I was curious how the Japanese version of Super Mario World was different from what I grew up with, so I played it a little bit. Turns out it's less different than I had expected. Given an in-game screenshot, there's nothing that jumps out at me as being different.
I expected at least one or both of the two words on the screen to have been written as マリオ or 秒/タイム.
When you're on the world map, the level names are in Japanese.
As is most of the rest of the in-game text, especially hint boxes, dialog, and narration.
Remember the Special Zone? You had to unlock it by finding the secret exit in the last level of the already-secret Star World. Your reward for beating this (difficult-to-my-8-year-old-self) Special Zone is a set of graphical changes: a sprite swap of many of the enemies and a slightly different world map.
In English, these levels' names were taken from surfer slang.
- Way Cool
I figured I'd play through and see what they originally were. Turns out there are only four names for the eight levels. The first and second level share a name, as do the third and fourth, etc.
- おたのしみ コース (Fun Level)
- マリオスタッフもビックリ コース (Mario Staff Also Surprised Level)
- スペシャリストのためのコース (Level for Specialists)
- チャンピオンシップのコース (Level for the Championship)
At the very end of Funky (the last Special Zone stage), you are rewarded with 'YOU ARE A SUPER PLAYER!!' written with coins. I was hoping earning the championship would have netted me a スーパープレーヤだよ！！ or something. But instead it says 'YOU ARE SUPER PLAYER!!' with the 'A' article very much missing.
People I meet sometimes ask how I learned Japanese (yeah, past tense, what?). This blog post forms part of that answer. I'm learning by having fun. :)