Super Mario's Wacky Worlds

Super Mario's Wacky Worlds
Super Mario's Wacky Worlds Greek 1.png
The first stage, Greek 1.
Developer(s) NovaLogic[1]
Publisher(s) Philips Interactive Media[2]
Designer(s) Marty Foulger
Programmer(s) John Brooks
Silas Warner
Artist(s) Nina Stanley
Series Mario
Platform(s) Philips CD-i
Release Canceled
Genre(s) Adventure, platform

Super Mario's Wacky Worlds is a canceled Mario platform video game developed by NovaLogic for the Philips CD-i system. The game was conceived as a sequel to Super Mario World, a game released for Super NES in 1990. An early prototype received positive feedback from Nintendo, but the game was soon canceled due to the declining sales of the Philips CD-i system.

Development

The v0.11 prototype CD

NovaLogic, the developer of Super Mario's Wacky Worlds, was hoping to be hired by Nintendo.[3] Philips was developing Nintendo's Super NES CD-ROM peripheral, and as part of that deal had the right to use Nintendo's characters in its own games for its existing CD-i console. A Nintendo sales executive suggested to NovaLogic that a simplified style of Super NES games could be adapted to the CD-i, so they decided to demonstrate a follow-up to Super Mario World. Developers Silas Warner and John Brooks worked reportedly 24 hours a day for two weeks on the game, finishing only a part of one level to present to Nintendo.[1] Nintendo was impressed, but because of poor CD-i sales was forced to cancel the game.[citation needed][4] Multiple designers also left to work for Electronic Arts.[5] This ended the CD-i career of Warner, who had expected Nintendo's reaction. Other developers such as lead artist Nina Stanley stayed with the project. Though the developers were highly enthusiastic about making a traditional Mario game (partly to establish their reputation surrounding Nintendo-licensed characters), NovaLogic hoped to use as little money as possible on the project. The company intended to make a small amount of profit while focusing on games such as the Comanche series. The game's final prototype is a pre-alpha at Version 0.11, finished on March 3, 1993 after one year of work. Approximately 80% of the game's art, 95% of its design, and around 30% of its code was finished.[citation needed] The prototype contains music taken from Super Mario World and no sound effects beside the jumping sound.[6][7] This seems to be an early placeholder, as the idea for the final game was to take advantage of the disc format and use a flexible audio range rather than port unimproved synthesized sound.[3]

Accurately capturing the sprites of Super Mario World was difficult for the Wacky Worlds development team, since the CD-i had a different sprite-making style than that of the SNES.[6] To create their characters, they copied sprites of Mario and several Koopa Troopas from Super Mario World.[3] Their original designs include a Greek Koopa, knight Koopa, eskimo Koopa, vampire Koopa, and a walrus.[8] The backgrounds were all hand-drawn,[6][3] based on real-world locations.[9]

Three prototypes are in circulation.[3]

Gameplay

SuperMarioWackyWorldsTitle.png

As an incomplete pastiche of Super Mario World, Mario can only walk and jump.[3] Enemies are not programmed correctly, as they disappear when Mario ends up above them, suggesting incomplete stomping implementation.[6] Enemies cannot harm Mario, and are stopped if touched, even if it means floating in the air. Mario can't die when he falls into a pit but floats on it.[10]

Level progression can be pieced together by the selectable stages, with two or three levels per world. Each level has an exit such as a Warp Pipe, a Trojan Horse, or a stylized "M" object holding tape—some of which are non-functional,[6] so the system must be restarted.[3]

Reception

Kombo wrote that the game paled in comparison to Sonic CD, another platformer sequel released on a CD-based platform. He criticized the real-world setting as not befitting the "Wacky" monicker, suggesting that its cancelation helped avoid the laughingstock fate of the other Nintendo adaptation for CD-i, Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon.[9] GamesRadar writer Tom Goulter compared its quality to fan games, stating that while it was an impressive effort, the CD-i's limitations made it fortunate that it was never released.[1] Joystiq's Justin McElroy said that the game would have been better off to have not been rediscovered. He said that the real-world settings were an odd choice and that it was not a worthy successor to Super Mario World.[11] Digital Spy's Mark Langshaw said that the limited sprite count and the CD-i's pointer controls would have tarnished Super Mario World had it been released.[12]

References

  1. ^ a b c Goulter, Tom (January 29, 2011). "The worst games you never played". GamesRadar. Retrieved May 26, 2019.
  2. ^ "Company Bio: Philips Interactive Media". GameSpy. Retrieved May 26, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Sidewalk CD-i Playground (Accessed on 6-19-08)
  4. ^ Langshaw, Mark (April 22, 2011). "Retro Corner: 'Super Mario World'". Digital Spy. Retrieved May 26, 2019.
  5. ^ East, Tom (April 10, 2009). "Rare Mario games". Official Nintendo Magazine. Archived from the original on January 7, 2011. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d e Quebec Gamers Archived January 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine (Accessed on 6-19-08)
  7. ^ Gerardi, Matt (September 17, 2014). "Read This: A peek into the making of a lost Mario game". The A.V. Club. Retrieved May 26, 2019.
  8. ^ Mario Fan Games Galaxy (accessed 6-19-08)
  9. ^ a b "Super Mario's Wacky Worlds Footage Revealed". Kombo. May 4, 2012. Retrieved May 26, 2019.
  10. ^ YouTube (accessed 6-20-08)
  11. ^ McElroy, Justin (September 7, 2009). "Super Mario's Wacky Worlds should have stayed buried". Engadget. Retrieved May 26, 2019.
  12. ^ Langshaw, Mark (May 29, 2011). "Feature: Lost Levels: The Best of Vapourware". Retrieved May 26, 2019.

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