Top 7 Mario Worlds (That Aren’t the Mushroom Kingdom)

4. Beanbean Kingdom

mario-and-luigi-superstar-saga-nintendo-laser-timeAs seen in… Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga

While not the first role-playing game to star the popular plumber, Superstar Saga did something completely different than Super Mario RPG, taking elements from the Mario universe and perfectly translating them into unique RPG mechanics. And it all happened first in the memorable Beanbean Kingdom.


This all-new land was based on goofy puns (now you see where Pi’ilo Island gets it from), taking the brothers through locations like Teehee Valley and Joke’s End. Staples like Cheep Cheeps and Goombas appeared, accompanied by their Beanbean counterparts like Blurps and Beanies. Combat included the expected fireballs and hammers as weapons, but exploring the kingdom utilized these powers as well. Mario could flame Luigi from behind, causing the duo to dash forward; Luigi could hammer Mario into a mini form, letting him access new areas. And then there’s the dashing prince of the land. The Beanbean Kingdom didn’t just provide new places to see, but new tools to help you explore them.

3. Sarasaland

As seen in… Super Mario Land

With over 100 games to his name, Mario has enjoyed a number of strange adventures, yet it’s safe to classify Super Mario Land as “the weird one.” And even then, he only visits Sarasaland in the first game in the series. Why so few trips, dude? Don’t you like the pyramid-y Birabuto Kingdom? The tropical Muda Kingdom? The tribal Eaton Kingdom? The ancient Chai Kingdom, featuring one of the greatest Mario tunes ever?

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Those are four radically unique areas we just don’t see any more: Sarasaland is all but forgotten. On the other hand, its denizens are not. The name Daisy ought to sound familiar, and guess what? She’s Sarasaland’s princess, a perfect parallel to Peach. In a way, you have to thank her kidnapper, Tatanga, for dragging Mario away for a bit, because Wario – in his first ever appearance – took over the castle while the overall-wearing hero was away. Now we just need to bring Tatanga the alien back…

2. Dinosaur Land

As seen in… Super Mario World

Super Mario World on SNES was a game of firsts – the series’ debut on a new console, bonus worlds, never-before-seen power up, a certain green reptile – and it all happened in Dinosaur Land. The infamous 90s cartoon? It totally took place in Dome City, found here. The game is also Miyamoto’s favorite in the franchise, which should tell you something about its quality.

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If you couldn’t tell by the name, Dinosaur Land is also host to one of the series’ most iconic characters (technically a species, but whatever), Yoshi. He’s appeared in pretty much every Mario game since – not to mention starred in his own series of titles – and it’s all because we visited his homeland. Other parts of the island like Donut Plains and Chocolate Island are home to other dino species like Rexes and the oft-forgotten Reznors, which you may be disappointed to learn have nothing to do with Nine Inch Nails.

1. Subcon

As seen in… Super Mario Bros. 2

You could almost write a Top 7 on why Subcon is the best non-Mushroom Kingdom world. What’s fascinating is that this wasn’t originally a Mario world at all. We all know the story of Doki Doki Panic being re-skinned as Super Mario Bros. 2, so no need to retread it here – there’s Wikipedia for that. And even though the whole world is inside (spoilers) Mario’s sleeping mind, much of what we see in his subconscious (see what they did there?) lasted throughout the franchise.

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Keys. Bob-ombs. Pokeys. Shy Guys. Birdo. Even Peach’s ability to float began here (this was also the first time the former Princess Toadstool was ever playable). Pretty much everything except Subcon’s evil ruler Wart are now series staples. Pretty crazy for a setting that wasn’t originally Mario’s to begin with. Of course, that begs a question: if this is all a dream, how does it exist in other games? Perhaps the red hat-wearing brother was just dreaming of creatures he’d actually seen. Or is every game a dream?!?!


Do you agree with our list? Maybe you prefer Bowser’s insides to the Beanbean Kingdom? Let us know!

10 thoughts on “Top 7 Mario Worlds (That Aren’t the Mushroom Kingdom)

  1. The universe of Paper Mario 2: Thousand Year Door would have also been great for this list. From the slums of Rougeville to the mono-color woods level to the murder mystery on a train, I say Thousand Year Door is still the best Mario RPG game to date.

  2. Kind of irrelevant but can someone please explain to me why there is a hot air balloon in the first Delfino picture that is modeled after a Chao from Sonic Adventure?

    As a side note, am I the only desperately wishing for another Chao garden in the future? Even if it was attached to a god awful Sonic game I’d probably even pre-order just for the chance to raise Chao once more.

    1. Wow, never noticed that haha. I’m gonna guess it’s some good ol’ cross-advertising.

      True story about the Chao Garden. My little brother and I only had a 256mb memory card for the Gamecube, and we wanted to make room for a new save for something else we were playing. This meant releasing one of the Chaos into the world — which the game packages as the saddest guilt trip you could imagine. My brother actually teared up as our pal Buddy was excommunicated from the garden. Flip side, his crying got my mom to buy us a second memory card.

      1. I was pretty into it and it was actually pretty well integrated between games. I had the GBA Gamecube adapter cord, in addition to Adventure 1, 2, and Sonic Advance so I could transfer special chao from one game to another and also use new save files to refind the special gold and silver chaos, put them on my GBA and then back into my normal save file. So basically I was the king of chao in my mind, being able to basically have an infinite free supply of gold chao for Adventure 1 and 2 and could give them special qualities that were game specific. Just weird that so much work was put into the chao at one point and now they’ve been absent from games for over a decade. Me and my cousins put far more time into the chao gardens than the actual games they came with.

  3. No Mario Galaxy? That game takes place about as far away as possible from the mushroom kingdom. Mario World is still hands down the best, love that game.

  4. I guess Super Mario World is the most meaningful world to me. As much as I loved Super Mario 2, I played way more of Super Mario World on the SNES. Sadly, I’m not familiar with the rest of the world’s on this list. The last Mario game I played was Mario 64 on the Nintendo 64, which was also the last Nintendo console I ever owned.

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