! D L O
THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO CLASSIC GAMES
AMSTRAD | COMMODORE | SEGA | NINTENDO | ATARI | SINCLAIR | NEO GEO | SONY | COIN-OP | MOBILE
ZX SPECTRUM VEGA TESTED
TOMB RAIDER DISCOVER THE ORIGINS OF LARA CROFT: GAMING’S GREATEST LEADING LADY
DEVELOPERS REVEAL THEIR ALLTIME FAVOURITE MARIO MEMORIES
FRIDAY THE 13TH ■ INTERTON ELECTRONIC VC 4000 ■ VORTEX 11 GAME BOY GEMS ■ AMIGA 1200 ■ KIRBY 64: THE CRYSTAL SHARDS HUMAN ENGINEERED SOFTWARE ■ MORTAL KOMBAT II ■ KICK OFF 2
One of my favourite Mario memories is booting up Super Mario 64 for the first time and realising you can manipulate Mario’s face. Expertise: Juggling a gorgeous wife, two beautiful girls and an awardwinning magazine. Currently playing: Magic: Origins Favourite game of all time: Strider
Playing the shoot-’em-up levels of Super Mario Land on the original Game Boy. Expertise: Adjusting the tape azimuth with a screwdriver Currently playing: Streets of Rage 2 Favourite game of all time: Resident Evil 4
When you complete World 8 in Super Mario 3D World and you think it’s all over… and then the rocket appears, blasting you towards the bonus worlds. Expertise: Sinclair stuff Currently playing: Trials Fusion Favourite game of all time: Jet Set Willy
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE MARIO GAME?
I love playing Sweet Sweet Galaxy in Super Mario Galaxy. Even when Nintendo is being creative, there’s always solid platforming at the core. Expertise: Owning six Master Systems (I sold one) Currently playing: Firebugs Favourite game of all time: Sonic The Hedgehog
By collecting 120 stars in Super Mario 64, Mario could meet Yoshi on top of Princess Peach’s castle. A nice touch. Expertise: Amstrad, Lynx, adventures, Dizzy, and PlayStation (but is it retro? Debate!) Currently playing: Broken Sword 5: The Serpent’s Curse Favourite game of all time: Broken Sword
When I discovered that you had to throw a spiky turtle at large bombs in a lava pit. What a bizarre boss fight. Nearly broke my joystick, as well. Expertise: Foraging for coins Currently playing: Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain Favourite game of all time: Dark Souls
The very first time I jumped off that lift and found Mario could run above the screen. It felt like a glitch, like you’d find in an 8-bit computer game, and then you discovered warp zone and thought, Oh they’re in on the joke... Expertise: Del Boy fashions Currently playing: Until Dawn Favourite game of all time: Sheep In Space
Reaching the secret Star Road in Super Mario World gave a real sense of achievement. Expertise: Commodore 64 and Nintendo fan, gaming for 32 years Currently playing: Animal Crossing: Wild World Favourite game of all time: The Great Giana Sisters
Discovering the secret exits when you fly up above the top of the stage in the ghost house opening up different levels on the map. Expertise: Tackling dirty nappies and retro spreads Currently playing: Destiny: The Taken King Favourite game of all time: Super Mario World
here’s a common misconception that Mario features heavily within the pages of Retro Gamer. Sure I’ve sometimes dressed up as the popular plumber and he’ll occasionally pop up in the odd feature (you can’t have a platform feature without mentioning him for example) but if you look at the actual dedicated Mario features we’ve run over the last ten years, you’ll find them few and far between then. So welcome then, to the mother of all Mario features, a feature so big and bold that we were concerned that our designer Jon would forever be plagued with nightmares of the happy-go-lucky plumber. We’ve thought long and hard, and with the help of readers, gathered some of the most memorable moments from the 30-year-old series. We’ve also contacted numerous developers so they can share their own moments about Nintendo’s most famous creation over our huge 22-page feature. But worry not, if you’re not a fan of Mario, you’ll still find plenty to enjoy in this issue, like features on Mortal Kombat II, Splatterhouse, Tomb Raider, Human Engineered Software and much more. We’ve even managed to get a hands-on with the new Spectrum Vega. There really is something for everyone. Enjoy the issue!
CONTENTS >> Load 147 Breathing new life into classic games
The Making Of Friday The 13th Martyn Carroll dodges a slashing to bring you the inside story on this horror
RETRO RADAR REVIVALS 06 Turok: Revisited
We check in with Night Dive Studios to see how Turok remasters are coming along
08 News Wall
All the latest Kickstarter news, including what’s happening with Grip and Artcade
10 A Moment With: Jamie Crook
The founder of Data Discs talks about bringing videogames to vinyl
11 Collector’s Corner
Graeme Mason interviews another dedicated retro collector
12 Back To The 90s
What exactly happened in October 1998? Richard Burton reminds us all…
Ultimate Guide: Mortal Kombat II
Nick Thorpe fights his way through the finest hour of the bloody brawling series
14 Reader Revival: Cotton
Chris Murphy remembers this cutesy shoot’em-up from Success
50 Retro Revival: Kick Off 2
Chris from GamesYouLoved shares his memories of virtual victory
96 Retro Revival: Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards Darran looks back on the pink puffball’s leap into 3D
FEATURED 42 Peripheral Vision: Intellivoice
30 Greatest Super Mario Moments As Super Mario Bros. turns 30, we revisit the portly plumber’s career highlights
Look back at Mattel’s talkative add-on
52 Interton VC 4000
Take a look back at this Seventies obscurity with David Crookes
62 Minority Report: Game Boy
Learn all about the handheld hits you missed with Jonny Dimaline
80 Classic Moments: Typhoon Thompson All the best bits of Dan Gorlin’s 3D shoot-’em-up
90 Desert Island Disks: Patricia Curtis 44
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Paul Drury sits down to chat to the prolific programmer
The Making Of Vortex
Andrew Fisher learns how this Super FX-powered shooter came to be
E s IBND E ring ainesub CR !A SAVscove.imag BS AY han dit www SU ODetterbtscribe a T B Su
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From The Archives: Human Engineered Soware
Hardware Heaven: Amiga 1200
We wanted to capture the essence and soul of the originals
for back issues, books and merchandise
The History Of Splatterhouse
REVIEWS 98 Super Mario Maker
Damien McFerran hacks his way through the horror of Namco’s beat-’em-up franchise
ESSENTIALS 88 Subscriptions
Make sure you never leave World 1-1 without your copy of Retro Gamer!
Your monthly bottle of micro moonshine, courtesy of Jason Kelk
It’s a game of turn-based conversation – or the letters page, if you will
111 Next Month
There’s going to be another issue of Retro Gamer – here’s what will be in it!
The Making Of Tomb Raider Ian Dransfield revisits the creation of Lara Cro’s first adventure
100 ZX Spectrum Vega
In which we defame a nameless, pixellated football player
102 Lara Cro Go
RETRO GAMER | 5
GIVE US TWO MINUTES AND WE'LL GIVE YOU THE RETRO WORLD
THE RETURN OF TUROK
Night Dive Studios is resurrecting the first two Turok games for PC
» [N64] Turok 2 should hopefully include the enhanced N64 graphics.
CONTENTS 6 THE RETURN OF TUROK
Stephen Kick explains how two N64 classics are being overhauled for a new generation
8 NEWS WALL
All the latest gossip, including the latest on Kickstarter projects Grip and Artcade
10 A MOMENT WITH JAMIE CROOK
The founder of Data Discs explains why videogame soundtracks are moving to vinyl
11 COLLECTOR’S CORNER
This amazing Game Boy collection is one of the biggest we’ve ever seen
12 BACK TO THE 90S
Richard Burton returns with another nostalgia blast from the past
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urok: Dinosaur Hunter and Turok 2: Seeds Of Evil are being remastered for PC by Night Dive Studios, the team responsible for the remasters of System Shock 2 and the Tex Murphy games. Aiming for a late-2015 release for the first Turok game and early-2016 for its sequel, Night Dive plans to distribute the game through popular digital platforms like Steam, GOG and more. We spoke to Stephen Kick, founder of Night Dive, about plans for the new versions of these dino shooters. “For many people, Turok was their first foray into the first-person shooter genre,” begins Stephen, when asked what drew the company to the Turok series. “It combined action, and puzzlesolving within a vast, non-linear world populated with memorable enemies, battles and inventive weapons. For me it was my first experience with a 3D accelerated PC game and back in 1997 it blew my mind. I knew that re-releasing the original Turok games would resonate strongly with our community, but I couldn’t have anticipated the response we’ve received so far – it’s been overwhelmingly positive.” The big problem with early 3D games, as you will most likely have
experienced yourself when returning to them, is the fact that the polygonal graphics of the era really don’t hold up well anymore. Stephen agrees, but also thinks that Turok and its sequel demonstrated many other qualities that will translate well to today’s market. “Turok was one of the first 3D FPS titles that really captured the attention of the gaming populace in the mid-Nineties and I feel a lot of that is owed to the visual fidelity, solid controls and polished mechanics,” he says. “What the original developers achieved on the N64 was remarkable. The visuals may not hold up to today’s standards, but they managed
to find a unique aesthetic that is instantly recognisable. There aren’t many other FPS games from the same time period that can make the same claims.” Stephen goes on to explain that Night Dive hopes to go further than just enhancing texture maps and 3D models, and plans to take on Turok’s trademark fog, telling us, “We are implementing a number of new rendering features that will maintain the overall aesthetics of the games and push the level of immersion while enhancing the overall atmosphere and level of detail. We’re also experimenting with the notorious fog that permeates Turok’s DNA. At
» [N64] The original Turok was a big success on Nintendo’s console.
