I've spent a lot of time over the past couple of weeks playing Super Mario Maker. It is some of the most fun I've had with a game in a long while, building on the pedigree of classic Mario with a smart concept and creative freedom. After designing levels and playing those that others have designed, one of the only major problems I have with the game is the limited number of enemies creators have to choose from. Your standard array of Goombas, Koopas, and Hammer Brothers are all here, but there are a wide array of enemies in Mario games past and present, and having more of them retrofitted into older Mario games would put Mario Maker over the top. Here are just a few of the more obscure Mario enemies that I'd love to see pop up in DLC for the game or a proper sequel down the line.
For the longest time, including my entire original playthrough of Super Mario World, I assumed that Reznor here was just a group of disembodied heads that lived on this rotating platform for some reason. It was only in the research for this piece that I discovered that they were actually little triceratops that shot fireballs at you for some reason. This certainly fits in better with the Dinosaur World setting of Mario World, but you have to admit that the surrealist nature of Mario games is sometimes overwhelming.
In any case, Super Mario Maker is certainly lacking in midbosses. You have Bowser and Bowser Jr. in there, but no Koopalings, no Boom Boom, no Sumo Brothers, and no Reznor. Traditional castle levels would have much more variety if you couldn't guess who would be greeting you on the bridge, and having a Mario boss rush level would be pretty fun in my opinion. With Reznor specifically, I would love to see the dinosaur move around a bit. It must be pretty limiting being stuck to that rotating platform all the time.
I know I said at the beginning of this piece that I would go obscure, but this article wouldn't feel complete if I didn't at least briefly mention one of my favorite Mario foes, the venerable Chargin' Chuck. A crazy football turtle man that throws baseballs at you for some reason, Chargin' Chucks always felt like an actual challenge at the end of a Mario World level. They took two hits to kill, they got really mad when they lost their helmet, and they had unpredictable movements that kept you on your toes. Perhaps Hammer Bros. filled in his role in the eyes of Nintendo, but nothing can replace this mad jock in my eyes. He deserves to have a weird Mario 1 sprite.
I have never been the biggest fan of Mario 2, mostly because of the way it handles and the understandable departures it takes from the other Mario games. If there is one thing to salvage from that game however, it is Mouser. Mouser is a simple fellow. He's a mouse, he wears sunglasses, and he loves chucking bombs at you. That's it. While many of the other enemies in this piece have been revived for recent 3D Mario outings, Mouser has stayed exclusive to Mario Bros. 2. Let's stop the prejudice against our rad bomb mice pals and let them throw bombs in other Mario games. For the children.
There have been many calls out on the Internet to include the Angry Sun from Super Mario 3 in Mario Maker. I've never been overly attached to that foe myself, and if I had to pick out a foe that Mario has only faced once, I'd instead go with the 2D debut of the Mad Piano from Mario 64. Facing the sentient killer piano in that game is one of the most effective scares in any Mario game, even if it is just a reskinned Unchained Chomp. Still, a piano skin for the Chomps that are already in the game would be a neat throwback to the 3D classic, allowing the Mad Piano to terrify an entire new generation of young players.
This is more getting into Mario Maker sequel territory, but if Nintendo ever filled out their roster of mainline game opponents and needed to expand, they would only need to dip into the crazy number of variations that have been put into the RPGs bearing the Mario name over the years. As an example, here is an Artichoker from the original Super Mario RPG. He is a stationary plant that can grab at opponents and capture them using his bullfrog head. He also has legs, allowing him to move slowly when he is revealed to not just be another bush. Imagine one of these guys growing out of a pipe instead of a Piranha Plant, grabbing you out of the air as you make a leap of faith over a random pipe and then dragging you back down into the underground.
Or perhaps RPG enemies are a bit too mainstream, and you still want to keep it to platformer specific foes. I certainly wouldn't blame you, which is why this list will end with the Chain-Saw Fish that was exclusively seen in Virtual Boy Wario Land. Ignore that this enemy is from a Wario game and look at this thing. It's a Friday the 13th inspired fish from the Mario universe. How has this thing not been in every Mario game since its debut? Having this hockey mask wearing enemy in Super Mario Maker would certainly make me excited to play underwater levels again if nothing else.
A special thanks to the Super Mario Wiki for being an amazing resource when it comes to all things Super Mario and introducing me to Chain-Saw Fish.
What enemies would you like to see added to Mario Maker? Where odes the rest of that chainsaw go in that fish? Is he a robot fish? Have you checked out the rest of the Mario Week articles going up on TechRaptor? Answer these questions and more in the comments below!