Nintendo’s latest Mario Maker-focused Direct provided a boatload of information on the upcoming Super Mario Maker 2. But it was the one thing they didn’t show that piqued my interest the most.

In the brief moment where switching game styles was shown, the Mario 3D World style stood alone in an “Extra Game Styles” section with a space next to it that looked conveniently large enough for another game style to appear. There’s a good possibility that we were purposely not shown one final Mario style that we’ll be able to build levels in. Given the degree to which the Mario 3D World lets you change up your designs, we got to thinking: what could this mystery style be?

There are almost too many Mario games out there to count – he’s done everything from teach typing to compete in the Olympics – but I’ve compiled what I think are the best contenders for what could be an additional game style in Super Mario Maker 2, and what they can bring to the crafting table.

Super Mario Bros. 2

This is probably the most likely contender – the second Super Mario Bros. game appearing in the second Super Mario Maker is only fitting, after all. There’s a lot to this bizarre platforming adventure that hasn’t been seen before (or since) that would add some crazy elements to level-building.

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  • Sprouts and Vegetables – Being able to infuse a spot on the ground with a plant that can be pulled up could make for some interesting opportunities – whether providing ammo to attack enemies, or maybe sneakily planting other items like hearts, mushrooms, or keys. Imagine having to frantically search for the right item to uproot while a hoard of Shy Guys close in on all sides!

  • Sub-Space Doors – Now that we can enable the ability to stop scrolling through a level and create a static area, it would be neat to create the secret silhouetted sub-space areas to hide even more secrets in by using the potions from Super Mario Bros. 2.

  • Birdo – Come on, it’s time we added the iconic egg-spitting dinosaur into the mix. Think of all the possibilities to enhance Birdo by combining tools: Birdo in a clown car! Birdo looking fabulous in kuribo’s shoe! A giant Birdo on top of a cannon that shoots more Birdos! Birdo!

 

  • Sand Pits – One of the first truly tense moments I can remember was that one room in SMB2’s sand level where you had to dig deeper and deeper into a pit, all while frantically trying to outpace the unstoppable march of Shy Guys and Snifits pursuing you. I want more of that. Allowing players to pull up blocks of sand like they would turnips can make for some fun digging-themed levels, and trying to balance speed with evading foes dropping in from above.

  • Phanto – The first truly unstoppable enemy that filled every player with dread, this creepy as hell looking face relentlessly pursues players when they grab his key. Imagine how much more of a harrowing experience you can craft when you throw all the obstacles in Mario Maker into the mix with a Phanto in pursuit!

Paper Mario

Paper Mario has never been a true platforming game, but imagine being able to craft platforming challenges in Paper Mario’s gorgeous art style. Still, there would likely need to be a few new rules or unique items for it to have a place in the extra game styles section. Since the series has been largely RPG focused, however, there may not be a lot of ideas to translate to level construction beyond its gorgeous and iconic art style.

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  • Hammer – Paper Mario loves his hammer, and it would be interesting to see how the ability to use a hammer in place of other powerups could change how a level could progress. It could also have several uses in solving puzzles, hitting switches, and other environment effects.

  • Mega Star – That’s a nice level you crafted… it would be a shame if Mario were to, say, get a powerup that turns him into a giant 8-bit monstrosity and proceed to carve a swath of destruction through your level.

 

  • Paper Airplanes – Super Mario World’s cape is old news, so why not have the ability for Paper Mario to be able to either get into or turn into a paper airplane to glide across hazards, or make use of the new wind gusting creatures to let you coast for longer periods.

  • Pixls – Super Paper Mario introduced a handful of pixelated companions who all brought their own puzzle-solving twists to the table, and could serve as some fun ways to create and solve puzzles in a Paper Mario themed level. Thoreau could be used to grab and toss items just out of reach, while Carrie could transport you over dangerous terrain.

Mario Galaxy

The Mario 3D World style proved you don’t need a strictly side-scrolling game to make some awesome levels in the original Mario Maker. Obviously, not everything would translate well from the planet-hopping game, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few cool ideas that could be integrated into a Mario Maker level.

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  • Planetary Gravity – This may be a bit too crazy to implement, but it would be amazing to create larger planet-like platforms that had their own gravitational pull – and be able to jump between them in a 2D space (before you say it’s impossible, check out Mohawk & Headphone Jack for the SNES). This would allow for a completely different take on side scrolling levels that let you progress in multiple directions – not just left to right.

  • Reverse Gravity Sections – You may not remember them, but Mario Galaxy did have a few forced side-scrolling sections, and some of those included the ability to jump into areas that forced you onto the ceiling. We know that reverse gravity is possible in the night mode version of underground levels – it would be cool to pinpoint areas of reverse gravity to create new platforming opportunities.

Super Mario Land

Ok – just hear me out on this one. While Super Mario Bros. set the groundwork for the series to come, Super Mario Land brought some interesting ideas to the table, and somehow still fit onto a GameBoy cartridge. It also introduced us to some pretty interesting locales – pyramids, easter island heads… and what was with that alien spaceship? Can we get those again? Plus, you can swap out Bowser for that crazy giant sphinx since they essentially attack the same way.

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  • Submarine – Alright I’ll be honest, I just really want an excuse for Mario to have a submarine again. That thing was awesome, and it turned parts of the game into a shoot-em-up, which would be a cool twist on Mario maker levels.

  • Tree Sap – Technically this feature showed up in Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, but that doesn’t mean they can’t roll both games into one style for some fun effects in Mario Maker. Certain levels in SML2 featured weird brown goop that effectively slowed you down when trying to jump through them – almost like tiny customizable pockets of water that could change your momentum or give you a space to move past other hazards.

  • Superball – There was a time when  Mario was too cool for fire flowers, and so we have the Superball Flower, which changes his projectiles to ricochet along blocks at crazy angles – but you could only fire one at a time. This could potentially make for some interesting challenges or puzzles built around bank-shotting enemies or targets, and would be a nice departure from the usual fireball spam.

Of course, those are just a few of the possible styles of the many Mario games out there. The Mario-verse is full of games with unique rules and modes that could still look great in Mario Maker. Yoshi’s Island, other 3D Mario’s like Sunshine and 64, or the original Mario Bros. would all be great additions to the Super Mario Maker toolset.

What styles would you love to see in Super Mario Maker 2? Let us know in the comments below!


Brendan Graeber is a Guides Editor at IGN and no longer trusts AI in video games. You can follow him on Twitter at @Ragga_Fragga.



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