How Super Mario Bros. Wonder May Have Grown From Super Mario World's Weirdest Feature

Highlights Super Mario Bros. Wonder may have a connection to a bizarre feature in Super Mario World that many players may have forgotten about: the Special Zone. The game’s quirkier aspects, such as the talking flowers and level-altering Wonder Flowers, give it a trippy, dreamlike identity that feels inspired by the Special Zone from World. Super Mario Bros. Wonder’s creative direction and the potential revival of older ideas, like Mario-headed Koopas, could make it a memorable addition to the series.

Super Mario Bros. Wonder could have its roots in the most bizarre feature of the classic Super Mario World. There will doubtlessly be similarities between the two by virtue of both being Super Mario platformers, there are more potential connections than just a shared series. Even beyond that, there’s a chance that Super Mario Bros. Wonder could end up providing one of the most unexpected throwbacks that the series has seen to date. The most amusing part is that the part of Super Mario World that most resembles Wonder is one that many players may have forgotten about.

Players already know how Super Mario Bros. Wonder will be different from other games in the series based on the trailers alone. Of course, the side-scrolling platforming formula that the Super Mario series has mastered over the decades will be the driving force of the game. However, it’s the game’s quirkier aspects, such as the talking flowers and level-altering Wonder Flowers that give it its trippy, dreamlike identity. Granted, Super Mario Bros. Wonder would have probably been notable anyway for being Daisy’s debut playable appearance in a mainline Mario title. The game’s overflowing creativity will just make it more memorable in the long run.

Super Mario World’s Alternate World Would Fit Well into Super Mario Bros. Wonder Koopa Troopas wearing Mario masks from Super Mario World

Super Mario World is an easy contender for the best Mario game on the Super Nintendo, and it also hid one of the series’ most unusual secrets. In Super Mario World, players could access Star Road through certain secret exits, and completing Star Road would unlock a second set of secret levels called the Special Zone. Upon beating the Special Zone, the entire game world would change dramatically. The map’s color scheme would change, as would many enemies. Most prominent would be Piranha Plants becoming grinning pumpkins, and Koopas wearing Mario masks instead of shells. It made the game into a bizarre, yet unforgettable experience.

It’s not difficult to draw a line between Super Mario World’s Special Zone rewards and Super Mario Bros. Wonder’s new feature, the Wonder Flower. The Wonder Flower does weird things when it gets picked up, turning a level into a new experience. There’s a correlation between that and what Super Mario World does after beating the Special Zone. The main difference is that the Wonder Flower can actually change levels mechanically, while Super Mario World’s odd changes were solely aesthetic. While unconfirmed, one can wonder if Super Mario Bros. Wonder’s odd effects were inspired in some way by Super Mario World.

Considering the varied effects of the Wonder Flower, it’s possible that Super Mario Bros. Wonder could pay tribute to Super Mario World’s alternate designs. Super Mario Bros. Wonder can revive older ideas from the series, and probably find new ways to work with them in the process. In addition, it would be a fun throwback to see Mario-headed Koopas again, even for just a single level. With the way that the Wonder Flower seems to work, it could even give them new functions within the level. It may be a relatively obscure reference, but it would fit well in Super Mario Bros. Wonder.

The aftermath of Super Mario World’s Special Zone was one of the series’ first dives into absurdity, and Super Mario Bros. Wonder may be the best time to pay tribute to it. It looks like Super Mario Bros. Wonder’s direction is the right one for the series, taking the whimsy of the Mushroom Kingdom to a whole new level. After all, the Super Mario games have always managed to make exciting adventures in its rather wacky world. With Super Mario Bros. Wonder stepping up in terms of creativity, Super Mario World’s weirdest easter egg could see a revival.

Super Mario Bros. Wonder will be released on October 20, 2023 for the Nintendo Switch.

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