As briefly touched upon in our look at Alleyway, though the Game Boy did not come with a Mario title per se, Nintendo’s entire first-party lineup in the west nonetheless had the mustachioed mascot’s fingerprints all over the place.
Unlike the Nintendo Entertainment System game of the same name, there was no confusion over who was in the lead role when Golf was injected with a dose of Portable Power. As you can see above, the cover makes it quite clear that this is the Mario teeing up, as he’s adorned in his then-trademark red overalls and blue shirt, rather than the more traditional golfing attire he had in the home version. Of course, with as big a star as Mario had become in between the two releases, why wouldn’t Nintendo milk it?
As you can see in the screens above, Mario took on an appearance more akin to what we know and love, versus the more realistic proportions used previously. Of course, part of this was probably to help save on screen real-estate, but the fact that it brought the plumber a little more in-line with his more familiar look probably didn’t hurt matters, either.
For those interested in acquiring the game for more than mere collectability, the holes in the Game Boy version of Golf are different from its NES forebear, and includes some other different touches, such as the availability of courses in both the United States and Japan, as well as some background music — something that wasn’t just different, but completely absent in the home version.
Of course, this is far from the last appearance that Mario will make on a golf course, but we’ll touch on that a little bit more another time.