Before Square and Enix joined forces, and before the disagreement with Nintendo about whether to go stick with the cartridge format or favour discs in the generation following the SNES, there was enough time for the developer to produce one of the SNES’ last great efforts, and the first of the Paper Mario-esque titles to date. It’s on the North American Virtual Console today, joined by a arcade-esque NES effort, which you may recognise from Animal Crossing.
Clu Clu Land (NES®, 1-2 players, Rated E for Everyone, 500 Wii Points):
Clu Clu Land’s story starts with a type of Sea Urchin, the Unira, stealing all of the treasures in the underwater kingdom of Clu Clu Land. Bubbles, the hero, sets out to retrieve the treasure. The object of the game is to uncover all the golden Ingots in each stage while avoiding the Unira and Black Holes.
Take a deep breath and prepare for a puzzle game set in the underwater kingdom of Clu Clu Land. The greedy Sea Urchins have stolen all of Clu Clu Land’s gold bars and buried them in a series of mazes. As Bubbles, a brave bubble fish, you’ll set out to uncover all of the gold bars in each maze. But you’ll have to be careful: Sea Urchins will relentlessly pursue Bubbles, and there are also dangerous black holes that must be avoided. Bubbles isn’t defenseless, though, as she has the ability to stun Sea Urchins with sound waves and quickly change direction using posts scattered throughout the stages. Not only that, but the locations of the gold bars in each maze form the outline of another object—once you know the object, you’re well on your way to finding the gold. With 20 stages to complete and increasingly complex conditions (like having to pass over the gold bars twice to uncover them), you might just want to bring along a friend for help.
“Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, originally available only for the Famicom Disk System in Japan, expands on the first game with challenging new level designs, trickier enemies and obstacles, and many secret worlds to discover.
Note: This game was added to Europe’s Wii Shop on the 14th of September, 2007 as a temporary promotion. It was removed on the 1st of October, 2007. On the 22nd August 2008 it was restored permanently for Europe.”
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (Super Nintendo, 1 Player, 900 Wii Points):
Super Mario RPG, released in 1996, was the final Mario game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System video game console, as well as being one of the last games Square produced for Nintendo hardware until 2002.
While visiting Mario, Princess Toadstool sits down to pick flowers in the nearby garden. Blissfully unaware, Toadstool doesn’t notice the dark stormclouds billowing overhead. Then, through the darkness comes the sound of a helicopter.
Suddenly, without warning, Bowser swoops in and snatches Toadstool up, whisking her away to his conveniently nearby keep. Mario, hearing her screams, races out after Bowser and his royal cargo.
After a quick match on Bowser’s throne room chandeliers, Mario races to untie the princess, when a loud rumbling shakes the castle’s foundation. Then, in a horiffic explosion, Bowser, Mario, and Toadstool are flung in opposite directions away from the castle.
Mario returns to the castle moments later only to discover the cause of the explosion - A gigantic sword has crashed into Bowser’s Keep! In its headlong plunge through the skies, the sword shatters a very important part of the night sky…the Star Road.
Mario must now race against the Smithy Gang to retrieve the seven star pieces that have fallen all across the Mushroom Kingdom and restore the Star Road before they can use the pieces for their own, evil good.
Until next week… spend those Wii Points wisely!