There are many many obscure and really weirdofficial Mario games out there. Games like Mario’s fundamentals (Go Fish!),Hotel Mario, the virtual boy games, or that one time they abused the mario brand to teachkids typing. So the thing is the following, even thoughall of those games are really obscure in one way or another, they are still official mariogames licensed by nintendo, and thus part of Mario’s history. All of those games are super weird, some areactually kind of fun, some are okay, and, to be honest most of them are among the worstgames nintendo ever released. But all those obscure Mario games also kindof raise a question. Which of these really bad Mario Games is actuallythe worst one? So I sat down and started to investigate thisquestion, I played dozens over dozens of hours of really weird mario games, taking notes,researching their history and development process, all in the hopes to find out whichgame featuring Mario is the worst one ever released. And I pretty quickly came to a realization. There is way too much going on in these gamesto cover all of them in a single video. There are crazy development stories, unimaginablebroken ports, missing features, obscure minigames, voice acting that seriously had me doublecheck weather there is something wrong with my audio setup (touch my nose), and gameplayideas I wouldn’t have thought it possible to build a game around. Those games are truly amazing, so insteadof answering the eternal question which mario game is the absolute worst one, in a singlevideo, we are going to do this in a small mini series, where we take a closer look atsome of nintendo’s weirdest moment’s, starting today, with the fascinating game,Mario’s time Machine. So are you ready? Let’s do this! Okay, so the first really strange game weare going to take a look at is Mario’s time Machine, originally released on the MS-DOS. So Mario’s time Machine! was the long awaitedsequel to the equally obscure game mario is missing. Let’s read the games description on theamazing mario maker wiki together, shall we? In the year 1993, Bowser uses a time machine,traveling backwards to different points in human history and stealing significant artifactsto place in his personal museum inside his castle. With his collection nearly completed, Bowsergloats that not even Mario can stop him now. Mario realizes that history will change foreverif he does nothing, so it’s up to Mario to use Bowser’s own device against him by returningthe artifacts to their proper places in time. Wow, that sounds like fun, doesn’t it!? The game also starts really promising! The intro music is nothing short of amazing,the pixel art looks really great for a 1993 game, the story is presented in a really coolway. I can’t wait to find out what the gameplayis actually like, so let’s jump right into it! So we find ourselves in this room. Alright, so what are we supposed to do? There are no, you know, instructions. So usually, I’m not a big fan of long tutorialsin games, but you know, mario’s time machine is really stretching it. Alright so we can’t walk to the left, weneither can walk to the right, nor through this door. Wait, does the whole game take place in thisroom? Okay so we can pick up this sheet of music. Excellent, I wonder what this is useful for. Alright so we are able to open up this interface,what is this screen fo … uhm why are we playing a surfing minigame right now. I’ve got so many questions, why are we surfinghere, how did mario end up in this place, what is the objective of the game, why didthis happen after entering the time travelling interface, why do the mushrooms disappearat random, and most importantly, uhm, how do we leave this game again? So as it turns out driving into a water streamdoes the trick!
