Alex explores the dark past of Mario's minor roles, brings back a familiar foe, and provides a horrifying artistic interpretation of Punch-Out!!.
In my previous Dream Game, I designed an entire game world based on Super Mario Bros. 2. It was okay, but it wasn't actually the DLC I wanted to do first. See, I originally wanted to make this one, but because it was much more challenging, required more work, and would be completely new for a Mario game, I thought I would do the standard level pack first.
In this installment, the downloadable content is not based on one game, but five. It has no levels, just a series of bosses. Essentially, it's a boss rush based on my five favorite minor Mario roles. I'm not talking about appearances in things like Mario Hoops 3-on-3â€”I'm talking about making boss fights against boxing referee Mario from the original Punch-Out!!, and an entire battle that uses a Mario Paint track as the stage. With only five bosses and no levels, I would price this content at only two dollars. Of course, that's implying Nintendo would ever touch something this insane.
The content begins with Mario waking up on the side of a tennis court (the one from Tennis for NES), and immediately getting attacked by...
Boss 1: ... a shady figure sitting on the referee chair across the court. He doesn't say anything or attack directly, but instead damages Mario by sending out a barrage of pixelated tennis players to balls at him. By the time Mario gets to the center of the court, the tennis balls assaulting him are on fire (which, using video game logic, makes them faster), and the audience is throwing assorted junk food from all directions. When Mario finally gets to the referee chair, a cut scene plays.
Mario is getting hit with tennis balls, until he dodges out of the way of one, causing it to hit the referee chair, topple it, and send the mysterious figure crashing to the ground. It's revealed to be Tennis referee Mario, except he has red pupils instead of black, and as Mario attempts to grab him, the dopplegĂ¤nger vanishes into thin air with an unemotional expression on his face.
Then, a generic mystical door with a blinding white light opens up, and Mario goes through to see his next enemy.
As Mario passes through the door, a construction area reveals itself. As he looks up to see unfinished doors, ladders, and platforms reminiscent of the original Donkey Kong, a gigantic wrench drops from above him. As it is about to hit our hero, Mario is saved by... another Mario, only in a construction outfit this time. Although kinder, he vanishes into thin air like the referee. A bulldozer can be heard in the distance.
Boss 2: A voice, raspy like Wario's but slightly deeper, is heard: "It's me, Spike!" As this is said, the bulldozer makes its appearance, knocking down every single bit of construction in the process. In the driver's seat is Foreman Spike from the original Wrecking Crew. He is burly and bearded with, again, some traces of Wario. The battle takes place in a square arena, with destroyed construction as the barrier. Spike attacks by ramming the bulldozer (which takes up about one-third of the area) into Mario, and spawning Gotcha Wrenches and Eggplant Men onto the stage.
The former are basically taller, purple, re-skinned Goombas, but touching the latter at all (even with a tail) makes Mario take damage. To win, Mario needs to jump off the heads of the Gotcha Wrenches to reach Spike and deal damage. Mario needs to hit Spike three times, after which Spike turns red and moves much faster. In addition, more Eggplant Men spawn. At this point, jumping on his head a fourth time knocks Spike out and finishes the battle.
Again, a door opens, and Mario goes through.
Now, Mario enters a boxing arena, and sees the same referee as before. Mario runs into the arena to catch him. As he enters, however, a bell rings, referee Mario runs to the sidelines, and Mr. Sandman (also with red pupils) enters the arena.
Boss 3: The round starts in a Punch-Out!! fight of Mario against Mr. Sandman. Mario's life bar can sustain five hits, and hitting Sandman three times (which isn't that hard) disorients the boxer and opens the arena. From this point, Mario can chase down the referee and jump on his head or hit him with his tail. Sandman is going berserk, though, and is trying to pummel Mario as the plumber chases the elusive twin. Cornering the referee and hitting him once triggers a cut scene and spawns Mr. Dream into the arena.
Mario can now only take two hits, and has to deal three to Dream. Disorienting him opens the arena again, and now two boxers are after Mario as he goes after the slightly faster referee. Getting him a second time causes the stadium to shake as a final boxer enters the arena to take Mario down: a red-pupiled Mike Tyson.
As the round starts, Tyson immediately pummels Mario. As Mario shrinks, about to lose, Little Mac jumps in (and out of retirement) to deal with Tyson and sneak Mario a Super Leaf. While this happens, a timer starts ticking down from 30 secondsâ€”the amount of time Mac can hold off Tyson. Once the time runs out, Tyson enters and takes out the referee, Mario, and the boxers in one hit. Mario has the 30 seconds to deal the crucial hit to the referee, while the boxers and ref get much faster. Dealing the final attack ends the battle, makes the ref disappear once again, and opens the next door.
Mario finds himself in a snowy area outside Bowser's castle. As Mario looks down, he finds he's now wearing Luigi's clothing and, more importantly, that he can't move as he watches a different dopplegĂ¤nger of Mario getting kidnapped. Soon after, Mario regains movement, and another door appears, taking him to a somewhat familiar street corner where he meets...
Boss 4: ...Roy Koopa, the final boss of the educational game Mario is Missing. This boss battle borrows a couple elements from the original. For instance, Mario cannot be harmed by Roy, Roy can only move back and forth like the original, and he doesn't have his wand. Mario only has to hit Roy seven times to beat him. The difficulty in the battle comes from the information booths of the original, which create sound waves throughout the arena. Dodging the waves (which may or may not require fill-in-the-blank mini-games utilizing historical knowledge) makes Roy easily accessible for defeat.
One last time, a door opens. Now Mario is on a gigantic sheet of music... in two dimensions.
Boss 5: Referee Mario appears one more time, now moving his hands like a conductor. As this happens, the rhythmic final boss battle starts. Mario must time his jumps to the tune of the Super Mario Bros. theme. Jumping at the right time gets him further and further, and after about a minute of the jumping over hearts, Game Boys, and cars, Mario lands on the referee's head midway through a verse and ends the battle.
This time, the pupils in referee Mario's eyes turn black, and instead of vanishing, he simply collapses into dust. With this, a door opens not to blinding light, but rather the Mushroom Kingdom, with Peach's castle visible in the distance. As he walks toward it, the dust pile rattles, and Mario turns around to see the dust take on a new form, a true form...
Final Boss: ... Tatanga, the alien invader antagonist from the original Super Mario Land. Tatanga's battle resembles the one from Six Golden Coins, but on a three-dimensional plane. Tatanga is in his space ship from the second game, shooting energy waves and energy balls before swooping down to ram into Mario directly. Of course, as he swoops down, Mario needs to jump onto his head three times. Doing so does not end the battle, as Tantanga morphs his ship into the one from the original. As this happens, he takes his ship close to the ground and rapidly fires the shots of three energy balls, only horizontally now. Jumping over the energy balls and hitting Tatanga three more times finally ends it, destroying the villain once and for all and truly making the experience feel more like a Super Mario Land game.
After this, the screen slowly brightens and becomes white for a moment, as Mario wakes up from a dream once again, ending the content and signaling the credits.
All in all, this DLC probably takes 30 minutes to complete, but my hope is that this content would have decent replay value. Additionally, after beating the content, a new Toad house is unlocked, which offers two power-ups: the tennis Racket, and the boxing gloves. The racket allows Mario to rapidly shoot tennis balls, and getting a fire flower lights them. The boxing gloves act similarly to the Tanooki suit; punching is slightly slower, but it has a much larger range.
Thanks for reading, gang. This is the end of my Mario DLC, but Dream Game will continue!