RETRORADAR: THE RETURN OF TUROK
STRAIGHT SHOOTERS >> Three other FPS games we’d love to see remastered
SOLDIER OF FORTUNE
DAY OF DEFEAT
■ It wasn’t a exceptional game, upon reflection, but for many
■ Metroid Prime hit the GameCube in 2002 and was the first
people Soldier Of Fortune was something of a guilty pleasure. Released for PC in 2000, and subsequently Dreamcast and PlayStation 2, the game turned heads for its gore, which we’d secretly love to see in full 1080p glory on modern consoles.
Metroid game to play out from a first-person perspective, focusing mostly on exploration and plot as opposed to out and out warfare. It would be great to see this superb Samus outing remastered for the Wii U or the forthcoming Nintendo console.
■ For those of you that haven’t played it, Day Of Defeat is a WWII deathmatch FPS built on the shell of Half-Life. For those of you that have played it, you’ll know that an updated version for the Source engine was released in 2005, but how good would it be to get it bumped up to 1080/60? Very, is the answer.
» [N64 The only good dinosaur is a dead dinosaur.
the time the fog was a necessary evil in order to limit the draw distance of the levels – the open world was so big [Iguana] had to come up with a way to hide missing geometry and to increase the frame-rate to a playable level.” That’s the looks taken care of, sure, but more problems present themselves when the actual code comes into question. After all, often companies like Night Dive don’t have access to original source code, as Stephen intimates. “With Turok, we are still evaluating our best course of action,” he reveals, “however with many conversions, like with The Original Strife: Veteran Edition, we didn’t have access to the original source code so to really understand how it worked our lead engineer spent months disassembling the game, separating out the various data formats that controlled the sprites, the animations, the levels, the AI; basically every function of the game. Once he figured those out he could use them
as a guide to rebuild the game inside a custom-made engine.” Night Dive has developed a strong reputation over the years for quality conversions, with System Shock 2 being a particular highlight. The team has also remastered older franchises, including three of the Wizardry games, the Trilobyte games The 7th Guest and The 11th Hour, and PowerSlave. Nightmarish negotiations over decades old IP aside, we asked how Night Dive goes about selecting its projects from such a vast back catalogue of superb games. Stephen suggests that it’s down to several key factors. “We get dozens of requests from fans on a daily basis and as a company we really try to respond to that, although the games aren’t always available,” he tells us. “We also have an internal list of titles that resonate strongly with the community and the team. We also look at reviews for titles; was this game
» [N64] Turok’s combination of shooting and exploration made it stand out on Nintendo’s console.
» [N64] If a new Turok didn’t work out there were always casting calls for Avatar 2…
received well when it was first released? The other thing that you should know is that we are all fans. Everyone on our team played and enjoyed the classic games. We are lucky enough to get to work on the games that we love.” Remastered versions of games are very much in vogue nowadays, both in the retro space and the triple-A space. Stephen thinks that there are a number of reasons for this: “First off, many of the people that played the games originally are still gamers and appreciate the opportunity to revisit their first experiences with the medium,” he says. “For the younger generation the games are new and an exciting way to explore the history of gaming. Second, a lot of those games were really revolutionary in presenting new game mechanics that had never been seen before. Sometimes a mechanic isn’t recognised as being a breakthrough at the time, but in retrospect you’re able to see how influential it was in shaping the current landscape of gaming. Finally, remasters are generally offered at lower prices but can offer just as much, if not more of an amazing experience than a new game.”
VISIT RETROGAMER.NET/FORUM TO HAVE YOUR SAY
RETRO GAMER | 7
news wall ARTCADE RESURRECTED
e’re still amazed at the difficult gestation Tim Nichols’ book project has gone through. When Artcade was first announced it smashed its fundraising goal of £10,000 because it looked like it was going to be an essential book for anyone that grew up in the arcades of old. Despite an estimated release of December 2013, the project was hit with problems that ranged from tragic personal issues for its author, to a change in publisher. In July it looked like the project was doomed. Luckily, Tim's found a solution and Sam Dyer of Bitmap Books has revealed that he’s now involved in the project. It won’t be released until April 2016, but Sam’s work on two Kickstarter books suggests that this exciting looking project will finally be happening.
f you grew up enjoying Sony’s classic console you’re going to adore our new PlayStation Book. We have combed the archives to deliver all the best content from the last ten years of the magazine. As a result virtually every major game is covered from Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy VII, to WipEout, Resident Evil and Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night. You can buy it now from all good retailers or directly from imagineshop.co.uk.
» [3DO] Sadly, The Need For Speed isn’t one of the games that will be heading to Zoom.
ZOOM DIGITAL PLATFORM ACQUIRES 3DO TITLES
ans of the 3DO may be interested to learn that a number of its games will start appearing online. Jordan Freeman, the CCO and founder of Zoom, a digital games platform, has recently secured a large number of 3DO games to sell on the service. Before you get too excited, it’s important to point out that the deal doesn’t include any Electronic Arts games, meaning classics like The Need For Speed, FIFA and Road Rash won’t be available. The current list is also small, although that doesn’t mean more games can’t be secured at a later date by ZOOM.
GRIP LOSES TRACTION DEVELOPERS ABANDON KICKSTARTER PROJECT
hortly after our last issue went to press it was revealed the Grip Kickstarter was to be terminated. The spiritual successor to Rollcage wasn’t looking like it would hit its targets for Kickstarter, so the developers took matters into their own hands and cancelled the fundraiser. The game still lives on, however, as it’s now being made available on Steam Early Access. This does mean that those looking forward to a console port may have to wait a little longer, but it at least ensures that work on the game can continue. A number of tier-styled payment options are available directly from Grip’s website, ranging from $26.50 to $53 CAD. You can get more information and make a pledge by visiting cagedelement.com/grip.
» [PC] Its Kickstarter may well have stalled, but Grip still has plenty of life in it.
8 | RETRO GAMER
The games available include, Battle Sport, Snow Job, Gridders, Blade Force, Captain Quazar and Killing Time. The horror FPS is the only game that currently available to buy at the moment, although it’s actually an enhanced version of the PC original, and can be purchased for a not unreasonable price and modest price of $5.99. The 3DO was an impressive console that really was ahead of its time, so it’s exciting to see that companies are starting to make an effort to bring its games to a wider audience. Head on over to zoom-platform.com for more information.
a moment with… Living la vinyl loca
Data Discs’ Jamie Crook talks to us about bringing videogame soundtracks to vinyl
Why did you decide to start up Data Discs? I’m a lifelong vinyl buyer with an interest in championing underappreciated and/or obscure music. For one reason or another, game soundtracks often fit perfectly into that category and it’s an area that really hasn’t been explored much on the vinyl format before, at least not outside of Japan. Videogames have been hugely influential on popular culture over the past 30 years, yet their soundtracks (and in particular the composers behind those soundtracks) seldom get the attention they deserve. We hope our label with go some way to remedying that. Is there any reason why your first two releases are Sega games? Sega was the first publisher we started working with, hence why our first releases are some of its titles.
How do you go about selecting soundtracks to convert? Firstly, we have to like the music, otherwise we would find it practically impossible to sustain our enthusiasm throughout the process, which in itself is a time-consuming process. Secondly, the soundtrack must benefit in some way from being on vinyl. We’re not in the market for producing novelty records for the sake of it; they’re designed to be played.
» [Dreamcast] Shenmue’s soundtrack was directed by Takenobu Mitsuyoshi, best known previously for his upbeat arcade compositions.
How long does the vinyl pressing process take? Manufacturing can take anywhere between six weeks and six months, depending on the complexity of the project and how backed up the pressing plants are. There’s also licensing, audio sourcing, mastering, graphic design and other considerations that need to be taken into account before manufacturing can begin. It can be a lengthy process, but ultimately a rewarding one. Why have you been concentrating on coloured vinyl options? People buy records for different reasons, so we offer a choice between coloured vinyl and black vinyl. Coloured vinyl isn’t a focal point for the label; it’s an optional decoration for those who want it. Will the albums be single or double LPs? That’s decided on a case-bycase basis. It depends on the requirements of each soundtrack.
» Coloured op tions are av ail both of the initial Data Di able for scs release s.