So as it turns out driving into a water streamdoes the trick! We are back in the castle. So what we just witnessed was one half ofthe game, the time travelling minigame. And yes, the time travelling minigame is asurfing minigame, I have no idea either. The other half of the game is retrieving,solving and returning the different artifacts bowser stole. We already picked up one of those. The note-sheet. So, uhm, spoiler warning, turns out the note-sheetwe picked up in the castle before is no ordinary note sheet. Actually it’s a quite important note sheet. It’s ludwig von beethoven’s 9th symphony,and the only way to ensure this wonderful piece of music is not lost for eternity isto return it to it’s rightful owner. Ludwig van Beethoven. But first, let’s solve a fill-in-the-blankstext shall we. Apparently the greatest composer who everlived, ludwig van beethoven; (Great job game, we are only one sentence in and you alreadymade richard wagner mad) spent most of his life in the austrian musical capital of _____;Vienna?? Born in … hm … 1770? Hooray! Ludwig gave his first .. hm that’s a thoughone. Gas concert? Oh no, I made the smiley mad! Maybe he gave his first metal concert? Oh my god, that’s wrong as well, I couldhave sworn he gave metal concerts, now there are two sad smileys! I start to feel the pressure. (heartbeat ..). He gave his, his, uhm, hisfirst … his first second concert! Oh no, that’s been wrong too. I’m so sorry beethoven. Luckily the only penalty for entering somethingwrong is it that the screen closes. I’m not kidding, we even keep the rightanswers saved for later. That’s really nice of you game! So let me quickly brute force this! (an unknownamount of time later) So turns out the answer is his first piano concert. Who could have known? Okay it’s probably time to talk about theactual gameplay loop of this wonderful strange game. So the core idea is the following. Our hero in a jumpsuit first has to pick upone of the artifacts, which grants him access to one of many legendary and different fillin the blank texts. Assuming our plumber isn’t able to solvethem by using logic and luck, which he is, but let’s pretend for a second he isn’t. He is supposed to enter the correspondingtime on top of the fill in text into the timulator (i’m not making this name up). Once entered successfully, which is easiersaid than done thanks to the horrific and unbeeeelieeevably slow interface, we findourselves. Yup that’s right, we find ourselves in thesurfing minigame. The goal here is it to travel through time,but how does one travel through time? Well by picking up ten mushrooms, and thencommitting suicide via whirlpool. If we enter a whirlpool with less than 10delicious shrooms we are sent back to the single room in the castle. If we entered a wrong time or place previously,we end up in the castle as well, but if we did everything correctly we successfully surfeback in time. Hooray! In this case we find ourselves in the beautifulaustrian musical capital vienna, the year is 1824. There is a lot to discover and to experiencein vienna. We can go for a walk on the streets, we canvisit a hotel and talk to the locals, take
We can go for a walk on the streets, we canvisit a hotel and talk to the locals, take a peak at a concert room and talk to the locals,or we talk to other locals. Yeah that’s pretty much it. So the idea here is that mario has to interrogateall the locals, until he gathered enough knowledge about beethoven, and is able to fill in thelegendary fill in the blanks text. Once the text is solved we can hand it tothe beethoven himself, summon a creepy gigantic hand and return to the present. That’s the game in a nutshell. Rinse and repeat, the next fill in the blankstext might be about newton, or about cleopatra, or mozart or whatever, but that’s the basicgame loop. Pick up artifact. Surf with style through time, solve fill inthe blank text, repeat. Okay so is this obscure educational gameplayloop any fun? Well, let me be honest here. No. Actually the idea is kind of cute, I kindof like the concept of travelling through various time periods, learn about the peoplethere, and then to apply this newly learned knowledge, but sadly it just doesn’t work. First, uhm, such a game isn’t the perfectfit for a mario setting, second everything is unbelievably boring, if it is not justflat out broken, the game lacks any introductions on what to do, and worst of all. Everything. Takes. Forever. The surf game is slow, entering the textsis slow, the timulator is unbearably slow, talking to people is slow. Everything is just slow. It’s so slow that I doubt anyone would everbe silly enough to do a speedrun of this ga.. uhm, nevermind. Anyway, so if the gameplay isn’t fun, doesthe game at least succeed at teaching kids history. Well, uhm that can be debated. So first, the way the game is structured justisn’t a good way to teach anyone anything, like seriously mario’s time machine, ifyou want to teach kids history then do it like the civilization series. That’s like the more effective approach. But that is actually the smaller problem,the bigger problem is that the game constantly gets history facts wrong. Cleopatra talks about having 3 sons, whenin fact one son is a daughter, the game states that mozart’s wife calls mozart wolfie, whichnever ever happened once, they got this from the movie amadeus, they state that mozartbecame a concertmaster at the age of 13, when he was actually 17, Mario receives a tea bagin 1455, even though tea bags were not commercially available until the 1920s, the game impliesthat benjamin franklin is responsible for cobblestone roads, which, uhm, he is definitelynot, the game even gets the date wrong on which america’s declaration of independencewas signed. And that’s just a couple of the errors,here’s the full list taken from the amazing mario wiki. So the SNES version of Mario’s time machineis an educational game about history, that fails as a game, and, well in history. Is there anything that safes the game? Well, the pixel art is sometimes really reallygood, especially for a 1993 game, and parts of the soundtrack are really good! One of the tracks for example, finally answersan eternal question, that I often found myself wondering about, while laying awake in bedlate at night. What would a Mario remix of beethoven’s Odeto Joy sound like. Wem der große wurf gelungeneines Freundes Freunds zu sein, Wer ein holdes Weib errungenMische seinen Jubel ein! I always thought that would sound, … youknow … better. Anyway, so that’s the SNES version of thegame.
time downloading game may take Anyway, so that’s the SNES version of thegame.
