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Super Mario Land

Super Mario Land BoxSuper Mario Land is a platforming video game developed by Nintendo R&D1 and published by Nintendo as a launch title for the Game Boy. It was the first Mario game to be developed without the involvement of Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Mario.

Hiroshi Yamauchi, President of Nintendo requested that the Game Boy launch with a Mario game to help drive sales and demonstrate what the system could accomplish as this was Nintendo’s first venture into the non dedicated Handheld market. Prior to the Game Boy Nintendo manufactured dedicated Handhelds that only played built in games with there Game & Watch line of systems. The game was meant to showcase the Game Boy along with the bundled in game Tetris.

Nintendo’s R&D1 was given the task to develop Mario’s first handheld title whom decided to shrink Mario’s gameplay elements for the device and used some elements inconsistently from the series. The head of R&D1, Gunpei Yokoi served as the game’s producer and Satoru Okada served as the game’s director. R&D1 were better known for their hardware development then their game development however they had previously developed Metroid and Kid Icarus for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Yokoi and Okada where the designers of the Game Boy, Yokoi handled the industrial design as Okada handled the engineering. They knew how to get the most out of the hardware and also had a great handle on how to create good game design. There was no one better to ask to take on the task of creating a new Mario game to showcase the new system.

The Game Boy was released in Japan in April 1989, North America in July and Europe in September 1990. Super Mario Land was a launch title and was praised by critics upon release. Critics were pleased with the franchise’s transition to the Game Boy but noted its short length. The game was an instant success selling over 18 million copies and spawned a series of sequels, including Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins and Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3.

Super Mario Land Logo
Developer(s)Nintendo R&D1
SeriesSuper Mario Land
SuccessorSuper Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins
Platform(s)Game Boy
Media TypeCartridge
ReleaseJP: April 21, 1989
NA: August 1, 1989
EU: September 28, 1990
Development TimeTBD
Sales18.14 Million
RatingESRB: E
Rereleased Platform(s)Virtual Console
Nintendo 3DS – 2011

Game Screenshots:

Gaming Historian - History of the Super Mario Land Series


The Gaming Historian

The Gaming Historian is a documentary series all about the history of video games.  The show is researched, written, edited, and created by Norman Caruso.

Gunpei YokoiGunpei YokoiProducer
Satoru OkadaSatoru OkadaDirector
Takahiro HaradaTakahiro HaradaProgrammer
Masao YamamotoMasao YamamotoProgrammer
Hirofumi MatsuokaHirofumi MatsuokaDesigner
Masahiko MashimoMasahiko MashimoDesigner
Hirokazu TanakaHirokazu TanakaSound
Profile PlaceholderMasaru YamanakaAmida
Profile PlaceholderYoshihiro TakiSpecial Thanks
Takehiro IzushiTakehiro IzushiSpecial Thanks
Profile PlaceholderHideo NagataSpecial Thanks
Makoto KanohMakoto KanoSpecial Thanks
Kenji NishizawaKenji NishizawaSpecial Thanks


Game Boy (North American Release)

Game Boy (Japanese Release)


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