Hotel Mario was released on the Phillips CD-i system in 1994. The primary goal of the game is to go through each of the seven hotels and defeat Bowser's seven children and finally confront Bowser himself to rescue Princess Peach (who in the manual of the game is referred to as Princess Toadstool).
This is unique among Mario games because instead of the usual platforming Mario and Luigi make their way through seven hotels, closing all the doors on each of ten stages, with the exception of Bowser's hotel which has 15 stages. Closing all of the doors on a particular stage causes all of the enemies onscreen to die instantly and allows the player to proceed to the next level. At the end of each hotel, Mario faces off against one of the Koopalings in a dramatic door battle. As per the norm in this game, the only way for Mario to defeat the dreaded Koopa spawn is to close all of the doors. Conversely, the Koopaling is competing to open all of the doors; if he succeeds, Mario is instantly killed.
The game has gained fame not for being great, but for being one of the worst Mario games ever produced and even Nintendo refuses to acknowledge that it exists. The game was bashed for the game play because it was boring and the controls were difficult and the cutscenes had some memorably bad voice acting. Even though the game is panned for being bad there are some people that claim it sticks to the Nintendo legacy better than the Legend of Zelda games produced on the CD-i as well.
One day Mario and Luigi were walking to the Mushroom Kingdom to have a picnic with the Princess and they talked about how it was nice of her to invite them over for a picnic and in the background you can see Bowser pop up from behind a rock and laugh as he watches the Mario Bros go by and pops back down behind the rock. Mario and Luigi don't even notice Bowser and they continue to walk towards the entrance to the Mushroom Kingdom and Mario notices a note on the entrance and picks it up. Mario reads the letter and finds out that Bowser has yet again taken over the Mushroom Kingdom and it's up to our heroic plumbers to stop him and his children as well. Eventually Mario and Luigi find the hotel where Bowser resides and finally rescue Princess Peach and the hotel where Bowser was explodes and the Princess breaks the fourth wall and thanks you as the player for helping the Mario Bros as well and gives Mario and Luigi a kiss and they walk happily on a path back to the castle.
It's a hotel built inside of a huge tree.
Roy's HardBrick Hotel
A hotel as the name implies is a hotel made of bricks, the lights flick off and on because of a room with too many toasters.
Larry's Chillton Hotel
A hotel that resides within a cave and it is actually an ice cave.
Lemmy's High-ate Regency Hotel
A hotel that is built in the sky and strangely has a giant fan outside of where it is.
Ludwig's Thump Castle Hotel
A hotel with a horror based theme.
Wendy's Blitz Snarlton Hotel
A hotel with a casino theme to it and it's one of the only hotels that actually resembles a true hotel.
Bowser's Seizures Palace Hotel
The last hotel that resembles Bowser's castle.
Back in 1991 Phillips was contacted by Nintendo to help them make a CD based attachment for the SNES, but after delays Nintendo dropped the deal and when with Sony, but Phillips had acquired the rights to produce Nintendo based games on their system the CD-I and so Hotel Mario was developed in a few years and released, but to poor reviews and sales due to the lack of people who could afford the CD-I. The game was also given cutscenes that were voiced by Mark Graue and not Charles Martinet. The cut scenes depicted Mario and Luigi discussing with each other about who to do next and giving hints to the players on how to beat the next hotels. The art style of Hotel Mario was heavily based on Disney cartoons and also drew certain elements from JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings books. The game was finally released in 1994 and was not the hit Phillips expected it to be.
- This game placed first on Screwattack.com's list of the "Top 10 Worst Mario Games."
- Iggy doesn't have his own hotel, but appears as a boss in Bowser's.
- Most of the names of the Koopaling's Hotels are puns on real world hotels ("Woodoor-Hysteria," "Blitz Snarlton," etc.). Roy's HardBrick Hotel, however, is more likely named after the song "Heartbreak Hotel" by Elvis Presley.
- Other cultural references include Mario's lines "We ain't afraid of no Koopas!" (a play on the line "I ain't afraid of no ghost!" from the Ghostbusters theme song) and "Hey, you! Get off of my cloud!" from the Rolling Stones song, "Get Off of My Cloud."
- The line "Hey, you! Get off of my cloud!" was improvised in-studio.