We’re not in the market for producing novelty records for the sake of it Jamie Crook
Why do you think so many soundtracks are beginning to appear on vinyl now? The film soundtrack market has been flourishing in recent years and videogame soundtracks are just a natural progression from that. So long as the market doesn’t become saturated too quickly by opportunistic labels, or those without an inherent enthusiasm for the format, then game soundtracks have a bright future on vinyl.
» [Mega Drive] Yuzo Koshiro’s work on Streets Of Rage is amongst the Mega Drive’s most celebrated soundtracks.
10 | RETRO GAMER
What's your favourite videogame soundtrack and why? The Streets Of Rage trilogy is certainly up there. Although I’m afraid I can’t comment any further without giving away some of our forthcoming titles! There are a lot of
amazing soundtracks out there that deserve people’s attention, regardless of whether or not I personally like them. Hopefully our releases will encourage people to explore this fascinating area of music for themselves.
» Data Discs releases come with added extras for collectors, including art prints.
TRIP WORLD CART GAME BOY
KIRBY’S DREAM LAND
“When I first started trying to obtain a complete Game Boy collection, I knew this one would be a major hurdle and unlikely to be found in the wild, so I just bought it straight away. It’s one of my favourite games of all time.”
RETRORADAR: COLLECTOR’S CORNER
“This is the first Game Boy game I ever owned. I got it for my fourth Birthday and still have my original Game Boy from back then.”
GAME BOY “I played this to death as a kid after finding the cart in a boot sale. I wanted it boxed but it’s rare. Fortunately I picked it up in a games shop in Germany while on holiday.”
“This game pushes the NES to its limits. As an SCN exclusive it’s a rare and sought after title. I got it in a joblot when a friend switched from physical carts to an Everdrive.”
“I bought this from a Danish flea market. It’s based on a Swedish comic strip although the UK version would have been a game with Edd The Duck in it and it only exists as a prototype. If anyone out there has it, please get in touch!”
PAID: 30kr (about £3.00)
JEWEL IN THE CROW THAT PIE N CE YOU C AN’T
COMP BE WITH OUT OF MELGEATE OFFICIAL CH MAN 2 G INESE RE ■ “For a A LEASE period, a co ME BOY mpany calle Chinese m d Man
arket. Whi i created G le visiting ame Boy ca across this China I was rts for the in a store lo lucky enou aded with gh to stum thought it bootlegs. I ble was anothe paid ¥10 fo r bootleg, the box an r it as the ow as did my d hide the ner co lle ag ca ues who to rt as impo is illegal. I ld me to di rting bootle was convin tch gs ced it was and fortun the real de ately no is al su es were raised customs. It’ at s almost un seen outsid PAID: ¥10 e of China. ”
Collector’s corner G Readers take us through the retro keyhole
NAME: Mat Boyle ESTIMATED VALUE: £25,000 FAVOURITE CONSOLE: Nintendo Game Boy FAVOURITE GAME: Bubble Bobble
ame Boy devotee Mat, who works in Denmark as a graphic designer for the Lego Group begins with how he got hooked to gaming: “I grew up in a Nintendo household. I inherited my elder brother’s NES, and not long after I got a Game Boy for Christmas along with Kirby’s Dreamland and Super Mario Land 2.” Other than nostalgia, it’s the famous Nintendo handheld’s simplicity that attracts Mat to it. “It’s designed for fun, compact gaming experiences,” he explains. “Some games are flawed, yes, but there’s no 15 minute tutorial – you just play and have fun. It’s game design boiled down to its essentials and I love it.” Many of Mat’s prized acquisitions have come from holiday or business trips. “I do travel a lot and try to visit a store in whatever part of the world
I’m in,” he says. “For the most part my collection is cart-only, although I’ve got about a fifth of my games complete in box. Boxed games for me are a whole other level, as a £3 common title can go for ten times that much boxed.” Even so, tracking down cartridges can sometimes be troublesome thanks to inter-region anomalies. “The last five games I got were Boxxle II, Brainbender, Jurassic Park 2, Altered Space and Cutthroat Island,” reveals Mat. “And three of those were German-only releases, so they took some time to track down. I lucked out on some of the rarer region exclusives early on, such as Hammerin’ Harry And Darkman.” It isn’t just the original Game Boy that has secured Mat’s affections. He also owns every one of the machine’s latter iterations, including a Virtual Boy. “I think it’s an odd little machine.
It’s not got many great games, but its visual aesthetic is really cool, and you can look at it and think, ‘What if?’” But it’s the Game Boy where Mat’s collecting endeavours mainly lie – so what advice would he give to anyone thinking about collecting for the popular handheld? “Cart collecting is the way to go as boxed games can be insanely priced. Because people kept their games in cases with the Game Boy, the boxes often got lost. Also take your time as going out and buying everything in a short period of time is not only going to be incredibly expensive, but you’ll also have no attachment to your collection.” To see more of Mat’s collection, check out his youtube channel: youtube.com/user/Boyographic.
RETRO GAMER | 11
OCTOBER 1998 – SNK have a monochrome day, Nintendo see red (and blue), Atari throws down the Gauntlet (again), Spyro The Dragon is hot stuff while Activision go retro. Richard Burton displays perfect Chopper Command…
[PlayStation] An assortment of 30 Activision Atari 2600 games on one compilation – some very good, some not so very good…
THE LATEST NEWS FROM OCTOBER 1998 S NK was celebrating a new addition to its family with the arrival of the Neo-Geo Pocket. It was the first handheld console released by the company, bafflingly it had a monochrome screen which many saw as a backwards step compared to its recently released competitor: the Game Boy Color. Disappointingly it suffered lacklustre sales and was discontinued early into 1999 with only ten games released albeit prominent titles such as Neo-Geo Cup ‘98, Samurai Shodown and King Of Fighters R-1. SNK reacted quickly and soon released a replacement console five months later: the Neo-Geo Pocket Colour and while the Neo-Geo Pocket was a Japanese exclusive, the Pocket Colour retailed worldwide. The Game Boy was about to get a massive boost with the North American release of Pokémon Red And Blue. Japan had already seen its release a mere two and a half years earlier while Europeland would have to wait another full year. The aim of the games was to become a Pokémon master by winning the Pokémon League. This was no small feat and would involve beating eight Gym
12 | RETRO GAMER
Leaders, the Elite Four and the current champion. Alternatively you could play the collecting side of Pokémon which involved finding all 150 Pokémon characters and completing the Pokédex. A nice touch was that to complete the Pokédex you would need to trade Pokémon with a buddy playing the other game via the Nintendo link cable. While battling and winning was all part of the game, the real draw for younger gamers was the collecting element that really resonated with them. Pokémon changed the fortunes of Nintendo and the Game Boy. Pokémon Red And Blue have racked up sales of 23-and-a-half million units becoming the best-selling RPG on the Game Boy. LucasArts had a new distinctive and original yet dark and humorous graphical adventure out and its name was Grim Fandango. You play as the deceased Manny Calavera who works a sort of a travel agent for the recently deceased. You solve puzzles, utilise objects and chat with other characters to help you on your undead adventure. The graphics were delightfully stylised in design with the backgrounds static and pre-rendered while the characters were overlaid in 3D and the gameplay flowed flawlessly. The original soundtrack, a beautifully eclectic mix of jazz, swing and big band only made it better. Inexplicably it was a surprising commercial flop. Bizarre as Grim Fandango was fantastic.
New to arcades this month was Gauntlet Legends from Atari, a simultaneous four-player dungeon crawler with a whiff of RPG and a splash of hack-and-slash. One very welcome feature to Gauntlet Legends was the password and character save game feature. You could delve deep into the dungeons at your own pace without having to complete it in one sitting. Characters could also be improved and levelled up as you progressed. Gauntlet Legends played well, looked great and kept that retro flavour of the 1985 original. Trespasser, the Jurassic Park spinoff game developed by Dreamworks Interactive and published by Electronic Arts for PC boasted the involvement of Steven Spielberg and the voice acting talents of Richard Attenborough, who starred in the original film. You’re the sole survivor
[Game Boy] Pokémon Red and Blue arrive on the Game Boy and a seismic shift in Nintendo’s fortunes follows.
THIS MONTH IN…
COMPUTER AND VIDEOGAMES
With the Dreamcast launch just a month away C&VG featured a key game for the system: Sonic Adventure, a 3D platformer with action and adventure overtones. With six playable characters you must stop Dr Eggman obtaining the Chaos Emeralds and feeding them to Chaos.
GamePro inspected the DexDrive by InterAct for the N64 and PlayStation, a console memory card reader which allowed transfer of files to PC. Game data can then to be inspected via the proprietary software, DexPlorer. It was essentially a mass storage solution should you have a mountain of memory cards.
CU Amiga was the world’s bestselling Amiga magazine at the time yet EMAP still couldn’t turn a profit on the much-loved periodical and as such the October 1998 issue was to be the last. Memorably, it sported a fetching upside down cover with a Monty Python-esque foot squashing the logo.