Anyway, so that’s the SNES version of thegame. The DOS version of the game is very similarto the SNES version, I’d argue the game is slightly better, it features a couple moretime periods, and most importantly, the surfing minigame is by far less worse. Also there is this minigame. That’s the Dino mini-game. It happens if we try to travel to a wrongtime period. So I know what at least one of you is currentlythinking. A dino mini-game, how exciting, I wonder howthis mini game works!? To such a person I would answer, yeah I wondertoo how this minigame works. Like, I have honestly no idea. I’m not kidding by the way. When I first got to this minigame I was stuckhere for over 15 minutes. I tried to google how to leave it again, butapparently, no one in the whole world wide web knows the answer either. It’s really super weird, there are thoseblasters at the bottom, which don’t kill us, but fly towards us in endless waves, untilthey randomly stop to spawn after about ten minutes. And then there is this bird that, you, know,drops eggs. To our right is a hole in the ground, whichwe are can click, but clicking it does nothing, except for the one time after 15 minutes,when clicking it suddenly, randomly revealed a yoshi, which took us back in time. Hooray? If anyone knows how this minigame is supposedto work, please tell me in a comment, I’m honestly super curious. So anyway, other than that the SNES and theDOS version of the game are very similar. But we aren’t done with this obscure littletreasure of a game yet, because as it turns out that’s not the final port of Mario’stime Machine. Because as it turns outthere is actually a third port of this game. And this is where stuff gets really reallyobscure, because as it turns out, mario’s time machine got ported to the NES. In 1994, almost four years after the releaseof the Super Nintendo, which makes it one of the very last games ever, to be releasedon the NES. Mario’s time Machine got ported onto theoriginal Nintendo Entertainment system, only two years before the nintendo 64 got released. So obviously getting this game somehow ontothe NES was really important to someone, but what does the NES port play like? Well, nothing like the other two ports, that’sfor sure. It’s a completely different game. Like completely completely completely different. So check this out! This time Mario’s time machine starts byMario and yoshi happily riding together towards a museum. But what is this! As soon as they arrive at the museum a textboxinforms them that Bowser and his koopas built the biggest museum in history, but to do sothey have stolen many important items from the past. So this information is obviously not enoughto get mario to act immediately, all it does is slightly confuse him, so the game has topull another trick to finally get mario to behave as if he cared! Bowser’s turns up, does an evil turtle dance,and kidnaps yoshi. Mario obviously likes yoshi, and as the gametells us, retrieving the stolen artifacts is the only way to rescue yoshi, for reasonsunknown. So retrieving the artifacts it is. But how does one single plumber retrieve thoseartifacts? Well, definitely not like in the DOS version. So first we find ourselves in the middle ofbowser’s museum, which is a far more exciting place then in the other versions, if we ignorethe lack of color for a moment. We are able to explore this place freely,there are cool statues, several doors we can
We are able to explore this place freely,there are cool statues, several doors we can enter, even the camera learned how to scrollwhen getting ported to older hardware. Behind the doors the artifact retrieval mini-gametakes place. You see, in the other versions of the gamethe artifacts just lay around, and can be picked up whenever we want. But not in the NES version, because in theNES version we first have to play the second worst version of the original Mario Bros everreleased. So I’m not going to go into detail why thisversion is so bad, just know that it’s impossible to fail, the hitboxes are wrong all the time,mario’s jump feels horrible, and the only way to lose this game is it by exiting itby accident, which, happens surprisingly easy. Anyway after defeating three koopas the koopasdrop one of the artifacts, here newton’s apple for example. That’s the first half of the game, obtainingthe lost artifacts by playing something that visually resembles Mario Bros. The second part is it to travel to the correcttime period and to return the artifact to the right spot. So here is where the port really becomes differentto its predecessors on superior hardware. Because there are no legendary fill in theblanks texts anymore. Yup, instead the game plays like super mariobros, but with a unique twist. So The different time periods are like mariobros stages, but the unique thing about them is it that each time period contains cooleducational blocks that tell us about the time we are in, and about the place wherethe item has to be brought to. So, the torch for example has to be used atthis spot in the