The Six Golden Coins

In 1992, Nintendo released the sequel to Super Mario Land, one of the most underrated sequels in the entire Mario catalog - Super Mario Land 2: The Six Golden Coins. And it's no less foreign or weird than the first installment - not NES bootleg clone weird - just "a different team made this so it is very different" weird.

In Super Mario Land 2, a new nemesis, Wario, an evil Mario (the 1990's loved mixed around heor names for villans - like Odlaw and Waldo in that Where's Waldo cartoon) - has taken over Mario's castle in Mario Land, a SNES-ish styled island filled with several different interesting "zones" to visist, like the Robot Zone, the Sea Zone, the Tree Zone, the Bubble Zone, the Space Zone, the Macro Zone, the Halloween Zone.... and you had to collect all six golden coins from these Zones and save Marios kingdom by battling Wario at his castle.

At the time SML2 came out, the SNES was taking over, Super Mario World was already out, so this game was an interesting mix of Super Mario World and Super Mario Bros 3, but with it's own tweaks. Instead of a cape or a racoon tail, you had the bunny ears that let you float awhile. The Fire Flower and Mushrooms were back, and so were the pipes and all that. Also a MASSIVE improvement was the much bigger graphics. Mario now looked like what we would see on the SNES, and things were far less an eyestrain to see compared to the first installment.

Super Mario Land 2 became one of the more popular games for the Game Boy in it's early, non color, non backlit years, and sold many many copies, but it does not get nearly as much notice as the mainline titles.
Road Trips in the 90's - My Experiences
I bought Super Mario Land myself, IIRC, in the spring of 1993, before we got to take our brand new car - the one I still drive to this day - on a road trip to the bottom most part of Florida to see relatives. Yeah, a 1 year old Game Boy, with a 1 month old copy of SML2 in a 4 month old truck with only about 500 miles on it, with AC, sunroof, Premium Audio, seats that lean back, and a whole entire 60/60 split rear seat combination with shoulder belts to myself. Noice. And yeah, if you're asking, that truck is the so-called "X" - same exact vehicle, just 30 years and 415,000 miles younger, though oddly not much different physically or mechanically.

So it's me, mom, and my second oldest sister. The second oldest is asleep in the passenger seat, I'm in back on the driver's side propping my arm up on teh backseat arm wrest - with a quartet of spare Duracells for the GAme Boy packed away in the ash tray - yeah, we had Ash Trays in cars back then - people actually smoked in cars, with children no less. Not my family, but others. For me - Ash Trays were more like handy battery storage. This was our version of "USB Charging" in 1993. Unused-Smoker's-Bay-Charging that is!

Usually you left in the wee hours of the morning, half-asleep. Well, back then, we had no backlights on our Game Boy. So you had 3 optons - try to play something like an RPG at the mercy of street lights, try to sleep and wait until a bibt after sunrise to break out the Game Boy, or stay up and participate in half-asleep family conversions about how lucky you are you don't have to drive.

So on the first road trip in the Explorer, I napped as best as I could for the first few hours, head propped on the C pillar, sitting in my shoulder belt - yeah, "Shoulder Belts" were a "luxury" in the backseat in the early 1990's, I think the Ford Explorer was one of the first SUV's to feature them. The nice thing about the old lap belts was you could lay sideways and still not get anyone ticketed on the technicality that you had your seatbelt on. Shoulder belts though...naaah, you had to learn to sleep sitting up.

Once the sun was up enough, I got up, pulled out the Game Boy, and went to town. Warm up with a game of Tetris, then play Super Mario Land, and then I broke this out - Super Mario Land2, which I'd got as recently as a week before the trip. Then we stop for lunch at a McDonalds, get a 20 piece mcnugget, large fries, and a sprite, and hit the road again. All the while eating Nuggets, reading Game Boy Manuals, and then going back to playing. I think by the time we hit the Keys I already was 3 levels beaten in and had about 66 lives. By the time we were on the way back, I had 99 lives, 999 coins, more power ups than anyone could want, and by the time we were in Orlando I was beating the game in Mario's castle. The whole time I had a cat on my lap, a makeshift litter box made oof a model car box, and had eaten my weight in McNuggets over the past several days, including some fried Alligator that tasted like McNuggets.

And sometime during that period, my Game Boy Died, after I lost this cartridge. I still think to this day, that Explorer is hidding that copy of Super Mario Land 2 somewhere under the carpet in back. I'll prbably find it when I re-apholster the backseat area and pull the carpet. Then I'll be back on the hunt for something to play it on again, to see if my old savegamme is still there.