OCTOBER 1998 PLAYSTATION 1 Colin McRae Rally (Codemasters) 2 Gran Turismo (Sony) 3 FIFA World Cup 98 (Electronic Arts) 4 Premier Manager 98 (Gremlin)
of a plane crash and must make your escape from the island by avoiding the dinosaurs and using your survival skills. Trespasser was an ambitious project which, inadvertently, may have been its downfall. Case in point was the dinosaur artificial intelligence. Every dinosaur was animated purely through its AI with nothing predetermined. They would learn, react and move appropriately to their conditions. While this sounded amazing in principal, reality unfortunately proved otherwise.
Time constraints caused the development of Trespasser to be rushed with corners cut. One area that suffered badly was the aforementioned AI. Dinosaurs moved awkwardly and generally looked unnatural in their behaviour and movements. Reviewers loathed Trespasser and it was panned universally. It was bug-ridden, it operated slowly and its gameplay was tedious and glitchy with terribly slow frame-rates. In fact, it won several ‘Worst Game Of 1998’ awards.
[Arcade] A classic is rejuvenated for coin-op duty in the form of Gauntlet Legends.
[PlayStation] Platform gaming got a shot in the arm this month with the ultra cute and equally enjoyable Spyro.
NEWS OCTOBER 1998 3 October saw Roddy McDowall, the British actor who is often remembered for playing Cornelius in the Planet Of The Apes, die at the age of 70 from lung cancer. 23 October would see the debut single from Britney Spears, …Baby One More Time, become the biggest-selling single of 1998 shifting in excess of nine million copies. Amongst the multitude of album releases this month the stand out titles were Gran Turismo (The Cardigans), IV (Cypress Hill), You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby (Fatboy Slim) and I’ve Been Expecting You (Robbie Williams) and. 23 October also saw the UK release of the movie Small Soldiers. The sci-fi action flick sees two groups of sentient action figures doing battle after the creators inadvertently use
a super powerful microprocessor AI chip in the toys production, a chip originally intended for military use. Cue lots of CGI fighting… 29 October saw the Space Shuttle Discovery launch from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida with aging astronaut John Glenn aboard. Glenn was the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth in the Friendship 7 capsule in 1962 and became the oldest person to go into space at the age of 77. Although his nine-day mission was seen as a publicity stunt for NASA, the official line was he was the Payload Specialist and was to have a series of experiments performed on him while in orbit. Glenn himself stated that he pestered NASA for two years to use him as a “guinea pig for geriatric studies”.
Platform gamers rejoiced with the release of Spyro The Dragon on PlayStation. You control Spyro and you’re tasked with travelling across the various stages collecting treasure, saving your fellow dragons and ultimately defeating your foe, the Gnasty Gnorc. Spyro The Dragon played across six substantial worlds in lovingly crafted 3D landscapes that looked and played similar in style to Super Mario 64. Spyro had a lot going for it; excellent graphics, a soundtrack composed by Stuart Copeland and playability by the bucket load. As such, it impressed reviewers and gamers and deservedly so. Continuing the trend for retro gaming compilations, it was the turn of Activision to re-release the best of its Atari 2600 back catalogue on the PlayStation. Activision Classics was a 30-game selection pack featuring such titles as River Raid, H.E.R.O., Pitfall!, Enduro and Chopper Command. Sadly, the retro gaming reverie you indulged in regarding those woodgrained console memories of old would lead you to discover that many of the games on the compilation aren’t actually that much cop at all. Some classics? Yes. Quite a lot of filler? Yes again.
5 Tomb Raider: Platinum (Eidos) NINTENDO 64 1 Banjo Kazooie (Nintendo) 2 FIFA World Cup 98 (Electronic Arts) 3 GoldenEye 007 (Nintendo) 4 Diddy Racing Kong (Nintendo) 5 Cruis’n World (Nintendo) PC 1 Cannon Fodder (Sold Out) 2 X-Files: The Game (Electronic Arts) 3 Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines (Eidos) 4 FIFA World Cup 98 (Electronic Arts) 5 Premier Manager 98 (Gremlin) MUSIC 1 Rollercoaster (B*Witched) 2 Girlfriend (Billie) 3 I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing (Aerosmith) 4 Gym And Tonic (Spacedust) 5 Perfect 10 (Beautiful South)
[PC] Graphically, point-and-click adventures rarely tick all the right boxes. Grim Fandango did but it didn’t sell that well.
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Cotton: Fantastic Night Dreams “WE HAVE FIVE WITCHES AND A NEWT, WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO SOMETHING!”
» SUCCESS » NEOGEO POCKET COLOR » 2000 Cotton (or Cotton: Fantastic Night Dreams, to give the game its wonderful full title) is a horizontal shoot-’em-up with a charming main character, who is a witch – the eponymous Cotton. She has an arsenal of magic to help her fend off the nightmarish (but oh-so-cute) creatures that attack her throughout the game. Also lending a hand is a fairy named Silk who flies around and also shoots at your command, effectively working as an ‘option’. The power-up system of Cotton is worthy of praise – how many times have you cursed a great shoot-’em-up’s design after dying once and losing all your hard-earned power-ups? This won’t happen in Cotton, as you’ll drop one level in power when you croak. The price for this leniency is that each power-up you collect only adds to a sort of experience bar, with each level requiring more of the yellow crystals to fill it. The yellow crystals also double as extra weapon ammo: shoot them a couple of times and they’ll turn red or blue, giving you access to a flame or lightning spell respectively. For such a small screen the graphics are excellent, with lovely detail, and a fair amount of enemies on the screen. The sound is awful, though, but this is a problem which is down to the Neo-Geo Pocket Color’s weak sound rather than the game itself. Cotton certainly can’t compare to the original arcade version, but it plays excellently (bar the odd difficulty spike) if you enjoy shoot-’em-ups. Beware, though: this game can set you back a few quid online, due to its scarcity. And no, you can’t have my copy! CHRIS MURPHY
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T S E T A GRE O I R A M R SUPE T S N E M O M 16 | RETRO GAMER
30 GREATEST SUPER MARIO MOMENTS
DEFINITIVE SUPER MARIO BROS. TIMELINE
The Super Mario Bros. series has been defining gaming for 30 years. We’ve selected 30 of your favourite moments from the series and asked developers to share their memories about the evergreen franchise
ario is easily one of gaming’s most iconic and recognisable figures. While he’s been around since 1981 in the guise of Jumpman, it wasn’t until he became super in 1985 that gamers really started to take notice of the mustachioed plumber. When Shigeru Miyamoto created Super Mario Bros. he also effectively recreated the platformer, creating a template that would not only shape the later Mario games for many years, but also platformers in general. Nintendo would again change the goalposts in 1996 with Super Mario 64 and while other contenders have come close, no current developer is making 3D platformers that can compete with the likes of Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario 3D World, in short Mario is the king at what he does and it’s a fact that’s unlikely to change any time soon. But we’ve covered Mario’s history in the past (in issue 82 no less) so for his 30th anniversary we instead wanted to look at why the Super
The games Nintendo considers to be part of the series
2015 SUPER MARIO 3D WORLD 2013 SUPER MARIO MAKER NINTENDO WII U NINTENDO WII U
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. U NINTENDO WII U
2012 SUPER MARIO 3D LAND 2011 SUPER MARIO GALAXY 2 2010 NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. WII 2009 SUPER MARIO GALAXY 2007 NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. 2006 SUPER MARIO SUNSHINE 2002 SUPER MARIO 64 1996 SUPER MARIO LAND 2: 6 GOLDEN COINS 1992 SUPER MARIO WORLD 1990 SUPER MARIO LAND 1989 NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. 2 NINTENDO 3DS NINTENDO 3DS NINTENDO WII
NINTENDO WII NINTENDO DS GAMECUBE
Mario Bros. series is so popular with gamers. There’s a reason why Super Mario games have sold nearly 300 million sales and it’s because they’re some of the most inventive and well-designed games of their genre. But don’t just take our word for it, the following moments are some of your favourites and we’ve also persuaded a large number of classic developers to share their personal memories too. Here’s to another 30 years of everyone’s favourite plumber.
SUPER NINTENDO GAME BOY
SUPER MARIO BROS. 3 NES
1988 SUPER MARIO BROS.: THE LOST LEVELS 1986 SUPER MARIO BROS. 1985 SUPER MARIO BROS. 2 NES
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Super Mario Bros.
There’s nothing like your first time. As your finger jabs the rubbery start button of the controller, the screen goes dark and you’re presented with a title card for World 1-1. You hear those first notes of the game’s theme – a tune that will be etched upon your memory forever – and proceed into the first stage of Super Mario Bros.. To this day, very few first stages do as good a job of equipping the player as that of Super Mario Bros.. The game doesn’t need a wordy tutorial, because the level design does a great job of naturally creating curiosity and teaching the player about various game elements. All objects are placed on the right of the starting screen, encouraging you to move forward. Blocks bearing question marks draw attention to themselves, inviting the player to interact. The Goomba looks mean and advances towards Mario, making a confrontation of some kind inevitable. World 1-1 contains enough challenge to make a player feel accomplished in victory, but is gentle enough that even a small child can finish it with a little practice. You’ll play through it enough times to remember it by heart and learn to finish it in under a minute, but it never gets old because this first level is Super Mario Bros..
