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Super Mario 3D Land - tons of new details/spoilers

Time to spoil some Super Mario 3D Land details! We've had plenty of Zelda coverage the past week, but now it's time to see what the famous plumber is up to in his next, big portable adventure. Hit the jump to get all the juicy info, all of which comes from Nintendo Power.


General/some recap

- Focuses on snappy action instead of exploration
- Nintendo Power never spent a second wondering where to go or how to get there
- Usually can press left/right on the Control Pad to move the camera and peek at the path in front/behind you
- All levels have a set of medals that you can collect
- Faint chime can be heard when you’re close to a medal
- Ground pound: L or R while jumping
- hold a button to run
- Touch a checkpoint flag to save your progress in the level
- flags are in every level
- Backflip: start by crouching (L/R); this game requires you to stay crouched for roughly a second before doing a backflip
- Can flip forward or backward
- Stopwatches add to your time
- Long jump: Jump while holding L/R
- Mario can wall jump and cartwheel jump
- Triple jump is gone

Tanooki Suit recap

- Continue to hold the jump button to descend slower than normal
- Can whip the suit’s tails at bricks/enemies
- Swing the tail while holding L or R to crouch

Course 1-2 (shown at E3)

- In Course 1-2, you can bypass a bridge by taking an alternate route along a ledge in the background
- As this happens, Mario looks tiny as he runs along in the distance
- Massive spiked balls swing by chains over the bridge in the foreground
- “Other games have made good use of 3D, but Super Mario 3D Land is the first Nintendo 3DS title that seems like it was built around the feature. It adds so much to the feel of the game that we would never consider playing without it.”
- Course 1-2 comes to an end where you take a green pipe back to the surface
- Throw some fireballs to light a nearby torch first

Course 1-3

- Bright, brand new area
- Mountains all around
- The level extends to the horizon so that Mario runs into the screen to traverse it
- Can’t use control pad camera controls in this level
- Can see almost the entire level from the starting platform
- Stand on a plate in front of a telescope to switch the camera to first-person
- Aim the camera by moving the Circle Pad or tilting the 3DS
- Toad will call out with a “Hey!” as you move the telescope
- Zoom in with R
- When you spot Toad, he’ll giggle and toss a medal out to a spot further along the path so you can grab it later
- Ladybug-looking enemies are in the level, come in various colors
- They march in a circle
- Bounce off each of their heads in succession for a 1-up
- Bonus room is filled with coins
- Ride a green platform across a set of rails that carries you over a great chasm
- Move the platform forward/backward by standing at the front/back
- Use Ground Pound on a wooden trunk to release the Tanooki Leaf
- There’s an easy-to-miss tunnel that you can go through by crouching
- Jump on the white block marked with a musical note at the right time to reach the medal from Toad
- Larger/flashier note block will spring you to a new side-scrolling bonus stage
- Grab an invincibility star in the bonus stage and plow through enemies and collect coins as you move across clouds
- Area ends with a big leap off the clouds to grab a floating medal on your way back down to the main path
- Hop through a hoop to bring five red coins out on top of two moving cloud platforms
- Kick open a rock that houses a standard gold coin
- Level ends with numerous long drops to lower clouds, columns of coins, one more medal, and a ride on rails

Course 1-4

- Level made up almost entirely of rails
- No ground to catch you if you fall
- Move across the rails by tilting a green platform to roll forward/backward
- Dodge Paragoombas
- Collect floating coins
- Platform gets pounded by geysers and soars to a second set of tracks above
- exit on a small cliff midway through
- This cliff has a save flag
- Scare away a bird and it’ll drop a coin
- proceed to a set of new, more difficult
- Platform drops from one set of rails to another
- Piranha Plants spit out fire
- After you die a few times, an alternating power-up box will be placed near the midlevel checkpoint
- You can obtain the Tanooki Suit from a purple-box colored room
- Level ends with a rollercoaster-like descent; platform rockets down the rails at a steep angle, which leads to a fall to an orange block that teleports Mario to the flagpole

