With the tropical island cleaned up and the galaxy back in order, where is Mario headed to next? The easiest answer is to assume he will find his next adventure back in the Mushroom Kingdom, but where exactly will this next journey take place? Will it be a familiar location with a twist in the environment, or maybe an area that goes with some sort of new game mechanic? Without any information on the game, it’s hard to tell what direction Mario might be going in, but it’s never too early to speculate!
Frozen Ice World
Imagine the tropical Isle Delfino or the nostalgic Peach’s Castle covered completely in ice and snow, changing the familiar landscapes to dynamic new levels full of new enemies, missions, and ideas. It would present an interesting twist in the formulaic story, as well as provide Mario with an arsenal of new moves and power-ups to help him through the chilly terrain. And an old location doesn’t have to be revisited. Maybe a neighboring kingdom that thrives in this type of climate?
The Mario series has dabbled with weather type elements, but nothing to the extent of including it as an essential part of the game. Should levels and worlds have dynamic levels that change depending on the set weather or climate? Perhaps one mission will find you in the grasslands in the middle of a flash flood, or maybe another mission that has you running up an active volcano that is constantly creating new platforms. Some levels could be set on a timer where hail will fall every three minutes or so and create new opportunities to finish the many missions. There are a lot of possibilities in this area and the entire game can easily focus on this element.
While we have seen this done in both the Zelda and Metroid series, the Super Mario series has yet to feature a Light World and Dark World mechanic as a core feature of a single game. In a nutshell, the worlds and levels that you play through in a given Mario game would feature a Dark World counterpart where the foundation of the level remains but is altered in the enemies, design, and theme, as well as other minor changes that help create a different version of the same level. It’s an interesting concept that we would love to see in a Mario game.
New Game Mechanic
This isn’t a location, but the addition of a new and useful mechanic can have a great influence on the main setting of the game. Our greatest example is F.L.U.D.D., the water pump attached to Mario’s back that brought him to the tropical island of Isle Delfino in Super Mario Sunshine. Will we get something similar this time around? Maybe some sort of fire breather, or perhaps something outlandish like a second character, similar to the Banjo and Kazooie from Banjo-Kazooie?
Similar to the inclusion of the Light and Dark World, a time travel mechanic can really change the way we play through our classic Mario levels. Similar to the 3D view in Super Paper Mario, being able to travel back to the past and into the future can help bring a different perspective into the mission or the level. Things will be missing at a given location, or characters only exist in a certain time period. Items and characters can be brought back and forth through the different time periods, making for a variety of ways to create missions and clever levels. A lot of possibilities with this one.
Do you think any of these have a chance of making it into the next game? Is there anything specific you would like to see in the next Mario game for Wii U? Sound off in the comments below! And remember, Super Mario for Wii U will be officially announced on June 11!