YOUR FIRST MUSHROOM
The enticing question mark block is just begging to be jumped at, and doing so reveals a mushroom – which then starts moving and, when collected, makes Mario grow into the more resilient Super Mario. It feels so routine now, but in 1985 it was quite a surreal sight.
My favorite is the arcade version of [Super] Mario Bros. that I first saw. This game had numerous jawdropping moments for me that nowadays we take for granted, like a smoothly scrolling landscape. But what really blew me away was the moment I discovered I could enter certain green pipes and discover new areas. This simple feature made the entire Mario world seem vastly bigger and more mysterious to me. As children we're always fascinated by discovering caves and exploring what's inside them, and Mario captured that magic with the green pipes, each of which represented the possibility of an entirely new area to discover and explore. Aer that, secret areas became the norm in games, and I know in the Apogee and 3D Realms games I was involved in, we always tried to include as many secret area as we could. All because of Mario Bros.. SCOTT MILLER, 3D REALMS
YOUR FIRST PIPE JOURNEY Speeding through World 1-1 on SMB NES and getting that first running jump to get the full 1000 points on the flagpole, giving the feeling that you’re off to a great start. Yeah right! SAMHAIN81
YOUR FIRST SECRET
The best thing I've ever done is a Mario game has to be discovering the first Warp in Super Mario Bros. on the NES. Discovering a secret vine, which then allowed me to climb outside of the top of the level and run across the top of it was staggering. There were five other people in the room and we were all gobsmacked to discover the Warp Pipes. Back then, cheats and secrets felt far more valuable than they do today. ALEX WARD, CRITERION
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You might find the hidden extra life on your first attempt at World 1-1 – it’s easy enough to accidentally find. However, what’s important is that you probably won’t. You can keep discovering new things in Mario games after you think you’ve mastered them, and this secret is the first indication of that.
30 MAGICAL MARIO MOMENTS
It shouldn’t come as any surprise that, as a game creator, my reaction to a game might be different from that of your average game player. The early Mario games on the NES bear this out. My first reaction to Mario was surprise that the game so obviously used character-mapped background graphics. Shigeru Miyamoto made a conscious decision to build Mario’s world out of blocks. In doing so, he allowed for a very large world due to memory efficiencies, but it represented a step backward in videogame imagery. He took a big risk. As Super Mario Bros. was the flagship game franchise that everyone would associate with the NES system itself, the risk was that gamers would consider the NES to be inferior hardware to machines of the day providing much more realism. As it played out, the game overcame the risks involved. Using character-mapping the world could be much larger and the gameplay experience more richly rewarding. Players thought of the colorful, blocky game backgrounds as more of a fantasy art-direction than a technical limitation, and the gameplay was the star anyway. DAVID CRANE, ACTIVISION
YOUR FIRST FLAGPOLE
Even when your first moment of victory is in sight, there’s one last challenge as you try to jump to the top of the flagpole for more points. If you’re lucky, you might even get some fireworks after lowering the flag! It’s a smart and iconic bit of game design.
As a plumber, it makes sense for Mario to hang around pipes. It doesn’t make quite as much sense for him to travel through them, but after the first time you travel down one and find a secret cache of coins, you’ll always check them for hidden rooms.
YOUR FIRST STAR When a flashing star is revealed for the first time you automatically imagine that it’s something pretty special – and this one doesn’t disappoint. Mario’s temporary invincibility turns him into a wrecking machine, capable of running straight through his foes without fear. It’s an amazing feeling of power.
My favourite Mario moment comes from what I believe was my first session playing the game while visiting Activision when I was working at ZZAP!64 back in late-1985 or very early-1986. It had a new imported NES and an American TV to play it on. I'd been playing Excitebike for a while, but then switched to Super Mario Bros., and quickly realised that it was one of the coolest games I'd ever played. I'd been running around for a while, when, by sheer fluke, I discovered that if you pulled down on the joypad while standing on a certain pipe, Mario was transported to a different area. Sure, that's a standard thing these days, but back then, the feeling of discovery, and the realisation that there was another world under the one I was standing on was incredible: it made a seriously cool game even cooler. What more secrets were there to uncover? My mind was blown. At a time when most games didn't have much in the way of hidden stuff, it really was a revelation. What a game! JULIAN RIGNALL, JOURNALIST
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GOING OUT OF BOUNDS
AS SEEN IN: Super Mario Bros.
Placing the ceiling of Super Mario Bros.’ underground stages below the HUD was a genius move on Nintendo’s part, as it makes it look like there’s a fixed status bar. As a result, jumping out of the normal play area and running along the top of the screen feels like you’re breaking the game – and better yet, if you can make it past the exit pipe you’ll reach the Warp Zone.
FOUR WAYS TO PLAY
AS SEEN IN: Super Mario Bros. 2
Not only does Super Mario Bros. 2 let you play as Mario’s friends, it makes doing so very worthwhile as every single one has unique characteristics. Luigi’s a bit slower and weaker than Mario, but jumps higher. Toad has a short jump, but is fast and pulls up veggies quickly, while Peach (or Princess Toadstool) has a unique floating jump. It was a joy to discover which one suited you best.
WORKING THE SOIL
AS SEEN IN: Super Mario Bros. 2
Owing to Super Mario Bros. 2’s origins as a different game, the core gameplay changes a bit from the original game. The most notable new feature is the ability for Mario and friends to pluck items from the dirt – usually vegetables to be thrown at enemies, but sometimes more special items like potions that create doors into subspace or rockets that blast you to the next part of the game. Sure, you can jump on enemies and lift them instead, but even lobbing Shy Guys isn’t as fun as a little gardening – the little moment of anticipation as each root is pulled makes the activity rather compulsive.
are all the items you can retrieve from the ground in Super Mario Bros. 2 PLUCK TALES Here
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In 1988, while working at Origin Systems, we had a Japanese Famicom system and I remember playing Super Mario Bros. 2 on it – it was really cool to see Mario again but with blowing wind and leaves! It turns out this version never made it to the US because six months later Super Mario Bros. 2 got to the States and it was the re-skinned Doki Doki Panic game (still awesome). I also remember just how incredibly difficult World 8 was in Super Mario Bros. 3. The game was incredible, really a tour-de-force of game design, and was perfect in almost all respects. I finally beat it and count it as one of the hardest games I’ve played. JOHN ROMERO, ID SOFTWARE
30 GREATEST SUPER MARIO MOMENTS Oh man I’m not even sure how to pick one! I guess the first time I saw a Door Potion in SMB2. What a supremely weird game item! ADAM SALTSMAN, ADAM ATOMIC
My memory has to be playing Super Mario Land on the Game Boy in 1989. This was my first Mario game, having worked at a games shop that decided to sell the Sega Master System – you weren’t allowed to sell Sega AND Nintendo – I had never seen a NES. I had my own Game Boy and this was the game I bought with it. Aer my first go I became aware of how well laid out and devious the levels were. Once I’d got used to [it] I realised that four hours had passed. I was well and truly addicted and the various tunes had been ingrained into my brain for all time. The game also succeeded at getting family members, who had shown no interest in my previous machine, the Spectrum, bopping baddies and exploring tunnels. A recent replay showed to me that the game had lost none of its playability and still had that ‘one more go’ factor that it had 26 years ago. MARK R. JONES, OCEAN SOFTWARE
ACK T T A E RIMN A M B U S IN: Super ario Land
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N AS SEE
AS SEEN IN: Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels
Some of the cleverest moments in Super Mario Bros. involve subverting the player’s expectations, and this sequel did just that. In the original game, every mushroom was good – in The Lost Levels, you need to watch out for the Poison Mushrooms which damage you like an enemy attack.
My favourite Mario moment is finding the Warp Zone at the end of 1-2. You thought you'd hacked the game! My least favourite moment, getting to 4-1 and finding Lakitu waiting with an inexhaustible supply of Spiny eggs to throw at you. I doubt it's a coincidence the two are linked. STEVE LYCETT, SUMO DIGITAL
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TAKING TO THE AIR
AS SEEN IN: Super Mario Bros. 3
FLIGHT ITINERARY Aer taking to the skies for the first time, Mario decided that the airborne life suited him… SUPER LEAF
From: Super Mario Bros. 3
Super Mario Bros. might have given Mario power-ups, but Super Mario Bros. 3 was the game that made us fall in love with them and the reason was found in the very first stage. After picking up a Super Leaf, Mario gains ears and a tail to become Raccoon Mario – not only making him cuter, but also granting him the ability to fly! It works just as you’d expect, too. Mario must be running at top speed before you hit jump to initiate flight, meaning that you need a long stretch of ‘runway’ to get going. However, Raccoon Mario (and later Tanooki Mario) can reach areas that are otherwise totally inaccessible, so you’ll try to launch whenever possible. The ability to fly added a lot to Super Mario Bros. 3, and it’s no surprise that flight has been frequently revisited as a theme since.
