The announcement regarding the release of Super Mario 35 in September 2020 reminded us that Nintendo would restrict the game’s availability to the 35th-anniversary event. The event went on from September 3rd, 2020 to March 21st, 2021.
As we expected, the game’s servers shut down on April 1st, 2021. This gave fans a small window of time to part with the reimagining of the classic before Nintendo put it under lock and key. Still, diehard fans of the game have hope that the game will be making a return sometime in the future.
This isn’t the only Super Mario game Nintendo has cut from public availability, as Super Mario 3D All-Stars suffered the same fate. Unlike Mario 35, however, those who purchased the game before March 31st can still play and re-download it (if they deleted it from their Switch).
How Nintendo celebrated their 35th anniversary
We can hardly believe it’s been 35 (almost 36) years since the Italian plumber first jumped and ran through platforms and puzzles on our screens to save Princess Peach (only to find out she’s in another castle…). Don’t worry, though, the 35th anniversary event Nintendo held from late 2020 to early 2021 is there to remind us that, yes, we are getting old.
Although rumors stated that the event would start mid-April, due to COVID-19 it started in September 2020. For nearly 7 months, the video game company released compilations of some of the Super Mario franchise’s most popular adventures. We got to play Super Mario 3D All-Stars, Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros, and, namely, Super Mario 35. It was like a dream come true for any long-time Super Mario fan.
The anniversary event also included merchandise such as toys, clothing, and even adhesive products decorated with Mario characters on the packaging.
Super Mario 35: Ultimate 2D Battle Royale
The game’s concept was a battle royale based on the original Super Mario game. It was only available for Nintendo Switch Online members. Thirty-five players, each controlling the protagonist Mario, compete against each other in run-and-jump platform-style levels. It came with fun features such as sending out enemies you defeat to other players to hinder them. The goal of the game was to complete the levels while dealing with the enemies other players sent your way.
It received positive reviews from fans (us included!) hailing the game as a unique combination of Super Mario Bros with an innovative battle royale system.
What replaced Mario 35?
Although Nintendo decided to cut the cord on Mario 35, their battle royale escapades don’t end there. The company announced Pac-Man 99, meant to replace Mario 35. Following the similar concept of the previous game, 99 players compete in a last-man-standing format. You can also impact another player’s game by eating a specific type of ghost or a “power pellet”.
All these factors make the game very reminiscent of Super Mario 35. We all know in our hearts that it just isn’t the same without our favorite Italian plumber, though.
Can you still play Super Mario 35?
The game’s servers shut down on April 1st but it still lives in the hearts of fans… and on a fan-made server created using reverse engineering.
Reverse engineered Server
If you haven’t touched your Nintendo Switch since April, we have some good news for you! Yannik Marchand, known as Kinnay, has found a way to allow fans to replay the adventures in Super Mario 35. To make this happen, he used reverse engineering.
The way reverse engineering works is, essentially, deconstructing the software to extract design information. Kinnay was able to take this information in order to reconstruct the game and make the servers available to play for Nintendo Switch Online members everywhere.
However, due to Nintendo’s past dealings with fan-made servers and games, we can’t imagine this going down well in the near future. Nintendo is known to make DMCA claims and enforce copyright on all of their games. The most famous example? Their objections to a fan-made remake of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, dubbed Breath of the NES. I mean, even Super Mario 35 had its own fan-made version before Nintendo even released the game! Nintendo, however, claimed that the game had been in the works before the fan-made game, named Mario Royale.
So if your Switch is sitting around waiting for Nintendo to re-release Mario 35, take the opportunity and go give it some love! There’s no telling when Nintendo will catch wind of this and put a stop to it. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, folks.