What in the world is Mario doing in my EDUTAINMENT game?!

Well, Mario is obviously a historian buff/time traveler/Koopa DESTROYA, so he is the main character of the wildly popular game, Mario’s Time Machine. The version that I will be focusing on is the one that I do own myself, the SNES version of this ground-breaking video game experience that delves into understanding the subtle nuances of humanity and its history.

You know what’s incredibly entertaining when you’re a mere 7 years old? Submersing yourself into a full-blown history lesson starring everyone’s favorite mustachioed plumber, Mario. Back then, I had no idea what the hell was going on in the game — you have Mario attempting to stop Bowser, who has stolen precious artifacts from throughout the history of mankind, by doing your history homework and then proceeding to collect ‘shrooms whilst surfing to time travel to specific points in history to return the artifact to its rightful owner.

I understand why The Software Toolworks made this game, because everyone in my age bracket at the time of its release was infatuated with Mario and time travel movies like Back to the Future and Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, so it was a no-brainer to incorporate Nintendo’s franchise player into their game, but…

It is so mind-numbingly boring, and 5 minutes of playing the game feels like 45 minutes. I’m not against educational gaming at all, and in fact I’m actually a history buff, but this game kills me a little every time I “play” it.

Screenshot credited to www.themushroomkingdom.net

There is no action besides the surfing “mini-game” and the act of Mario waddling around and jumping. Oh, but there is this scary gi-freakin’-normous hand that comes out of the left side of the screen holding a device that, when the button is pushed on it, brings Mario back to the present day. I have no idea why that is the way they decided to have Mario travel back to Bowser’s castle, and if they were smart, they would have used a DeLorean that comes screeching in from the side of the screen hitting trash cans while trying to stop. If that last sentence is any indication, I am a HUGE Back to the Future fan, and I feel as if The Software Toolworks missed a golden opportunity with Mario’s Time Machine. At the very least, I would’ve been satisfied with the phone booth from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.


Mario is in Bowser’s castle trying to return the artifacts that Bowser stole throughout history by using a time machine. Mario starts off on the first floor of the museum wing inside the castle, and you will need to grab the artifact from the leftmost podium and work your way to the last podium. There are three floors with five artifacts (grand total of 15) on each floor, and to make sure you achieve the best ending the game has, answer the questions for each historical figure right after you grab the artifact off of the podium. This is the exact order you need to go in to get the “good” ending of this brilliant game:

First Floor

  • The Apple: Sir Issac Newton – Cambridge, 1687 A.D.
  • The Shield: Joan of Arc – Orleans, 1429 A.D.
  • The Notebook: Leonardo da Vinci – Florence, 1505 A.D.
  • The Sheet Music: Ludwig van Beethoven – Vienna, 1824 A.D.
  • The Declaration of Independence: Thomas Jefferson – Philadelphia, 1776 A.D.


Second Floor

  • The Filament: Thomas Edison – Menlo Park, 1879 A.D.
  • The Printing Block: Marco Polo – Gobi Desert, 1292 A.D.
  • The Republic Book: Plato – Athens, 369 B.C.
  • The Crown: Queen Elizabeth I – London, 1595 A.D.
  • The Flag: Gandhi – Calcutta, 1947 A.D.


Third Floor

  • The Printing Press: Johannes Gutenberg – Mainz, 1455 A.D.
  • The Globe: Ferdinand Magellan – Pacific Ocean, 1521 A.D.
  • The Chisel: Michelangelo Buonarroti – Florence (again), 1503 A.D.
  • The Skull: William Shakespeare – Stratford upon Avon, 1601 A.D.
  • The Staff: Cleopatra – Alexandria, 47 B.C.


Fourth Floor

When Mario reaches the fourth floor of the museum wing, Bowser takes off to what is known as “Paradise – 1993 A.D.,” but Mario overloads the time machine, thus sending Bowser back to the time when dinosaurs roamed the earth. After Bowser lands on the ground, a giant dinosaur leg squashes him. No joke…

* You need to go in order and answer all of the questions before traveling back in time to drop off each artifact to get the “good” ending that I just described.

There you have it, a brief overview of the incredible Mario’s Time Machine. If you have any questions, or any comments based on your experience with the game, please comment below as I love interacting with all of the awesome visitors on Retroware TV!

See you next time!