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Jill of the Jungle X Mario

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This page explains in detail the interactions between the Jill of the Jungle series and the Mario series.

Jill of the Jungle Freeware version

1992

Jill of the Jungle4Arrow L Mario

In Jill of the Jungle, picking Apples restores energy and awards with points, but sometimes also makes a tip/instruction message pop-up. In the original freeware version of the game, some of these messages were labeled "News Bulletin" and actually were fake news about other video game heroes quitting the job because of Jill's success. One of these is about Mario retiring at age 72 to return to his old job of cleaning gorilla cages at the zoo (other referenced heroes include Commander Keen, see Commander Keen X Jill of the Jungle).

These screenshots from the game show the Mario message:

Jotj Mario1Jotj Mario2

His age being so high is possibly to pun his appearance of a mustached man, a very unusual type of hero. Note that Mario is talking in plural, possibly referencing to himself and his brother. His original job being working with gorillas is an evident reference to his original appearance in Donkey Kong.

All these videogame references were removed from the final version of the game, but it's unknown if that's because of legal issues or, more likely, if they did it spontaneously to avoid issues.

It should be noted however that the reference was puroposelly inaccurate, as usually happens in actually released contents, suggesting that they were trying to avoid directly referencing the game in the first place. For this reason we must say that the mentioned character isn't actually Nintendo's Mario, making this only a type 3 or out-universe link (note that Epic MegaGames not owning the rights for the character may be irrelevant for a freeware game).

Inaccurances in the message include Mario being called "Superhero", a title never used to him outside this context, and saying that the news come from Italy, while Mario is actually Italian-American, but most important they could have sayd "Mushroom Kingdom", if they wanted to make the character undoubtly recognisable.

License

Jill of the Jungle's developer Epic MegaGames didn't own any right over Mario, and that possibly is the reason for them to be forced to remove the sentence in the final version, but is also possible that they removed it spontaneously.

It's also possible that only a sentence about "a famous superhero named Mario" wouldn't be issueable because it's not direct, apart from it being offensive.

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