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Mario (franchise)

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Samus in the guest room bed in the Mushroom Castle in Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars.

Mario (マリオ Mario?) is a video game franchise both created and produced by Nintendo. It stars the titular character Mario, and is Nintendo's flagship and their best-selling franchise. Mario and the Metroid franchise have crossed over into each other's franchise on several occasions. Their most notable appearance together, as with the other major Nintendo franchises, is in the Super Smash Bros. series.

References in the Mario franchise

Super Mario-kun

A scene from Super Mario-kun's tenth issue, showing Wario's Varia Suit-like outfit

In Volume 10 of Super Mario-kun, during the final showdown between Mario and Wario, the latter wears an outfit resembling the Varia Suit, but there is a "W" symbol right above his visor.

Mario vs. Wario: The Birthday Bash

The chibi Samus doll in Mario vs. Wario

A chibi Samus Doll is the focus of the plot of Mario vs. Wario: The Birthday Bash, a comic featured in Nintendo Power volume 56 (January 1994). After Princess Peach remarks that the doll is cute, Mario and Wario seek to buy it before someone else can, as a birthday gift for Peach. However, when Wario returns and discovers that the doll was sold to a man with a "big, black mustache", he assumes Mario bought it and buys another present. He plots to package it identically to Mario's present, and swap them so that he gets the credit. However, it turns out Luigi bought the doll, and receives a kiss from Peach.

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars

Samus makes an appearance in Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. After Mario and his party defeat Yaridovich, and returns to Mushroom Castle before going to Land's End, Mario can find Samus sleeping in the guest room bed. Mario can jump and bounce on the bed, with no reaction from Samus. Air can be seen emitting from her Oxygen Supply Equipment.

In the English localization, when Mario speaks to Samus, she will say "...... I'm resting up for Mother Brain." This is a reference to the final battle with Mother Brain in Super Metroid, which was released two years prior to Super Mario RPG. In the original Japanese version, Samus instead says ".. .. .. .. オモロイド .. .. ..。" as a reference to the "Metroid... Omoroido!" tagline from the Japanese Metroid II: Return of Samus commercial.[1]

Later in the game, a doll of Samus appears in a toy box in Booster's tower, although it resembles her more closely than the doll of the 1994 comic.

A boss in the game, CzarDragon, as well as its second transformation Zombone, bears some similarity to Crocomire, in particular how CzarDragon ended up transforming into Zombone after being dunked into lava during the boss fight against it similar to how Crocomire ended up having its body melt into a skeleton after falling into lava.

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga

Samus's unused sprites in Superstar Saga

Samus was intended to make an appearance in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga as one of the Nintendo patrons at the Starbeans Cafe, during a scripted event. Dialog remains in the game's code - "Cashier: Whoa! A power outage? Yikes! Samus Aran! I see you're rocking and rolling as usual! ...Looks like your energy tanks are empty! Sorry, but can't you give your Hoolumbian to Samus? Oh! Feeling better?" Samus would then give the player an Energy Tank in exchange for the drink. Ultimately, all Nintendo characters were replaced by Professor E. Gadd (who originally was going to have a taste of one of the blends), and the Energy Tank was replaced by the Power Grip, which is based on another Metroid item. This item ensures that Mario or Luigi will never drop their hammer when defending against enemy attacks. Said item was eventually replaced with the Secret Specs. Her manner of entry during this time resembled her appearing in the Nintendo Entertainment System and Family Computer versions during a new game, and to a lesser extent how she appears in various games with Save Stations. On a similar note, Samus was the only one of the characters besides E. Gadd to have their taste drink specified in dialogue (in Samus's case, she was intended to test-taste the Hoolumbian). A few of the unused sprites depict Samus drinking from a mug with her helmet still being worn.

Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time


The Snoozorb enemy in Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time is similar in appearance to the Nightmare boss in Metroid Fusion and Metroid: Other M. Additionally, both of their names pertain to sleeping.

New Super Mario Bros.

In New Super Mario Bros., at the end of World 1, Bowser falls into lava and ends up turning into Dry Bowser in a similar manner to Crocomire, right down to similar lunges while their skin melted off.

Mario Kart 8 / Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

In Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, the Samus (Super Smash Bros.), Zero Suit Samus or Samus Aran (Metroid: Samus Returns) amiibo can be used to unlock the Varia Suit, a Mii costume based on Samus's suit of the same name.

