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Super Mario Maker 2’s new minigames are full of old-school Nintendo history

Impress your friends with obscure Toad House trivia

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Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Nintendo released a new update for Super Mario Maker 2 — the Nintendo Switch game’s “final major update” — on Wednesday that adds a new World Maker feature, allowing players to make their own Super Mario World-style playlist maps. The update also added a new Super Mario Bros. 2 mushroom, the Koopalings, and much more.

But one new feature for the World Maker portion of Super Mario Maker 2 deserves some attention. There are three Toad House minigames where players can earn 1-Up mushrooms. One is familiar: Match & Win! is the slots-style game from Super Mario Bros. 3 in which players have to match three panel pieces to earn extra lives. The other two appear totally new.

Catch & Win! is a baseball minigame in which a Bill Blaster-like cannon throws pitches at the player. It features a little musical jingle lifted from Nintendo’s own Baseball for the NES. But as you can see in the GameXplain video above, the minigame also features a cameo from Weird Mario. The unsettling tall and skinny Mario appears if the player misses three balls. An angry Weird Mario appears to deliver a “You damn kids!” admonishment in a garbled voice (which definitely sounds like another Nintendo reference I can’t yet identify).

Weird Mario appears elsewhere in Super Mario Maker 2, even though the Weird Mushroom power-up didn’t carry over from the original Super Mario Maker.

The third minigame, Pop & Win!, tasks the player with blowing up an inflatable Toad House. The music and inflation animation, as Twitter user Akfamilyhome points out, are a reference to the Famicom Disk Writer kiosks that Nintendo used in Japan.

The Famicom Disk System was a rewritable storage format for the Famicom, Japan’s version of the NES. Games like The Legend of Zelda and Metroid were originally released on Famicom Disk Cards, instead of cartridges, overseas. Famicom owners who had a Disk System add-on could take their disks to kiosks and pay to have new games written onto the cards. The final Famicom Disk System game was released in 1992.

For a longer look at the Famicom Disk Writer in action, check out this YouTube video. You can also see a working Disk Writer in action in the tweet below.

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