Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / New Super Mario Bros. U

Go To

New Super Mario Bros. U is the fourth game in the New Super Mario Bros. series and the direct sequel to New Super Mario Bros. Wii, following New Super Mario Bros. 2. It features Baby Yoshis with distinctive abilities, a new power-up called the Super Acorn that gives you a Flying Squirrel suit, and the ability to play the game as your Mii. There is also a "Boost mode" utilized by the Wii U GamePad that sets up Asymmetric Multiplayer by letting the person with the GamePad create platforms and assist in multiplayer sessions. Finally, there is (or was, as of November 8th, 2017) Miiverse integration, with various players' comments on levels or deaths coming up when appropriate.

With the return of Baby Yoshis, a powerup similar to the Super Cape, and an interconnecting world map, many Mario fans view this game as the closest thing we're going to get to seeing the unique elements of Super Mario World used in the modern Mario series.


In 2013, Nintendo released New Super Luigi U as part of The Year of Luigi, a new adventure featuring 80 new (half-sized and generally more challenging) levels that is offered as both an expansion and a standalone game. As shown by the title, Luigi takes center stage, and Mario isn't a playable character at all. Taking his place will be the rabbit thief Nabbit, who is immune to enemies, and cashes in power-ups for 1-ups instead of using them.

In 2019, New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, a port for the Nintendo Switch, was released. It bundles the original game and New Super Luigi U and adds Toadette as a playable character, giving her a new form called "Peachette", who plays similarly to Peach.


This game provides examples of:

