Good day Malstrom,
Well, you’ve certainly hit a nerve with your readers obviously. Let me throw my hat into the ring with the following suggestions:
Yellow Brick Land: It’s obvious Mario steals a lot from Alice in Wonderland but why should it be limited to just that? After all, Mario Land steals from Arabian Nights and Galaxy is very clearly a riff on Star Wars. So why not steal from The Wizard of Oz series? It’s shown itself to be a timeless classic and I can’t think of many games that take from that series. You could have all sorts of cool looking things in this theme like flying monkey enemies, toad’s that replace the munchkins etc. The yellow brick road would also make for an interesting visual with yellow being a color that really pops and set’s it apart from the usual Fire, Ice, Desert themes and such. Maybe the boss could even be Kamek from Yoshi’s Island. I like the Koopa Kids of course but after two NSMB games I want to see some new villians.
Brooklyn: Who says every Mario game needs to start in a boring grass world? Mario was once a part of our own world so why not make the first world reflect that? You could have a brainwashed Donkey Kong as a boss at the end.
The Future: I Know, you already suggested this. But rather than it being a machine world, why not a ‘time portal’-esque world where we see what happens when Mario fails at defeating Bowser? You could have the Koopa Kids all grown up into horrible monsters, first level being the remains of Peach’s Castle. Ocarina of Time went off the deep end in terms of ‘ruined world’ imagery. You could do something very cool with this with Mario as well.
Mirror Land: Everything being turned inside out. You could have Mario as the villian in this world(or maybe Wario, hahaha) and work together with the mirror land Bowser who is the good guy. The effects of pipes, ledges, mushrooms and power-ups would also be reversed (Mushrooms being dangerous to Mario and ledges disappearing all of a sudden).
That’s it from my end.
Hmm…Yellow Brick Road may be a little too blatant.
Above: Should this enter the Mushroom Kingdom?
Brooklyn: While it may not be a world, how about a return to the sewers in the original Mario Brothers and explore that? Could be some wonders in there.
The Future: I’ve always wanted a 2d Mario game where instead of worlds, it would be time periods and Mario would go backward and forward in time (not unlike Ocarina of Time or Chrono Trigger). If you destroy things in one level, it carries on in the future incarnations. Could be quite interesting.
Mirror Land: How about Marble Madness’s Strange Level? It does much of the same thing (altering physics where marbles roll faster going up). I think you’re referring to the Mirror Episodes in Star Trek where everything is different.
Above: Unlike the ‘exploring’ and ‘peace happy’ Humanity, the Mirror Universe in Star Trek presents an inverse in everything.
The issue with a Mirror World is that it is more like a Mirror Universe and not a setting. Although I would love a Strange World for Mario Kart where the physics are altered, where going uphill is FASTER than going DOWNHILL, and you could ride on the ceiling (like in original SMB) and do crazy stuff.