Super Mario Maker

Samus SMM.png ZSS SMM sprite.png
A sprite of the Samus costume (left) and the Zero Suit Samus costume (right) in Super Mario Maker

Using the Samus or Zero Suit Samus amiibo in Super Mario Maker changes Mario into Samus or Zero Suit Samus, whose sprites are created for the game. This sprite is smaller, but more closely resembles her recent appearances. When Samus is spawned, a sped-up version of the Samus Aran's Appearance Fanfare from the Famicom version of Metroid plays, and when she jumps the jumping sound effect from Metroid is heard. When Zero Suit Samus is spawned, the appearance fanfare from Metroid: Zero Mission plays, and her jumping sound from that game is reused as well. After clearing a level, the Item Acquisition Fanfare from the Famicom Metroid (Samus) or Zero Mission (Zero Suit Samus) is heard.

Paper Mario: The Origami King

Mario wearing Samus's helmet.

At the end of the announcement trailer, Mario dons a large papier-mâché version of Samus' helmet and begins walking back and forth, pretending to use his right arm as an Arm Cannon. Olivia comments, "Huh. There's something you don't see every day. He certainly looks intimidating! Is he... battling something?"

Nintendo of America tweeted a clip of the scene on May 29, 2020, fueling speculation of whether the cameo was pointing to a future announcement.[2] Nintendo UK and Nintendo of Europe tweeted the same clip the next day. [3][4]

In the retail release, the Samus helmet is one of three papier-mâché masks that Mario can wear in the staff room of Shogun Studios, a theater production company runs by Toads. The other two masks are based on Donkey Kong and a Goomba (an enemy from the Mario series). All masks are unused, and the Toads encourage Mario to take them. The Samus mask is known as the Space Warrior Mask, and its description says: "An otherworldly mask. Sadly, it won't allow you to roll into a ball." When Mario wears the mask, a remix of Samus Aran's Appearance Fanfare plays, and he pretends to shoot an Arm Cannon as stated. After Olivia's comment, Mario's other companion Bobby responds, "Looks like he's firing beams from his hand! That's pretty cool... but not exactly Big M's style. It'd probably look perfect on some other kind of M, though."

Other games

While not necessarily a reference to Metroid, Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 recycles the pausing and Metroid grunt of pain sounds from Metroid II: Return of Samus. A Metroid larva is an unlockable treasure in Wario Land II, awarded at level 49. On a similar note, the main antagonist of the first Wario Land game, Captain Syrup, was referenced as being male in the American instruction manual (eg, calling Syrup "a really rotten and ruthless guy.") only for it to be revealed near the end that Syrup was actually female, similar to Samus in the first Metroid.

Nearly every WarioWare installment features a microgame focused on the Metroid franchise.

Since Super Mario Bros. 3, Mario is able to Spin Jump when he collects a Starman, and becomes enveloped in energy when doing so. This pattern resembles the Screw Attack. Perhaps as a reference to this, Mario is one of the characters featured in promotional artwork for the Screw Attack-centric Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tourney "Screw Up Your Opponents".

In Luigi's Mansion 3, a Metroid Prime: Federation Force poster appears at the beginning of the Paranormal Productions level, featuring Federation Force Marines as well as a Pirate.

References to the Mario franchise

The Mario Paint Job in Metroid Prime: Federation Force
Mario's appearance in the manga Victory Techniques for Metroid

Air Holes in the original Metroid, Metroid: Zero Mission and Super Metroid have a very similar appearance to Warp Pipes in the Mario franchise. In the manga Victory Techniques for Metroid, which breaks the fourth wall, Samus mistakes an Air Hole for a Warp Pipe and pictures Mario entering it. One Air Hole in Super Metroid can be entered to reach a Missile Tank, although Samus simply rolls through it rather than warping. In addition, Ridley's fireballs share a similar design to the fireballs in the Mario games for the NES and SNES.

Although not a reference in the original Metroid itself, the game's home system in Japan, the Famicom Disk System, features a special opening sequence featuring Mario and Luigi fighting over a light switch that plays if the player didn't input a disk beforehand, including Metroid and Super Mario Bros. 2.[5]

In Super Metroid, Samus can encounter the Tatori and its offspring, the latter of which strongly resemble Buzzy Beetles from the Mario franchise. By jumping on Buzzy Beetles, or the Tatori's offspring, Mario or Samus can send them spinning back and forth within their shells.

