Wario's Woods is a video game in the Super Mario Bros. franchise, released for both the NES and SNES in 1994.
Once upon a time, the Peaceful Woods was a peaceful home for sprites and other friendly creatures, until one day, when the evil Wario and his followers used their magic powers to take over the woods, and Wario names the woods after himself. With neither Mario or Luigi anywhere to be found, Toad finds himself forced to step up to stop Wario and his followers from ruining the serenity of these woods by using bombs provided by the sprites.
In-game, the player controls Toad as he moves around monsters in the playfield and eliminates them by placing bombs next to vertical, horizontal, or diagonal rows of monsters that match the color of the bomb being used.
Both versions of the game have the following game modes:
- Round Game, where the player must pass 99 rounds of bombing enemies. In the NES version, this is basically the story mode, where in each 9th round the player has to fight a boss by destroying rows of enemies placed directly next to it.
- VS mode. The NES only has a two-player VS mode ("VS 2P"), but in the SNES version there's both a two-player VS and a single-player VS ("VS CPU"). In the single-player VS, the player has to fight several unique CPU opponents who only appear in this game by clearing their playfield of enemies before the opponent does.
- Time Attack. Here, you have to beat all of the rounds in the shortest amount of time.
- Lesson, which gives the player lessons about how to play the game and several techniques they can do.
The NES version of the game was the last first-party game to be released for that console, and was released so late in the console's lifespan that it is also the only NES game to have an official ESRB rating.
Wario's Woods provides examples of the following tropes:
- Alliterative Name: Sam Spook.
- Antagonist Title: If you thought it has Wario's name on it because you play as Wario in the game, you've guessed wrong. Wario messes with the Peaceful Woods, and the player must play as Toad to stop him.
- Cartoon Bomb: The player uses bombs of this kind to eliminate rows of monsters.
- Cute Witch: One of the opponents you fight in the SNES version's VS CPU mode is a witch named Sarissa, who actually doesn't really look that harmful.
- A Day in the Limelight: This is the first game in the Super Mario Bros. franchise where Toad is the sole playable character and The Hero, with Birdo as his assistant.
- Elite Four: The trope quote is provided by the first of the final four opponents in the SNES version, the elf Dedar. The other members consist of the knight Carlton, the rabbit Harry H, and finally Wario himself.
- Endless Game: The SNES version's Round Game keeps going indefinitely after you beat the 99th round and trigger the ending.
- Fish People: Another opponent in the SNES version's VS CPU mode is a fish person named Razor.
- Floating Limbs: The mushroom-like Spooks have floating hands.
- The Goomba: Fuzzes, Spuds, and Squeaks are the most common enemies in the game, and also the easiest to deal with, as any chain of bombs will defeat them.
- Inconsistent Coloring: In the NES version, Wario's clothes are purple and white instead of yellow and purple like usual due to the NES color palette's limitations.
- Multiple Head Case: The animation used on Beakers, one of the rarer enemies, has them constantly spinning around, revealing that they have a second face on their backside. The front face displays a neutral look while the back face displays a sad look.
- Non-Indicative Difficulty: In the SNES version's VS CPU mode. The first opponent is easy, sure, but the computer amps up its intelligence starting with the next level, making it possibly the hardest level of the game. You both only have a few enemies to clear, so there's less opportunity to screw over your opponent, and even though the game gets more challenging from here on out, a skilled player is increasingly less likely to lose from here on out while against your second opponent it's almost a 50/50 crapshoot.
- Our Mermaids Are Different: In the SNES version, Aqualea resembles a typical mermaid in every regard except for the fact that she can walk on land perfectly fine despite having a fish tail.
- Palette Swap: The enemies in the playfield all appear in different colors. Dovos, one of the less common enemies, actually use something like this as their main gimmick; they take two hits, and the first time they're hit with a bomb they change color.
- "Pop!" Goes the Human: In the NES version's Round Game, Wario keeps increasing in size every 20 rounds. At the end of the game, it's revealed that he's been using a pump to inflate a decoy of himself, and ends up bursting it.
- Pumpkin Person: Sam Spook from the SNES version looks rather similar to Wario, but with a green pumpkin for a head and with orange clothes where Wario's are yellow.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Admit it, those enemies in the playfield are pretty cute. Too bad the whole point of the game is to blast them with bombs.
- Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Halfway through the SNES version's Round Game mode, the setting changes to that of an ice area.
- Tailfin Walking: Aqualea the mermaid from the SNES version can walk using her tailfins.
- Tree Trunk Tour: In the Round Games of both versions, the first playfield is the inside of a tree trunk. In the NES version, the inside of a tree trunk is the only setting for this mode; in the SNES version, the tree trunks are still present, but only the first few rounds take place in them.