My thoughts on the Super Mario Bros. 3 worlds
Did I get a weirdly localized copy of Mario 3 or am I insane?
So apparently I remember the names of the worlds of Super Mario Bros. 3 a bit differently than other folks. Everyone else seems to remember names that sound like zones from Sonic the Hedgehog games, such as "Seaside Boulevard" or whatever the heck they come up with for world 3. Now I'll admit that later Mario games went with such descriptive names, but what I remember from my childhood is something much more generic:
That's right, every single world in my copy of Super Mario Bros. 3 was named Something Land, and while most of the names made sense, a few of them made me go "Huh?"
So here's a trip through memory lane... starting with World 1!
World 1 I remember as "Grass Land". Yeah, about the most generic name ever, even more than the infamous Green Hill Zone from Sonic 1. The funny thing is, it didn't even have all that much grass in it! Mostly just pavement or whatever those funny looking floors in 1-1 and 1-3 were, and then there were the aerial levels like 1-4, and the fort... about all the grass I can think of is in world 1-2!
World 2 was "Desert Land", though for some reason I always wanted to call it "Egypt Land". Probably because of the pyramids. And maybe also the music. And the rocks that always looked like people bowing down with their heads to the ground in worship. That's right, every time you use a hammer, Mario kills a Muslim!
World 3 was "Water Land". As an OCD kid, this always struck me as an oxymoron. (Which I used to think was pronounced "ock-ZIMMER-on", by the way.) Is it water or is it land? If Mario falls in, does he get wet? Or does the water get him in debt? Nobody knows! Particle Man!
World 4 was "Giant Land". This one made sense. A land where everything is giant. Not just the goombas and koopas and piranha plants, but even the land itself! This was my favorite world in Mario 3, just for the sheer novelty of it.
World 5 was "Sky Land". Here we go again with the oxymorons! Is it sky or is it land? Thankfully, the game answers this question, and says it's both, since it's actually a massive world with a part on land and a part in the sky. (So are the people of this kingdom called Skylanders?)
World 6 was "Ice Land". What, should World 1 have been called "Green Land" instead? Unlike the actual country of Iceland, this land is indeed covered in ice. I remember Ice Land as a really hard level, but one that was also really fun, since you got to melt ice blocks containing coins with the fire flower. (I would of course melt ALL of them.) Then there was that one cave level where you had to fly with the "leafy" power while carrying a white block up to the top of the level to kill some otherwise invincible chomper plants so you could get to the pipe to exit the level... whew! Makes me want to play Mario 3 again! (And why did they take out the ability to carry shells and other items through pipes in the New Super Mario Bros. games? That was really cool to do in SMB3 and Super Mario World!)
World 7 was "Pipe Land". Wait, Mario's a plumber; shouldn't Pipe Land be, like, world 0 or something? Oh well... This was a fun level too, and it would be even more fun if it weren't for all the darned piranha plants everywhere!
And finally, world 8 was "Dark Land". Like Giant Land, this one made sense. It was dark - on some of the map screens you could only see a little bit away from Mario, and on the rest, there were bonfires everywhere. It was also hard, especially that one really fast autoscrolling level with the dozens of mini-airships and NO FREAKING FLOOR! If I had a P-wing, I usually used it there...
Well, there you have it, a quick retrospective on the worlds of Super Mario Bros. 3 as I remember them from my childhood! Hope you enjoyed this; if not, please deposit your flaming spam in the nearest trash receptacle!