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Mario Takes America - CD-i

>> Friday, December 1, 2006

When Philips internally produced the famous Hotel Mario game for the CD-I, more companies were granted money in order to produce a CD-I game starring Nintendo’s greatest mascotte: Super Mario. This was quite an exclusive opportunity, as Nintendo would never license their characters to a perceived competitor. While The Black Moon Project covered “ The Lost Mario game ” being "Super Mario`s Wacky Worlds" in 2004, less is known about a Digital Video project called ‘Mario Takes America’. A Canadian investor named Howard Greenspan set up Cigam (Magic spelled backwards) Entertainment in Toronto. They talked a great story about Super Mario flying over the Statue of Liberty, travelling with dolphins over the ocean and more which has been highlighted in the UK CD-I Magazine once. The film crew even used a helicopter to shoot some of the more tricky sequences. These were the early days of Full Motion Video, so the development platform was not that stable in their defense. And while the concept was great, the execution was miserable. Other rumours include the mis-use of Nintendo’s Intellectual Property in the way how Mario was treated in the flight over America. The so-called ‘Edutainment’ concept should add a level of teaching about the American culture which should propagate the status of the USA immensely. However, this title was supposed to be the edge of ‘reality’ with a real silicon graphics Mario which should be the first outing of Mario in 3D ever! The game concept was nothing else than impressive but unfortunately none of this came to happening; after the bankruptcy of Cigam in 1994 all the golden plans for Mario were cancelled. Early clips where shown at the CDi 3 Conference in New York in October 1993.

Along with the likes of Viridis (Producer of Zelda’s Adventure on CD-I), Cigam existed of two very young developers who presented their own concept for a cd-i game to Philips Media Games. Philips was pretty excited, and granted them money to start on the project. Normally, companies were granted money after certain deadlines. But in this hard business, when Philips had confidence in a project, money was granted on forehand. Unfortunately, Cigam was one of those who just didn't meet any expectations in the end, and Philips had to cancel the project to prevent more money bleeding...

We will expand on the Nintendo titles on CD-I in one of the next columns or articles on The Black Moon Project .

8 reacties:

Dave,  January 25, 2007 at 12:55 AM  

As a hardcore Mario fan this post is really appreciated.

I wonder if the early clips shown at the Cdi3 conference still exist.

Hopefully the new year will let you dig deeper into this story. As it is quite a story.

bas,  January 25, 2007 at 6:40 PM  

I hope we'll be able to trace the videos and some background info! I was very intruiged about it as well, and it's a pity it (almost?) disappeared into obscurity!

Dave,  January 26, 2007 at 12:54 AM  

Ya like you think because of the obsurity, someone would have a prototye or something, I mean the SMWW prototype was worth alot if I'm not mistaken.

Again, can't wait till ya dig up more.

Bas January 29, 2007 at 7:24 PM  

Prototypes are worth quite something! I think we all want to see the games that never made it as a retail release! What about close calls like Discworld? Ofcourse the Nintendo license again is what labels Mario Takes America special, or are you after CD-i exclusives ;) I can't imagine how the game would ultimately look like, but my only contact claims it to be an educational title more than an actual game. A little like the MS-DOS Mario releases. Still, the Digital Video implementations would make it very unique!

Anonymous,  January 23, 2009 at 3:10 AM  

are there any images or vids of this? it sounds pretty cool thanks for the info!

Bas January 23, 2009 at 9:17 AM  

There was some footage shown at the CD-i conference in 1993, but it disappeared after this. I've never met someone who recorded that. But I'm sure it exists. It is a very special piece of software, this was actually the very first 3D mario ever created!

CD-i Fan March 12, 2017 at 11:51 PM  

Bas, do you have any more info about these "CD-i" conferences? When and where they were held, and possibly what was presented?

Bas March 13, 2017 at 7:19 AM  

No, unfortunately not. These were quotes from David McElhatten (president of Philips Media)...

