The Scale of 3D Mario Worlds and Levels

John Bros.

Goomba
With the recent release of Bowser’s Fury and seeing all the changes it brought to the 3D Mario formula in terms of World Design, I thought it would be the proper time to analyze the scale of all 3D Super Mario games, from Super Mario 64 to Bowser’s Fury. I wanted to create a document in which we could compare the size of these games Worlds and Levels. In order to do that, I created 4 different categories to classify all the environments we can find in these games : the Worlds/Kingdoms, the Large Sandboxes, the Sandboxes/Courses and the Mini-Sandboxes/Courses.

Here is the document : https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1cZbUKC-abTpPtJAGpd1m2Em1u4kCy4SKaEGe6-aVgYM/edit?usp=sharing (I attached a pdf version if you have problems with the link.)

Some precisions :
- Regarding Super Mario Odyssey’s Sandboxes, it was a bit hard to decide which ones were large and which ones were normal, but I think the division was necessary to show how unstable the size of the sandboxes is in that game (compare Nimbus Arena and Tostarena for example).
- I didn’t play Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Super Mario 3D Land (unfortunately), so I may have missed some interesting environments from these games. I would be happy to edit my document with some of your suggestions, regarding these 2 games or even any of the other games.
- I thought it would be very interesting to include Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker among the other games, because of its close relationship to 3D World and even Odyssey in terms of Level Design. I see it as the transition game between 3D World and Odyssey, and I believe it helped the development teams a lot to return to Sandboxes Design and practice at a much smaller scale before going to Odyssey.

I would be happy to discuss more about this subject in this thread. We could also use this comparison to imagine the scale of the next mainline 3D Mario game (of which I believe Bowser’s Fury is a draft). Thank you in advance for taking a look at this document and I hope you will enjoy it.
 

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Вlitz

The name's Matz Lunne!
I’ve played Galaxy 2 and 3D Land and both of them don’t have a level that you could say is exploration-based. Although the Fluzzard levels in Galaxy 2 would be interesting to explore as Mario.
 

Redshift

Eats Lunch at 4:00 pm
Wiki Patroller
The biggest level in Galaxy 2 was Starshine Galaxy if I recall correctly, it was the closest that game had to a sandbox planetoid, probably roughly the same size as Beach Bowl. Using Throwback Galaxy as an example of a level in Galaxy 2 is kinda cheating though, since that's just Whomp's Fortress. I think Galaxy 2 is like the only game that brought back courses almost unchanged from their original game too, so perhaps that could be its own category?
 

John Bros.

Goomba
The biggest level in Galaxy 2 was Starshine Galaxy if I recall correctly, it was the closest that game had to a sandbox planetoid, probably roughly the same size as Beach Bowl. Using Throwback Galaxy as an example of a level in Galaxy 2 is kinda cheating though, since that's just Whomp's Fortress. I think Galaxy 2 is like the only game that brought back courses almost unchanged from their original game too, so perhaps that could be its own category?
Thank you for your information, I didn't know about Starshine Beach Galaxy and indeed, it looks absolutely like a classic Sandbox, in terms of size and gameplay. I replaced Throwback Galaxy by that one on my document. The Galaxy games are so singular in their ability to switch from Sandbox to Course at any moment.
 
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