  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Instead of kidnapping Peach, Bowser attacks and takes over Peach's castle in the opening cutscene. Over time, it's gradually converted to Bowser's image to the point where it's the game's Lethal Lava Land when you finally reach it.
  • Alliterative Title: Tilted Tunnel (Acorn Plains-2), Spike's Spouting Sands (Layer-Cake Desert-4), Seesaw Shrooms (Meringue Clouds-2)
  • An Ice Person: The Ice Flower from New Super Mario Bros. Wii makes a comeback, allowing you to freeze enemies with ice balls. This is also, once again, the case with the Penguin Suit.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • As usual, beating a boss level at any time will allow you to save your progress. If you're in the middle of a world and don't feel like continuing today, you can go to a tower or castle you're good at, and save after completing the level again. That is, until you beat the game, after which you can save at any time.
    • Before beating the game you can do a quick save while on the world map, which will let you pick up where you left off, though it does delete the quick save as soon as you resume.
    • While holding a Blue Baby Yoshi, otherwise unsurmountable (without losing the Yoshi) required jumps have a block placed in to help.
  • Arrange Mode: The Challenge Mode has challenges in 4 categories: Time Attack, Coin Collection, 1-Up Rally, and Special. Time Attack challenges have you race against the clock to get to the flagpole, Coin Collection challenges are either about collecting all or most of the coins in a stage, or making it through a stage without collecting too many coins. 1-Up Rally challenges feature bouncing on enemies repeatedly to get 1-Up bonuses, and Special challenges can range from dodging the attacks of 2 Fire Bros. on a single block surrounded by spikes, to making it through Pendulum Castle on Donut Blocks without dashingnote .
  • Art Course: The Painted Swampland is located in the haunted sub-area of Soda Jungle. While the level counts as Big Boo's Haunt due to the vigorous amount of Boo enemies, the entire level was designed with Van Gogh's The Starry Night in-mind.
  • Art Evolution: The backgrounds are much more variable, with some being literally pieces of art, and the detail on the ground and lighting have been improved a lot. It really helps that the game was made for the Wii U, the first Nintendo console to handle HD graphics.
  • Artifact Title: The port to the Nintendo Switch retains the U in the name, despite the game no longer being on the Wii U.
  • Art Shift: Painted Swampland uses the art style of Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night.
  • Asymmetric Multiplayer: There's an option to use the Gamepad to make platforms, amongst other stuff, for the other players who are using Wii Remotes/Gamepad Pros to control Mario and his friends.
  • Asteroids Monster: There are big Goombas that split into smaller ones when stepped upon.
  • Auto-Scrolling Level: Boost Rush Mode, which seems to be the lovechild of Coin Rush and Boost Mode. It makes every level you play scroll automatically.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: In addition to Ghost Houses, the entirety of Soda Jungle.
  • Boring, but Practical: Compared to everyone else, Roy's fight consists of him just pulling out a gun. A very big gun that shoots Bullet Bills, granted, but it's rather tame compared to summoning clones or defying friction and physics like his siblings do.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • When your player character is idle, they'll stare right at you.
    • Just like the previous games, the enemies will dance when the chorus sings (or "bah"s).
    • Plus, Baby Yoshis will hum along to the music when held. However, they don't sing when in a Bonus Level of Heaven or a Toad house.
  • Bubble Gun: The blue Baby Yoshis act like this when shook. Enemies caught in the bubbles turn into coins or power-ups.
  • Bubbly Clouds: Meringue Clouds is a world that takes place in the sky, including elements like bouncy cloud platforms and cloud enemies that blow fog.
  • The Bus Came Back: After his absence from the previous game, Bowser Jr. is wreaking havoc alongside the Koopalings once again. Kamek also makes a comeback, working his magic to support the Tower bosses before eventually taking you on himself.
  • Cartoon Bomb: Lemmy now tosses these, which are styled after his bouncing balls.
  • Ceiling Cling: Iggy doesn't just do this, he flat out walks on the ceiling (not unlike Morton and Roy).
  • Challenge Run: Challenge Mode has challenges in 4 categories: Time Attack, Coin Collection, 1-Up Rally, and Special. Time Attack challenges have you race against the clock to get to the flagpole, Coin Collection challenges are either about collecting all or most of the coins in a stage, or making it through a stage without collecting too many coins. 1-Up Rally challenges feature bouncing on enemies repeatedly to get 1-Up bonuses, and Special challenges can range from dodging the attacks of 2 Fire Bros. on a single block surrounded by spikes, to making it through Pendulum Castle on Donut Blocks without dashingnote .
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Miis have their overalls correspond with what player they are. Player 1 wears Mario's colors, Player 2 wears Luigi's colors, Players 3 and 4 wear Wario's and Waluigi's colors, though they aren't entirely accurate, rather having shades of Mario's color scheme from Mario Bros..
