Community Post: The Duck’s Top 5 Mario Levels

For the last week or so I’ve been putting up a community post every day, each one written by an awesome UWG contributor on the topic of Mario levels. You can also check out these posts (and others) UWG and the blogs of the other participants: Niall’s RamblingsRecollections of Play, Games I Made My Girlfriend Play and Gamer CrashSo check them all out! Today’s post and the very last community post is by The Duck from The Duck of IndeedEnjoy!

United We Game’s February community posts continue, with today being the day the Duck will present you all with my entry on the topic of levels in the “Mario” series.  Gamer or not, pretty much everyone’s heard of Mario, and there’s a reason this squat plumber is so popular even after people have been playing his games for over three decades.  Because the games have something in them for everyone. They have good, old platforming goodness through a wide variety of environments, an innocent charm that people of all ages can enjoy, challenge (and boy, can they be challenging), not to mention princesses to save and big Koopa Kings to toss.  There are so many “Mario” levels out there, and yet they still manage to find ways to do something new with each one and make them stand out from the rest.  So I decided for my post that I would list my top five “Mario” levels, and to make it fair, I am going to list my top level from each of my five main “Mario” games in order from least favorite to top favorite.  The games I considered for this post span 1991-2010, “Super Mario World”, “Super Mario 64”, “Super Mario Sunshine”, and the two “Super Mario Galaxy” games.

5. Okay, this first one is not strictly my favorite level from a particular game.  I chose it more because I have some good memories associated with this level that I can’t really claim to have with the others.  This level is Stand Tall on the 4 Pillars, which is found in Shifting Sand Land from “Super Mario 64”.  In this level, you go into the pyramid and fight the boss, called the Eyerock (consisting of two hands with an eye on each palm, a surprisingly common boss in games), for a star.  As I hinted at before, the level itself is not that exciting, but the last time I played this game was the very first time in about 10 years of owning it that I finally got 100%. And this particular playthrough consisted of my very first time through this level.  Ever.  So, for one thing, getting to play an entirely new level in a game I had been trying to beat for a decade was pretty exciting, which is one cause for my fond memories of it.  The other reason is what took place while I was playing it.

I remember I was relaxing in my most comfortable chair one afternoon playing this game.  It was quite a peaceful time, and for some inexplicable reason, my cat, Alex, decided to jump onto the chair with me, which he had never done before and never did ever again.  The chair was much too small for the two of us, so he had to settle with largely laying on my lap, making it that much more fun to play the game.  And this happened to be during this very level, which was also a surprise, considering it was my first time through it and my first time ever seeing this boss.  And so I will forever have pleasant memories of playing this level one lazy afternoon with a comfy chair and a cat on my lap.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RF2i8dSpjuk

Video from Youtube user: MrGamingZone

4. My next favorite level comes from “Super Mario Galaxy”.  This level, despite not being a fan of the fiendish creature called the bee one bit, is Bee Mario Takes Flight, a level in the HoneyHive Galaxy.  And I just love it, for many reasons.  To start, it’s just such a cute level.  It’s so bright and colorful, with cute, cheery music.  And then there’s the bees.  Not just Bee Mario, but the regular bees in the level.  While most bees are terrifying and evil, these bees are just so darn adorable!  I’m not kidding you!  They are so cute!  They are plump and fluffy, and they make adorable sounds when you go up to them.  Honestly, it’s mainly the adorable bees that make me love this level, not just Bee Mario, even though he can be pretty useful, the way he can fly and climb around on certain surfaces.  But, I guess in the end, it’s really the adorable bees that make this level great.  This level and the bees that populate it are the bee’s knees.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUI1Z3XKu-k

Video from Youtube user: Overhazard

3. My next favorite level kind of bends the rules a bit.  This one comes from “Super Mario Galaxy 2”, and my favorite level from this game is, without a doubt, Return of the Whomp King from the Throwback Galaxy.  I’m kind of cheating here because, oh, my gosh, this is actually a level from “Super Mario 64”!  A bit ironic, as I honestly was not a huge fan of “Super Mario 64” (it was so darn hard, and that’s why it took me a decade or so to beat!), but this level was just so great because of the pure nostalgia.  This level is a replica of the second world from “Super Mario 64”, complete with the same delightful music and everything.  And it makes me happy because it was a world I actually liked from “Super Mario 64” (because, unlike most of the game, it was much easier).  Then, you get to fight some Whomps.  I like Whomps.  They look goofy.  (Even though we all know Thwomps are better.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LE95kLdYZac

