I'm a Super Mario Bros. 2 Boss Too!

When people look back at Super Mario Bros. 2 a few of things come to mind. Firstly it was secretly just Doki Doki Panic, but with Mario characters. Secondly it's the game that introduced the video game community to the one and only Birdo. Finally it also marks the origin of Shy Guy and Bob-omb, but no gives a damn about them unless we're talking about the Paper Mario games. The curious fact is however is that Bob-omb, Shy Guy, and Birdo are the only characters of Super Mario Bros. 2 to really make appearances in later entries of the Mario franchise. If I'm allowed to be dramatic they are the only characters that are "canon" in the Mario universe. Which is odd considering that the end of Super Mario 2 revealed that the game was all just a dream that Mario had.

Anyways this list looks back at the largely forgotten other bosses of Super Mario 2 and gives them their fair chance to gain mainsteam recognition beyond just Birdo. Personally Super Mario Bros. 2 has a close place in my heart due to the fact that it was the first Mario game I ever beat. Many of these bosses and their patterns are ingrained in my head still to this day.

Oh yeah one last thing. There's a reason why Birdo is the only boss that made the cut into Mario canon...most of the bosses of Super Mario Bros 2 are kid of lame.

P.S. If you wanted to know the Gameboy Advance version of Super Mario Bros. 2, which is the version I actually ended up completing, featured complete voice acting for ALL of the bosses of Super Mario 2...including Birdo. You can listen to it over here, but be warned. The English voice acting is TERRIBLE!

List items

  • Probably one of the most overlooked pieces of Super Mario Bros. 2 is the fact that "Pink Birdo," that is the Birdo we all know and recognize as "canon," isn't the only Birdo that makes an appearance in Super Mario Bros 2. To add a little spice to the boss mix there was "Red Birdo" who would expel a fire ball every third expulsion, as well as "Green Birdo," who would do nothing but spew fire balls at you.

    So the troubling question is this: where did these different Birdos come from? Are there different species of Birdo in the Mario canon? Can Birdos reproduce? If they reproduce does that mean there are actually female Birdos and not just males that like to dress up as females, as is the case with "Pink Birdo?" Did "Pink Birdo" just take some sort of super serum or steroids to beef up his boss powers in an attempt to make things harder for Mario and company? If so why didn't Birdo take the time to get rid of everything in his boss room that could be used against him so Mario and comapny had no chance to defeat him, or maybe not spew something that could be used against him in the first place? Why am I asking these questions when this game is revealed to be all just a dream Mario is having at the end of the game?

    The Game Boy Advance version of Super Mario Bros. 2 amped up the weirdness by adding "Robobirdo." As you probably could guess "Robobirdo" is a giant robotic Birdo that shoots one enormous egg. Whoever designed Robobirdo forgot to take heed that Mario and company have the ability to lift things regardless of size and can still hurl said eggs back at the robot with relative ease, thus making the boss fight no more difficult than an encounter with regular ass Birdo.

  • Mouser is the first non-Birdo boss fight most players encounter in Super Mario 2 (that said everything is off the books if you use the "secret" teleportation system in the game). When you first encounter Mouser you simply throw the bombs the rodent tosses your way back at him. His bombs can be easily avoided and overall he isn't that difficult the first time around, just incredibly annoying. Mouser is actually next to Wart as one of the most time consuming bosses in the game in my books because the bombs that he (no cross-dressing back story for this boss!) throws don't have the largest blast radius and he has the magic ability to moved backwards just as the bombs you throw them at him are about to explode.

    Mouser is also encountered twice in the game, and in the second encounter players have to deal with a "Spark" that circles around the boss chamber. Also somehow Mouser has gained some extra HP at the local potion bar as he takes five hits instead of the usual three, which again makes the process of beating him a more time consuming task given the fact that his bombs suck.

    For his efforts Mouser has recently been seen as a sticker or trophy in various Nintendo games as well as the attachment for a humorous article written by Ryan about a failed mouse attachment for the NES (http://www.giantbomb.com/news/nes-mouse-concept/1229/).

  • Wow a hydra as a boss? Way to really think out of the box there Nintendo. Yup it's a three headed snake and as you my guess it shoots fireballs at you, but at a faster rate than Green Birdo or even the next boss on our list that's actually made out of fire (not sure why that's the way things are, but whatever this is just a dream really).

