Let’s-a go —

Nintendo, Universal Studios went all out to deliver a Nintendo fan destination.


  • L-R: Luigi Mario, Super Mario series creator Shigeru Miyamoto, and Mario Mario, posing at Universal Studios Japan’s upcoming Super Nintendo World theme park in Osaka.


    Nintendo / Universal Studios Japan

  • “Dad’s busy,” as spoken by Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto, is the energy that is going to get us through the end of this godforsaken year.

  • As with many classic Mario adventures, the real-world theme park version of the series begins with a warp pipe.

  • Flashing lights guide visitors into the park.

  • The pipe spits visitors into a replica of Peach’s Castle, first introduced in Super Mario 64.

  • Walk around the framed image of Super Mario 64’s Bob-Omb Battlefield, and Bowser Jr. will appear. Eventually, park attendees will get an opportunity to “fight” Bowser Jr., though Miyamoto did not clarify how this would work just yet.

  • Out of Peach’s castle…

  • …and into the massive, Super Mario-themed hub zone.

  • More of the hub zone. It will be interesting to see exactly how these statues and characters look in terms of their scale; today’s video didn’t include any people nearby for scale.

  • The Power-Up Band, explained.

  • Six Mario-themed bands will be available when the park opens. We’d like one of each, please.

  • Miyamoto really smacked the heck out of various boxes and items throughout the video. Hopefully his wrist is okay.

  • A first look at the Super Nintendo World app.

  • Don’t wake the Piranha Plant, now.

  • These constructions look pretty large, though again, we don’t know how they look next to people for scale.

  • A one-minute demonstration saw Miyamoto struggle to get the timing right on this POW block puzzle.

  • The underworld theme, as first shown to the world in Super Mario Bros.’ level 1-2.

  • The Power-Up Band reveals more secrets.

  • Miyamoto is “shrunken” in a room where all of the other objects are much larger than he is.

  • Entering the Mario Kart attraction.

  • A giant stone Bowser statue, with Miyamoto-san for scale.

  • Which of our intrepid readers will be the first to translate this letter written by Bowser himself?

  • A peek at the park’s Mario Kart ride, but not with any footage of how it looks in motion.

  • A world premiere of the park’s Mario Kart-branded AR glasses.

On Friday, Nintendo and Universal Studios Japan took the veil off a years-in-the-making project: the very first Nintendo-themed theme park, appropriately named Super Nintendo World. And who better to introduce the world to this life-sized walk through all things Mario than the character’s creator himself, longtime Nintendo developer and designer Shigeru Miyamoto.

The 15-minute video, embedded at the end of this article, revolved largely around the park’s introductory moments, which are full of Super Mario melodies and interactive elements. Many of the park’s decorations and objects can be interacted with by park visitors who wear a special wristband, dubbed the Power-Up Band, which includes an Amiibo-like NFC chip. Press its sensor near park objects like a Super Mario coin block, and a new virtual item will appear in a synced Super Nintendo World app on your smartphone. Exactly how these virtual items will affect your visit to Super Nintendo World remains unclear, but Miyamoto-san hinted to surprising attractions and hidden interactable panels for park visitors to discover in person. (Additionally, those Power-Up Bands will double as Amiibo for compatible hardware, like Nintendo Switch.)

Only one “ride” received a showcase in the video, albeit a brief one: a Mario Kart race against Bowser. It’s hosted inside a replica of Bowser’s castle, and visitors will sit in one of a series of Mario-styled go-karts that appear to be linked on a rollercoaster-like track, as opposed to freely controllable. Exactly what visitors will see on that ride remains unclear, but previous news about the ride’s augmented reality (AR) elements was reinforced with the first official look at the park’s AR glasses, which come attached to a Super Mario hat.

  • Exit through the gift shop—with Mario series creator Shigeru Miyamoto!


    Nintendo / Universal Studios Japan

  • Exclusive merch? Why do you have to hurt those of us who can’t make it to Osaka, Nintendo?

  • More exclusive merch.

  • Even more exclusive merch.

  • Arguably the most exclusive merch at Super Nintendo World: A fully articulated, walking Super Mario doll.

  • Go back and forth between this and the next image to see how Mario’s legs move with nothing more than a push on his back.

  • It’s a cool effect in motion.

  • Popcorn flavors at Super Nintendo World include “caramel peach” and “mushroom.”


    Nintendo

  • You’ll need more than popcorn to survive Super Nintendo World.

  • LCD panels as “windows” into the restaurant’s kitchen.

  • Hi!

  • A series of screens advertising food options.

  • Cool Mario-logo murals on the ceiling.

  • Note: Toads are not actually making the food at Super Nintendo World.

  • Mushroom-themed burger.

  • Mushroom-themed pizza bowl. (We really want that bowl.)

  • Mario-themed salad.

  • Coin block-themed dessert.

  • We look forward to a time when taking a mask off and eating Mario-themed food won’t be a risk to anyone’s health.

Unsurprisingly, the theme park will include a robust gift shop, which Miyamoto-san confirms will include exclusive Nintendo merchandise—particularly a robust Super Mario toy whose legs articulate in a walking motion with no batteries needed, just the push of a hand. (It’s easy to forget that Nintendo’s history as a game publisher was preceded by an incredible variety of cleverly designed toys, largely thanks to former Nintendo designer Gunpei Yokoi, who eventually masterminded the first Game Boy.)

Miyamoto-san also walked viewers through one of the park’s restaurants, which is Toad themed and includes “windows” into its kitchen (though these are just high-res LCD panels with pre-rendered CGI animations of Toad characters making food). A few of the park’s food options were shown off, and anyone who’s been to a themed Japanese café knows that the nation takes its quirkily designed food very seriously—which is immediately apparent in the weird-looking food shown off in today’s video.

However, today’s video didn’t reveal any other branded experiences at Super Nintendo World, particularly ones that are reported to revolve around the famed Nintendo character Donkey Kong or the previously teased Yoshi’s Adventure ride. We’ll apparently have to wait until the park opens in Japan on February 4, 2021, to see if non-Mario content will be open to the public during its launch window—and even longer for the Nintendo-themed park to get launches at Universal Studios’ locations in Orlando, Los Angeles, and Singapore. (Unsurprisingly, today’s reveal included multiple warnings about COVID protocols for the Japanese launch.)

Though I was eager to highlight the video’s details in gallery form, any Nintendo fan worth their salt owes it to themselves to watch Miyamoto-san giddily introduce everything in this park. I personally cannot remember the last time I saw the man this excited by a project, and based on what’s been shown so far, I do not blame him.

Shigeru Miyamoto walks fans through Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan

Listing image by Nintendo / Universal Studios Japan

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