Mario Pinball Land – But Why?

We all have video games we don’t enjoy. Then we have that one game that is just the worst. And it doesn’t matter how much time you spend with it, that little something just doesn’t click and the game isn’t fun for you and it just becomes frustrating.

Well, for me, that game is without a doubt —


This game … ugh, this game.

I don’t remember when I got this game or how I came to own it. But I do remember spending quite a lot of time trying to figure out what I was even supposed to be doing.

Now, I had played with an actual pinball machine before owning this game, so I knew what pinball was and generally how to play. But I couldn’t understand what Mario Pinball Land wanted me to do.

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Even now, I’m still not sure exactly what the end goal was. I only found out a little while before writing this that Peach was in the game too and was kidnapped by Bowser ?????

I don’t go to Mario games for the excellent story but, in hindsight, I really had no clue why Mario was a pinball or what that was supposed to accomplish.

MarioWiki gives us this nice backstory to set up the game:

The story takes place in an amusement park called The Fun Fair. Mario, some Toads and Princess Peach are waiting in line to try a ride called the Air Cannon. To ride it, the rider must be turned into a ball first via the Spherasizer, after which they are shot out of the cannon. The Toad who tries it first has fun. As Peach is about to take her turn, two Goombas appear and change the direction the cannon is aiming toward Bowser’s Castle. Mario then uses the Spherasizer to turn into a ball himself to go save Peach.

At the end of the game, Mario confronts Bowser inside his castle. When Bowser is defeated, he is launched out of the castle. Mario and Peach, after returning to normal, are riding the roller coaster on the final screen.

And here’s a little bit more info, per the instruction booklet:

Princess in Peril!?
During the unveiling ceremony for the new “Sky Cannon” at the Fun Fair, Princess Peach was accidentally blasted off to Bowser’s castle! The Sky Cannon, an amazing new transportation device that launches people to new destinations, got off to a rocky start because of this shocking turn of events.
According to eyewitnesses, the mishap occurred when a pair of shady Goombas altered the cannon’s direction. Within moments, they had locked up the castle, with Princess Peach trapped inside!

Mario to the rescue!
Without a moment’s hesitation, Mario leapt into a cannon to rescue Princess Peach. If Mario collects four Star Keys, he’ll be able to get into Bowser’s Castle. To do that, he’ll need to confront many challenges and defeat the bosses who hold those keys! Will he be able to rescue Princess Peach?

How does it work?
Before you can ride the Sky Cannon, a special “Pinballer” squeezes you into a ball, so that you can fit into the cannon’s barrel. The Pinballer also makes you surprisingly rubbery, so that you bounce harmlessly when you land!

This just feels like a lot of words put together but lacking any overall meaning.

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I’m just now finding out there are bosses in this game!

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Though this may be my favorite boss I’ve never seen before:

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I never even dreamed of making it this far in the game.

Now that I’m watching Anthony Jones’s playthrough of Mario Pinball Land, I’m understanding just how embarrassingly bad I was, and still am to be fair, at this game. Oh man, I am just awful at this.

And Pinball Mario is supposed to use a cannon thing to be shot to different areas to… do… something(?) and I actually only ever saw two of those areas.

This grassy place:

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And this frozen one:

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But there are indeed more of them! Like a desert place and a ghost house.

Oh and then we travel to hell:

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This game is also apparently pretty short if you don’t completely suck at it.

Unfortunately Pinball Mario was always falling down the hole in between the bumpers and I’d have to start all over again. I never got anywhere with this game and it was beyond frustrating. I couldn’t get hang of the controls and I couldn’t figure out what the point was. I really really wanted to be good at Mario Pinball Land. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be.

Can you play Mario Pinball Land without wanting to throw your GameBoy across the room? If so, how?!

What’s your least favorite video game? Let me know in the comments!


2 thoughts on “Mario Pinball Land – But Why?

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