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Games 0-F

3rd Degree - PF Magic
7th Guest, The - Philips Freeland Studios
Accelerator - SPC/Vision
Adventure of the Space Ship Beagle, The - Denshi Media Services
Affaire Morlov, L' - Titus
Alfapet - Adatek
Alice in Wonderland - Spinnaker
Alien Gate - SPC Vision
Alien Odyssee - Argonaut
Aliens Interactive CD-i - Dark Vision Interactive
Ange et le Demon, L' - Smart Move
Apprentice, The - SPC Vision
Apprentice 2, The - Marvin's Revenge - SPC Vision
Arcade Classics - Philips ADS / Namco
Asterix - Caesar’s Challenge - Infogrames
Atlantis - The Last Resort - PRL Redhill (Philips ADS)
Axis and Allies - CapDisc
Backgammon - CapDisc
Battle Chess - Accent Media (for Interplay)
Battleship - CapDisc
Big Bang Show - Infogrames
BMP Puzzle - Circle (for ZYX)
Brain Dead 13 - Readysoft
Burn:Cycle - Trip Media
Caesar's World of Boxing - Philips POV
Caesar's World of Gambling - CD-I Systems
Cartoon Academy - Bits Corporation
CD-i mit der Maus - SPC Vision
CD Shoot - Eaglevision Interactive Productions
Change Angels Kick-off - HMO
Chaos Control - Infogrames
Christmas Country - Creative Media
Christmas Country - The Lost Levels - Creative Media
Christmas Crisis - DIMA
Clue - 3T Productions
Clue 2 - The mysteries continue - 3T Productions
Connect Four - CapDisc
Creature Shock - Argonaut (for Virgin)
Crime Patrol - CapDisc
Crow, The - Philips POV
Cyber Soldier Sharaku - Japan Interactive media
Dame was Loaded, The - Beam Software
Dark Castle - Philips POV
Dead End - Cryo
Defender of the Crown - Philips POV
Deja Vu - Icom Simulations
Deja Vu 2: Lost in Las Vegas - Icom Simulations
Demolition Man - Virgin Interactive Entertainment
Demon Driver - Haiku Studios
Discworld - Teeny Weeny Games
Dimo's Quest - SPC Vision
Domino - Wigant Interactive Media
Down in the Dumps - Haiku Studios
Dragon's Lair - Superclub / INTL CDI
Dragon's Lair 2- Time Warp - Superclub / INTL CDI
Drug wars - Crime Patrol II - CapDisc
Dungeons & Dragons - PF Magic
Earth Command - Visionary Media
Effacer - CapDisc
Escape from Cybercity - Fathom Pictures
Evidence - Microids
Falco & Donjon & The Sword of Inoxybur - BMi / Zephyr Studio
Family Games I - DIMA
Family Games II - Junk Food Jive - DIMA
Felix the Cat - Philips Sidewalk Studio
Flashback - Delphine/Tiertex (for US Gold)
Flinstones Wacky Inventions - Philips Funhouse
Fort Boyard: The Challenge - Microids
Frog Feast - Rastersoft

