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Information Page: Hotel Mario
Game TitlePublisherProducerDateGenreRequirementsCD-i Emulator Compatibility
Hotel MarioPhilips Interactive Media Inc.Philips Fantasy Factory™1994Platform-Basic support (title starts but has problems)

Game Cover
Catalogue Numbers:
310690260-2 (USA)
8100090 (European)
Box Art:
European Front Cover
European Back Cover
European Picture CD
Movie Clip:
1994 Winter Sampler Promotion
Relevant Articles & Interviews:
Interview with Trici Venola
Game Facts: Through the Nintendo License agreement with Philips, Hotel Mario was the only game officially released that made use of Nintendos Mascot. Thankfully the franchise wasn't wasted in this release and offered some classic old school gameplay that paid tribute to the frantic multi-tiered platform action of Mario's original appearance in Donkey Kong.

From the Disc

Most CD-i Games have "Abstract", "Bibliographic" and "Copyright" details on the softwares disc itself, any interesting information in these files can be found below.

Abstract: Hotel Mario. Nintendo type CDI video game.

Bibliographic: FPD on December 6, 1993.

Copyright: (C) 1993 Phillips Interactive Media of America.

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Hotel Mario Screenshots: Look very closely at one of these screens and you'll see Mario stomping a Goomba. Those with a very keen sense of observation will notice that the white bubble contains a PEACE symbol! It's unlikely you'd ever notice this through playing Hotel Mario as it disappears in a split second but thanks to todays modern video capture technology (CD-i Emulator!) we can finally showcase this small piece of Mario trivia.

Fantasy Factory Screen Hotel Mario Introduction Screen Hotel Mario Menu Screen Hotel Mario Stage 1 Screen Hotel Mario Gameplay Screen 1 Hotel Mario Gameplay Screen 2 Hotel Mario Gameplay Screen 3 Hotel Mario Stage Complete Screen Hotel Mario Gameplay Screen 4 Hotel Mario Gameplay Screen 5 Hotel Mario Gameplay Screen 6 Hotel Mario Gameplay Screen 7

The Art of Trici Venola: It's not often Black Moon fails to make contact with a CD-i developer once we've tracked them on-line, however Trici Venola has proved a slippery fish! This is probably with good reason, as some final remarks on her website state that she's 'Travelling alone and drawing everything', presumably in Turkey. The website is 'The Art of Trici Venola' where we first got excited by the passage describing her work on a certain Mario Bros game. A quick look at the credits of Hotel Mario confirmed our suspicions, this was the artist we had been looking for. Unfortunately several months and e-mails later and we're yet to make contact with Trici Venola!

So instead of an interview we're decided to take a look at the artists work, both on-line and in game. It's here we admittedly bend the rules and have taken a few artisitc examples of Trici Venolas work from her website. For the original site you really should visit 'The Art of Trici Venola' for further colourful pieces of her work. Described as 'L.A. - Driven Cyberart', Trici Venola tried to preserve classical painting techniques and principles when applied to the rather limited constraints of computer software. The artwork as might be expected is outlandish and definately aspires towards controversial content. None more so than the 'Monsters and Bimbos' collection, some favourites include 'California Girl' and 'Precious Little SanMo'...

California Girl Precious Little SanMo

The later is especially indicative of the style Trici Venola applied to Hotel Mario. A style that seemed to conflict with the 'normal' level design you'd expect to see in such a highly sought after franchise. Yet it actually worked! The bright contrasting colours set the levels of Hotel Mario apart. Screenshots do very little justice to the animated backdrops that feature in Hotel Mario, undoutedly the best of which was the first 'WoodDoor-Hysteria Hotel'. We can't help but giggle that it was probably the artistic direction of Trici Venola that influenced the imaginative approach when it came to the naming of each hotel. They certainly have an artistic eye for puns which has been well chronicled in a section on wikipedia (Hotel Mario link on wikipedia). Including an ice level themed 'Chillton Hotel', the casino 'Blitz Snarlton' and not forgetting the final Seizures Palace Hotel!

WoodDoor-Hysteria Hotel Level

Have a good explore of 'The Art of Trici Venola' before you next play Hotel Mario and be inspired. Further research reveals that Trici is currently living in Istanbul and was involved in a book called 'Tales from the Expat Harem: Foreign Women in Modern Turkey'. She also published her own book called 'Drawing Istanbul, Istanbul Izleri' and if your listening Trici, you've found a fan base in the most unlikely of places!

CD-i Emulator Compatibility: This section covers crucial details concerning performance of this specific game under emulation through CD-i Emulator. It will state the CD-i Player Rom used during the test, what version of CD-i Emulator was used, which program the Disc Image was created from, specifications of the test PC and also provide screenshots of the emulator in action. Also included is an account of the test and most importantly if the game is playable through CD-i Emulator. Rather than an exhaustive list of tests with various ROMS and different PC rigs it's hoped that this section gives some insight into the progress of CD-i Emulator. For the most recent updates to CD-i Emulator and compatibility it's suggested you visit the CD-i Emulator Homepage.

    CD-i Player ROM: CD-i 350
    CD-i Emulator Version: 0.5.2
    CD-i Disc Image created using: Golden Hawk Technology CDRWIN 4.0A

    Operating System: Windows XP Professional
    Processor (CPU): 3.2GHZ Intel Pentium 4 HT
    Memory: 2GIG
    Graphics Card: 256MB ATI 9800XT
    Graphics Depth: 32BIT
    Sound Card: Sound Blaster Platinum Audigy 2 ZS

Details of Tests: The Philips Media title screen appears and plays with sound accurately and then remains until an action button is pressed. This leads into the Fantasy Factory title screen followed by the Hotel Mario Introduction where music plays normally but the video sequences seem to suffer in composition. Incorrect sequences are played at different stages in the wrong order and some even overlay onto each other all whilst the music/sound plays normally. In game menu screens appear accurately where you can select a game as normal. Starting a game for the first time the level plays as expected with the accompanying music. After a few levels however the sound seems to skip a few stages and long pauses in gameplay are experienced between these stages. Usualy after completing a level the screen will freeze and not progress for several seconds and then sometimes the 'Dirty Disc' screen turns up. In conclusion the game is playable when it works but suffers from freezing and dirty disc bugs that disrupts any real length of play time.

Philips Media Screen Fantasy Factory Screen Hotel Mario Introduction Screen Main Menu Screen Gameplay Screen Dirty Disc Screen

Release Information & The Rumour Mill

USA Release: This game was distributed in a plain regular CD jewel case with a closed slipcase.

European Release: This game was distributed in a regular CD jewel case with a golden CD-i impression on the top left front of the spine.

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