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Video Game / Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins

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"Obey Wario! Destroy Mario!"
Wario, USA Commercial

The sequel to Super Mario Land, this is the first game to feature The Rival, Wario, and one of the few times Wario is an outright Big Bad instead of just being extremely greedy.

The plot is that Wario took over Mario's kingdom and castle while Mario was rescuing Daisy in the first game. Mario needs to find the eponymous six golden coins to get into the castle and stop Wario.

Whereas Super Mario Land was essentially a handheld version of the original 1985 Super Mario Bros., the sequel took most of its cues from Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World instead, including a nonlinear world map and a new, gravity-defying powerup (Bunny Ears) that serves as the game's signature powerup (thus following up the Raccoon Leaf and Cape from previous games). This game swapped the small sprites of the previous game, and had much more detailed graphics (although still smaller than NES sprites due to the Game Boy's smaller resolution).

Wario himself proved so popular that the Super Mario Land series was repurposed into the Wario Land series. The first game, Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3, would retain the Super Mario Land name, but the sequels dropped it. Super Mario Land 2 would also be the last original 2D Mario game for 14 years (with the Super Mario Advance series of remakes being released in the meantime). The 2D line would eventually be revived with New Super Mario Bros. on the DS.

Provides Examples of:

  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Even though this usually applies when Mario goes into space, it's averted here; he dons a space helmet in Space Zone.
  • Big Bad: The debut of the heroic red plumber's Evil Counterpart, Wario.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: Pumpkin Zone.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Nearly all the residents of Mario Land have been turned against you by Wario.
  • Breakout Character: Wario turned out to be so popular that he received not one, but two game series. He has also starred in some other games.
  • Built with LEGO: The final level of the Mario Zone is built out of Nintendo's long-forgotten knockoff brand of LEGO bricks, called N&B blocks, from back when the Big N was a toy company. The mark "N&B" appears on one of the blocks.
  • Bubbly Clouds: The final level of Tree Zone. Also the hidden bonus level in Macro Zone.
  • Cap: You can have up to 999 coins and 99 lives- the most expensive of the slot machine minigames costs the full cap of coins.
  • Continuing Is Painful: Mario has to collect all six Golden Coins again if he loses his last life.
  • Cranium Ride: Since Heavy Zed is just a big, harmless owl, this is the only way Mario can interact with him, as he isn't an enemy.
  • Death Course: The castle Wario has taken over has become this. It is packed full of Booby traps, precision-required jumps and Everything Trying to Kill You.
  • Death Throws: The way the bosses die in this game is... somewhat comedic and exaggerated to say the least, with them falling off the screen upside down with their eyes wide open.
  • Demoted to Dragon: Tatanga returns from the first game, only to show up as the boss of the Space Zone.
  • Ear Wings: The bunny ears, although for slowing descent instead of flying.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • Wario's design is somewhat more grotesque and deranged than in later games, not to mention he's depicted here as being about three times Mario's size. Additionally, his small form looks more goblin-like than in subsequent appearances.
    • This game is one of the few where Wario is a straight-up villain rather than an Anti-Hero or The Rival, the only other instances being Mario & Wario and Wario's Woods. These three games are also the only ones to feature Wario's hypnotic powers, which he uses to control his minions; it's also implied that he's a Sorcerous Overlord of sorts whose very presence curses the land, Fisher King-style.
    • This is the only game where Wario is depicted using a Fire Flower, like Mario.
    • Neither Mario's kingdom nor his castle ever appear or are mentioned again in any other game; later games depict Mario living in a modest house.
    • The Mario games in general have a lot of recurring enemies and world types. Both this game and the first Super Mario Land, meanwhile, feature an abundance of unique enemies and environments that are rarely seen again (for example, it would take 14 years for the mainline Mario series to have space-themed levels again after this game, namely in Super Mario Galaxy).
  • Easter Egg:
    • Kazumi Totaka composed the soundtrack, so naturally his trademark tune plays somewhere. In this game, on the Game Over screen, after three minutes, his song will start to play.
    • If you look at the level layout of the first level in Space Zone, you can see a bunch of stars spelling out the word "HAPPY!".
  • Eternal Engine: Mario Zone.
  • Evil Counterpart: Wario, to the extent of having every form Mario has.
  • Expy: The Unibōs, who look exactly like Gordos.
  • Floating in a Bubble: Mario can do this in an underwater stage.
  • Game Mod: While the original game never received a DX version, one fan put together an excellent rom hack that fully colorizes the game and adds in Luigi as a playable character (with his own unique jump physics).
