Codex Gamicus

Super Mario 3D Land is a video game for the Nintendo 3DS released in November 2011. It is a part of the Mario series. It is known to feature a female version of Boom Boom named Pom Pom and returns many elements from Super Mario Bros. 3.


Outside of Princess Peach's Castle stands the Tail Tree, a Tanooki-tailed tree with Super Leaves on its branches. All of the Mushroom Kingdom is familiar with the tree. One night, a huge storm blows all of the leaves off. The next morning, Princess Peach goes outside to see if the tree is okay, but during her inspection, Bowser once again kidnaps her.

Later on, Mario and three Toads (Red, Yellow, and Blue) go looking for the princess. Eventually, they discover that she is missing and the Super Leaves are gone too. Yellow Toad notices a hovering letter near the tree, and the group of four goes to investigate. Mario grabs and opens the letter, and a picture of Bowser holding Princess Peach with Super Leaves flying in the background pops out. The message shocks the three Toads and Mario, and immediately, Mario and the three Toads run to save Princess Peach. Throughout his adventure, Mario receives more letters about Peach's predicament.

Peach ultimately attempts to escape from Bowser and his army, but she is soon recaptured. Mario travels through eight worlds and defeats Bowser, only to be tricked as Bowser escapes with Peach. Mario eventually finds Bowser's lair, but before they can battle, the floor beneath them breaks and they fall. After being chased through various obstacles, Mario manages to press a switch making the bridge under Bowser collapse, sending Bowser into a pool of lava. At last, Mario and the three Toads find Princess Peach and, using their Tanooki powers, bring Peach back to her castle.

After that, a short cutscene appears with a letter floating down in World 1-1. It appears to be Luigi being kidnapped by Dry Bowser. Mario then sets off to save Luigi. After rescuing him from the castle in Special World-1, he becomes a playable character.


The levels of Super Mario 3D Land are much more linear and compact than the other 3D titles, more along the lines of the 2D Mario games. Levels have a time limit and feature flagpoles, a staple of the original Super Mario Bros. and the New Super Mario Bros. games, rather than Power Stars, as the level goals. When Mario is defeated, the "Too Bad" banner from every 3D Mario platformer since Super Mario Sunshine is displayed, but a circle covers the screen instead of a Bowser face. To enter pipes, the player must press L button or R button. The graphics of the game greatly resemble those of the Super Mario Galaxy games, while the levels show visual similarities to the New Super Mario Bros. titles. Unlike the 2D Mario games, the level themes in a world tend to be more generic like the galaxies of Super Mario Galaxy 2 compared to the world, instead of focusing on a particular setting per world.

While giving examples of how the Nintendo 3DS enhances gameplay, Shigeru Miyamoto has stated that hitting blocks from underneath in 3D Mario games would be easier with stereoscopic 3D.[1] Blocks will be more prevalent in the title, unlike past 3D games, where blocks were more few and far between. Star Medals that have a similar design to the Comet Medals from Super Mario Galaxy 2 will be found in each level, with collecting all three being part of the level's challenge, like in the New Super Mario Bros. games.[2] Clocks can be picked up to give the player more time to complete the level, the latter a mechanic only seen previously in Super Mario Galaxy 2's Speedy Comet missions.[3] Mario himself returns with some of his trademark 3D abilities, such as the Wall Jump, Long Jump, and Ground Pound, and is now capable of performing rolling, which is done by crouching while moving. Because the Long Jump is now performed through a somersault, it includes a front flip during the jump, but is functionally identical. Mario's health system is now based on the side-scrolling titles rather than being a numbered meter: one hit shrinks Mario to a smaller size and removes his cap, while power-ups give him an extra health point. These power-ups include the Super Mushroom, the Fire Flower, the Star, the Boomerang Flower and the Super Leaf, the last of which has not been seen since Super Mario Bros. 3. Notably, the Fire Flower, unlike its previous 3D appearances in Super Mario Galaxy and its sequel, no longer has a time limit imposed on it and is retained until Mario is hit, as in the side-scrolling games. When Mario dies, he respawns in Super Mario form, not his regular Mario form, unlike previous titles. When Mario dies twice in one level, a flying Roulette Block appears. The lives counter in Super Mario 3D Land extends beyond 99, unlike in the previous Mario games.

There are at least four returning tracks from Super Mario Galaxy: the Airship theme,[4] the Sweet Sweet Galaxy theme,[5] a remixed version of Ghostly Galaxy's mansion theme [6] and the Cosmic Mario theme.[6] There is also 1 track returning from Super Mario Galaxy 2: the theme used on Bonus Planets.(The Peewee Piranha boss theme was also present during the battle with Boom Boom at the E3 Demo as placeholder music. The track is nowhere to be found in the full game). The "tick-tock" that is heard when a timed Ground Pound Switch in the Super Mario Galaxy series is activated is used for when a P-Switch has been jumped on.