Although not a true reference, the internal files for Metroid Fusion reused objects and sprites from Wario Land 4.

In Metroid: Zero Mission, the game's remix for Ridley's Chamber bears some resemblance to the Ghost House/Ghost Ship theme in Super Mario World, thanks to the addition of a glissando as part of the music.

In the Magazine Z manga, a man resembling Mario can be seen in the first chapter. The man appears on the left side of the panel in which Samus learns that the Chozo have arrived. The character has a hat, gloves, overalls, round nose, boots and mustache and holds a wrench.

The Ship Bumper Stickers in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (and by extension, Metroid Prime Trilogy) include Super Paper Mario, WarioWare: Smooth Moves, Mario Party 8 and Super Mario Galaxy. If save files for these games are present on the Wii, stickers of Paper Mario's head, a star emblem and Mario's "M" symbol will appear on Samus Aran's Gunship.

In Metroid Prime: Federation Force, any amiibo of Mario, Luigi, Bowser, Peach, Rosalina & Luma and Bowser Jr. can be used to unlock Paint Jobs in Blast Ball of the respective character.

Although not a direct Mario reference in a Metroid game, the Virtual Console for the 3DS has the coin sound effect from Mario play whenever the player selects a home system game, including Metroid and Super Metroid (with the specific sound effect, depending on whether it is the NES/Famicom Disk System or the Super NES, either originating from Super Mario Bros. or Super Mario World, respectively).

Shared appearances

Although not a direct appearance, both Mario and Metroid had their gameplay being utilized for Kid Icarus, specifically the platforming and shooting mechanics, respectively.

The Power Game Calendars for 1990 and 1991 featured on the cover Metroid and Mario elements. In particular, the Metroid elements in both the 1990 and 1991 covers were Samus Aran, while the Mario elements from the 1990 cover were Mario, Princess Toadstool, Donkey Kong, a Starman, and Wart from Super Mario Bros. 2 (Super Mario USA in Japan); while the Mario elements on the 1991 cover were Mario, Princess Toadstool riding a magic carpet, a Cheep Cheep, and a Shy Guy riding an Ostro.

In the NES version of Tetris, during the Game B mode, Samus as well as Bowser, Donkey Kong, Princess Toadstool, and the Mario Bros. appear on the victory screen upon completing difficulty 9 at various heights, Specifically, Samus appears on height 2's completion onward where she plays a cello, Donkey Kong appears on height 3's completion onward, banging his fists on a marching bass drum, Bowser appears on height 4's completion onward, playing an accordion, and Princess Toadstool and the Mario Bros. only appear on height 5's completion, where the former proceeds to applaud atop the highest turret and the latter two dance the Cossack. Pit from Kid Icarus and Link from The Legend of Zelda also had a cameo alongside them, with their specifically appearing on height 0 and 1's completion onward where they plays the harp and flute, respectively.

In the Game Boy version of F-1 Race, Samus as well various Mario characters appeared during transition scenes, with Samus specifically appearing during the transition for Course 7, while Toad, Luigi, Princess Toadstool, Mario, Donkey Kong, and Bowser appeared during the transitions for Courses 2, 3, 4, 6, and 9 as well as the ending, respectively. Like above, Pit from Kid Icarus and Link from The Legend of Zelda also made a cameo with them, specifically appearing during the transition for Course 8 and Course 5, respectively.

Both Mario and Metroid have made appearances in the Animal Crossing series as furniture/clothing within the Nintendo line. However, Mario had its own furniture line since the first overseas game, while Metroid was generally part of the Nintendo line starting with Wild World (and only relegated to a downloadable design data for clothing and apparel in the first overseas game).

In the Famicom Mini line of Game Boy Advance titles, aside from both Metroid and Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels sharing games in the third volume (dedicated to Famicom Disk System games), both Samus and Mario (and related elements) appeared on the Volume 3 box artwork. Samus's running, forward facing, and upward aim pose were utilized on the back, right, and left sleeves, respectively, while Luigi in Super form, a Tree, a 1-Up/Poison Mushroom, Mario in Fire form, a Super Mushroom, a cloud, a trampoline, Mario crouching, a brick block, a Blooper, and Toad were on the front, right, back and left sides, respectively.