First Bowser stage

- Castle motif
- Regenerating Dry Bones
- Giant Thwomps
- Spinning rows of fireballs
- Lots of lava
- Begins with a dizzying descent down a tall, multitiered stone structure
- This structure leads to different-sized platforms at the lava level
- Path leads Mario into the screen
- You’ll find blue dragons that sneeze fireballs
- Hammer Brother makes his first appearance in the game at this area
- Can take out the Hammer Brother with the Tanooki tail
- Jump on a Thwomp to reach an area so that you can obtain a medal, stopwatch, and use a telescope
- Telescope shows that you need to reach a Toad locked behind bars
- Bowser will start dishing out fireballs as you approach
- The path leads into the screen directly towards Bowser, offers occasional nooks for Mario to duck into so the fireballs can sail by
- Once you’ve reached Bowser, he takes a massive leap farther into the course
- Mario has to run left as fast as he can to avoid more fire
- The fire is being thrown from a bridge running parallel to Mario’s path in the distance
- Use long jumps to help you get ahead of the flames
- Then pull a U-turn onto Bowser’s bridge for the face off
- Get past the bridge and hit the switch to blow up the bridge which lands Bowser in the lava
- The bridge is long, so it’s difficult to get past him
- The first time or two you get past him, Bowser will leap backward and block you
- Little room for error on the narrow span
- Bowser has his own Tanooki tail
- Once defeated, “Bowser” poofs into a Goomba holding a Tanooki Leaf
- Door opens, head past a Toad yelling “yippee”, hop into an orange box that takes you to the end-of-level flagpole that features a special Bowser version of the flag

Course 2-1 (previously demoed)

- Blue skies and pink spires of a pristine castle
- This course has evolved since it was previously shown
- Telescope now appears at the beginning of the stage
- Toad tries to get your attention atop the castle
- Toad wears a Propeller Block (he’s basically all covered except for his feet poking out at the bottom)
- Toad will give you a demonstration of how the Propeller Block works by flying to a new spot where he waits next to a medal
- Start off by running into the screen toward the castle in the distance
- He’ll have to scale a tall section of moving platforms to reach the end
- Mario will encounter obstacles previously mentioned and Tanooki-tailed Goombas that flutter-jump at him as he rushes by
- Stomp on one of these enemy’s to steal its Tanooki Leaf
- Obtain a medal at a green pipe in a room that features an optical illusion
- Medal appears on a block that seems to be stacked on top of a bunch of other blocks
- Step on a switch marked with a picture of an eye to change the camera view
- This new view shows that the block is floating in front of the others
- You can notice the block’s position if you look closely enough without changing the camera perspective
- Nintendo Power says that the above is possible in 3D, but not in 2D
- When Mario takes the Propeller Block, only his feet and tail stick out at the bottom
- Leap, then tap the jump button to fly high
- The longer you hold the button, the higher you go
- If you want to reach the top of the flagpole at the end, you need to keep the Propeller Block
- Strange, living coin purse hangs out near the flagpole
- The purse spills its loot as you jump on it
- If you pound on it enough, it’ll give you a 1-Up

Course 2-2

- Underground area
- Environment is incredibly dark
- Visibility is poor beyond a circle of light that stays centered on Mario
- A lot of the stage is covered in pools of poisonous purple goo
- Tricky to get past the goo
- Platforms can be triggered to unfurl into midair walkways, but they fold back up after a short time
- This means Mario has to get a move on quick
- Platforms form paths that duck in and out of walls, snake under ? Blocks and medals, and dip in and out of the ooze
- Last walkway leads to the flagpole
- Need to use a well-timed long jump to reach the top of the pole

World 3 – ship

- Straightforward side-scroller
- Giant spiky pistons appear to thrust out of the screen
- “…there’s an eye-popping use of 3D right at the start of the stage if you guide Mario toward the screen to reveal a small balcony that holds a Super Mushroom – both Mario and the balcony look like they’re hovering out in front of you.”
- Good amount of the course makes you wait for pistons to retract and run by them
- Made more challenging when you have to worry about falling platforms, explosive Mario-seeking Bob-ombs, cannons that launch spiky balls
- Cut a lot of corners with the long-jump
- If you take a hit, Mario gains a few seconds of useful invincibility
- Finishes as Mario runs across a lengthy bridge of falling platforms to reach a green pipe before a long row of pistons stab out at you
- Boom Boom is at the end of the pipe
- He’ll hold out his fists and spin around like a top
- Boom Boom steers himself toward Mario until he gets dizzy and falls down
- Jump on his head and Boom Boom will retreat inside his spiky shell and skitter along the floor
- Difficult to dodge the attack because the floor is split into two conveyor belts moving in opposite directions (slow or speed up Mario)
- Boom Boom soon restarts his attack pattern
- Three head stomps to defeat Boom Boom
- medal off screen at the end of a long and narrow wooden beam

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