Nintendo E-Reader Unlocks Ultimate Mario Levels

Nintendo E-Reader Unlocks Ultimate Mario Levels

Some of the coolest Super Mario Bros. levels can only be played with a method that many probably never even knew existed.

Nintendo's e-Reader, released in 2002, wasn't the type of gadget the name refers to today. It hooked up to the Game Boy Advance and consumers could buy trading cards to swipe through it to play full NES games or to add content to existing games. The e-Reader didn't really take off, with many dismissing its capabilities, but those people probably never saw these e-Reader exclusive Mario levels.

Nintendo sold packs of cards that when swiped unlocked levels in Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 that contain elements from all of the Mario games mashed together, or even totally new ones. Remember the cape powerup from Super Mario World for the SNES? The e-Reader brings it to Super Mario Bros. 3, along with items to dig up from Super Mario Bros. 2, the steel lifts from Super Mario Bros., and countless other level design elements and enemies from most of the Mario titles.

These levels can only be played by using e-Reader cards that are sure to be nearly impossible to find now. 12 cards were released in the U.S., with another 24 in Japan, for a total of 36 unique levels that the majority of people have never touched. From the video here showing the mashed-up elements, they look like something Mario fans might want to hunt for. I know I'm going to unearth my e-Reader and see if I've got any of the cards lying around.

GoNintendo via Joystiq

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Wow, epic fail on our part huh?

It's seems all sort of old easter eggs are coming out, wonder who is next.

This could start a gold rush for those E-Readers and cards.

Why didn't we figure this shit out years ago?

Well, people didn't discover the trick to play as Master Hand in Melee until 8 years after the game released.

Wow, that's... pretty awesome. How did I not know about these? Maybe Nintendo could have focused a bit more on the advertising.

I could see some cool ideas from this. The collection of both American and Japanese levels sound like together they would make a perfect WiiWare game. Or maybe with camera capabilities, the 3DS could have similar functions as an e-reader, taking a picture of the bar code on a card? I always enjoyed collectible card games but they were too expensive; this seems like it would have similar collectable elements without the cost.

Funkiest Monkey:
Why didn't we figure this shit out years ago?

Well, people didn't discover the trick to play as Master Hand in Melee until 8 years after the game released.

Wait, no way. You can play as the giant hand?!

the e-reader is a piece of crap. could not get my pokemon cards to work on it.

Watched that whole vid.. Damn that music was relaxing.

ranger19:

Funkiest Monkey:
Why didn't we figure this shit out years ago?

Well, people didn't discover the trick to play as Master Hand in Melee until 8 years after the game released.

Wait, no way. You can play as the giant hand?!


EDIT: Just posted the video instead.

Damn it! I would love to play some of those levels.

If I hadn't been told otherwise, I'd have thought that was just a (admittedly very good) hack.

Wow, that's...really cool.

That looks so fun :(

Why do I have the sudden urge to play Super Mario 64 though???

Oh wow, this is pretty cool.
Although I don't understand why they didn't just include those with the game.
I would have probably bought it if it had.

Also,

Tom Goldman:
12 cards were released in the U.S., with another 24 in Japan, for a total of 38 unique levels that the majority of people have never touched.

Wouldn't that mean that there are 36 levels not 38?

I still have my E-reader.

pmeier:

Tom Goldman:
12 cards were released in the U.S., with another 24 in Japan, for a total of 38 unique levels that the majority of people have never touched.

Wouldn't that mean that there are 36 levels not 38?

Math is hard. Let's go shopping!

I'm actually more enthusiastic about these levels than SMG2, which I haven't gotten around to playing yet. There's just something neat about seeing all that stuff mixed up together.

Funkiest Monkey:

EDIT: Just posted the video instead.

Whoa...

I'm going to have to do this when I get home and dominate one of my friends at the game. Mua ha ha!!

What is it with all these old and ancient easter eggs? I agree its epic, but...a few decade late?

pmeier:
Oh wow, this is pretty cool.
Although I don't understand why they didn't just include those with the game.
I would have probably bought it if it had.

Also,

Tom Goldman:
12 cards were released in the U.S., with another 24 in Japan, for a total of 38 unique levels that the majority of people have never touched.

Wouldn't that mean that there are 36 levels not 38?

Ha ha. Maybe. Yes. What?

This is the lost holy grail of Nintendo. The value of these cards is about to go through the roof...

Ummm.... Not exactly news, but I suppose some folks may not have known about it.

Calhoun347:
I still have my E-reader.

I never could find one. I couldn't find the reader or the cards, and yet I did know about them. I remember seeing advertisements for them, and probably would have picked on up.

Jaredin:
What is it with all these old and ancient easter eggs? I agree its epic, but...a few decade late?

Few decades? That was released for the Game Boy Advance in 2002. Less then a decade late. Some people like me remember seeing ads for this, but could never find it. It's no wonder it sold poorly.

As someone who purchased a Game Boy Micro relatively recently, I find this bit of news to be awesome. Nevertheless, I have to wonder...why bring up the subject now? What relevance does it have to the present day?

Anyway, putting the issue of obtaining cards aside, you will be lucky if you can obtain an e-Reader in the first place. Nowadays, Game Boy accessories are really hard to come by and you can preety much consider yourself lucky if you do somehow manage to find someone still selling any of it. Not along ago, I was looking if there was anyone selling GBA flash cards (before you get any ideas, I need one in order to be able to apply translation patches) and it's nearly impossible to find anyone still selling them.

Nintendo...please, please re-release this. Just call it Mario Lost Levels 2 and slap it on the virtual console!

Dang I wish I had known about this, then I would have bought more of those cards. Honestly I can't remember why I bought an e-reader in the first place. Luckily I still have the e-reader and some of the cards but none of the those gave me anything like the video.

+1 to nintendo releasing these levels somewhere else..

The Shoe! They actually brought back the shoe and we missed it! :-(

This makes me remember I have a couple of these cards (One level, one power-up) that are still lying around the house somewhere.

I knew if I left them they'd accumulate in value.

Funkiest Monkey:
Why didn't we figure this shit out years ago?

You just made me realise something.....
People have been through the SMB3 ROM and gotten all the possible content and cheats, if people had known about it they would've mentioned it ages ago.

I call fake.

DrummerM:
This makes me remember I have a couple of these cards (One level, one power-up) that are still lying around the house somewhere.

I knew if I left them they'd accumulate in value.

So only 12 were released in the US, and you have 2 of them?

I have an e-reader knocking about somewhere, but haven't used it for what seems like an eternity. I think thats about to change.

12 different not 12 total surely?

Anyway for all DLC is a nasty consumer unfriendly measure the e-reader was a thousand times worse, even if there's stuff people might have hunted for I'm really glad it never took off.

Yeah, I remember having an ad for these cards that I think came with my GBA. They didn't sell the packs where I lived though (and I never had SMBA4).

I did collect some of the scannable pokemon cards though, got 2 games that way.

The e-reader was terrible though... One NES game required you to scan 10 cards (lose one and your boned) and you could only save one game on the cartridge itself.

12 level cards? Looks like I have 11 level cards. Hmm... I also have a bunch of "Demo" cards and "Power Up" cards.

EDIT: Turns out I have the whole series released in North America, minus 4 "Wal-Mart exclusive" cards. And I thought I had the whole set :_(

Christ, I actually had one of these. I think I even had some secret level cards. The thing was a piece of shit and I could never figure out how to use it.

I remember that! I got it for Pokemanz, when i was just a wee little boy.

emulator + gameshark = unlocked lol

 

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