- Alternative Character Interpretation:
- Fanon says that Tatanga was merely hired by Wario to kidnap Daisy as a distraction, such that when Mario goes to Sarasaland to save her, Wario could enter Mario's castle and take over his country. The instruction manual for "Six Golden Coins" does indeed say that Wario took over Mario Land during the events of the first game, but does not say whether Tatanga was working under his hire. However, Tatanga reappears in SML2, guarding one of the titular Golden Coins for Wario, lending credence to the theory.
- Biokinton, the boss of Chai Kingdom, is described in the manual as a creature so shy that no one has ever seen his body, which is obscured entirely by the cloud he hides in. While nothing is explicitly shown, the fact that Tatanga appears right after Biokinton is beaten — and fights you in the same arena — has led some to speculate that Biokinton was merely an assumed identity for the flying invader. It helps that, according to the manual, when Tatanga first appeared in Sarasaland, he emerged from a cloud. Biokinton is the only cloud in the game, and when you defeat him, Tatanga emerges...
- There is a theory that the player character isn't Mario, but actually Luigi masquerading as Mario. This either shows how desperate Luigi is for attention, or heartwarming, as it turns Luigi and Daisy's relationship into a Rescue Romance. Adding credence to this theory is the fact that back in 1989, Divergent Character Evolution hadn't really set in between Mario and Luigi yet, and they were still Palette Swaps of each other, which couldn't be displayed on the Game Boy...
- Awesome Music: Despite being a really short game compared to the series' other games (including the sequel, Super Mario Land 2), it has really great music.
- World 1: Birabuto Kingdom / Overworld Theme.
- World 2: Muda Kingdom.
- World 3: Easton Kingdom / Underground Theme. Remixed in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
- World 4: Chai Kingdom.
- The invincibility theme uses the Can-Can.
- The Marine Pop and Sky Pop auto-scrolling shooter levels have an energetic tune.
- The ending theme is absolutely beautiful, and considered not only the best song in the game but one of the best songs in the entire series.
- Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Despite the game already being a Bizarro Episode, the human fists coming out of the pipes just before the Final Boss still manage to come off as this, as nothing this jarringly realistic yet outlandish has ever been seen before or ever again in 2D Mario games.
- Bizarro Episode: Mario flies a plane, pilots a submarine, and that's before mentioning the enemy lineup: Koopa Troopas that explode, running stone heads, flying stone heads, hopping vampires, octopi, seahorses. No Luigi. No Peach. No Bowser. No Mushroom Kingdom. Definitely a very strange Mario title, and no game has ever come close to being so weird and different since.
- Common Knowledge: Whenever a fan brings up Sarasaland, they would often claim that it's a desert kingdom. They're about a quarter right, as Birabuto is a desert (based on Ancient Egypt to be precise). Sarasaland also has other terrain like oceans (Muda), mountains (Easton), and Ancient China (Chai).
- Hilarious in Hindsight:
- A turtle that blows up if you stepped on it? Why does this sound so familiar?
- The boss of World 2, Dragonzamasu, resembles Kingdra in appearance, and it also happens to be a King Mook of the Horsea-resembling Yurarin.
- The fact that Sarasaland is one of the few kingdoms to be based on real world locations makes it truly ahead of its time, as kingdoms of that kind wouldn't be seen again until Super Mario Odyssey came out 28 years later. Sadly, Sarasaland doesn't make an appearance in the game.
- It's Short, So It Sucks!: It's the shortest out of all the Mario platformers. Only 12 levels in the entire game (less than half of the amount of levels in the original Super Mario Bros.) and each world has only three levels each, which is one of the most common criticisms people make of it.
- Nightmare Fuel: Honen are Torions that have their flesh eaten off by Tatanga. The Manga adaptation even shows it outright.
- Suspiciously Similar Song: The music in the Marine and Sky Pop stages sounds a lot like the main theme of Super Mario Bros.. The Game Over music also sounds like "Rock-a-Bye Baby".
- Vindicated by History: This game, along with its sequel, were acclaimed and sold well in their day, but fell into Fanon Discontinuity due to their non-contemporary settings and being overall weird games that also lacked the involvement of series mastermind Shigeru Miyamoto. In 2015, when Nintendo celebrated the 30th anniversary of Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Land and its sequel were included among the more iconic traditional games in the timeline. Fans have also become more appreciative of both games' creativity, atypical plotlines and settings, while still staying true (for the most part) to the traditional fun gameplay of the franchise. Especially in light of the later New Super Mario Bros. games, which gained criticism from fans for their lack of variety and creativity in their settings and gameplay.
YMMV / Super Mario Land