Is this deja vu? Didn’t we just look at a Mario cameo in Tetris a few weeks ago?

Yes, indeed, but not this version of Tetris. And truth be told, I wish I’d had the foresight to do this article as my first in June, since that was the very day of Tetris‘s 35th anniversary, but what else can I do but round out this month of “Mario Mania” cameos the right way before moving on?

The Game Boy Tetris featured cameos from both Mario and Luigi, but only if you were to connect two Game Boys with two copies of the game and play multiplayer. Not so in the Nintendo Entertainment System version; aside from the fact you can’t link two NES consoles up, this version doesn’t even feature 2-player action! Given that it would become such a staple of Tetris and other Nintendo puzzle games in years to come (culminating at this point in a 99-player version, aptly titled Tetris 99), it’s a bit of a surprise, as even other versions had it.

So, if 2-player mode is out for seeing Mario in this game, how do you do it?

It’s quite simple, really. Just play in Mode B, and when you complete Level 9, you’ll get a different ending based on the Height you’ve set beforehand. The greater the Height, the more Nintendo characters appear in this ending. Height 0 brings out Pit from Kid Icarus, while Height 1 adds The Legend of Zelda‘s Link, 2 brings Samus Aran of Metroid fame, 3 is on like Donkey Kong, 4 flies the Koopa with Bowser, and a full Height 5 gets into the action with the plumber brothers, and Princess Peach Toadstool as well.

(I said it was simple, I never said it was easy.)

Here’s how the full assortment looks in action:

Just think: Some ten years before Super Smash Bros., this was perhaps the greatest assemblage of Nintendo superstars in one game.

As with the Game Boy version, there’s not a lot of impetus to worry about the box or manual as far as Mario content goes — perhaps even less, all things considered.

David Oxford David Oxford (113 Posts)

Lover of fine foods and felines, as well as comics, toys, and... oh yeah, video games. David Oxford has written about the latter for years, including for Nintendo Power, Nintendo Force, Mega Visions, and he even wrote the book on Mega Man!