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Video Game / Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins

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Since when does Mario have a castle at all?
"Obey Wario! Destroy Mario!"
Wario, USA Commercial

The sequel to Super Mario Land, this game is the First Appearance of The Rival, Wario, and one of the few times Wario is an outright Big Bad instead of just being extremely greedy. It was originally released in the last quarter of 1992, and is the seventh entry in the Super Mario Bros. series. The plot is that Wario took over Mario's castle and land 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. Interestingly, one of the golden coins has been entrusted to Tatanga, the perpetrator of Daisy's kidnapping.

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 power-up (Carrot) that serves as the game's signature power-up (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. Wario also went on to appear in a wide array of Mario spinoffs ever since, even gaining a partner in the form of the memetic Waluigi. Super Mario Land 2 would also be the last original 2D Mario game for 14 years (with Super Mario Bros. Deluxe and 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:

  • Art Evolution: Super Mario Land, being one of six launch titles for the Game Boy, had incredibly small and simplistic sprites reminiscent of the first two Mario games. Thanks to graphical advancements since then, however, Six Golden Coins uses much larger sprites and a more detailed art direction reminiscent of Super Mario World.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Averted; even though Mario never had any trouble breathing in space before or since (excluding Super Paper Mario), he dons a spacesuit, complete with fishbowl helmet, in Space Zone.
  • Big Bad: The debut of the heroic red plumber's Evil Counterpart, Wario.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: Pumpkin Zone, which applies the concept of the Ghost House setting (first seen in Super Mario World) and extends it to a full world. The levels take part in different parts of the large haunted mansion, and is guarded by a Wicked Witch who guards one of the golden coins.
  • 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.invoked
  • 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: If he has any in his possession when he loses his last life, Mario loses all six Golden Coins and has to get them back by defeating the bosses again. The levels you have previously cleared remain open, though, so you can just go straight to the boss stage if you've previously beaten it.
  • 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 Carrot, although they're more for slowing your descent instead of flying. They can send you impressive distances if you quickly tap the button repeatedly rather than holding it to hover, though.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • Wario's design is somewhat more grotesque and deranged than in later games, and is 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, an aspect of his character that was completely dropped from later games.
    • This is the only game where Wario is depicted using a Fire Flower, like Mario. Later games either gave him a hat that spits firenote  or set his whole body on fire.
    • This game introduced the Space Zone setting into the Mario series. But unlike in future games with levels of this type (such as Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario 3D World), here Mario has to use a space suit, though Super Paper Mario would later have him requiring the use of a literal Fishbowl Helmet to survive in space.
    • The game depicts Mario as living in his own castle with a surrounding land, something that has never been shown again. Whenever a residence of his appears in later games, it's shown to just be an ordinary-looking house, sometimes shared with Luigi. Though of course, Luigi would famously acquire a mansion later on.
  • 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, which takes place entirely within an enormous clockwork statue of Mario himself. Various moving mechanical parts like pulleys and cogwheels can be seen and used to get around.
  • 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 the level with the Hippo statues that takes him to Space Zone. Although it's not strictly necessary to beat the level, it is useful for practicing the next level's jump physics, and getting plenty of coins and power-ups.
  • Game Mod: While the original game never received a DX version for the Game Boy Color, 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).
  • Ghost Leg Lottery: One of two bonus games is an Amidakuji where you pick one of four fuses to trigger, and a spark will run down the wires and reach an item. Complicating the setup are two rats who land on and chew two horizontal lines, causing the spark to skip that line.
  • 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.
  • Guide Dang It!: Nothing in the game tells you that the hippo stage is the gateway to the Space Zone.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: The whole reason why Wario took over Mario's castle is because he was envious of Mario.
  • Hearts Are Health: One thing it has in common with its predecessor. In other Mario games, 1-Up Mushrooms are green as opposed to red, which of course doesn't work on a colorless system like the original Game Boy. So, extra lives are now hearts.
  • Hornet Hole: One level in Tree Zone takes place inside a beehive, complete with bees that pop out of honeycombs in the walls and fly after you to attack.
  • Hypnotic Head: The commercial for the release of the game (as quoted at the top) has Wario featured in this fashion, convincing the viewer to join him against Mario.
  • Journey to the Sky: To reach Space Zone, Mario has to reach the top of a tall plateau in the overworld map and enter a level where he uses a hovering Hippo bubble to travel upward (and gather coins in the process) until he reaches outer space. This procedure has to be repeated whenever he wants to return there.