Video from Youtube user: omegaevolution

2. My second favorite level comes from “Super Mario World”, the Donut Ghost House.  I always liked the ghost houses.  They were creepy, with the spooky music and the dark interiors, not to mention all the ghosts (the big ones were so freaky!), and they were confusing, with all the doors and the strange order in which you had to go through them in order to escape, but that was what made them fun.  And I just love those old-fashioned Boos.  Adorable.  Except the ones that follow you when you look away.  That’s rather scary. And so, since these levels were my favorites from the game, I just chose this one because it’s the first and because it’s the easiest.  Easy is good.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IolmNwRemkY

Video from Youtube user: BURTTtv

1. And my favorite “Mario” level, as you’d expect, comes from my favorite “Mario” game, “Super Mario Sunshine”, despite this one being the most different, but maybe that’s why I liked it.  I love this game, and I always loved Noki Bay most of all, a rather beautiful place with peaceful music and towering cliffs (which are, oh, so fun to climb), and I actually found the water to be even prettier when it was purple and polluted.  This level was so lovely and had such fun platforming that I always loved visiting it.  And as odd as it is, my favorite level in this place was Eely-Mouth’s Dentist, where you go underwater and clean the teeth of this giant eel.  The boss music in this game is quite awesome and epic (even when you’re playing dentist), and I just found it so darn satisfying cleaning up all those filthy teeth (except it was gross when some of them came out).  Maybe I’m a weirdo for getting such a rush from cleaning eel teeth, but I did, and that’s why I found this level to be awesome.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBz77QQzWug

Video from Youtube user: Anon7906

Duck, Dentist of Eel Teeth

Community Post: Mario, The Innovator

As mentioned, until Saturday I’ll be putting up a community post every day, each one written by an awesome UWG contributor on the topic of Mario levels. You can also check out these posts (and others) UWG and the blogs of the other participants: Recollections of Play, Games I Made My Girlfriend PlayNiall’s Ramblings and The Duck of IndeedSo check them all out! Today’s post is by Derek from Gamer CrashEnjoy!
My childhood was dominated by Nintendo, it’s fearless red plumber and his crew. My first exposure to the world of video games came when I was very young with the Nintendo Entertainment System and of course, Super Mario Bros. It’s safe to say, I was hooked for life after pushing the jump button on the controller for the very first time. I’ve gone on countless adventures with Mario from his 8 bit days, all the way to modern times so there’s a lot of material to draw from when thinking about what aspects of a franchise you love. Have you ever stopped to think about why the Mario franchise continues to be a force after all these years?

Community Post: The Worlds Most Talented Plumber

As mentioned, until Saturday I’ll be putting up a community post every day, each one written by an awesome UWG contributor on the topic of Mario levels. I’m participating too of course, so you’ll be able to check out my post on Wednesday. You can also check out these posts (and others) UWG and the blogs of the other participants: Recollections of Play, Games I Made My Girlfriend PlayGamer Crash, and The Duck of IndeedSo check them all out! Today’s post is by Niall from Niall’s RamblingsEnjoy!

Image by  JD Hancock

Image by JD Hancock

He’s probably the most iconic video games character of all time, having now appeared in over 200 games, and sold over 240 million copies in his time, Mario is a plumber that hasn’t done too bad for himself! This week the United We Game bloggers are going to each be discussing the levels behind the legend, what makes them so good, standout levels and how an Italian plumber, ran, jumped and dropped in their favourite games.

My experiences with Mario started at a young age, i was bought a Nintendo 64 for Christmas and fell in love with Super Mario 64 and MarioKart, in my mind still 2 of the finest games he has appeared in to date, but to be honest, since those days i’ve not played many more, when i started playing Playstation and Xbox i never really looked back, but this doesn’t mean i’ve not played any of the more recent titles, i think Super Mario Galaxy was a great game and on the DS Super Mario World is always a great play.
I figured that the best way for me to do this would be to whittle down all the maps and levels on Mario games and come up with my favourite 3.

Community Post: A Mario Level for Every Player

As mentioned, until Saturday I’ll be putting up a community post every day, each one written by an awesome UWG contributor on the topic of Mario levels. I’m participating too of course, so you’ll be able to check out my post on Wednesday. You can also check out these posts (and others) UWG and the blogs of the other participants: Recollections of Play, Niall’s RamblingsGamer Crash, and The Duck of IndeedSo check them all out! Today’s post is by the Chip from Games I Made My Girlfriend PlayEnjoy!

My earliest experiences with the Mario Brothers were not spent playing, but reading the instruction manual while watching my younger brother play the very first game on our Nintendo Entertainment System.  As I scoured over the game controls and characters, my brother would play through this relatively new experience with the ease of a much older gamer.  All of Mario’s moves seemed natural to him, as if he had traveled these fantastic worlds for years.  The reality of the situation is that my brother has better eye-to-hand coordination than I do, but the level design of Super Mario Brothers had something to do with his genius as well. Continue reading