Mailbag
02/09/2001

MEGAߥTE gets technical in this edition of the mailbag.
Got something you want us to answer next week? Send it to tmk_mailbag@usa.net.

First off, a note regarding Mario's blinking in Super Mario Bros. 2. This gets vaguely technical. I was partially incorrect in an earlier mailbag answer. Mario does not blink in the game except for the sprite layering weirdness in front of doors (and that really isn't blinking.) What I was remembering is when I was fooling with the ROM data. Mario's eyes are stored in the animated section of the CHR image data on the ROM. The animated section has 5 frames, and are used for the grass, POW blocks, cherries, etc. It is interesting to note that the original Doki Doki Panic did not have this animation. Anyway, it is possible to make Mario blink by altering one or more of the 7 frames of the image tile of his eyes. Mario, Luigi, and Princess each have two of these tiles, around the front of their head, which can be animated. Probably the reason that they didn't animate it, and the reason that I didn't upload an IPS patch example for everyone to play with, is that those particular tiles point to a certain palette that changes in each level/room. This means that if you change a color on one section of the game to match Mario's skin color, when you go to another section of the game, Mario's eyelids might turn red (or some non-skin color). So, basically the only good that came out of this special layering was that they were able to get an extra color on their character, instead of the usual limit of 3 (plus transparent) per tile, Mario's head has 4. For whatever reason, they opted not do reproduce this in Super Mario Bros. 3. If you've got Nesticle or another emulator that lets you edit NES CHR and palettes during ROM execution, then you can try to do fun things with the animation. I'm going to look into it more and see if I can point the tiles to a different palette and really make the characters' eyes blink, so stay tuned. Now for this week's mailbag:

    Were can I find the Lazy Shell in Super Mario RPG : Legend of the Seven Stars.
    -JF1110

MEGAߥTE: First, get the Seed by defeating Smilax in Bean Valley. Next, defeat Valentina in Nimbus Land. Then, go to Nimbus Land and walk along the right side of Nimbus Land until you find an invisible path. Take the path to a Shyster who will give you Fertilizer. Take these items to the guy in the house in the back of Rose Town. A beanstalk will grow. Climb it to find the Lazy Shell.

    My friend told me that there is a character named Oiram in MK64,and he looked like Mario,only wearing all black.He was pretty much an evil version of Mario,eviler than Bowser,Wario,Tatanga,and Wart all combined.And that he has a secret course that' s black all over.I didn't believe him,but I'm just wondering: is there a GameShark code or something that would give you all this?
    -Videogamehead1

MEGAߥTE: Well... if the track is black all over and the the character is black all over, then the secret code is this: pull the power plug. Works every time! Some friend you've got there...

    Hey it's me again Starman Anthony yeah I have posters, cards, old old calenders, toy's, cartoons and the movie, Tapes, CD's, all the games and cups and you know almost everything, I am a BIG ! Super Mario FAN! but why did they stop making that or are they making them only in Japan!?
    -Starman Anthony

MEGAߥTE: Pokémon is more marketable, apparently.

    Dear friends at the Mushroom Kingdom,
    AHHH!!! I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!!! I NEED PAPER MARIO OR I'LL GO COMPLETELY INSANE!!! ::Grabs Unreal Tournament-style gun:: KEEP BACK, ALL OF YOU!!! *blam blam*
    Sincerely,
    -Zed the Angry Farmer

MEGAߥTE: "Deezer was in the White (Mushroom) House at the time of the shooting, but was never in any danger. Zed was shot in the leg, but is now in good condition and charges have been filed."

    Hey, nice site. Anyway, I've got some information some Mario References in Muppet Babies(though I have no idea how I can still remember it). I saw the episode with the Mario references when I was much younger. The episode it's in is when the muppets are all playing a NES era console(I'm sure it was based on the NES). Anyway, one of the games they play parodies Donkey Kong and Gonzo imagines himself as Mario, mustache and all. I believe the guy at top of the level was based on Bowser...Also, the episode has references to Tetris, Skate and Die(at least I think so), and the Legend of Zelda.
    While I'm on the subject of Mario References, I should talk about MST3K. I remember seeing the Prince of Space episode and the Japanese family sitting at the table, but I don't remember anything about Mario. Anyway, I was watching the Devil Doll episode today and when some woman(she had a German accent)was talking in the movie to a couple of guys, either Crow or Servo said something like,"Where is the gaming convention?". This isn't Mario related, but still... Good luck on with TMK in the future:
    -Bowsa

    In the movie "3 Ninjas" you can see Tum-Tum playing a level in Super Mario Bros. 3. I believe it is 5-1, however it also jumps to another level in a later shot that I think is from a whole different world completely. If I can get some video capturing hardware and the movie at my disposal, I will send you the images.
    -WestsideX

MEGAߥTE: Mario is UBIQUITOUS! Like a disease.

MEGAߥTE: Cool, an e-card. However, the general opinion of TMK is that the music on the above site is extremely annoying.

    Hey,Anonymous.Where are your fan arts?You get them every blue moon!!And also,I have a game genie cartridge for the NES,and there are only three spaces to enter cades in.How can you put in more codes?
    -ComputerNerd90

MEGAߥTE: You can't.

