Mario’s first full-featured handheld adventure was released on this day in history.
Super Mario Land, developed and published by Nintendo, was released as a launch title alongside the new Game Boy handheld in the U.S. on July 31st, 1989.
The game features some similarities to the iconic Super Mario Bros. for NES, in that the player guides Mario through different worlds in a side-scrolling platform adventure. Land does introduce some new elements to the series, including shooting levels where the player controls either a submarine or an airplane.
The game’s setting is different as well, taking place in Sarasaland. Instead of rescuing Princess Peach (aka Princess Toadstool) from Bowser (aka King Koopa), Mario must rescue Princess Daisy from the clutches of the sinister alien, Tatanga. Daisy would go on to be a recurring character in the Mario universe.
The game was a success and sold over 18 million copies. It would later be released for Nintendo’s 3DS eShop as a digital download.