Super Mario 3D Land was first mentioned in an "Iwata Asks" interview with Shigeru Miyamoto in October 2010, where he confirmed that a brand-new Super Mario Bros. game for the Nintendo 3DS was already in development, but had not yet been given a proper title.[7] It was known by its tentative title, Super Mario Bros. at the time. In November 2010, Shigeru Miyamoto announced that both 2D world (side-scrolling) and 3D world Mario games were in the works for the 3DS.[8] Four screenshots were available on March 2, 2011, and the game was officially announced during the Game Developers Conference, under the name Super Mario. The logo had a Raccoon Tail on the "O" letter, similar to that of Super Mario Bros. 3's logo, which had Raccoon Mario's tail shadow behind the "3". Available screenshots of Super Mario revealed that the game is a 3D platformer and the game was stated to be developed by Nintendo EAD Tokyo's same team which had previously developed Super Mario Galaxy and its sequel, as shown how a Goomba runs after Small Mario. It even contained features from the 2D Mario side-scrolling games. Satoru Iwata stated that a more official announcement would be shown at E3 2011 on June 7. According to Iwata, "it will be a game that will come with the kind of surprises and fun that only the 3DS can offer."[9] Shigeru Miyamoto has stated that the development took over two years and started with 2 staff to 30 staff members working on the game.[10]

In a later interview, Shigeru Miyamoto described the title as being a combination of Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario 64, with a little bit of New Super Mario Bros. and New Super Mario Bros. Wii. He mentioned there would be an option for a fixed camera system, very similar to the one in Super Mario 64, to demonstrate depth and the 3DS's 3D. He added, however, that it was tough to describe it, before mentioning that not only would the title be shown, but that it would also be playable at E3 2011. Shigeru Miyamoto explained that playing it will give fans a better idea of what it's like. He also commented on the speculation regarding the temporary logo, already confirming that the tail on the end of the logo's "O" was a hint at the return of Super Mario Bros. 3's Tanooki Mario.[11]

The game was given a full reveal with a trailer at E3 2011 and was playable on the show floor, as previously stated. It was announced that the game was targeted for a release by the end of the year. Attendees were allowed to try the game for themselves in four different levels - a standard plain area, an underground area, a level of switch-activated platforms, reminiscent of a few galaxies from the Super Mario Galaxy titles, and an airship level ending in a fight with Bowser's henchman, Boom Boom. In addition, the E3 2011 trailer was put up for download on the 3DS eShop. By playing the trailer on their 3DS, viewers could see the game in stereoscopic 3D for themselves.


The game has been reviewed positively by critics. IGN rated this game a 9.5/10,[12] Euro Gamer 9/10,[13] Joystiq 4.5/5,[14] GamePro 5/5,[15] GameInformer 9.5/10,[16] N-Zone 90/100, Famitsu 38/40,[17] and Edge with 8/10.[18] As of November 19, 2011, gamerankings has an average score of 89.67% out of 30 scores[19] and metacritic with an average score of 89% out of 45 reviews, 44 were positive, 1 was mixed.[20] The game has sold over 300,000 units so far and is causing a great boost in 3DS sales.[21]


  • According to Shigeru Miyamoto, the term Land is used in the title of this game to pay homage to past Mario titles, like Super Mario Land and its 2D art style.[22]
  • The yellow switch that changes the camera angle from this game has an eye icon. This eye is the same as the one seen when in first-person mode in the Super Mario Galaxy games.
  • The game has several areas with coins forming the word "3D". This is probably a reference to Super Mario Bros. 3, which has a room with the number 3 made of coins.[23]
  • In World 1-2, it is possible to do the "Unlimited 1-Ups Trick" that dates back to Super Mario Bros.[24]
  • This is the first Mario platformer game since Super Mario World where Mario can't Triple Jump (released 21 years prior). This is also the first 3D Mario platformer game where he can't perform this move.
  • Super Mario 3D Land is the first installment in the Mario series overall (excluding crossover installments) to be translated to Dutch, Portuguese and Russian.[25][26][27]
    • Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games is actually the first game with Mario translated to Dutch. However, it's a crossover game and it's translated and published by SEGA. Nintendo also stated on their official news update: "SUPER MARIO 3D LAND™ and Mario Kart 7 include for the first time [in the Mario series] fully Dutch screen texts." [25]
  • Like in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, if Mario gets 1110 lives (three crowns), he will become hat-less in his super form, and with his hat on in his small form. The first Crown is awarded with a different 1-up jingle at 1000 lives, the second crown is awarded at 1100 lives, and the third crown is awarded at 1110 lives.


  1. GDC: Super Mario 3DS Revealed
  2. Hands-On Super Mario 3D
  3. Super Mario 3D gameplay video from E3 2011 - YouTube
  4. Super Mario 3D Land World 2-5 with Audio (E3 2011) 3DS - YouTube
  5. Super Mario 3D Land World 3-3 with Audio (E3 2011) 3DS - YouTube
  6. 6.0 6.1 Super Mario 3D Land - Iwata Asks footage
  7. Iwata Asks: Super Mario Bros. 25th Anniversary
  8. Video Games Blogger - Super Mario 3DS games on the way in 2D and 3D, says Shigeru Miyamoto
  9. Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata on 3DS Mario and Sales Targets
  10. [1]
  11. Super Mario 3DS Combines Galaxy and Mario 64, Will be at E3
  23. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named scan
  24. YouTube - Super Mario 3DS 99 Lives Trick
  25. 25.0 25.1 Nintendo of the Netherlands - Geef Bowser een zwieper - de Tanooki power-up is terug
  26. Nintendo of Portugal - SUPER MARIO 3D LAND e Mario Kart 7 chegam à Nintendo 3DS em português!
  27. Nintendo Russia - Official Super Mario 3D Land Website