From: Super Mario World
Super Mario Bros. 3, the Tanooki suit. I played it for ages thinking it was a great attacking move before being shown by a neighbour how to fly. The rest of my Mario 3 career was attempting to recreate this. BITTERTOAD
From: Super Mario 64
From: Super Mario Sunshine
From: Super Mario Galaxy
Mario just loves to dress up – here are some of our favourite outfits he’s donned over the years… FIRE SUIT
CAPE SUIT FROG SUIT
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30 GREATEST SUPER MARIO MOMENTS
MEETING THE FAMILY
AS SEEN IN: Super Mario Bros. 3
After repeatedly being bested by Mario in the first game, Bowser learned the joys of delegation and decided to reserve himself as a final boss. He’s a responsible villain, though – to ensure that Mario still had bosses to fight, he brought in the seven Koopalings to do his dirty work for him. We’ve got a fair amount of affection for the Koopa kids, and we’re very pleased to see that they’ve returned to the series in recent years.
When you first fly with the racoon tail in Super Mario Bros. 3 and realise how much of the game has opened up to you. FLYING_DELOREAN81
AS SEEN IN: Super Mario Bros. 3
Finding the warp zones in Super Mario Bros. is rewarding but obtaining warp whistles in Super Mario Bros. 3 is even more so, especially because so few are available – just three in the whole game, and all of them within the first two worlds. Our favourite is the first. Find this white block in World 1-3, hold down on the D-pad for a couple of seconds, then run behind the scenery to the end of the stage!
While almost impossible to pick one Mario moment above all others, one that does hold a very special place is my first encounter with the Racoon (Tanooki) Suit in Super Mario Bros. 3. As a pixel pusher, the sheer joy of seeing such an iconic character as our titular plumber suddenly in a fuzzy onesie literally made me grin from ear to ear. A great moment in a series of games that seldom fails to bring back the childlike gamer in even the oldest of dinosaurs. SIMON BUTLER, IMAGINE SOFTWARE
TOAD HOUSE AS SEEN IN: Super Mario Bros. 3
With its new world map system, Super opened the series up to between-level events. While we like the enemy encounter mini-stages, we were always much happier to see Toad’s friendly face. Whether you were matching cards or simply picking items from a chest, the ability to get a quick break and stock up on items was always most welcome.
10 Mario Bros. 3
PROPELLER BOX SUIT
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THE WORLD MAP AS SEEN IN: Super Mario World
Sure, Super Mario Bros. 3 had a world map too, but the one that guides you through Dinosaur Land in Super Mario World is a completely different beast. The maps in the previous game had generally been isolated, but after you make your way off Yoshi’s Island, you’ll get a true sense of the scale of the large, interconnected map of Super Mario World. This is also a map that changes and evolves as you journey through the game. Paths open up, bridges are built, Mario ventures into caves and forests – it feels almost alive, such is the level of activity. The map isn’t just well-presented, though. It’s an incredibly useful tool for making your way through the game, thanks to the way it is set up. You can see the path you’re supposed to take, but there’s plenty of room left spare. Luckily, you’ll soon find out that the red and yellow dots that represent stages mean something – the red levels have more than one exit, which gives you an idea of how to reveal the secret levels that occupy those seemingly empty areas of the map. But that’s all the help the map will afford you, leaving the pleasure of discovery for the player to enjoy.
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30 GREATEST SUPER MARIO MOMENTS
SECRETS WITHIN SECRETS
AS SEEN IN: Super Mario Bros. Making
to Star 12 itRoad feels very special â€“ the unusual stages and different coloured Yoshis certainly give its stages a different feel to those on the main map. However, the truly special moment comes when you realise that the rabbit hole goes deeper, as the Star Road stages have their own secret exits too! If you find all of them, you can take a trip to the super-secret Special Stages, which will challenge Super Mario World experts to the limit.
Super Mario World and finding a secret world within a secret world! My poor little pre-teen brain nearly exploded with excitement. JOLLY
If I was to ever be stuck on a desert island and had one game to choose (and console, of course) I would go with Super Mario World and my SNES everytime, so many memorys attached to this game from the first levels to the hidden secrets and even the soundtrack to suit each stage. This could very well be my favourite game of all time. JON WELLS, ART EDITOR, RETRO GAMER
SWITCH PALACE AS SEEN IN: Super Mario World As the first game in the series to let you revisit previously beaten stages, Super had to have a compelling reason to bring you back. The Switch Palaces are just that reason – when you find one, not only do you get to enjoy a room full of coins, you activate new blocks in old stages. These open up previously inaccessible paths, changing levels you thought you knew.
13 Mario World
As with many others, my favourite Mario Moment is from Super Mario World. It’s the first time you entered an underground cave, and specifically how the soundtrack and effects went all echo-y. Don’t ask me why that should’ve stayed with me above something as spectacular as the opening of Mario 64. I just remember it feeling really clever, that they’d thought about using audio to provide a sense of space and place… and that the SNES was able to pull it off. It was the moment that I knew I’d spent my money wisely, and was the start of my love affair with Nintendo. PAUL ‘MR BIFFO’ ROSE, DIGITISER 2000
MEETING YOSHI AS SEEN IN: Super Mario World
The first time you see Yoshi hatch from an egg, you can tell immediately that he’s going to be one of Mario’s most popular allies. This cute green dinosaur might not look at home with the cast of Jurassic Park, but he’s a fearsome force, able to swallow many enemies whole and spit them out as projectile attacks. Not only that, but he shields you, gives you the ability to perform a double-jump, and adds an excellent bongo track to the music.
AS SEEN IN: Super Mario World
We can’t help but love the beginning of Yoshi’s Island 2. What can you do with one red shell and a whole row of Koopa Troopers? Pick up the shell, bowl the baddies over and earn a boatload of points, as well as a bonus life. Fantastic.
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One of the first levels in Super Mario World where you launch a Koopa shell through about eight other Koopas. That never gets old. TIM FITCHES
30 MAGICAL MARIO MOMENTS
GHOST BUSTING AS SEEN IN: Super Mario World
Ghost Houses give you a break from action platforming, instead showing the versatility of the Mario formula by providing players with a mental challenge. From doors hidden behind unbreakable blocks to stages that seem to endlessly loop, the Ghost Houses throw all kinds of unusual challenges at you. Typically, the nature of the brainteasers means that you’ll be more threatened by the clock than the slow-moving, shy Boos that populate these stages.
I could tell you of the time I completed Super Mario World on the Super Famicom. It was entirely in Japanese, which meant I didn’t know you could throw shells straight up in the air. That resulted in me having to go and get a cape, then make it all the way through the last level without getting hit. On the final screen, things got really tricky. You had to get a Koopa to drop at one side of the screen whilst you made it to the other. Then there was just enough room to run and get up to flight speed, at which point you had to jump and, on the way up, hit the Koopa and grab his shell at the same time. Then you could sail over the top of Bowser and drop the shell on him as normal. Rinse, repeat. Without getting hit otherwise you’d lose your cape and have to go back to the previous level… ALEX TROWERS, BULLFROG
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MARIO’S DARK SHADOW AS SEEN IN: Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins
While meeting Wario is one of the franchise’s most understated moments, it’s nevertheless an important one, even if players didn’t really know it at the time. When you first encounter him in Super Mario Land 2 it’s as a solid antagonist for the popular plumber, with the portly villain effortlessly standing in for Bowser. He crops up again in several other games, only to become the main protagonist in Super Mario Land 3. He then goes on to completely reinvent the mini-game genre with the excellent WarioWare series, while continually hassling Mario is numerous adventures, both platformers and otherwise. What a cad.
IT’S A ME! MARIO! AS SEEN IN: Super Mario 64
It’s easy to forget just what an impact Mario made when he appeared on Nintendo’s 64-bit system. After 11 years of 2D adventures with the lovable plumber, here he was in full 3D and he looked fantastic. Simply watching Mario follow your cursor around with his eyes was a treat enough upon loading the game, but the real magic came when you realised that you could use that disembodied glove to actually pull at Mario himself, twisting him into all sorts of hilarious positions. It’s the first of many unforgettable moments that would help transform Super Mario 64 into one of the greatest platformers of all time.