    • Averted with adult Yoshi. Every one of them is green, regardless of player characters.
    • The baby Yoshis are color-coded according to their different powers.
  • Composite Character: Besides being a fusion of Toadette and Peach design wise, Peachette is a combination of Peach and Daisy moveset wise as she uses both the former’s float ability and the latter’s double jump ability from Super Mario Run.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: It works exactly the same as its predecessor. Online is still a no-go.
  • Crown of Power: In Deluxe, Toadette has access to an exclusive Power-Up called the Super Crown, which transforms her into a Princess Peach lookalike named "Peachette" with a Double Jump, Floaty Jump, and Bottomless Pit Rescue Service.
  • Cumulonemesis: The Foos, which return from New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Just as before, they blow white mist which cover the screen, blinding the player. They only appear in the Meringue Clouds level "Snaking above Mist Valley".
  • Cutscene Incompetence: Averted. When Bowser Jr. attacks with the giant claw after his fights, the characters simply get out of the way instead of just standing there.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Veterans of the Mario platformers are most likely used to being able to jump through the chains of the ball and chains that swing within dungeons. However, their chains have gotten a spiky upgrade in this game, so you can't jump through the chains anymore.
  • Dark Reprise: Peach's Castle itself gets one after being transformed by the Koopa Troop.
  • Day of the Jackboot: The plot revolves around Bowser successfully taking over Peach's Castle, ironically making it the new Bowser's Castle.
  • Dem Bones: In addition to the ever familiar Dry Bones, we have the return of Bony Beetles.
  • Developers' Foresight: In the Deluxe version, normally Luigi will show up if you activate the Super Guide. If you activate the Super Guide while playing as Luigi himself, Mario will show up instead.
  • Disc-One Final Dungeon: The first Castle level in World 8 for the main game, Pendulum Castle for Superstar Road.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: The Koopalings have been given a bit more personality and different weapons. Lemmy has a circus theme going on in his airship, Wendy's has heart shaped windows and she ice skates across the arena, Roy has a double ended Bill Blaster which he uses like it's an exercise gadget...
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom: Spinning Platforms of Doom (Superstar Road-5).
  • Doppelgänger Attack: Ludwig creates magical clones of himself during the fight against him, all of whom fire tricky-to-avoid magical blasts at him.
  • Double Jump: One of the features of the Squirrel Suit. And the Propeller Suit.
  • Double Weapon: Roy's double-ended Bullet Bill Blaster.
  • Downloadable Content: Like with the previous game, this installment received new levels, made after the game's release; a pack of 80+ new levels that are harder than the original game's, entitled New Super Luigi U.
  • Drop the Hammer: Morton now uses a hammer in his boss fight.
  • Dub Name Change: Giant Skewer Tower is named Giant Spike Pillar Tower in the British English version.
  • Dungeon Bypass: Roy's castle has a back door entrance accessible after finding the secret exit in "Walking Piranha Plants!" This takes you not far away from the boss door, with only a little bit of platforming preceding it.
  • Easter Egg:
    • Occasionally, during the title sequence, Luigi will trip instead of doing the simultaneous ground pound.
    • Stand around for about thirty seconds after defeating all the enemies in an Enemy Course, and Nabbit will steal the item from you.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: In the DX version, you can choose your character, even when going solo. As a result, stages cleared when playing as Nabbit in single-player mode are not considered "fully cleared", similar to if you had used the Super Guide to clear it (which also makes a return in the DX port)
  • Edible Theme Naming: All of the worlds sans Superstar Road are named after food. Acorn Plains is named after the acorn, Layer-Cake Desert is named after the type of cake, Sparkling Waters is named after a type of carbonated water, Frosted Glacier could be a reference to frosting, Soda Jungle is named after, well, soda, Rock-Candy Mines is named after the type of candy, and Meringue Clouds is named after the French dessert. Peach's Castle seems like less of an actual example, at least until you remember that Princess Peach herself is named after a fruit.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: The Penguin Suit returns from New Super Mario Bros. Wii, but you can't get it until you unlock Superstar Road. The Penguin Suit is also used in two of the Challenge Mode levels.
  • Evil Makeover: Bowser takes over Princess Peach's Castle and gradually turns it into a Lethal Lava Land.
  • Excuse Plot: An interesting twist on the Mario series standard. Instead of Bowser taking Peach away to his castle, Bowser just throws the Mario Bros. (and Yellow and Blue Toad) halfway across the world, forcing them to travel all the way back to Peach's Castle. Meanwhile, with the heroes gone, Bowser takes over Peach's Castle, and subsequently, the Mushroom Kingdom.
  • Face Ship: The Koopalings now have their own personalized airships, all with their faces on the helm. This is also the case for Bowser's airship as well.