    Snake thing shoots fireballs. Fireballs can be easily blocked by making a wall from the movable mushrooms commonly seen in the boss chambers during the game, thus making Tryclde a cake walk. Said mushroom blocks must be thrown at snake thing three or five times to defeat him. Honestly this is the most "boring boss in the game."

  • Fryguy starts out as a fire that magically gains sentience and a desire to kill Mario and company after being exposed to magical bubbles that suddenly float from the floor of the boss chamber (did that make any sense?). Anyways it's a giant amorphous blob of fire that spits fire. Again Nintendo is really hitting it out of the park here with new boss ideas.

    The real difference between Fryguy and the rest of the bosses is that Fryguy is one of two bosses that doesn't walk around in a linear fashion, and instead flies around his boss chamber in a circle. You know so is that there's not a straight path to just chuck things right back at him. Also after hitting Fryguy three or four times with mushroom blocks that conveniently can be used to kill him he breaks apart into multiple tiny flame-balls instead of just dying outright.

  • Clawgrip may just be the "original Giant Enemy Crab (not really). What is about Japan and crab bosses? Wait don't answer that question, because I know the answer. Something something, Japanese legend about a crab and a rock, and rock crushing crab's shell something something, Reb Lobster's food always sucks.

    He's a Sidestepper (http://www.giantbomb.com/sidestepper/92-2940/), something I find cool seeing how I played a lot of the Mario arcade game, that evolves into his large boss form after being exposed, like Fryguy, to magical bubbles.

    Another fin fact is that and in the orignal Doki Doki Panic he was just a white pallete swap of Mouser that threw boulders instead of bombs.

    Unfortunately there's no Pow-Block to knock down this cantankerous crab! Instead you have to grab the stones this crustacean tosses your way right back at him. You know, because the bosses just haven't figure it out that MAYBE they shouldn't be using projectiles that can be used to kill them!

    That said Clawgrib is legitimately difficult to beat. For one his projectiles are thrown in an arch as opposed to a straight line like Biro's eggs. Next the boulders he throws roll into a gap in the ground meaning there's a limited window to grab them and throw them back at the boss. Also that hole in the boss chamber can prove lethal to over eager player trying to jump towards tumbling rocks. Finally Clawgrib has the annoying habit of throwing boulders right as you grab one, thus hurting you. What a bastard.

  • Prior to the final boss fight of Super Mario Bros. 2 you actually have to fight the Hawk face door. Nothing much to say here because the door doesn't shoot anything and just flies towards you. This encounter actually freaked me out because...you know you trusted that the gate would take you to your new location without question, and then it just turns on you at the end...why?

    Was the Hawkgate employed by Wart? If so why wouldn't Wart just order the Hawkgates to not open when a boss was defeated so Mario and company would never have the opportunity to kill him? Why not take the pearls that open the Hwakgates, thus preventing the good guys from making any progress? Did he want the gates to open so he would have the opportunity to defeat them himself? If so why didn't he plan better for his fight?

  • Many people may make the mistake of thinking that Birdo is the main villain in Super Mario Bros. 2, but in reality Birdo was being employed by Wart, a fat frog things with an allergy to vegetables. Yup you kill Wart using veggies, but then again you've been doing that for the entire game.

    Wart is a pain because grabbing the veggies that pop out of the musical horns in his thrown room is difficult especially seeing how he vomits bubbles at you as you try to do this. That and when throwing the vegetables you need to time you throws when he has his mouth open otherwise you do jack squat and have wasted your vegetable.

    That said Wart, like his fellow minions, seems to have made some crucial tactical mistakes with his encounter with Mario and company. Like if your one weakness is vegetables why would have a magical organ that shoots out vegetables that can be thrown into your mouth to kill you? Secondly in Wart's throne room he has numerous masks that previously would attack you if you tried to pick up a key or something, which still stands as one of my scary moments in a Mario game. Why didn't he summon these mask to fight alongside him?

    Another thing that doesn't make sense are Wart's bubbles that he uses to try and kill you. Are the bubbles that he vomits at you different from the ones that transform a fire into Fryguy, and a Sidestepper into Clawgrip? I can only assume that those bubbles are the same, so how did Wart know that his bubbles would kill Mario and company? What if they had the same effect on Mario and company that they did with his henchmen, and instead of killing Mario made him into five story mutant that shit fire? WHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHYYYY?

    Wart like many other of the Super Mario 2 bosses has recently been seen as a sticker or trophy in various Nintendo games