The first time I played Mario 64 it just felt so revolutionary – Nintendo did such a great job of making the jump to 3D. Mario’s control felt amazing – you could have fun just running around, sliding and jumping. It was just the perfect game to launch the N64 with – it looked, sounded and played great. JOHN PEGG, RARE
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It was late 1996, and a couple of us had bought Mario 64 on import for our N64 consoles and we challenged each other to see how fast we could beat the game. It ended up being about three weeks for me. Anyway, I'd been playing it for a few hours at a time and in the early hours, one night with lights off, I was really 'in the zone', swimming Mario through an underwater cavern and he ran out of oxygen. He had a very poignant death animation, where he spluttered and then floated limp and lifelessly towards the surface with the camera pulling away from him. It was so sad, I almost cried. I was so emotionally connected to him and his quest. It was a very upsetting and emotional moment. It reminded me of the fact that even whilst the graphics are obviously cartoony and stylised, much like Snow White and Woody from Toy Story, it’s possible to create fictional characters with really empathy and whilst we've all seen that with animated characters in films, it was the first time I'd felt it for a game character. ANDREW OLIVER, BLITZ GAMES
30 GREATEST SUPER MARIO MOMENTS
It’s an interesting question, and there have been so many great moments in the Mario games that choosing one of them seems arbitrary and unfair to the others. For me, the real high point was those first few moments of playing Super Mario 64. Entering the third dimension, enjoying the intuitive controls. Running around outside the castle, seeing it all in 3D for the first time, trying out the different kinds of jumps, birds flying from trees as you climbed them. Realising that they had got so much so right on their first attempt and that it was going to be a great game to play. I can’t think of another moment like that. STEVE ELLIS, RARE
The first is the snow section on Super Mario 64. There are penguins around and the atmosphere of that whole area is top-notch. To cap it all, there is the ice racing section in there that is really a fun break from the jumping mechanic. STEVE WETHERILL, ODIN SOFTWARE
MISSION MARIO AS SEEN IN: Super Mario 64
Super Mario 64 was a game changer. It not only redefined platformers for years to come, but also delivered a fresh new take on Mario’s 11-year-old formula. It was magical enough to simply leap through a painting and discover an exciting new world within it, but Super Mario 64’s unique missions left an equally memorable impact, giving structure to the game and a sense of place that hadn’t been in earlier games. The core mechanics were still there, but now you were racing penguins down slides, launching yourself into the ether in search of goodies and reuniting snowmen with their missing heads. In short you were having the time of your life.
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The shock when you jump at pictures and are transformed into a new area the picture ripples as BRIAN HEAPS you leap though
BOWSER BY THE TAIL AS SEEN IN: Super Mario 64
There are few moments in Super Mario 64 — or any Mario game for that matter — that are as satisfying as your first encounter with Bowser. While he was always challenging in earlier games, he was never as menacing as he was in Super Mario 64. Being rendered in 3D not only made him imposing, but also gave a better indication of just how big the king of Koopas actually was. A further nice touch comes from the camera that shakes with every gigantic pound of Bowser’s feet. Still, the bigger they are the harder they fall and in Super Mario 64, Bowser falls very hard indeed. Initially he seems too powerful, thanks to his imposing size and the gigantic gouts of flame that he can spew out at will, but your 3D incarnation of Mario is super agile and before long you’re able to confound the beast and get behind him. Grabbing hold of Bowser’s tail you slowly start swinging the surprised king, faster and faster, until he becomes a whirling dervish of green and yellow. “So long, dear Bowser,” shouts Mario as he sends the king hurtling towards the mines that litter the stage. Four collisions later and the Kooper King is suitably cowed, leaving behind a gigantic key so Mario can continue his adventure.
Mario 64. For me this was the first Mario game that really drew me into Mario’s life perhaps because it was the first time the player actually got to feel as though there actually was a ‘Mario World’ somewhere in that machine. When Mario 64 was released I think there were a lot of ‘dark’ and gloomy games that were becoming more and more popular, utilising 3D to create shooters. But playing Mario 64 was a refreshing change, and showed us that games didn’t have to be all Doom and gloom to be cool. It was such a cool game and inspired many others, myself included. I think that the feel of Mario 64 inspired myself and a lot of the artists at Rare If you take a look at Banjo-Kazooie and Diddy Kong Racing, it’s clear to see what we’d all been playing! KEVIN BAYLISS, PLAYTONIC
Playing Mario 64 for the first time wandering around the castle grounds, getting a feel for the analogue stick. Is there anyone who wasn’t blown away by that? DEATH’S HEAD
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I played Mario 64 in Japanese, on import before it was released in Europe. My most surprising moment was seeing someone else playing it in English some six months or so later. I was horrified how much description there was on how to find each Star – I had assumed this was some sort of story text. I had spent ages trying to find the last few stars! DAVID BRABEN,
THE BIGGER THEY COME…
AS SEEN IN: Super Mario 64
Although Shigeru Miyamoto had already dabbled with size distortion in Super Mario Bros. 3, it made a far bigger impact with the debut of Tiny-Huge Island. Unlike the other worlds of Super Mario 64, Tiny-Huge Island could be approached from two start points. One had Mario miniaturised, making the avoidance of piranha plants and goombas even more perilous, while the other turned the tables. Amazingly, despite the huge size difference, teeny weeny monsters would attack Mario with ferocious tenacity, making it even more satisfying when you mashed them underfoot with virtually no effort at all.
I detested Mario when it first came out, the only Mario game I actually had any affinity with was Mario 64, I loved it, loved the look of it, loved the controls all of it. Running in 3D, Mario tilting ever so slightly as he ran, something GTA IV introduced to ‘modern’ gamers back in 2008. It was brilliant, but that’s really my first and last love of things Mario. STEWART GILRAY, JUST ADD WATER
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AS SEEN IN: Super Mario Sunshine
It’s fair to say that a genre-defining game like Super Mario 64 would be a particularly hard act to follow – just how do you make a sequel to one of the best games of all time? If you’re Nintendo, you take the game in a new direction with the use of a versatile gadget. Whether he’s cleaning graffiti off the walls of Isle Delfino or blasting the plaque off the teeth of an angry eel, Mario spends most of his time in the game using FLUDD. The water-powered gadget initially serves Mario as an eco-friendly weapon, but by the end of the game you’ll have encountered different nozzles which allow him to hover, blast into the air and run at speeds that would challenge even a certain blue hedgehog. These abilities allowed us to fling Mario around Delfino Island with the kind of speed and style we’d never had access to before.
Although I’d played Super Mario World and Mario 64 to their absolute limit, Super Mario Sunshine was the first in the series that I wanted to explore for all its worth. It had the three-dimensional splendour of Mario 64, plus the design intricacies of Super Mario World. Wherever I took Mario, I was usually rewarded, constantly memorising cool routes through the maps, practicing for coin runs at speed or to gain access to the next secret area. I can still remember where I found my final Blue Coin; it was such a moment of triumph. When I discovered that Yoshi was in there too, I was completely in love. While Super Mario Galaxy showed more overtly that Nintendo could still conceive whacky concepts that are fun for all to enjoy, in Super Mario Sunshine it proved that it was matchless for creating impeccably produced, masterfully designed worlds that came alive in the player’s hands. PAUL DAVIES, JOURNALIST
■ With powerful twin jets of water, Mario can
■ A versatile attachment used for cleaning up
■ If you’ve ever seen someone using a fire
■ If you need to reach high places and Mario’s
sustain mid-air flight for a few seconds. Not only does that let him cover gaps, it’s also perfect for cleaning from above.
graffiti, shooting at enemies, putting out fires and all manner of other tasks which require you to squirt water at things.
extinguisher to propel themselves, you’ll know what’s coming here – Mario uses a jetstream to sprint at high speeds.
little legs won’t push him far enough, one high-pressure blast of water will send you soaring into the stratosphere.
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My moment comes from Mario Sunshine where you’re going about your merry way then Shadow Mario comes out from the ether and pinches your FLUDD just before you enter a level. I spent ages trying to beat that hidden level which is set in a void that exists somewhere Mario 64 and Sunshine. I did finish it in the end, my palms were sweaty, my heart was beating and my GameCube controller was never the same… DREW SLEEP, PRODUCTION EDITOR, RETRO GAMER
MEGA MUSHROOM! AS SEEN IN: New Super Mario Bros.
Check any expectations of subtlety at the door – when Mario gets hold of a Mega Mushroom, he becomes so large that there’s only one reasonable course of action. In case you hadn’t guessed, that means going on an unstoppable rampage. Invincibility stars are great, but they just let you take out enemies. Mega Mario can smash through everything in his path, from enemies to scenery objects like blocks and pipes. Of course, being Mega Mario doesn’t just feel great. There are some great touches to this too – for example, if you reach the end of a stage as Mega Mario, you can knock down the flagpole. Mario then looks back at it sheepishly. Even better, you’re rewarded with extra lives for smashing objects.
My first home computer encounter with Mario was in Donkey Kong on the Dragon 32, which was the first game I saw on that machine in two-colour 320x200 mode, which was hi-definition of the day. Apart from the lack of colour it behaved as the arcade original, which probably persuaded me that the Dragon 32 could do the job and led us to choose it as our second platform to code on aer the ZX Spectrum. My Dragon 32 conversions of Steve Turner’s first three games were all done in that graphics mode. So you could say that Mario himself put me on the course to programming, without either of us knowing it. ANDREW BRAYBROOK, GRAFTGOLD
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OOPS UPSIDE YOUR HEAD AS SEEN IN: Super Mario Galaxy
Having accidentally mastered the 3D platformer on its first attempt, Nintendo left itself a mountain to climb with each and every follow-up to Super Mario 64. Initial fears that Galaxy might fall into that oh-so-common Wii trap of abusing gimmicky controls and suffering as a result were allayed upon finally taking the game for a spin, where we discovered a totally different kind of gimmick – one that actually worked. Jumping mechanics are so integral to the Mario experience that relearning how these functioned in full 3D space when each planetoid had its own gravitational pull made for a stellar experience that could keep even platforming veterans on their toes.
