I’ve previously written about three memorable levels in Super Mario Bros. 3. But as I replayed the game recently for the first time in many years (on my NES Classic), I noticed several things I did not remember from my previous playthroughs. Without further ado, here is my list.
1. The Sky is Beige
This isn’t true in all levels, of course. Many levels do indeed have blue skies, while others have black (night) or even green skies. But perhaps the most common sky color in the game is this light beige you can see in this screenshot. It’s something I haven’t really thought about before.
2. Green Buildings with Footprints?
World 3-7 has these large green…structures…that I don’t remember from previously playing Mario 3. As a fan of the color green, I do enjoy the look of these unique structures. But what are they? Buildings? Walls? Perhaps they’re just the homes of the enemies known as Spikes. But if so, why aren’t there doors or windows? And are those footprints all over them? Or is that wallpaper? 😛
3. Magic Doors
World 4 has always been one of my favorites. It is the giant world, so enemies, blocks, and even the scenery can be huge here. But what I forgot is that World 4-6 has magic doorways that let you swap between the giant-sized world and a regular-sized version of the same level. It’s a cool feature.
4. Misplaced Pipe Maze?
World 7 is filled with puzzling pipe maze levels, and I remembered that fact quite well. But what I wasn’t expecting during my recent playthrough was to see was a pipe maze in World 4. The second fortress here in the giant world has a pipe maze that looks straight out of World 7. Oddly enough, I remembered this specific level quite well…I just didn’t recall it being in World 4.
5. Green & Black Cave
I was quite surprised when I saw these green and black triangle patterns on the ground and walls of a cave in World 5-2. Again, this is probably just me being odd with my color preferences, but I love the look of it. And I did not remember seeing it at all. But in my defense, this area looks completely different in the Super Mario All-Stars (SNES) version, and that version was a bit fresher in my memory than the NES version.
6. I Hate Lakitu
In Mario Kart games, Lakitu will count down to the start of the race, or tell you which lap you’ve just completed. In other games such as Super Mario 64, he operates the camera. So it’s easy to be fooled into thinking he’s a nice guy, or at least a neutral figure.
But in Super Mario Bros. 3 (and some others), he’s a major-league butthole. While flying around up in his cloud, he relentlessly throws Spinies at you. He throws them at varying angles, and they’re quite hard to avoid. And he just keeps going and going. I had forgotten how much I truly hated this jerk. This screenshot is from World 5-8, which particularly gave me trouble. But he’s in some other levels as well, unfortunately.
You can see me struggling with Lakitu quite in a bit in my new Super Mario Bros. 3 – FAILS video. Skip to 2:25 if you want to jump right to the Lakitu parts.
But even though I may have forgotten these details about the game, I never forgot how great this game is. After replaying it again, I can say it’s still my favorite Mario game (2D or otherwise), and it’s among my favorite games of all time.
After completing a shrine, I started my trek to the Gerudo Desert. Only women are allowed into Gerudo Town, but I found a tailor in a nearby marketplace that offered to make some women’s clothing for me. That’s right, you have to crossdress to get into town. 😛
With the new outfit, the guards at Gerudo Town let me walk right in. I checked out the shops and spoke with everyone I saw. The residents and visitors are all female. Or at least that’s what I thought, until I saw a Goron inside! What’s he doing here??
I went in to meet Riju, the Gerudo chief. She saw the gamepad Sheikah Slate on my belt, and figured out I was a guy. But she didn’t kick me out (or cut anything off) because she knew I could help beat Divine Beast Vah Naboris (does that rhyme with…Delores?).
She told me to have a chat with her soldiers. But first, I saw an open door and wandered inside. It’s a classroom, but they’re not studying geology in here. This is a relationship class! What an interesting course. 😛 I bet the final exam is pretty hard.
I already thought this classroom was rather weird…and then I saw the dummies.
Do they practice on these dummies? OMG. I’ve heard of crash test dummies, but this is ridiculous! And look at those faces…wouldn’t that be a turn-off? And they’re wearing gloves? I don’t even want to know why.
Before I saw anything even more disturbing, I left the class and went to talk to the soldiers. They told me that the chief’s heirloom (the Thunder Helm) was recently stolen, and they said it was taken to the Yiga Clan’s hideout in Karusa Valley. So I left Gerudo Town and headed in that direction. After looking around a bit, I found the hideout.
This area required some stealth, and also some…bananas? I thought I discovered Donkey Kong’s hidden stash of golden bananas when I reached this room.