  • Fake Longevity: At least, if you're trying to get all the Star Coins. Some of them require a specific powerup, while others require that a level be played twice (in one case of the latter, you even have to enter one level from another direction to eventually get all three of them).
  • Final Boss: Well of course it's Bowser again, but what makes it different is that unlike the last two games where you had to avoid him when he was supersized, this time you actually fight him while he's supersized.
  • Fisher King: When Bowser takes over Peach's Castle, the surrounding area turns into the usual Lethal Lava Land associated with him.
  • Floating Water: "A Quick Dip In the Sky", a la Super Mario Galaxy 2.
  • Foreshadowing: In "Flight of the Para-Beetles", about halfway through, a formation of coins in the shape of a King Bill appears. Guess what starts firing at you for the remainder of the level?
  • Fragile Speedster: Mini Mario, as per usual, is a One-Hit Point Wonder but can run faster and jump higher than Super Mario. This time, Mini Mario has the ability to run up and down any vertical surface, even water geysers.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: After you complete the game, Peach's Castle will look like it's back to normal. However, getting there changes it back to when it was in the tornado.
  • Green Hill Zone: Acorn Plains.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • None of the secret exits are easy to find on your own, especially since most of them are hidden in secret areas behind seemingly-solid walls. The same goes for some of the Star Coins.
    • It's not exactly intuitive that the rubber platforms in Screwtop Tower can be used like blocks under enemies, especially if the ripple caused by jumping on one doesn't hit the enemy above.
  • Hat of Flight: The Propeller Suit once again. You can only get it in Superstar Road, though, but it is also used in one of the Challenge Mode levels.
  • Inflating Body Gag: The magenta Baby Yoshis, when shook, inflate like a balloon, and can be reinflated in the air a few times.
  • Interface Spoiler: Unlike New Super Mario Bros. Wii, the Star Coin list in this game spoils the secret levels. (If you've got all the Star Coins in every available level in a world, but don't see the "You've got all the Star Coins in World X!" message, you know you're missing a secret exit.) And Miiverse posters don't help either.
  • Jungle Japes: Soda Jungle.
  • Kaizo Trap:
    • Pendulum Castle, the Disc-One Final Dungeon of Superstar Road, ends with the classic Mario-style staircase to the flagpole... made out of Donut Lifts. They appeared throughout the level so you wouldn't stand in one place for too long. They didn't say you couldn't walk through them and fall right down to your death, meaning that if you're trying to repeatedly jump to gain speed, you'll probably jump right through them.
    • It's possible to bounce off Morton Koopa into one of the pits, even after you've beaten him. (Thankfully, control isn't taken away from you until you touch the ground, so you can still Wall Jump out of the pit.)
    • You can die after delivering the final hit to Bowser Jr. (second fight) by jumping on his head and promptly falling through a gap in the floor created by one of his previous attacks.
  • King Mook: The boss of Screwtop Tower is a Kamek-empowered Sumo Bro.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The Deluxe trailer shows the Final Boss battle.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Peach's Castle.
  • Level Ate: Layer-Cake Desert.
  • Light 'em Up: Like its adult counterpart, the Yellow Baby Yoshis light up dark rooms.
  • Mercy Mode: The Super Guide from New Super Mario Bros. Wii is back, but this time it appears when you lose in a level only five times instead of eight.
  • Misbegotten Multiplayer Mode: On paper, there's nothing wrong about playing with friends, but things quickly take a downwards spiral when people start bumping into each other, blocking each other from jumps, throwing each other off cliffs, stealing powerups for points...
  • Morphic Resonance: In Deluxe, Toadette's Peachette form retains her Girlish Pigtails, gray eyes, mushroom-like spots on her dress, and brown shoes despite otherwise looking just like Princess Peach. The artwork showing the before and after of the transformation even gives her the exact same pose in both forms.
  • Musical Nod: The music for the initial encounter with Bowser bears a similarity to the final boss theme from Super Mario Bros. 3.
    • The Baby Yoshis singing when held is a reference to the title screen of Tetris Attack, where they also sing.
  • Not Quite Flight: The Flying Squirrel power up acts like the Cape Powerup, can get an extra boost in height if you shake your controller, and it can also cling to walls. Additionally, the Propeller Suit from NSMB Wii can be found in the bonus world, and it has the same non-flight as before.
    • The P-Acorn, however, averts this, as you can fly indefinitely with it.
  • Painful Pointy Pufferfish: The Porcupuffer once again is a spiky threat looming at the bottom of the screen. Jump on him and you'll learn the hard way that his spikes are not made of rubber.
  • Palmtree Panic: Sparkling Waters.
  • Patchwork Map: The World Map, which is made of interconnected video game settings with no gradual transition between them.
  • Pokémon Speak: If you meet a Baby Yoshi in the World Map for the first time, its text box will say, "Yoshi!" followed by what it's actually saying in parentheses.
