Mario is a very busy man who's taken on a lot of jobs and quests since he jumped really high to intimidate a gorilla in 1981. As a consequence, even hardcore Mario fans have missed out on some of his adventures.
Here's some good news for said fans: Some recent and upcoming efforts from Nintendo should patch up a couple of holes in the Mario experience.
First and most noteworthy is Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros 3, which is hitting Japan's Wii U Virtual Console next week. This isn't simply a vanilla release of the game, however: It contains all the e-Reader levels that previously could only be accessed by scanning cards.
(Thanks to Nintendo Everything for the translation work.)
Dedicated Mario enthusiasts have already re-created Super Mario Advance 4's e-Reader levels in Super Mario Maker, but it'll be nice to have access to the real deal.
If you don't remember the e-Reader, it's because the barcode-scanning attachment for the Game Boy Advance quickly flopped when it hit North America. It persevered for some time in Japan regardless, and as an unfortunate result, there are many Game Boy Advance titles that have add-on content we never saw in the West.
As Jeremy pointed out recently, the shadow of the e-Reader's legacy can be spied in Nintendo's Amiibo Cards.
But will Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros 3 come to North America with all that e-Reader goodness intact? It seems like a sure bet. Nintendo hasn't failed to release any of the Super Mario Advance games to English-speaking audiences yet, and picking through the North American release specifically to remove e-Reader stuff seems like a costly and effort-filled way to cheese off a fanbase for no discernable reason.
Besides, "Play rarely-seen Super Mario Bros 3 levels!" is a pretty good eShop sales pitch for Super Mario Advance 4.
Another recent Mario revival of note is Super Mario 64 DS, which is now available on the European Wii U Virtual Console. Though not nearly as elusive as Super Mario Advance 4's e-Reader content, it's still a Mario title that many people missed out on.
Maybe that's because it launched with the Nintendo DS, when people were still feeling out Nintendo's two-screen strategy. By the time they said "Yes" to the system, there were other games to grab, e.g. Mario Kart DS.
Super Mario 64 DS is basically a remake of the pioneer 3D game Super Mario 64, though there's a bit more to it. The graphics are vastly improved, you can play as a handful of Mario's chums, and there are new fights and mini-games to take on. Like Super Mario Advance 4, there isn't much reason why North America won't be seeing Super Mario 64 DS on the Virtual Console. Get ready to jump, slide, fly, and throw that screaming baby penguin off the side of Cool Cool Mountain.