CD-i Games Index G-M

Go - CapDisc
Golden Oldies - SPC Vision
Golden Oldies II - SPC Vision
Golgo 13 - Japan Interactive Media
Great day at the races, A - CD-I Racing, Dove Films, Total Vision
Guignols de l'Info, Les - Canal+ Multimedia / INTL CDI
Heart of Darkness - Amazing Studio (for Virgin)
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The - Philips Kaleidoscope
Holland Casino CD-i - HMO
Hotel Mario - Philips Fantasy Factory
Inca - Coktel Vision
Inca 2 - Coktel Vision
International Tennis Open - Infogrames
Jack Sprite vs. The Crimson Ghost - PF Magic
Jeopardy - Accent Media
Jigsaw - Novalogic
Joe Guard - DIMA
John Dark: Psychic Eye - CapDisc
Joker's Wild!, The - Accent Media
Joker's Wild Jr., The - Accent Media
Kether - Infogrames
Kingdom - The far reaches - CapDisc
Kingdom 2 - Shadoan - CapDisc
Labyrinth of Crete - Philips Funhouse
Laser Lords - Spinnaker
Last Bounty Hunter, The - CapDisc
Legend of the Fort - Microids
Lemmings - DMA Design / Psygnosis
Lettergreep - Wigant Interactive Media
Lingo - SPC Vision
Link - The faces of evil - Animation Magic
Lion King, The - Virgin Interactive Entertainment
Litil Divil - Gremlin Graphics
Litil Divil 2: Limbo Years - Gremlin Graphics
Lords of the rising sun - Philips POV
Lost Eden - Cryo (for Virgin)
Lost Ride, The - Formula (Lost Boys)
Lucky Luke - The video game - SPC Vision
Mad Dog McCree - CapDisc
Mad Dog McCree II: The lost gold - CapDisc
Magic Eraser - Circle (for ZYX)
Mah-Jong - Japan Interactive Media
Making the Grade - 3T Productions
Man Before Man - Cryo
Marco Polo - Infogrames
Mario Takes America - CIGAM
Master Labyrinth - AVM AG/HQ
Mega Maze - CapDisc
Memory Works, The - Compact Disc Incorporated
Merlin's Apprentice - Philips Funhouse
Microcosm - Philips Freeland Studios
Micro Machines - Codemasters
Monty Python's Invasion from the Planet Skyron - Daedalus CD-i Productions
Mutant Rampage - Body Slam - Animation Magic
Myst - Sunsoft (for Cyan)
Mystic Midway - Rest in pieces - Philips POV
Mystic Midway 2 - Phantom Express - Philips POV

Compact Disc Interactive

Compact Disc Interactive

Games N-Z

Name that tune - Philips Fantasy Factory
New Day - Bits Corporation
NFL Hall of Fame Football - Philips POV
Othello - HMO
Pac Panic - Philips ADS / Namco
Palm Springs Open - ABC Sports / Fathom Pictures
Pool - SPC Vision
Pinball - CapDisc
Plunderball - ISG Productions
Power Hitter - ABC Sports / Fathom Pictures
Power Match - Two's Company
Pursue - BEPL
Pyramid Adventures - Compact Disc Incorporated
RAMRaid - PRL Redhill
Return To Cybercity - Fathom Pictures
Riddle of the Maze, The - Fathom Pictures
Riqa - Bits Corporation
Rise of the Robots - Mirage Technologies
Sargon Chess - Spinnaker
Scotland Yard Interactive - AVM AG/HQ
Secret Mission - Microids
Secret Name of Ra, The
Shaolin's Road - Infogrames
Skate Dude - Viridis
Smurfen, De - De Telesmurf - Infogrames
Solar Crusade - Infogrames
Solitaire - BEPL
Space Ace - Superclub / INTL CDI
Space Ranger - Studio Interactive
Special Operations Squadron - SPC Vision
Sport Freaks - SPC Vision
Star Trek - Philips POV
Star Wars: Rebel Assault - LucasArts
Steel Machine - SPC Vision
Striker Pro - Rage
Strip Poker Live - Greenpig Production
Strip Poker Pro - Interactive Pictures
Super Fighter - The Super Fighter Team / C&E
Super Mario's Wacky Worlds - NovaLogic
Surf City - Philips Sidewalk Studios
Tangram - Eaglevision Interactive Productions
Taco's Toyroom Troopers - Creative Media
Tankdoodle - Creative Media
Tetris - Philips POV
Tetsuo Gaiden - Creative Media
Text Tiles
Thieves' World - Electronic Arts
Tic-tac-toe - BEPL
Tox Runner - ISG Productions
Treasures of Oz - Philips Kaleidoscope
Ultra CD-i Soccer - Krisalis
Uncover featuring Tatjana - SPC Vision
Uninvited - Icom Simulations
Video Speedway - ISG Productions
Vinnie the Pinguin - Pandemonium Labs
Voyeur - Philips POV
Voyeur 2 - Philips POV
Whack-a-Bubble - Creative Media
What's it worth - Marshall Cavendish Multimedia / Spice
Who shot Johnny Rock? - CapDisc
Wordplay - BEPL
World Cup Golf - US Gold
Zaak Sam, De - Toneelschool NL
Zelda - The wand of Gamelon - Animation Magic
Zelda's Adventure - Viridis
Zenith - Radarsoft
Zombie Dinos From The Planet Zeltoid - Philips POV

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