Wind the clock back to 2010 and I’ll be totally engrossed in Super Mario Galaxy, but this time I’m watching in amazement as my young son somehow masters using the Wiimote and Nunchuk and solving the puzzles in double quick time, yet he’s to young to be able to read the screen menus and messages, so I say them out loud for him. Real father and son bonding stuff! He played it for months and months, and still does occasionally. ARCHER MACLEAN, AWESOME STUDIOS
MULTIPLAYER MADNESS AS SEEN IN: New Super Mario Bros. Wii
Although previous Mario games had dabbled with multiplayer shenanigans, it wasn’t until 2009 that Nintendo really perfected the formulae, allowing four friends to work together to complete the cleverly designed levels that Nintendo had crafted. Despite the cooperative-based gameplay there were still time for arguments as characters were unable to share each other’s spaces, meaning it was all too possible to accidentally knock a friend off a ledge to their doom. Did we say accidentally? Sorry, we meant purposely. The inclusion of additional players does highlight the fact that later Mario games seem to be rarely designed around them, but anyone who has chased another player around the screen so that they can knock them into a whole in the bottom of the screen is highly unlikely to care.
Early on in Super Mario Galaxy ’s Good Egg Galaxy, there’s a capsule-shaped planet with a glass exterior. The genius of the game’s design became clear when I smashed my way inside to find a 2D challenge on a rotating stage, complete with gravity shis. Up until that point, I’d thought it was just another good 3D Mario game – aerwards, I realised it was simply revolutionary. NICK THORPE, SENIOR STAFF WRITER, RETRO GAMER
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They’re all great! I love them all. But actually, the very first game is the most important to me. I played it at a time when I was still unemployed, before starting out somewhere. Playing this, I realised for the first time, ‘Oh, there is a game industry. This is something I could realise being creative, and actually conceive works of art.’ Super Mario Bros. would be my favourite because it actually pushed me into this industry. Otherwise, possibly, without this I wouldn’t even have ended up there. KEIJI INAFUNE, CAPCOM
WHO NEEDS BOWSER? AS SEEN IN: Super Mario Galaxy 2
While it seemingly made use of a lot of the same assets as the original and didn’t mess with the near-perfect formula too much, Galaxy 2 still found ways to innovate and impress, to the point where some would cite it as the better of the two games. It clearly has spectacle on its side – returning players wouldn’t get the same sense of freshness from another set of relatively simple levels like those of the first game – and this comes to the fore in some of the incredible boss fights. Mario bosses don’t tend to be all that great but the Gobblegut showdown is wonderful, the spherical battlefield evolving as he chews through the planet as the fight draws on.
MARIO THROUGH THE AGES ■ SUPER MARIO BROS. ■ SUPER MARIO BROS. 2 ■ SUPER MARIO BROS. 3 ■ SUPER MARIO LAND ■ SUPER MARIO WORLD ■ SUPER MARIO LAND 2 ■ SUPER MARIO 64 ■ SUPER MARIO SUNSHINE ■ NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. ■ SUPER MARIO GALAXY ■ NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. Wii ■ SUPER MARIO GALAXY 2 ■ SUPER MARIO 3D LAND ■ NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. 2 ■ NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. U ■ SUPER MARIO 3D WORLD ■ SUPER MARIO MAKER
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AN ALLNEW PERSPECTIVE AS SEEN IN: Super Mario 3D Land
Having miraculously mastered the art of 3D level design on its first attempt, Nintendo never had us worried about that aspect of 3D Land. But the 3DS’ primary gimmick did, mainly because we remember the sea of early DS releases that were ruined by attempts to utilize novelty hardware features. To this day, though, 3D Land remains the only game that uses the handheld’s illusion of depth on a gameplay level, with puzzle rooms playing cunning tricks with 3D space. Even elsewhere, though, 3D offered some great moments, really giving a sense of height and depth to moments like this death-defying drop.
My favorite moment, honestly, is the fun we all had in the arcades playing Donkey Kong, and how we all helped the heroic little plumber outsmart the formerlyeponymous monkey and steal the brand. My second favorite moment is every time I hear a sound effect that I know had its origin with Mario. Mario forever! TRIP HAWKINS, ELECTRONIC ARTS
THE CRAZY COIN BOOST AS SEEN IN: New Super Mario Bros. U
Mario games have long been the careful, considered other side of the coin to Sonic’s high-speed hijinks, but a new mode would look to address this long-standing difference in opinion between the two rivals. Boost Rush was the result of Mario realizing that maybe he did have to go fast after all, auto-scrolling stages speeding up the more you lined your pockets with gold. It felt a little like a mobile title – autorunners are everywhere these days – but with the polish and production values you’d expect from Nintendo, proving that the developer wasn’t nearly as out of touch with modern gaming as its critics might claim.
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SO MANY COINS… SO LITTLE TIME… AS SEEN IN: New Super Mario Bros. 2
The fact that you can make it through most classic Mario stages without collecting more than a few coins would suggest to us that the mascot wasn’t in it for the money, but New Super Mario Bros. 2 flipped that notion on its head, and as a result made us look at Mario’s currency in a whole new light. Here, the very point of the game is to rack up an insane balance and in a single level, you could easily bag as many coins as you likely would in an entire playthrough of one of the older games. There’s something completely mesmerising about seeing levels awash with those dinky yellow coins and it became even more enticing when you were playing with a second player. Suddenly a brand new game mechanic introduced a highly competitive element to the series that was not only incredibly fun, but also helped hide the fact that Nintendo’s 3DS-based sequel wasn’t quite as impressive as the excellent handheld platformer that had proceeded it. The novelty of collecting all those coins was somewhat short-lived, it must by said, but the initial excitement of seeing money everywhere was still a welcome change of pace for the series and one of the highlights of Nintendo’s portable sequel.
THE HELPFUL GHOSTS AS SEEN IN: Super Mario 3D World
As games grow increasingly complex, their secrets naturally get harder and harder to find. But in its hugely entertaining ghost replay feature, this Wii U stunner found as strong an answer to this issue as Wonder Guide was for that of rising difficulty. As you explore, you’ll see the routes taken by other players happening around you. Some may lead you to hidden items or areas, others to shortcuts that help shave precious seconds off your best level times and, even more basic, it allowed for oddly addictive asynchronous multiplayer as you race against others who may not even be online.
I've always enjoyed the Mario games, but it's the latest one which has become my favourite. My family absolutely loves cats, and Super Mario 3D World 's Cat Suit ensured that both my children and wife would participate in multiplayer games. Initially the Cat Suit comes across as a bit of a gimmick, but you soon realise just how versatile it is. It begs you to explore the world as it allows you to cling to and climb walls that you otherwise couldn't access, opening up the seemingly linear levels and proving just how clever Nintendo's design still is. It might be a little chaotic playing Mario games multiplayer, but there's no denying that they're also a lot of fun. DARRAN JONES, EDITOR, RETRO GAMER
As Super Mario Maker has only just been released it wouldn’t be fair to add a moment for it here, although the online side of it is suggesting that players are already making the most of Nintendo’s new creation tool. Our advice is to check out our review on page 98 and start creating your own moments.
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VORTEX 101 ■ Argonaut’s experience with 3D graphics and the Super FX chip combined with Michael Wong-Powell’s plans for a transforming robot game. A small team created levels that were free-roaming rather than the fixed paths of Starfox.
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THE MAKING OF: VORTEX
Aer the success of Starwing, Argonaut Soware created Vortex with the Super FX chip. Andrew Fisher talks to the development team and solves a retro-gaming mystery
rgonaut’s Vortex featured a shapechanging robot – the Battle Morphing System, with four forms – but contrary to the online myths it was never a Transformers game. Super Play magazine printed the rumour Argonaut was developing a game based on the toys, but programmer Michael Wong-Powell gives us the facts. “There was actually one in development, but it was cancelled. When I first talked to Jez San about the chip they were developing it was one of the games on the cards. I originally thought of moulding my ideas into the Transformers game, but Jez wanted to get a few games out on Super FX, so kept my game separate.” Designer Nic Cusworth confirms this: “We were making a Transformers game for Hasbro alongside Vortex. I think a lot people assume Vortex was the Transformers game but they were completely different projects..” So with that myth busted, let’s go back. Michael had created the 3D racing game Powerdrome with school friend Glyn Williams and started work on a new idea. “It was something I'd wanted to do for a while; a transforming robot game,” he recalls. “It was only paper designs before I got involved with Argonaut – concept sketches, ideas and tests with a working title of Citadel.” It involved a very small team. “Just five in the team. Programming: me, 3D modelling: Stephen Robertson, designer: Nic Cusworth, art: Alistair McNally and music by Justin Scharvona – but loads of support from the Argonaut tech team and the guys embedded in Nintendo working on Starfox.” Was Citadel ever