Super Mario Land 2
Image: Nintendo

Thirty years ago today, Nintendo released the Game Boy title Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins in Japan.

It was the follow-up to 1989's Super Mario Land (also for the Game Boy) and picked up pretty much where the last game left off with Mario making his way back from Sarasaland to find that one of his rivals had cast a spell over his island home.

It introduced an overworld map, a bunny powerup, and some great new enemies, including a pesky hedgehog and some troublesome tree frogs. It also marked the first appearance of fan-favourite Wario, who later became the star of several of his own games including Wario Land and WarioWare.

In a 1992 interview with the developers of Super Mario Land 2 from the official Nintendo guidebook (as translated by Shmupulations), the director/designer Hiroji Kiyotake had this to say about the addition of this character:

"We imagined Wario as the Bluto to Mario’s Popeye. The truth is, we kind of came up with the idea of the name first, and everything else came after. Since he was a “warui” (bad) guy, he should be Wario. And we had the idea to flip the M upside down. To our surprise, the idea was a big hit with everyone on the team."

Today, Wario is probably Super Mario Land 2's biggest contribution to the overall series, but it's certainly not the only reason to check the game out. Super Mario Land 2 is a ton of fun to play, featuring a wonderfully diverse score from Kazumi Totaka and an eclectic range of levels, which involve a lot more exploration than its predecessor.

What are your favourite memories of Super Mario Land 2? Let us know in the comments!