  • Karakasa: Karakasa appear in the second level of the Pumpkin Zone. They launch up into the air, then float themselves back down to the ground.
  • 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. To make up for this, another mechanic — detailing how many enemies you've defeated in your current playthrough — awards you an invincibility star for every one hundred, before resetting to zero.
  • Level in the Clouds: The final level of Tree Zone, as it takes place at the very top of the large tree and thus plays as a sky level. The hidden bonus level in Macro Zone is sky-themed as well, as Mario navigates onto floating solid blocks.
  • The Lost Woods: Tree Zone, which takes place in and around an enormous tree populated by assorted Big Creepy-Crawlies.
  • MacGuffin: The six golden coins. The boss of each Zone has one, and gathering them all together is needed to open the front door to Wario Castle and thus access the final level.
  • Macro Zone: The Trope Namer, a seemingly regular-sized house played from the perspective of a tiny Mario.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Wario seems to have been this to Tatanga from the first game, especially considering that Tatanga reappears as the boss of Space Zone, along with the other hypnotized residents.
  • Marathon Level: The castle is the longest level in the game, which is emphasized by the fact that it doesn't even have any checkpoints.
  • Minsky Pickup: The athletic theme uses this for the first six notes.
  • Mirror Boss: It's always refreshing to get a break from the Bowser battles, and Wario doesn't disappoint. He turns all of the game's power-ups against you, namely the Mushroom, Carrot and Fire Flower.
  • Musical Nod:
  • Orcus on His Throne: Wario, until you confront him in the castle's throne room, does nothing except survey his ill-gotten gains.
  • Oddball in the Series: While not quite as outlandish as the previous game, 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. This can already be seen with the game's plot, which features Mario fighting to retake something that belongs to him rather than to save someone else. Mario also has his own castle and land, neither of which appear or are mentioned again in any other gamenote , as later games depict Mario living in a modest house. Also 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. The Mario games in general also 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, if ever, seen again.
  • One-Time Dungeon: The boss stages cannot be replayed after being completed, unless you get a Game Over and have to recollect the golden coins. The tutorial level, meanwhile, cannot be played again at all after being completed.
  • 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.
  • Power Up Let Down: The Mushroom, while helpful in general, will downgrade Mario from his Fire or Bunny forms back to his Super form if he collects it. This makes it more disappointing to see if you happen to get a Mushroom from a mini-game.
  • Palmtree Panic: The hidden bonus level in the Turtle Zone takes place in a coastal area outside the cavernous space of Turtle Zone itself.
  • Plot Coupon: The titular six golden coins. They're necessary to open the gate that leads to the castle, and have been entrusted to bosses (one of which is Tatanga, the villain of the first game).
  • Our Monsters Are Weird: Mōgyo. These cow-fish hybrid enemies are found in Tree Zone Area 2. Its so out-of-place together with the weird jelly-like sap everywhere, you'd think they were belonging inside the whale in Turtle Zone.
  • 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 at least one 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: Super, Bunny, and Fiery.
  • 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. Being in midair when he hits the ground will not protect you, unlike in other Mario games with enemies who use a similar attack.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sliding Scale of Linearity vs. Openness: You can choose whatever order you want to collect the titular six golden coins in. Once you complete a level, you can backtrack, so leaving an area to collect some 1-U Ps from past levels where they're plentiful is an option.
  • Space Is an Ocean: Space Zone functions like this in the second level (as Mario moves as if he was swimming underwater), but not the first.
  • Space Zone: The Trope Namer, which takes place on the Moon and a nearby star.
  • 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.
  • Storming the Castle: The final level is the castle, which Mario must take back.
  • 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: The game takes cues from Super Mario World and remixes the overworld theme to create the underwater, underground and ghost house themes. A small part of this theme is also used for the Game Over music.
  • 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, an underwater land which is reached by being eaten by an enormous sea turtle.
  • Video Game Flight: By flapping his ears, Bunny Mario can fly.
  • Villainous Breakdown: When you finally defeat Wario he shrinks down, crying his eyes out, and throws his shoe at you before running away. 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 Witch boss of Pumpkin Zone. She guards the Golden Coin of this Zone, and challenges Mario in a room full of cauldrons.
  • Womb Level: The final level of Turtle Zone, which takes place inside a whale.
  • Wutai: Part of the Pumpkin Zone is based upon a traditional Japanese house, and youkai feature as enemies in several spots.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Super Mario Land 2, Super Mario Land 26 Golden Coins


Super Mario Land 2 Commercial

Wario, Mario's arch-nemesis, tríes to hypnotize the commercial viewer into joining him against Mario.

How well does it match the trope?

4.75 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / HypnoticHead

Media sources:

Main / HypnoticHead