Mario is Missing! is a game created for MS-DOS, the NES and SNES. This game actually wasn't made by Nintendo, but by Software Toolworks (PC, SNES) and Radical Entertainment (NES). This game is known for being Luigi's first game as the main playable character, but more infamous for being a geography-based educational game. Along with Mario's Time Machine, this game is one of a series of Mario-themed educational games, called the Mario Discovery series.


Bowser sets up a castle in Antarctica, and plans to use many hair dryers to melt Antarctica's ice and flood the entire Earth. He sends Koopas to cities across Earth to steal artifacts to fund his operation. Mario, Luigi and Yoshi travel to Bowser's castle to stop him. Mario leads the way, but is kidnapped by Bowser, prompting Luigi to rescue him. (The plot is not explicitly included in the SNES version.)

Why it Sucks

(Note: NES and SNES versions only)

  1. The character and area designs are stolen straight from Super Mario World.
  2. This was Luigi's first solo game, so it was a huge disappointment only downplaying Luigi even more.
  3. The game makes no sense. In the very first mission of the game, you have to return KING KONG to the people of New York City after it was stolen by Koopas. Not Donkey Kong which is a character related to the Mario series, instead you have to return King Kong which is not related. Let that sink in.
  4. When returning items to the help desks, Luigi can't talk to the people because he's too short to reach them and needs Yoshi to give him a boost. Calling Yoshi requires going to the overhead map.
  5. In the NES game, going from screen to screen requires standing at an exact point in the very center of the roads, while you can only cross screens if you're standing on the sidewalks in the SNES game. The controls become temporarily delayed after crossing screens in both games.
  6. Peach doesn't do anything other than support you.
  7. After returning the stolen relic to the help desks, you have to answer trivia questions to actually return them. Even if you fail them, you can just leave and come back to try again.
  8. Some real world people's names were misspelled (Frida Kahlo as Freida Kahlo, Andrey Chokhov as Andrey Shchokhov, José Hernández as Jose Hernandez, Rufino Tamayo as Rufino Tomayo). In addition, they referred to Ivan IV, The Terrible as Ivan III, who was actually his grandfather.
  9. Extremely easy bosses, none of them can kill you.
  10. The final battle is extremely anticlimactic, you don't even get to fight Bowser (you know, the great Koopa King himself!), when he appears after you save Mario, Luigi pulls a lever, summons a large cannon under Bowser (which he falls in by the way) and blasts Bowser out of the castle and crashes into the Antarctic, where he freezes rock solid.

Redeeming Quality

  1. The MS-DOS version was responsible for the creation of the "Weegee" meme.
  2. In 2016, a remake called Mario is Missing Done Right was released, which eschews the edutainment entirely in favor of an ASM heavy Mario World hack that has elements from every Mario game.
  3. It was the first game that starred Luigi.