I’m generally not a big fan of stealth in games, and this area seemed quite tricky at first. And I did die a few times. I guess the moral of the story is to never mess with a Yiga’s banana.
But fortunately, it didn’t take me too long before I cleared the area and defeated the Yiga Clan leader, Master Kohga. I then recovered the thunder helm and returned it to Riju (after completing a nearby shrine).
After chatting with her, the two of us were ready to head out for Naboris! After taking out the mechanical camel’s feet, I headed inside my fourth (and final) divine beast.
Once I reached the guidance stone inside, I gained access to the map and the divine beast controls. Rather than just turning one object (like a trunk or an entire ship), I had control of three separate cylinders. In addition, those cylinders have circuits that can carry electricity, to power different parts of the beast. This is the most complex of the four divine beasts, and I’d say it’s probably the toughest as well.
But after a while, I activated all of the terminals and then went on to fight the boss of the divine beast. Things were going well, at first. I knocked off half of his life meter in about two minutes. But then, he changed strategies. He’d speed in close quicker than I could find him, and zap me, causing me to drop my shield. This happened over and over again. And his attacks took big chunks of my health as well, so I was consuming a lot of food.
I was struggling, and it only got worse when the Master Sword ran out of power. Not only were my other weapons not as powerful, but his zapping me caused me to now drop my weapons as well! Shock resistance was not helping, either. He was kicking my butt, but I kept going even though progress was slow. Eventually I did beat him, even though I lost many weapons, shields, and food items during the fight. This was the toughest of the divine beast bosses, by far. I feel bad for anyone who headed to this beast first.
With all four divine beasts defeated, I could go on to Hyrule Castle and try to defeat Calamity Ganon. But I’m not in a rush to do that. So I worked on some side quests…including one where I bought my very own house in Hateno Village!
One of the homebuilders, Hudson, then set off to start a brand new village called Tarrey Town! I’ve been helping him out by supplying some wood, and by bringing in an employee (a Goron named Greyson) who can break apart large rocks.
Greyson’s little brother also opened up an ore shop here. Tarrey Town is off to a nice start, but there’s more work to be done!
I then did some miscellaneous things. I had a fairy upgrade some of my equipment, I had Hestu expand some inventory slots, I worked on more side quests, I explored a bit, and I completed a couple of shrines. Even though I have no idea where I’ll go next time, I’m sure it’ll be fun.
And if you haven’t already seen it, here is my Breath of the Wild “Messing Around” video. It features some things I’ve mentioned in previous blog entries. That includes the hunting scene I dropped in on, jumping around shirtless in Ventest Clothing, pole dancing on a treetop, setting wolves on fire, and more. I hope you’ll give it a watch. 🙂
Yesterday, Nintendo re-confirmed that fan-favorite Splatoon map Moray Towers was returning in Splatoon 2. As you may recall, Moray Towers was one of the top three maps voted on for the final Splatfest last summer. In Nintendo’s tweet, they also asked what everyone’s favorite maps were. That inspired me to finish up my list of my favorites, which I started to write a while back.
This list is based on turf war mode, and I generally either play with a shooter or a roller. These rankings are not set in stone, and my opinions on some stages have changed over time. For maps that are ranked just a few spots apart, there may not be a huge difference between them. And of course, your opinions may vary. Feel free to comment with your favorites and least favorites at the bottom!
With all that said, here is my list. The maps are ranked from best to worst.
1. Kelp Dome
This large map has many rooms and lots of territory to ink. The large central area is often home to some tough battles, but sneaking into enemy territory is a lot of fun. The grated walkways provide some verticality, and each match here feels different. I enjoy playing this level pretty much equally with both shooters and rollers. I can’t kelp being excited when this stage is in the rotation.
2. Port Mackerel
This level has long corridors, and it has multiple lanes/alleys to take from the very start. The forklifts not only move back and forth, but climbing up them allows you to hop onto crates. The passageways are narrow, but there are many ways to go. Sneak through the right way and you can slip into enemy territory. I love using rollers in this map, as you can surprise opponents by squashing them when going around corners.
3. Piranha Pit
The conveyor belts here (mostly on ramps) provide a unique feature to this map. But I think it’s the sheer size of the map that draws me to it. It’s huge, with lots of turf waiting to be inked. The central section is often a violent combat zone, but watch the map and you may be able to spot a great place to run off and just lay down some ink.
4. Moray Towers
I think Moray Towers is a map that you either love or hate. Personally, I love it; it’s been one of my favorites since it was released as DLC. You can dive straight into battle, or you can score a lot of turf running up and down the ramps. Getting past the center square can be tough at times, but it’s quite rewarding when you do. However, it can be frustrating at times, when a well-protected sniper camps out and your teammates don’t (or can’t) help take him or her down.
