Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins

released on Oct 21, 1992

Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins is a platforming game for the Game Boy and the sequel to Super Mario Land. It also marks the debut of Mario's self-proclaimed arch rival Wario, who would later become a recurring character in the Mario series as well as a protagonist in his own series. The game features new graphics, power-ups, challenges, and a completely original storyline.

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struggled forever to beat the boss of Mario Zone. Couple parts of the game are super frustrating, most of the game is trivially easy. The graphics are quite good for a Game Boy game, but not super interesting. Super Mario Land 1 is better imo

they put him on a Land, they put him in a World, now….they’re gonna put him on a Land.…again!
Super Mario Land 2 is this odd middle ground in ways. this game is trying to be more of a traditional Mario game like Super Mario World with the overworld and minigames, but at the same time it’s still going for its own unique identity like Super Mario Land was. I appreciate that they didn’t go with the usual “princess gets kidnapped” for the story this time as instead you’re going to Mario Land to retrieve Mario’s castle back from Wario who took over while he was rescuing Daisy back at Sarasaland.
why does Mario live around here anyway, what a weird place to put your castle in. there’s a random house that shrinks Mario to micro size, a giant pumpkin with a forest full of yokai and witches, a turtle that eats Mario and sends him underwater where he ventures inside of a whale, a giant mechanical Mario statue which implies that Mario has servants or followers that built him a big old Mario, a hippo that snorts bubbles that sends Mario to space filled with angry stars that hurt you instead of turning you invincible, and at the end of the place you even fight Tatanga who was the final boss of the first Mario Land. the only relatively normal zone out here is the tree one but even then you end up going inside a giant beehive and facing a boss at the end that’s literally called “Big Bird”. oh right there’s also a cave that houses a random casino, Mario enjoys gambling??? well Luigi does own and run a casino later on in the franchise so it probably runs in the family. all this raises a question though: was Mario Land always like this before Wario arrived, or did Wario really stink up the place that much? I need more lore on this supposed Mario Land. what’s Mario’s daily routine here? where did he get the space suit for the Space Zone? how much money does he spend on gambling per night? why are the Three Little Piggies inside the Mario?
eventually Mario collects the 6 Golden Coins from the bosses (hence the subtitle) and gains access to the castle and goes in to take it back. the castle’s pretty tough, it’s the longest level in the game and there’s no checkpoints so you have to do it all in one go. at the end you face off against Wario who has three different phases, and no, losing to him doesn’t mean you start again in the room before the battle. I’d like to assume Wario throws you out of the window if you fail to defeat him which explains why you have to climb up the whole castle again each time.
speaking of Wario, what an odd first appearance here. he’s not the usual greedy and egotistical anti-hero that he’s known for nowadays, instead he’s a straight up psychopath. he’s twice Mario’s height, his head takes up more than half of his body, his googly eyes are dead and empty, and that smile is filled with nothing but malice. that’s not Wario, that’s the embodiment of chaos. he doesn’t want to become rich, all he wants is to see Mario slowly suffer until there’s nothing left to his name. oh yeah he also uses the power ups in this game during his own fight, so not only is he a schizo, but he’s quite literally a bootleg Mario.
I think this game is neat. I’ll admit the controls are a bit off compared to something like SMB3 or SMW, but they’re an improvement over the previous Super Mario Land and I approve of improvement. not to mention the game’s oozing with a unique personality just like Mario Land 1. though if I had to choose between Sarasaland or Mario Land, I’d probably go with Sarasaland since there’s still a sense of Mario over there. Mario Land feels like it takes place in its own wacky dimension, but there’s nothing wrong with that. if anything, the whole thing feels like a prototype of what Wario Land’s overall mood would end up like, and we all know anything associated with Wario is automatically cool.
unfortunately nothing in this game reminds me of Donkey Kong so that brings it down a bit

I played this a ton when I was younger. Fun Game Boy game, though the physics are a little floaty for my liking. Sprite lag is pretty bad, but that's not unexpected on the Game Boy. My biggest gripe: getting a mushroom removes your rabbit ears or fire flower powers? Definitely got me a couple times.

This is a really fun Mario game. Still holds up today. It also introduced Wario!

The worlds are all very unique and the level design is peak. One of Mario's finest outings.

Great Mario game for the GameBoy. Don't miss it if you're a Mario fan!