This five print series covers the best from the plumber brothers across two console generations and a handheld. The games represented in this series are: Super Mario Bros. (NES), Super Mario Bros. 2 (NES), Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES), Super Mario World (SNES), and Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins (Gameboy).
Each print features all the timeless elements that defined each of these classic games. Like my other my fan related prints, I like to focus on the things that a lot of people leave out. These games aren't just about Mario or the Princess or Bowser or any of the core characters really. It's the entire world they lived in that made the games so magical. The overworld maps alone in both Super Mario Brothers 3 and Super Mario World were teeming with life and personality - foliage danced to the rhythm of the soundtrack, Boo's drifted back and forth in front of their haunted dwellings, and secret paths were waiting to be discovered.
At the bottom of each print you'll find the first scene of the first stage of each game. Those "World 1-1's" are just as iconic as the game as a whole. In Super Mario Bros. 2, you started the game falling from a door in the sky so I thought it would be fun to invert the whole piece.
In the process of recreating the box art, I realized that there weren't a lot of resources available for most of the logos and elements. I was trying to keep these as authentic as possible so instead of taking shortcuts, I drew everything I needed from scratch with the pen tool in Illustrator using scans of the box art as my templates.
When it came time to tackle the cover for Super Mario Land 2, I wanted to approach it differently. The other designs were reimagined versions of already classic images. While the original box art is iconic in its own right, I distinctly remember the commercial that used to advertise this game in the early 90's.
It was the first time we were introduced to Wario, Mario's new nemesis.
"Obey Wario! Destroy Mario!" Those hypnosis segments stayed with me for the past twenty five years (I guess we can be brainwashed by advertising).
At that point, I knew I had found my solution.
On the back of each box art print is a cropped photo of my childhood room (in one of the many stages it went through over the years), an image of the original box art for each game, and the year each game was released.
Here is the original photo:
As you can probably tell by this point, this project was deeply personal to me and I'm sure many of you can share in the same sentiment. If you were lucky enough to have a Nintendo (or any game system) growing up, I'm sure you and I can both agree that that privilege had a major impact on our lives.
Anyway, I hope you guys enjoy finding all of the little details I included in each print. I stared at those sprite sheets for far too long.
Prints are now available in my shop and you can view the whole project here