Is all hell breaking loose in the Mushroom Kingdom?

Mario isn’t usually a topic that the Horror Pages would have reason to cover- but it seems some weird stuff has been going on in Mario games recently.

In Super Mario 3D Land, the player is periodically given the opportunity to use binoculars, allowing him or her to see the layout of the level and plan a route to the goal. But in World 1-3, if the player turns the lens to the skies, a flying saucer can be seen hovering for a moment.

The UFO as seen through Mario's binoculars.

The UFO as seen through Mario’s binoculars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The UFO sightings aren’t the only strangeness to be found in 3D Land. The Ghost House in World 4 is filled with the usual cartoonish Boos that have appeared in Mario titles ever since the Super Mario World on the SNES. Stand in the courtyard at the end of the level for a sufficiently long time, though, and you’ll see a much more macabre-looking spirit manifest in the trees behind the wrought-iron fence.

The spectre lurking in the background of World 4-4.

The spectre lurking in the background of World 4-4.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speculation online has ranged from this being the ghost of a Shyguy (and the facial structure of the apparition does bear some resemblance to a Shyguy mask), the spirit of a lost Mario (huh?), or an extraterrestrial beaming down from the aforementioned flying saucer.

Closeup of the ghost- contrast altered by RedgoateeRob to bring out detail.

Closeup of the ghost- contrast altered by RedgoateeRob to bring out detail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The weirdness extends beyond Super Mario 3D Land. In Super Mario Galaxy 2, in the Shiverburn Galaxy level, monstrous creatures can be seen lurking in the background. Never attacking or interacting with Mario directly, they seem content to hover in the background and watch Mario make his way through Shiverburn Galaxy.

The skyline of Shiverburn Galaxy.

The skyline of Shiverburn Galaxy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cracked.com has probably brought the most attention to the monsters in Shiverburn Galaxy with it’s article 8 Creepy Video Game Urban Legends (http://www.cracked.com/article_19172_8-creepy-video-game-urban-legends-that-happen-to-be-true.html). The article claims that the monsters are part of an unused level called either ‘Hell Valley’ or ‘Beyond Hell Valley’, a claim that seems to source to a GoNintendo (http://gonintendo.com/?p=126769) user by the name of Girrrtacos, who claims to have hacked the game to locate the name of the texture file. Given that it’s difficult to imagine Nintendo naming a Mario level something as overtly disturbing as ‘Hell Valley’, it’s hard to take that claim at face value. In the aftermath of the Hot Coffee controversy, one would think game design teams would take extreme amounts of care to ensure that any potentially-offensive files or words would be removed from a game before street date, particularly a company as family-oriented as Nintendo.

Closeup of one of the Shiverburn Galaxy watchers.

Closeup of one of the Shiverburn Galaxy watchers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So all of this begs the question; where is all this weirdness coming from? Perhaps Shigeru Miyamoto is having a laugh at the expense of the gaming community. Many of the early NES games, Mario included, inspired wild tales of glitches and hidden content amongst their youthful fans, so perhaps Miyamoto is simply including some of these weird easter eggs in the more recent Mario titles as a wink to the older members of his fanbase who remember sharing these stories at recess. Or maybe some programmer working at Nintendo is a closet horror fan who enjoys slipping these spooky images into the games without the knowledge or consent of Nintendo brass.

Whatever is going on, until Nintendo is willing to comment on the phenomenon, we’re left with speculation and rumor. Which, when you think about it, might be the whole point.

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~ by Redgoateerob on January 7, 2013.

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