Super Mario Land (1989)

As part of the move from Art of Redress, I wanted to bring across my reviews at The Well-Red Mage. In my opinion, it’s some of my best writing (typing?) and I think The Well-Red Mage brings out the best in me, in terms of researching and playing games.

How did I become a mage? I first came across The Well-Red Mage a few months after I started writing on WordPress…say maybe June/July? I was intrigued by the site straight away – I loved the analytical writing, the layout and I’m always a fan of when people use quotes to frame the direction of their writing. Eventually I plucked up some courage and began chatting to The Well-Red Mage himself. Initially it was about Sega, as I’m a big Sega fan and I think Red was a big Nintendo fan growing up…we were kind of on different sides of the same fence, if that makes sense. I really enjoyed (and still do) the Sega/Nintendo conversations and that prompted me to ask if I could write for The Well-Red Mage. Red said yes and so began what has been one of the best ‘creative’ relationships I’ve had to date.

I needed a hook though, a gimmick for my mage name. I decided that I would be The Hopeful Handheld Mage as I wanted to use my 3DS more and this would give me a good incentive to buy more games and play through them. Red agreed and diesgined my mage icon…he’s pretty cool isn’t he?

For my first review, I wanted to review Tetris as that really is the first ‘big’ handheld game. However, Tetris had been delisted so I couldn’t buy it. My next choice was a game I owned and was the original idea for the Game Boy’s pack in game – Super Mario Land. To me, that game symbolised the Game Boy back in the day, most people owned it and it was the first game I bought when I got my 3DS.

Writing the review itself was tough. I was tryinh to be more serious and professional – my blog at the time Retro Redress’ motto was just ‘post something, anything!’ I painstakingly edited the review and moved things around several times. I also had a rage over the pictures…I couldn’t save some of them and was having a meltdown late at night trying to fix them. I don’t remember how I did it to be honest…all I remember was reading the finished post on the way to Cornwall. I was pretty happy with the result. In fact, I’d argue this (or maybe the next Well-Red Mage review) is the best thing I’ve ever written.

Don’t take my word for it though – have a read for yourself. Maybe you could be a mage too? After all, you can never have enough mages….

The Well-Red Mage


“Welcome, and enter the center
Of my Super Mario adventure
My girl is trapped on the other side of town
So I’m moving in leaps and bounds
Folks around my way think I’m strange
But there’s a villain to blame
Even my ma, she thinks I’m crazy
But I’ve got to rescue Daisy (let’s go)

There ain’t no place like Super Mario Land (let’s go!)”

-Ambassadors Of Funk, ‘Supermarioland

HandheldMage1 “The following is a guest post by the Hopeful Handheld Mage.”

As I accepted my role as the Hopeful Handheld Mage, my first question to myself was ‘Where do I start?’ I knew I had to start with a game that played a big part in the beginning of handheld games. The format had to be be the Game Boy, the most important handheld console of all time, but which game? My first thought was Tetris

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Author: Gary Heneghan

I write about video games and wrestling at and moonlight as the The Hopeful Sega Mage at

2 thoughts on “Super Mario Land (1989)”

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