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: The Mario Zone takes place in and on a giant mechanical Mario, which changes to reveal level entrances such as inside Mario's shoe or on Mario's tongue. The second level is revealed when a set of doors opens in the center of Mario's pants. This level is full of balls - the platforms are balls, there's balls in the background, and there are monsters that shoot balls.
  • Goomba Stomp: It's a Mario game, what do you expect? Just don't try it on the ghost Goombas in Pumpkin Zone, because like Boos and unlike regular Goombas they avert this trope.
  • Hornet Hole: One level in Tree Zone takes place in a beehive.
  • Karakasa: A karakasa is an enemy in the second level of the Pumpkin Zone.
  • Law of 100: This is the only 2D Super Mario game alongside Super Mario Bros. 2 to show a notable aversion of this trope. Coins don't give Mario lives directly. They have to be invested in a minigame to earn lives there (unlike in SMB2, the minigame in question has to be accessed from the overworld, instead of coming right after the completion of a level).
  • Oddball in the Series: The dev team (led by Hiroji Kiyotake) made a deliberate decision to do away with conventional ideas featured in the Mario series so that their game could stand on its own legs. Examples of their decision-making include the game's plot (which features Mario fighting to retake something that belongs to him rather than to save someone else), Mario having his own kingdom and castle, and the sound effects (which, in an earlier build, were the same as those featured in Super Mario World, but were changed mid-development to new sounds so as not to give players the impression that they were playing the "downgraded" version of a "real" Mario game).
  • One Time Dungeon: The tutorial cannot be replayed after being completed, and neither can the boss stages unless you get a Game Over and have to recollect the golden coins.
  • Opening the Sandbox: After the tutorial level is finished, the six zones do not have to be done in any specific order, and there is no requirement to do all of the zone's levels at once, so players can complete a couple levels in one zone and decide to do another, for example.
  • Palmtree Panic: The hidden bonus level in the Turtle Zone.
  • Plot Coupon: The titular six golden coins.
  • Poison Mushroom: Regular Super Mushrooms do double duty as these- unlike most Mario games, if Fire or Bunny Mario gets a Super Mushroom (from a bonus game, or occasionally found lying in plain sight in levels), he goes back down to being Super Mario just as if he'd taken a hit. Don't be too confused though. Super Mushrooms don't kill you, but it is still preferable to avoid them as Fire or Bunny Mario.
  • Railroading: Averted. Once you complete the tutorial level, you can complete each world in any order you want. The only catch is that you need to beat all six to enter the final level.
  • Recurring Riff: The "Athletic" theme has its tune remixed and played in many other levels, even in the file select and game over screens.
  • Ribcage Stomach: The whale in Turtle Zone. If you discount the fact that until you reach the boss, the entire stage was merely set in the leviathan's MOUTH.
  • Secret Level: All worlds except Mario Zone have each a bonus level, though finding the alternate exit that leads to it is not always straightforward. Oddly, the exception to this is the mechanical Mario-themed stage. However, Pumpkin Zone makes up for it by having two.
  • Sequential Boss: Wario has three phases: Normal, Bunny Ears, and Fireball.
  • Shockwave Stomp: By far, Wario's most annoying attack is this. He does it very often, stun-locking you, leaving you unable to avoid his follow-up attacks.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sliding Scale of Linearity vs. Openness: You can choose whatever order you want to collect the titular six golden coins in.
  • Space Is an Ocean: Space Zone functions like this in the second level, but not the first.
  • Space Zone: The Trope Namer.
  • Spin-Off: The Wario Land series. Just like how this game is often considered one of the best for the original Game Boy, the Wario Land series would go on to produce games that many consider some of the best for the Game Boy Color.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: This game's manual actually justifies it by saying that when Mario goes into the water he becomes Aqua Mario.
  • Theme-and-Variations Soundtrack
  • Theme Parks: What Mario Land is supposed to be, until Wario turned it into an Amusement Park of Doom.
  • Threatening Shark: They appear in Turtle Zone, and Mario can't defeat them without a star or a Koopa Shell.
  • Tree Trunk Tour: One of the levels of Tree Zone takes place inside an enormous tree. The other levels are set in the top or bottom areas of it.
  • Under the Sea: Turtle Zone.
  • Video Game Flight: By flapping his ears, Bunny Mario can literally fly.
  • Villainous Breakdown: When you finally defeat Wario he shrinks down, crying his eyes out, and throws his shoe at you. Resembling a spoiled brat, more than an evil king.
  • World-Healing Wave: After Wario is kicked out, the once ominous castle is restored to its former glory.
  • Wicked Witch: The boss of Pumpkin Zone.
  • Womb Level: The final level of Turtle Zone, which takes place inside a whale.
  • Youkai: The enemies in Pumpkin Zone's second level are based on these.