The NES Classic Edition (Nintendo Mini Classic: Family Computer in Japan) featured the game Metroid and several Mario-related games, all of which were included among the 30 games pre-loaded into the system (the latter including Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr. (international only), Mario Bros., Dr. Mario, NES Open Tournament Golf (Japan only), Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 2, and Super Mario Bros. 3).

Similarly, the SNES Classic Edition (Nintendo Mini Classic: Super Famicom in Japan) had Super Metroid and various Mario-related games as the 21 games pre-loaded into the system. The games within the Mario franchise include Donkey Kong Country, Panel de Pon (Japan only), Super Mario Kart, Super Mario RPG, Super Mario World and Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island.

In the WarioWare: Smooth Moves MicroGame "Opening Night" (or more specifically, level 3 of that MicroGame), Samus, alongside Link, Donkey Kong, Pit, Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach (or, technically, Princess Toadstool) are shown in their NES sprites as members of an orchestra. Samus specifically utilized an upright cello alongside Pit, similar to in Tetris, while Link, Mario, and Luigi utilized violins, Peach utilized a piccolo, and Donkey Kong utilized drums.

Bayonetta 2 has Bayonetta using costumes from both Mario and Metroid (specifically dressing up as Princess Peach/Daisy and Samus, respectively). The former also has Bowser acting as a summon, although he is never seen in full (only his feet and fists are visible).

Super Smash Bros. series

As stated, Mario, Donkey Kong, Yoshi, Luigi and Samus have appeared in every Super Smash Bros. game to date, with more characters becoming playable in subsequent titles. Princess Peach, Bowser and Dr. Mario, a clone of Mario were introduced in Super Smash Bros. Melee. No characters from the main Mario franchise were introduced in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, although Diddy Kong (hailing from the Donkey Kong franchise) amd Wario (of the Wario franchise) were added and Dr. Mario was cut (largely due to Wario's inclusion). Zero Suit Samus was introduced in Brawl as an alternate form of Samus, wearing her blue form-fitting suit from Metroid: Zero Mission. Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U saw the return of Dr. Mario and the additions of Bowser Jr. and Rosalina & Luma, but no new Metroid characters. Bowser Jr.'s seven alternate costumes transform him into the Koopalings, minions of Bowser from the Mario series who were initially considered his children. In Bowser Jr.'s debut trailer, Samus was among the seven characters (including Mario regulars Mario and Rosalina/Luma who faced off against Bowser as well as the Koopalings), while Zero Suit Samus (who as of Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U is her own distinct identity rather than an alternate form of Samus) is at one point seen standing on a step on the Skyloft stage in the gameplay portion, firing a Steel Diver at Bowser Jr. She alongside various Mario characters (specifically Mario himself, Bowser, Donkey Kong, and Princess Peach) appeared as their NES sprites in various promotional materials for Duck Hunt and Pac Man (the teaser poster for Pac-Man showing Mario, Bowser, Peach, and Donkey Kong in the maze area fighting off various ghosts, while Samus is fleeing from Pinky; the teaser poster for Duck Hunt showing Mario and Samus being flung away by an explosion that was presumably caused by Duck Hunt; and Mario, Donkey Kong, and Bowser were among those who arrived to challenge Duck Hunt in the latter's debut trailer).

In Super Smash Bros. Melee, Peach is one of the opponents in Event 15: Girl Power, alongside Samus and Princess Zelda from The Legend of Zelda. Bowser appears as the target in Event 17: Bounty Hunters. Samus Aran is required to K.O Bowser before Captain Falcon (from F-Zero) does.

Because of its status as Nintendo's flagship franchise, there are actually more Mario characters in Smash than those mentioned. These include Donkey Kong and Yoshi, who are also part of the perfect-attendance crew, and Diddy Kong, Wario (both introduced in Brawl) and King K. Rool (introduced in Ultimate). However, in the context of Smash, these five characters hail from their own sub-franchises.

In the first trailer for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Mario is prominently displayed. Donkey Kong's hair and Samus's shoulders can be barely made out from the outline of fighters underneath the flaming Smash symbol. All characters from the Mario and Metroid franchises will return in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, in addition to newcomers Princess Daisy, Piranha Plant, Ridley and Dark Samus. Mario appears with Samus and Mega Man in A Piercing Screech, Ridley's reveal trailer, where the trio walk across a bridge, until Ridley ambushes and kills Mario and Mega Man.

