Mario in Casino Retrospective

March 10th is officially Mario Day, a celebration of everyone's favourite Goomba-bashing chubby plumber. Mario made his first appearance way back in the Donkey Kong arcade game in 1981 and has since shown his moustached face in more than 200 games - with the most recent being Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash. Throughout the years, Mario has found himself underwater, in volcanoes and in outer space – but even our little red-hatted Italian friend needs to kick back every now and again, which is why the casino crops up time and time again in his adventures.

We're taking a retrospective look at some of the best casino-themed levels and classic casino games in Mario history, from blackjack and slots in Super Mario RPG to a frantic game of roulette in Super Mario Sunshine.

1)    Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars

Console: SNES

Release Date: 1996

Level Name: Grate Guy's Casino

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4hUd75u0l4

Background

First up we have Super Mario RPG, which was released 20 years ago. Unlike traditional Mario games, instead of being a platformer Legend of the Seven Stars included turn-based combat.. It also introduced Grate Guy's Casino, which was run by an eccentric jester called, well, Grate Guy.

What Casino Games Can You Play?

There are three games in Grate Guy's Casino: blackjack, slots and a unique one called ‘Look the Other Way'. Blackjack is played using normal rules, playing against the dealer in a bid to get as close to 21 as possible.

The slots game gives Mario a set number of coins. He then has to hit a treasure box to align three of the same pictures to win.

Finally, ‘Look the Other Way' is a simple game where Mario must pick a direction to look. Looking in the opposite direction to Grate Guy's pointing finger will secure a win.

Super Tip

If you find the sleeping Toad in Nimbus Land's Inn, you can get a hint as to where the casino is hidden.

 

2)    Super Mario 64 DS

Console: Nintendo DS

Release Date: 2005

Level Name: Luigi's Casino

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tesg8T8kjzI

Background

Super Mario 64 was a landmark game that showed how great 3D platformers could be. The green half of the Mario Bros., Luigi, featured in a selection of mini games, allowing the player to wager their money against him to win gold coins.

What Casino Games Can You Play?

There are nine games in total, but ones casino-heads will enjoy are Mushroom Roulette, Picture Poker and Super Mario Slot.

In Mushroom Roulette, Luigi throws the ball into the roulette wheel and you need to guess where it will land. Picture Poker uses a deck of 30 cards containing similar symbols to the roulette game. Finally, Super Mario Slot is a pretty simple game - line up three images to win, with ‘superstars' acting as wildcards.

Super Tip

In Picture Poker, to be in with the best return, always bet the maximum of five coins if you have at least a pair before the draw.

 

3)    Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door

Console: GameCube

Release Date: 2004

Level Name: Pianta Parlor

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eWQMs7m3Eo

Background

Like Super Mario RPG, Paper Mario: TTYD used role-playing elements and a unique graphical style to stand out from the rest of the series. During the game, you'll find yourself in Rogueport where you can visit the Pianta Parlor to play minigames for ‘Pianta Tokens'.

What Casino Games Can You Play?

There are various games, but slots are the main attraction here. However, in order to play the slot machine, you must first gather cards by winning other  minigames.

As with other Mario slot games, getting three of the same pictures in a row is the aim, netting you Pianta Tokens which can be exchanged for badges and items.

Super Tip

If you get a high score in one of the games, you are able to speak to Lahla the Boo, who works behind the desk

 

4)    Mario Party 4

Console: GameCube

Release Date: 2002

Level Name: Goomba's Greedy Gala

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfDEoYlwYhg

Background

In the fourth installation of the Mario Party series, the multi-player board game bonanza includes a casino-themed map called Goomba's Greedy Gala.

What Casino Games Can You Play?

While there are a number of different casino games, the level itself has a giant roulette wheel in the centre. Where the ball lands determines which four locations the spinning player ends up in – either the green, blue, red or pink corner of the board. Minigames you can land on include slots and dice games.

Super Tip

Landing on a ‘Happening Space' allows you to fly to the other side of the board on a poker chip.

 

5)    Super Mario Sunshine

Console: GameCube

Release Date: 2002

Level Name: King Boo Down Below

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAZHY2jdL0w

 

Background

Super Mario Sunshine saw our mushroom-stomping friend become something of an eco-warrior, tasked with washing away pollution with a hose on the idyllic island of Delfino. Featuring the great Casino Delfino, it's one of the more interesting games in the Mario series.

What Casino Games Can You Play?

The usual slot machines make an appearance, but the centrepiece is a huge roulette wheel in the middle of the complex. Jumping on the Purple Space will activate a battle with the boss, King Boo. If you hit him, he'll set off the roulette wheel, giving you random weapons, coins, water or even new enemies. Yikes!

Super Tip

If you wait too long to spray King Boo, he will send smaller Boos to attack Mario.