The Toad’s Castle Explorers have returned from the wonderful and varied worlds of Super Mario Bros. 3
to bring you our Traveler’s Guide. This guide will look at Super Mario Bros. 3 with an emphasis on
entertainment rather than reference. I don’t hesitate to invent my own history when the official story is too thin. For a reference guide to every level of Super Mario Bros. 3, see its page in the guides section.
The Grass Land is the closest of the eight kingdoms that surround the Mushroom Kingdom. It has traditionally been at peace with the Mushroom Kingdom. The only exception to this historical friendship is the time its well-meaning but absent-minded monarch accidentally attacked the wrong castle in its long war against its rival in the Desert. This king was transformed by Larry Koopa as part of Bowser’s plot to kidnap the Princess, but was rescued by the Mario Bros.
The geography of the Grass Land is temperate with little variation. It is dominated by open and hilly areas of lush green grass. For the adventurous souls there are several dangerous peaks which can be climbed. Local lore maintains that a diligent explorer can happen upon a magical treasure that allows its owner to fly endlessly somewhere in the mountains. There are also reports of a mysterious flying ship that is filled with coins. For the truly daring treasurer seeker, a magical whistle that can instantly warp you to far away lands is hidden within a fortress guarded by a monster from the race of Boom-Booms.
The Desert Land is roughly twice the size of the Grass Land. It is an ancient kingdom with a rich history. The current king of Desert Land is famous for opening many historical sites to outsiders for the first time. During Bowser’s attempt to kidnap the Princess Desert Land was conquered by Morton Koopa, but has since been returned to its peaceful state.
Thanks to the dry climate, many ruins have survived for the modern traveler to enjoy. The landscape is dotted with pyramids and other monuments of various styles. New archaeological expeditions are being undertaken every day, so you can usually become involved in a dig. More timid adventurers may opt to take the guided tour of more popular ruins. The ancients buried treasure across their land, and the careful seeker can still come upon packets of these wonders today. This world is home to one of three surviving warp whistles, but it is carefully guarded by an ancient order known as the Fire Brothers. Beware of quicksand while traveling in the desert, and remember that sun stroke has killed many less-prepared travelers!
Water Land is simultaneously one of the most naturally beautiful and most dangerous lands you can visit. Its inhabitants are all expert swimmers of course, and no traveler without long-distance swimming endurance should venture to these parts. Water Land has the youngest monarch of any of the various surrounding kingdoms. It is rumored, though denied by Mario, that this king is somehow a part of the Mario family. Those who have seen him up close claim a striking resemblance their mustached hero. This king was transformed by Wendy Koopa as part of Bowser’s plot only three weeks into his rein.
If you are willing to risk it, there is much natural beauty to be seen in Water Land. At almost every elevation one can see endless expanses of unspoiled, crystal clear water. Be careful where you stand, because tides often come in quickly and sink seemly permanent ground below water in a matter of minutes. Where there is permanent land the vegetation grows in profusion. Swimming is not recommended anywhere in the kingdom; large flesh eating fish make their dinner of unsuspecting travels on a monthly basis. Travelers seeking a more tame adventure can take a trip on a nice large boat to see the sacred isles of Water Land, home to many religious relics.
Giant Land is best know for the island’s peculiar ability to produce plants and animals averaging about twice the size of their counterparts in other lands. Throughout history this feature has alternatively been a source of great pride on the one hand and shame on the other. In one of these periods of self-doubt the people of Giant Land temporarily changed the name of their island to Just-Right Land and insisted that the rest of the world was too small. While their abnormal size has at times been a source of pain, it allows the island to enjoy a strong military. The only successful conquest of Giant Land was by Iggy Koopa.
The people of Giant Land are suspicious of outsiders, and typically do not welcome travelers who stick out thanks to their normal (or as they say, small) size. Hammer throwers from the Giant Land Army have been known to ambush unsuspecting travelers. In its climate Giant Land is a breezy island very similar to Grass Land, except, of course, on a larger scale.
