Mario Is Missing
Systems: NES, SNES
Release Year: 1993
Number of Players: 1
I don't know the official
story, so I'll approximate. Bowser has kidnapped
Mario! He has sent his Koopas into the real world
and they've stolen many famous artifacts. It's up
to Luigi (with Yoshi's help) to retrieve the
heisted treasures, rescue Mario, and destroy
Bowsers castle in Antarctica.
This game has gotten a lot
of bad press. Not because it was a bad game.
Quite the contrary, it is arguably one of the
better of Nintendo's educational titles. After
all, it's either this or Big Bird and Elmo. No,
it was rather because of the genre itself. It was
1993. Super Mario World, one of the best-selling
Mario games to date, had just had it's day in the
sun. By this time, Luigi's popularity was
steadily climbing, and a rising number of fans
were expecting him to have his own game. At the
same time, Nintendo had made an agreement with a
third-party developer from which sprouted Mario's
Time Machine, the three Mario's Early Years
titles, and Mario Is Missing. So for whatever
reason Luigi was given the lead role as hero.
Fans were outraged! Here they'd been asking
Nintendo for a Luigi adventure game and they got
this? To this day Mario Is Missing is arguably
one of the most underrated games ever.
were rampaging in the streets over the game!
People were picketing everywhere! Three tanks and
a bulldozer showed up at Nintendo of America's HQ.
If not for the quick thinking of...(Ness: Toadmon,
you're rambling off again). (Toadmon: sorry,
where was I?). (Ness: the overview, Toadmon) (Toadmon:
Oh, of course).Graphically, this game wasn't a
milestone in any way, but no complaints. The
photo scenes on the SNES version were pretty good,
considering that the programmers were going for
realism. Just thought I'd give them some credit
there. The musical scores in both games were okay.
However the majority of the music is limited to
several recomposed versions of the Super Mario
World theme. By this time that theme had been
recycled so many times that it was headache
inducing, so minus points on originality. Also of
note is that this is an example of a rare
instance in which a game shared by the NES and
the Super NES has different music in at least
some parts of the game, such as on the pause menu.
The gameplay is quite original. Granted it is
your side-scrolling, pipe ducking Mario game. But
as opposed to running around jumping over holes
and squashing defensless mushrooms, your instead
walking down the street like any civilized person
asking history questions and seeing the tourist
attractions, being a good samaritan the whole
while. This is actually a pretty educational game.
After all, that was the intent.
Overall, granted that there were those who
still want to see Luigi in his own game (which
still hasn't happened for some reason...),
the programmers succeeded in their ultimate goal,
and if you look past the fact that the game isn't
a Luigi adventure, you can even learn something.
Who says video games are all mindless?