Hello Malstrom. The idea of new world themes for Mario is something I’ve often considered, but I can’t say I’ve had many worthwhile ideas. My favorite for a long time, however, would be a munitions factory type stage. I don’t think it’s enough to make a whole world out of, but I’ve always felt there should be some kind of factory-type stage where all the Bob-ombs and Bullet Bills and such are made and warehoused. Or have a stage where Bowser’s airships and tans are being assembled. It could fit a lot with the machinery stage you were mentioning.
Another thing, while not exactly new, I’d love to see a return to pseudo-ethnic style worlds like Super Mario Land had. For example, instead of just having snow world, make it a Russia themed world with colorful Kremlin-like structures and architecture. A far east themed world could replace the typical forest/swamp world. The desert word already has pyramids, but they could stand to up the Egyptian elements even more. Or, while ethnic themed, make a desert stage that’s totally made out of giant bones.
Also, I really want to see the fortress stages look interesting again. In SMB3 they bricks colored other than gray, windows, checkerboard floors, carpets, candles. You could see someone wanting to inhabit such a castle. In SMW, the castles were all drab and stony, but I always figured that’s because the Koopalings built them themselves since they were trying to take over Dinosaur Land. But since NSMB, all Mushroom Kingdom castles are just gloomy dungeons. Also, why do the Koopalings always have wands now? They only got them originally because they stole them from a king of a land. In SMW they didn’t have any wands because there were no kings in Dinosaur Land. Whatever happened to those guys anyway?
And finally, while we’re focusing on other elements, I want to stress that the NSMB games start having good music. No more of this wishy washy elevator and circus music, with Spanish guitars and tambourines and “wah wah.” I’m not going to ask for full orchestras like Galaxy gets, but I want fun, upbeat music that empowers me through the stage. I feel like Nintendo gradually listens to us on these things – they finally brought back the Koopalings and booted out Bowser Jr. (he is not in NSMB2 at all). So let’s stress some better music – I’m not playing these games to fall asleep.
I really hear you on how bland fortresses have become. Super Mario Brothers 3 had the tiled floors and all which made it more interesting. The tiled floor likely came from Alice in Wonderland (as much of the Mushroom Land is…):
The challenge with the music is to get Nintendo to realize that Koji Kondo is no genius and that his taste is in extreme contradiction with the rest of the market. I’ve never heard of a complaint about the music of Super Mario Brothers 3. Never. My only complaint was that damn Athletic Theme which made your ears bleed after listening to it too much. What does Kondo do? He thinks the Athletic Theme is the only ‘good song’ from the bunch. And what the hell did he do with that Super Mario World music? The music really did bring down the game as so much of it sounded corny and immature. Contrast that with Sonic the Hedgehog’s music, and it was no contest.
The reason why NSMB music is the way it is because Kondo thinks he is a genius and that his lieutenant is a genius as well (he is the one who is making the ‘bah bah’ music which Kondi thinks “SOUNDS TERRIFIC AND FITS PERFECTLY WITH MARIO!”.
Let’s look at some quotes from an Iwata Asks.
In order to make this CD, we researched the past music, and we found out that title songs didn’t appear up through Super Mario Bros. 3.
I bet gamers didn’t even realize there wasn’t a title theme to Super Mario Brothers 3. No one noticed because no one cares about title themes in Mario games.
I love Mario music, and I think fans will like this selection, too.
Did ANYONE like the musical selection that came from that soundtrack? I hated their choices. I think most people did as well.
In the interview, they spend a page talking about how great the Slider song is. Does anyone like that song? It is a freaking CLOWN SONG. It makes me feel like I’m twelve years old when I play the game (and not in a good way). I actually turn down the music because I become so embarrassed. But the people behind the music of Mario games thinks its the greatest song ever. Talk about not being out of touch!
Hmm, let me save the rest of this for a new post.