The traveler newly arriving in Sky Land may ask how it received it name, as it seems to be as grounded as any other land mass. Being neighbors to Giant Land, the people of Sky Land never had the chance to advance their civilization very far and have remained trapped on a small, marshy slice of land. The ingenious ancient Sky Landers noticed that the sky above was perpetually cloudy, and over three generations a great tower to the clouds was constructed. Several thousand years later this tower remains the main entrance to the cloud portion of their kingdom which houses their seat of government and urban centers. The king of Sky Land, at age 427 has the distinction of being the oldest of the eight kings. He was transformed as part of Roy Koopa’s attack, but maintains that this event had no longterm effect on his marvelous health.
The land portion of Sky Land is swampy, with many underground caves of unmatched beauty for the traveler to explore. Some people in other kingdoms believe the mineral waters from one particular Sky Land cave has healing capabilities. While the locals realize this is entirely false, they do not miss the opportunity to sell small jugs of it at one thousand times the regular price of water to misinformed travelers. To reach the clouds, a traveler must climb the famous Great Tower of Sky Land. It has for two decades remained open to outsides, however it is know at times to close for a number of years and inadvertently trap travelers in the clouds. Although the clouds of Sky Land are very dense, it is not recommended that especially fat travelers make this journey.
Ice Land is the most northern of the eight kingdoms. Because the earth is frozen and covered with ice, Ice Landers have traditionally built their entire infrastructure out of ice. Unfortunately, over the centuries Ice Land developed a short yearly thaw period in which nearly all the ice melts. It became part of Ice Land tradition that their structures would be redesigned yearly and so retain their freshness. When the current king came to power he insisted that this effort was a tremendous waste of resources, and demanded that his castle and other large buildings be made of stone. Some traditionalists are still against this decision, and many of them joined forces with Lemmy Koopa in an attempt to overthrow the king.
Ice Land is covered with ice and snow on all but about two weeks a year. During those weeks the sky turns bright blue and grass thrives in vibrant green. Throughout the rest of the year the sky remains a dull blue-gray and ice and snow perpetually cover the ground. Snow falls almost every day. The people of Ice Land are well accustom to walking on ice, but foreign travelers are not. Be especially careful on the many icy mountain passes that you must cross throughout Ice Land. The view is tremendous, but it is best see while standing, not falling.
Pipe Land is of course named for the fact that the kingdom consists of many small islands connected by an intricate network of pipes and tunnels. Due to the fragility of their pipe infrastructure, the inhabitants of Pipe Land have been subject to numerous invasions over the centuries, the latest of course being led by Ludwig Koopa. Because of this inherent insecurity, the people of Pipe Land have set many traps and locked numerous passage ways. You should never try to navigate the pipe system without an experienced, and preferably friendly, guide. Trap pipes have been known to lead to deadly underground caves and dangerous waterways. The Pipe Land traveler should also be on the lookout for Piranhas a species of large, carnivorous plants which are known to infest the pipe network.
Dark Land is a military police state ruled by Bowser, King of the Koopa. Bowser is infamous for his attacks on other lands and the capture of Princesses. Dark Land is located in the shadow of a perpetually active line of volcanoes which causes the air to poised with soot and the rivers to run with molten lava rather than water. The standard of living in Dark Land is the lowest of all the kingdoms, with the population suffering virtual slaver at the hand of the Koopa ruling class. No one is allowed in or out of Dark Land except to carry out the official business of Bowser. Although there are secret mountain passes courageous travelers can use to enter the Kingdom, travel agencies in all the other seven kingdoms strongly urge against it. If you do enter Dark Land, avoid all main roads because military patrols are out constantly. Beware of any river bed, as lava may begin to flow at any time. Bridges in Dark Land are often hot spots for thieves and highwaymen who wouldn’t think twice of killing a traveler for his gold. There are great rewards waiting for the traveler willing to risk these dangers: treasures are hoarded by thieves across the kingdom.