall with a hammer you found earlier in the quest... after reading an entire page, the wall collapses on him in the very last sentence.
- Crystal Prison: The Crystal Trap, naturally. Ganon has placed a Curse on all three Triforces; since the Triforce of Courage is in Link's heart, this means that he is also trapped inside a crystal. Zelda has 24 hours to find three items to free Link from the crystal. Failure turns it into stone.
- A Day in the Limelight: Luigi is the main protagonist in Leaping Lizards and Koopa Capers, and Zelda is the protagonist in The Crystal Trap.
- Earn Your Happy Ending
- Fetch Quest: All the books have items you must find to progress in the story, but Koopa Capers and The Crystal Trap are the clearest examples.
- Freaky Friday Flip: In Brain Drain, Mario and Luigi must defeat the "synapse switcher", a radio frequency that causes characters to switch bodies with each other.
- Game-Breaking Bug / Unwinnable by Mistake: A couple of the books have a puzzle page with the page numbers based on your result reversed, resulting in a bad ending for a successful solve and vice versa.
- Giant Mook: The three-headed Soopa Koopa Paratroopa in Monster Mix-Up, created by combining three regular Koopas in the mixing machine.
- Golden Ending: ALL the other ones in each book are bad.
- Incredible Shrinking Man: Unjust Desserts. Mario has to shrink himself down and enter Yoshi to rescue Luigi, whom Yoshi swallowed after eating a cursed cherry on a birthday cake.
- The Many Deaths of You: Mario? Check. Choose Your Own Adventure? Check. You're going to die. A LOT.
- Non-Standard Game Over: In Pipe Down!, Mario and Luigi eventually come across a Clawgrip, to whom they must give an item to pass. If they do not have the required item or refuse to give it to him, the resulting page is nothing but the word PINCH! in a huge explosion graphic that fills the entire page, along with the "GAME OVER".
- The Starscream: Wendy in Koopa Capers.
- Two Beings, One Body: In Monster Mix-Up, Bowser's son Iggy invents a machine that can fuse random monsters together, creating freakish hybrids.
- Womb Level: Unjust Desserts.