In Samus's Character Showcase Video for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Samus briefly fights the Mario Bros. and dispatched them via her grapple beam, and aside from that also briefly fought Donkey Kong and Yoshi on Lylat Cruise and Spear Pillar, respectively.

NES Remix 2

Main article: NES Remix 2
Stage 11 of the Remix II challenges in NES Remix 2

Owing to both franchises being included in NES Remix 2, Samus and Mario also appear in their NES sprites in various aspects relating to the game. The game icon for the Wii U features Samus alongside Mario (the latter in his Raccoon Mario form from Super Mario Bros. 3), as well as Link from The Legend of Zelda franchise (specifically, his incarnation from Zelda II: The Adventure of Link).

Stage 11 of the Remix II challenges features Samus in an underground setting directly resembling those in both Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, though not any particular area. Samus's objective is to collect all ten Coins within 100 seconds. The gameplay is just like in the first Metroid, and while the Brick Blocks can be destroyed by Samus's attacks, she cannot destroy them by jumping from them below. The blue blocks have their sprite reused from both Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, although the coins instead show their Super Mario Bros. 3 sprite. The background music is from Metroid.

A promotional T-shirt for the game depicts on the front Samus, in her NES Metroid sprite, shooting beam shots at bricks obscuring Gold Coins behind them while in what is implied to be the underground levels of Super Mario Bros, as well as the logo for NES Remix 2 being featured on the right sleeve.

In a promotional limited-edition Nintendo 3DS wallpaper for the game's 3DS port Ultimate NES Remix, Samus is seen jumping and aiming her arm cannon behind Mario, who is in Raccoon form and holding a red Koopa Troopa shell.


Metroid franchise

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption

Metroid Prime: Federation Force

Mario franchise

Mario Kart 8

Paper Mario: The Origami King


  • In Fatal Frame IV: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse, the Zero Suit and Luigi's overalls appear as unlockable alternate costumes. Samus, Peach and Daisy costumes are also wearable in the Bayonetta series.
  • A voice actress of Peach in some games, Leslie Swan, voices the Bottle Ship P.A. Announcer in Metroid: Other M.
  • Bowser Jr.'s trailer, "The Future of Evil", featured CG animation done by Digital Frontier, whose studio was where the motion capture for Metroid: Other M was recorded. Samus appears in this portion of the trailer, dodging an attack from Bowser Jr.'s Koopa Clown Car, and proceeding with other fighters to do battle with Bowser Jr. and the Koopalings. In the gameplay portion, Zero Suit Samus is at one point seen standing on a step on the Skyloft stage, firing a Steel Diver at Bowser Jr., who ducks and avoids it.
  • Although not confirmed to be an inspiration, the plotline for the live action Super Mario Bros. movie bore some similarity to the Aether incident from Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. These include a pocket dimension being formed on a planet with its inhabitants trying to fuse the dimensions and take the main planet over (Dinohatten and Earth in the movie; Dark Aether and Aether in Echoes), and both also had a celestial object colliding into the initial dimension being responsible for the pocket dimension's creation (the meteor rumored to have caused the extinction of the Dinosaurs in the movie; the Leviathan in Echoes).
    • On a similar note, a key part of the plotline for Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door entailed unsealing the titular door with the Crystal Stars to defeat a great evil sealed within, which resembled the plotline for Metroid Prime regarding the Artifact Temple/Impact Crater on Tallon IV.


  1. ^ 【スーパーマリオRPG】 RTA風完全攻略 #25 カントリーロード (メトロイド「サムス」登場)
  2. ^ Nintendo of America (NintendoAmerica). "Even if you’re battling the Origami King, taking a break is important! Seems like Mario’s relaxing with his favorite paper-crafted cosplay. Looks like a cool helmet! The adventure of #PaperMario: The Origami King is available on #NintendoSwitch 7/17!" 29 May 2020 1:00 p.m. Tweet.
  3. ^ Nintendo UK (NintendoUK). "That's a cool red helmet you're wearing Mario! Are you battling something under there?" 30 May 2020 7:00 a.m. Tweet.
  4. ^ Nintendo of Europe (NintendoEurope). "That's a cool red helmet you're wearing Mario! Are you battling something under there?" 30 May 2020 7:00 a.m. Tweet.
  5. ^ Famicom Disk System BIOS - Please Set Disk Card Screen - YouTube