  • Power Up Mount: Yoshi is ride-able once again.
  • Pun: The second world is a dessert desert.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: The challenge Don't. Touch. Anything.
  • Punny Name: Nabbit.
  • Random Encounter: Bowser Jr., in his father's airship, who will ambush you on the world map. (Not quite a random encounter since the locations are predetermined, but it can still catch you off-guard.)
  • Recurring Riff: Like in Super Mario World, this applies to the title screen, main menu, overworld, athletic, and snow themes. The other level themes, however, do not have this treatment, though Baby Yoshis add choruses to the recycled music as well.
    • The world map themes also do this, with each of them being a specific remix of Acorn Plains' music (for example, Sparkling Waters has a tropical remix, and Frosted Glacier has a Christmas remix).
  • Recycled Soundtrack: All of the level themes, with the exception of the overworld, athletic, snow, and final level themes, have been recycled from New Super Mario Bros. Wii.
  • Red Boxing Gloves: Bowser Jr.'s Koopa Clown Car now sports them.
  • Remilitarized Zone: Of course a few airships appear.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The Waddlewings. Just look at them!
  • Save the Princess: In a twist similar to Super Mario 64 and Paper Mario, Princess Peach is apparently held as a prisoner within her own castle again. Only this time, Bowser took over by literally throwing the Mario Bros. and two Toads all the way out of the Mushroom Kingdom.
  • Scenery Porn: You have to be crazy to say it doesn't look better than New Super Mario Bros. Wii.
  • Secret Level: Much less frequent than in previous games. While those tended to have secret goals (some leading to secret levels, others just being shortcuts) everywhere, here each world generally has just one or two secret goals hidden in it, leading to one hidden level, and completing that often lets you skip entire worlds (a shortcut from Acorn Plains-2 leads all the way to Soda Jungle, skipping four worlds). To make up for that, the hidden goals are also much more difficult to find this time around and the hidden level spots don't appear until they're actually unlocked.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Layer-Cake Desert.
  • Ship Level: Every Koopaling has an airship in this game.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Frosted Glacier.
  • Snowy Sleigh Bells: Frosted Glacier's map and overworld themes both make heavy use of sleigh bells to enhance their wintery feel.
  • The Spiny: The original Spinies appear, but Pricky Goombas and Sumo Bros. also fill this role. The former must have their shell burned away, and the latter must be struck from underneath with the platforms they stand on.
  • Spot the Thread: There are some minor differences between the real Ludwig and the clones he summons in his fight, but it's honestly easier to just jump on them until you hit the right one. The real Ludwig will always land on the ground last, though, which is the most useful thing to know.
  • Stun Gun: The yellow Baby Yoshi's secondary ability.
  • Super Title 64 Advance: The game is named after its console, the Wii U. This follows the trend of New Super Mario Bros. Wii.
  • Tele-Frag: Kamek can do this to you in his boss fight if you're not careful. At least they have the decency of pointing out where he's going to appear next with sparkles, but if you don't realise in time...
  • Thief Bag: Nabbit's bag, which has a P-Acorn inside.
  • Underground Level: Or it wouldn't be a Mario game.
  • Under the Sea: Sparkling Waters. Of course the occasional underwater stage is found elsewhere.
  • Unique Enemy: There is one, and only one Fire Chomp in the entire game, and you won't even find it unless you're going out of your way to search for the Star Coins.
  • Variable Mix: Like with other games with Yoshis in them, the music changes in a way when you grab a Baby Yoshi. They add a sort of choir part to the current music.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The Final Battle, the true castle level for the final world. Pendulum Castle seems this way, but it is only the penultimate level.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: Players on a GamePad can spawn blocks in midair to help players over bottomless pits...
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: ...or can use the blocks to obstruct players while they jump, knocking them into enemies or pits.
    • In the final boss battle, you have to hit Bowser Jr. to take control of his Koopa Clown Car. Besides Bowser's attacks and the fact that Bowser Jr. could retreat into his shell, there's nothing stopping you from repeatedly stomping him before he gets back in his Clown Car... You can even hurt him WITH the Clown Car.
    • It is entirely possible to defeat Bowser by throwing his son at him.
  • Wintry Auroral Sky: Most levels in the Frosted Glacier feature exquisite, multicolored northern lights in their nighty skies. Granted, the Frosted Glacier is one of the northernmost locations on the map, but it is on the same longitude than Layer-Cake Desert and Peach's Castle, and therefore most certainly not polar. Videogame geography at its best.


Video Example(s):


Ludwig von Koopa

Ludwig splits into three to attack Mario. The real Ludwig shoots three magic blasts at a time while the clones shoot two.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / MesACrowd

Media sources:

Main / MesACrowd