Princess Daisy is in trouble and it’s up to Mario to rescue her! Wait…Daisy?! But where are the Toads? And Luigi? Slovenly choice of debut log aside, I must do what is right and put a stop to the evil space captain Tatanga and save the land of Sarasaland!
Previous Logs: Birabuto (World 1) | Muda (World 2) | Easton (World 3)
First impressions, I gotta say, this is probably the least menacing final world I’ve ever been to. Normal Mario games would put a place like this half-way through in, well, World 4. I mean, I’m all for variety and experimentation, but I can imagine a lot of players growing up expecting castles, lava, diabolical death traps, and one-winged angels being thrown quite a ways off in some of the wrong ways by Chai, yet the manual clearly states that Daisy is in the Chai Kingdom. Hm. No wonder Tatanga got laughed out of the Mario Villains’ Academy.
I can go on all day, but I must save the laughing for later because the people of Sarasaland need me!
Now that I’ve played it, I can really see what Nintendo was going for here. The atmosphere and the individual elements in each level combine to create the feeling of an outdoor ninja castle! Think about it. A man or woman in a China-inspired landscape squeezing through tight corners, deathtraps, tricky jumps, secret corridors, and even other combatants with nothing but his or her wit, reflexes, footwork, and a trusty supply of projectiles, or a sword if that’s your thing, for some sort of greater cause. In short, that feeling is totally awesome and I thank them for it. But one thing I am not thankful for is this game’s timer. It seems it forgets that Super Mario Land is a Mario game. I’m constantly fluctuating between Coin-mining and panicking, which is something I don’t really find myself doing that often. I prefer games that give you the time to explore and discover all of their secrets with an emphasis on precision or using my super weapon of certain death, not being at the mercy of the level itself. The reason I bring up this ongoing issue now is because I literally finished 4-1 with 005 seconds on the clock, but 4-2 with 111 seconds left.
The second level continues the theme of the first and the idea of a little story within each world, sneaking into said ninja castle through the moat infested with dangerous defenses including spinning fireballs, Piranha Plants, Bullet Bills, and Fire-spitting snakes. Yeesh, I don’t know which would be the worst way to go: these guys, their real-life venom spitting counterparts, or the ever-popular moat plague of Western Medieval lore: the crocodile?
All right, heading to the final level is an adventure through the skies in an airplane, for some unknown reason! This intro section is very similar to when Mario was in a submarine a.k.a. Marine Pop, which you all seem to love. I really recommend holding the A button for this one; not only will it save you a lot of time, but it actually works as a viable tactic! Woohoo! My final destination led me to an adorable cloud boss midway in the atmosphere. So, I beat it. Then the real Tatanga shows up and engages in space combat with huge energy missiles that can split into three smaller ones, but I beat him too.
And Mario thought this whole thing would be dangerous, or at least I assume that’s what he was telling Luigi in the early days to keep him safe and sound. Brotherly love can be so touching! And so, I defeat the space alien, save the people, and finally find Daisy for real. So, yeah, she thanks me for my heroic deeds and we head her home off on a uh, “not date,” and Mario, being the ever generous person he is, gives Daisy a rocket, so Tatanga’s race can never bother them again.
Anyway, before I officially conclude this log, I want to thank Club Nintendo for basically giving me this game as part of its farewell. 150 Coins well spent.