5. Flounder Heights
The tall apartment buildings here give this map a sense of height not seen in other maps. Moray Towers is tall, but it’s more spread-out and the height change is gradual. Here, you can go straight up as you scale the tall buildings. But it’s not just about height, there’s a lot of ground space as well, making this one of the larger maps in the game.
6. Museum d’Alfonsino
This museum stage is a work of art. The large rotating cylinders are the signature attraction here, and this is another huge map. I tend to prefer large maps, and Museum d’Alfonsino is one of my favorites.
7. Walleye Warehouse
The base areas on this map are very narrow, but the central section is quite wide. This was one of my favorite maps early on, before the DLC stages were added to the rotation. And it’s still one that I like a lot, despite it being one of the smaller maps. I’ve always loved the little side alleys for bypassing the central firefight and sneaking ahead into enemy territory.
8. Hammerhead Bridge
A bridge that is under construction is the setting for this level. It’s a long map, but fortunately it’s not as narrow and cramped as Arowana Mall. It has a top level, with platforms and grates you can walk across, as well as a solid lower level. This may be in the middle of the pack, but I enjoy this map quite a bit.
9. Blackbelly Skatepark
Honestly, I’m a bit surprised I’m ranking this so high. At one point, it was my 2nd least-favorite map. But that was early on, when I was still using a roller exclusively. Ironically, a roller isn’t a good fit in the skatepark. Some curved areas are too steep for the rollers to handle, and it’s harder just to get around when rolling. But once I started using a shooter, I gradually came to appreciate this map.
10. Saltspray Rig
This map takes place on a large oil rig, and it has a lower level and an upper level. There are two elevators you can use to move between them, or you can take the winding ramp paths. Of course, you can also jump from the upper level to the lower level. The largest piece of real estate is a large room on the upper level, far from both spawn points. The team that controls this area often (but not always) wins the match. It is a fun stage overall.
11. Bluefin Depot
This map is unique in that it doesn’t have one central battle area, but two–a left and a right, separated by a gap that cannot be jumped across. Both teams’ bases are on a higher level, and you can take either route into the central areas to make your way up to the other team’s base. This one requires you to keep your eye on the map, because you may be dominating one side of the map and then notice the other team has swept through the other side and has gone up into your base.
12. Urchin Underpass
This would be a good time to mention that I do like most maps in the game. So even though Urchin Underpass is fairly low on my list, it’s not a bad map and I do enjoy it most of the time. There are several ways to reach the central battle area, so you rarely feel pinned in.
13. Camp Triggerfish
I love the camp setting, and being out in nature gives this map quite a different feel from the urban and industrial settings of other stages. But with that said, I don’t like the layout of this map. It’s basically two large semi-circles, with only two places to cross over to the other side. And one of them isn’t even available until the final minute of battle. There are places to shoot across to the other side, but the layout encourages a predictable clockwise flow of squid movement. It is quite a large map though, and it can be fun at times, but it’s not one of my favorites overall.
14. Mahi-Mahi Resort
This tropical resort stage has an appealing atmosphere, and much of it takes place on floating platforms. There are many gaps where you can fall into the water, and you’re likely to die a lot…especially when you’re first learning the layout. Many of my worst fails took place on this map. Halfway through a match, the water recedes and more of the floor becomes available to ink (and walk on). While this map can be fun once in a while, it’s generally not a stage I hope to see in the rotation.
15. Arowana Mall
Arowana Mall is a long, narrow stage. The side corridors provide alternate routes to the opposing team’s bases, but you need to get past the congested central space to use them. I liked this level early on in Splatoon’s lifespan, but I began to dislike it more and more as time went on. Perhaps I just grew (permanently) sick of it. It’s a bit too narrow for my tastes.
16. Ancho-V Games
The final map released for Splatoon is also the smallest…and the worst. Most of the action takes place in the large central room, and the defining feature of this map are the propeller-powered platforms that raise (or move) when you shoot them with a solid stream of ink. This stage is very compact, and it often seems to end up with one team spawn camping the other. It’s far too small for its own good.
What Do You Think?
What about you? Feel free to leave a comment below with your favorites. Splatoon 2 is coming out soon… If you’d like to send me a friend request on Nintendo Switch, my friend code is 0442-0992-5516. I plan on making many Splatoon 2 videos, so please consider subscribing to my Youtube channel jvgsjeff if you’re interested in seeing those.