ancient greek timeline. If we use it anywhere else an evil bird appearsand unrightfully steals our stolen artifact, if we use it here however, then we, well thenwe save the olympics! Hooray! But learning about the different time periodsis quite a dangerous task because of all the evil enemies that spawn in literally endlesswaves. There are brave koopas traing to stop us,evil hammer swinging bros, trying to hammer us down, and worst of all, those guys, whichname I sadly wasn’t able to find out. So uhm, let’s call them walking turnips,which, uhm, also try to stop us. So that’s the core gameplay loop. Play Mario Bros to gain an artifact, travelto time periods where we play super mario bros, while also getting educated about differenttimes in the past until we finally learned where to bring the artifact to, while dodgingall the horrific threads along the path. Doesn’t sound like a bad game, does it? And, to be honest Mario’s time Machine onthe NES is almost an okay game. Almost, there are just three things, thatare really holding it back. Three things that prevent the game from beingan okay experience. Namely: First, we can’t fail the game. Remember the awesome enemies from before,the dangerous hammer bros, the, … uhm creative walking turnips and so on? Well does are basically decoration. They don’t hurt us. We can stand there, getting hammered downby this hammer bros for as long as we want to. Nothing is ever going to happen. Defeating them is pointless too, since theyrespawn immediately. The Mario Bros mini game can’t be failedeither. The whole game just can’t be lost. But that’s by far not the biggest problemof the game, the far bigger problem are marios horrible, terrible and beyond awful jumpingphysics in this game. The basic problem is the following: Mario’sjump height is always the maximum jump height. As soon as we press jump, even if it’s justa super duper quick mini jump press, mario does a huge max height jump. Jumping just is a button that always acceleratesmario into the air for the exact same distance. Couple this with the absolute lack of anymomentum, and really weird in air controls and we got ourselves a platforming game, whereplatforming feels awful. But not even this is the biggest problem ofthe game. The biggest problem is the level design. So calling the level design in the NES portuninspired would be an insult to the word uninspired. All the levels are just built in such an unbelievablyrandom way. There are random enemies somewhere, randomblocks somewhere and the educational blocks are placed at some random spots too. I’m honestly not sure if I ever played aserious Mario Maker stage with level design that bad. It’s just, it’s, it’s like they didn’teven put the slightest thought into how to set up the different time periods and it reallyreally shows. Those three things really hold the game back,and are the main reason why playing it is sadly a rather unpleasant experience in myopinion. Alright so those are Mario’s time Machineon the NES, and on the SNES in a nutshell. But before we end this little video we stillhave to answer one final question. How horrible are those games in relation tothe other, really obscure Mario games. Since the NES version is so different fromthe DOS and SNES version we are going to rate it separately, so let’s pull out our … horrific scale of horrible hammers, and let’s rate the snes and the dos version first. So Mario’s time machine … on the SNES andDOS … scores a total of four horrific hammers. The game is really awful. Not only is it filled with historical inaccuracies,broken minigames, unbearably slow interfaces, and a lack of instructions that make it almostimpossible to understand what to do in the first place, but worst of all, even if allthose things would work, the game would still be an uninspired weird hybrid between a historytest and a walking simulator. The whole idea for the game is just brokenin the first place. The only thing that prevents the game fromgetting the full amount of horrible hammers is the fact that the presentation is kindof nice, and parts of the soundtrack are really well done. Which leads us to the NES version of the game. So dearest NES port, that’s three hammersfor you, great job, that’s one awful hammer less than your predecessors on better hardware. The NES port is in a really weird position,because behind all the awful level design, the horrible jumping physics, and the lackof, you know, challenging gameplay, the game is almost a bit of fun. Like almost. It’s really a pity, because if the teamjust tried a bit more Mario’s time Machine on the NES could have been an okay game. So here we have it. A quick overview over Mario’s time Machine,one of the weirder adventures in our plumbers adventurous career. I hope you enjoyed this little video, if youdid don’t forget to leave me a thumbs up, and maybe you feel especially like portingsomething onto the NES for no reason at all, and want to hit the subscribe button as well. I hope that all of you have a wonderful day,and to see you soon! Goodbye.