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Did You Catch The Amazing Warp Zone Reference In The Super Mario Bros. Movie?

Welcome to Warp Zone!

It’s been a few days, so we can be reasonably sure the parties that are interested in viewing The Super Mario Bros. Movie may well have done so by now.

While the film is a 90 minute Easter-Egg-O-Rama, there is one particular awesome reference that had me grinning like a lunatic – if only for the wickedly overt nature of it’s setup and payoff.

— Beware Spoilers Below —


The very first Mario gaming experiences came from a time where in-game secrets and well hidden quirks were not readily available via a generous YouTube algorithm or online guide.

They were either discovered entirely by accident or mentioned in hushed whispers by a schoolyard friend who learned of their existence via an older brother or uncle who clearly “worked for Nintendo” – the classic.

Of these, easily my favourite old school gaming secret was the great reveal of the classic “Warp Zone” area:

I had ventured to a friends house after school – in part mostly due to how close he lived – and the immediate highlight was the presence of a NES. My excitement clearly shaped what came next, because whatever we had planned to do was quickly abandoned as we played life for life Super Mario Bros. and talked schoolboy trash.

Then, it happened. He casually brock a bloke and walked off screen to the Warp Zone. My experience with console gaming was limited, and my time in the world of the Mario Brothers even more so – but everything I thought I understood about gaming rules was shaken to it’s very core. Was this cheating? Was this even allowed? Why on earth would someone want to bypass a portion of their gaming experience?

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That introduction to something as cool as the Warp Zone opened my mind to a much deeper line of enquiry about gaming, development and the people behind these experiences. I can openly attribute that situation to a first step on my journey to becoming passionate about interactive media – and a few casual decades later I am seeing that wondrous mind-boggling moment reproduced on the big screen.

The following TV spot does a good job of demonstrating the moment I am talking about:

The original Warp Zone is discovered by venturing to an underground area, breaking some bricks and heading to a mysterious, uncharted area offscreen to discover warp pipes that will lead you to other worlds.

In The Super Mario Bros. Movie, both Mario and Luigi venture underground and through a disastrous set of events manage to break some bricks. Behind those bricks? A mysterious and uncharted area. In that mysterious, uncharted area? A warp pipe.

And you best believe it sends them to other worlds.

While many in the cinema likely saw the parallels once the brothers entered the pipe and saw the actual transportation system of magical warp pipes at work, I was captured the moment the brothers bumbled through their brick barrier. The crew behind the film had reproduced that little sprinkle of old-school gaming magic in a super overt way that had every nostalgic neuron firing in my ancient, cynical mind.

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Not bad, considering my low bar of expectations were set at “I just want to see Mario do some plumbing“. Mamma mia.

It’s a film that clearly knows it’s audience, both young and old – and I appreciate that somehow they managed to cater to an extremely specific treasured memory on my end.

Have you managed to watch The Super Mario Bros. Movie? Do you have a favourite Easter Egg or reference? Let us know in the comments or on our social media.

Written By Ash Wayling

Known throughout the interwebs simply as M0D3Rn, Ash is bad at video games. An old guard gamer who suffers from being generally opinionated, it comes as no surprise that he is both brutally loyal and yet, fiercely whimsical about all things electronic. On occasion will make a youtube video that actually gets views. Follow him on YouTube @Bad at Video Games

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