    Since they didn't release BSX for SNES in america, would it be cool if they made one for GBA? Oh yeah I'm looking for a SNES emulator with BSX, turns out I turn up with nothing but junk...
    -Luigi

MEGAߥTE: Nintendo has always had expansion ports on their systems. The NES's was under the the plastic piece which was under the plastic clip-on piece on the bottom. The SNES's is easy enough to find. Even the Virtual Boy had one. Disk systems and other add-ons are usually run through these ports, but Nintendo of America has never released anything to use them. Since the BSX had games sent through the satellite, the available ROMs have to be hacked to work on emulators. There isn't really anything to emulate of the BSX because there is no satellite to talk to. There are many games that have been hacked to work, and others that don't work. This is because the game was sent in pieces with time limits, and without all the pieces, and ways to crack the time limits, the ROMs do not work. So, in theory, all SNES emulators should run BSX games, assuming they've been hacked to be playable in the first place. I hear that the GBA is supposed to do cellular and Internet stuff, so it may have some BSX qualities.. hopefully they'll release those components in North America this time.

    If Mario and Luigi are twins why in the moive Mario calls him little bro.
    -Hollan Carter

MEGAߥTE: Simple. They aren't twins. Who gave you that idea? A little bit of trivia: people consider Donkey Kong the first Mario game even though he was referred to as Jumpman. This means that Donkey Kong Jr. was the first game to include Luigi. There are Mario brothers on the arcade intro. Luigi is dressed the same as Mario, however, and he wasn't given his own name yet.

    About the original Nintendo cartoons like the Mario cartoons, in the summer I've seen them in Turkey on ShowTV. But the way they dubbed the cartoon over there is just so....::shudders::.
    -HELICEisNice

MEGAߥTE: Who says you don't lose something in the translation?

    As I read on the Dk Megasite there was a DK arcade TV show. Was mario on it?
    -Orobueno

MEGAߥTE: Yes. Shamelessly ripping the Mario Mania Nintendo Players' Guide: "From 1983 to 1985, before Mario was established as a star in his own right, Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong, Jr. were part of the Saturday Supercade program on CBS. Mario played the part of the circus animal trainer who had his hands full with Donkey Kong's monkey business. Pauline, the original heroine of the Donkey Kong games, also appeared in these Ruby-Spears productions. caption: A younger (and slimmer) Mario co-starred with Donkey Kong Jr. as they travelled the land in Mario's dome-topped van." On a side note, across the page there is a blurb about the (then-up-coming) Super Mario Bros. movie. It appears that either they made a mistake, or they changed the name of the main female character from Dianna to Daisy (obviously referencing Super Mario Land.)

    On the Day Mario turns 20...Yoshi turns 10!
    -Snoopy1951

MEGAߥTE: Mario is older than the dinosaurs...

    How do you beat the 4th level on the Donkey Kong game with Jumpman(mario)?
    -Stan Timler

MEGAߥTE: You have to run over all off the little platforms to make them disappear. When they are all gone, the entire structure collapses and DK falls.

    This may not be a direct Mario reference, but I thought it was interesting. In Japan, Gary Oak, Ash's rival in Pokemon is named Miyamoto after Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto, as kind of a tribute from Game Freak for his help with programming the original Pokemon games.
    -Josh Nickerson

MEGAߥTE: Well, at least they didn't call him Mr. Satan.. Again, who says you don't lose something in the translation?

    ...Megabyte (how do you do his lettering he uses for his name? Answer that as well)...
    -Digifanatic

MEGAߥTE: LoL. Sorry I cut off the rest of the e-mail, but I'll let somebody else do your other questions. In Windows, you can hold ALT and press 0 2 5 5 on the number pad to do the beta and ALT + 0165 to do the yen.

    Heya, just a quick little blurb,
    What ever happened between Nintendo and Squaresoft? I know that now they aren't on speaking terms, which really REALLY stinks. Nintendo could be re-releasing a lot of great games for it's upcoming portable Advanced Game Boy... I know some people (including myself) that would LOVE to see a copy of Final Fantasy III, Secret of Mana, Chrono Trigger, etc. come out for GBA. Is there a chance the big N and Square will ever get back together again? Thanks in advance. ^ ^ Ah, yes, naturally, your site is absolutely spectacular! I've been visiting it ever since I got hooked up to the net a year ago, and it's never failed to amuse me.
    -A satisfied web-user

MEGAߥTE: I had heard several years ago that Sony had gotten Square to sign something with them to only develop titles for the PSX and that's why they never made anything for the N64. Square actually had started to develop FF7 for the N64, and you can probably find those screenshots online. I don't know if Square has anything planned for the Gamecube, but I have heard that they are planning on re-releasing FF4j (FF2), FF5j, and FF6j (FF3) to the GBA, and possibly more after that. They have already re-released FF1, FF2j, and FF3j on the Japanese handheld, WonderSwan Color, but are now interested in Nintendo again. Nintendo's president does not like Square anymore, but he really is only a figurehead, and does not have any say, so we can hope that Nintendo licenses Square again in the future; they would be incredibly stupid not to.

    Have you ever seen this game??? Mario Bros. II it looks like Mario Bros. For Game & Watch
    -Alex84871

MEGAߥTE: It is interesting to see what kinds of versions of the early Nintendo arcade games came out back when they were licensed to other developers and other systems. This one was actually for the C64, and looks something like Mario's Cement Factory.

The Mushroom Kingdom \ Mailbag \ 09 Feb 2001
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