Nintendo Adventure Books 7: Dinosaur Dilemma

Intro: This book is by Clyde Bosco and Archway Paperback. The plot involves Mario having to save his friends and the Dinosaur Land natives from a Bowser scheme. This walk through is adapted from a hand written draft completed 4/23/19. This ‘map’ or guide will cover every page in the book but it’s set up as if you are reading the book so it jumps when the book jumps. To follow along F3 search the page listed (type out ‘page x’) or simply scroll down (or occasionally up). It’s not perfect but this worked the best for me. Look at the key page on the portal for the terminology that will make up this walk through and all others.

Disclaimer: This guide is property of Amia J Moore/ C. Mechayoshi and may not be copied without permission.


START Page 1 Chapter 1: The Mario bros are actually on vacation at Dinosaur Land but its not a quiet peaceful destination in the slightest. While resting around or trying to, someone is spying on them from a near by tree. Use the puzzle to see who and move to page eighty seven.

Puzzles: 1, ‘get a ruler’, just a hint

Splits: page 87

Puzzle Solution: You circle the letters that the eyeballs in the tree are looking, except some pairs are of strabismus eyes making figuring out the message’s structure trickier than they probably meant. They don’t even explain which way you are supposed to read it. It says ‘Its ther pal yoshi’. Apparently they couldn’t buy an extra vowel I guess!

Page 87 Chapter 44: Yoshi introduces himself. You get exposition that this story takes place right after the events of Super Mario World. Yoshi eats up the reserve food so which brother will now look for more? This is the first split.

Splits: page 35, page 112

Path: form page 1

Puzzle solution: Have Luigi look for food which is page thirty-five. If you let Mario do so you will actually get trapped very early.

Page 35 Chapter 19: Luigi looks for food and heads to the jungle. Meanwhile Mario reads a headline in the paper about Bowser winning the ‘Snowbell’ prize by means of scientific theory you’ll soon learn. Later it becomes quiet enough for him to sleep- too quiet! He and Yoshi finally investigate three possible paths.

Splits: Page 45, page 81, page 52

Path: from page 87

Puzzle solution: Your options are to the desert on forty-five, lake on eighty-one, and jungle on fifty-two. If following the optimal route (see far bottom of guide) you will want to head to the jungle for now, but if exploring naturally all lead to new paths and puzzles to solve.

Page 112 Chapter 58: Mario looks for food on this path finding apples in the forest, enough for a basket. He notices how quiet the island becomes before spotting Yoshi on the other side of Lake Trilobite. You move on to page eighty-three.

Reward: Basket of apples

Split: page 83

Path: from page 87

Puzzle solution: Narrative wise, notice that the time frame is different than if you took the page thirty-five path. Also, if on this path coming from the start you are already doomed. See below.

Page 83 Chapter 42: Mario dives in and collects some coins. Use the puzzle to determine how many.

Puzzle: 1, maze

Reward: five ≤ twenty coins

Splits: page 70, page 55

Path: from 112, page 98

Puzzle solution: You will not have fewer than five or greater than twenty lest you face a dead end albeit of a non-dangerous kind.

Page 70 Chapter 35: ‘You can’t get this score!’A page if you miscounted or tried to cheat a score. It instructs to return to the previous page.

Path: from page 83

Page 55 Chapter 28: Mario catches up with Yoshi and some other dinos but they look hungry…

Splits: page 106, page 116

Path: From page 93

Puzzle solution: If you have the apples you HAVE to take the one-hundred six path, dooming you which will happen if you navigated here from the start. If you didn’t however, move on.

Page 106 Chapter 55: Mario tries to feed the dinos but they are imposers for a bad end.

Game over

Path: from page 55

Page 45 Chapter 23: Mario and Yoshi tackle the desert. They are attacked by spike tops. Use the puzzle to get away.

Puzzle: 1, ‘get a ruler’

Splits: page 93, page 33

Path: from page 35, 32

Puzzle solution: There are two clusters but only one will hit. By looking carefully the left cluster will hit. This is tricky without a straight edge. Either way head to ninety-three.

Page 33 Chapter 17: Mario gets knocked out and by the time he’s awake Bowser has already taken over.

Game over

Path: from page 45, page 52, page 109

Page 81 Chapter 41: Mario and Yoshi reach Lake Trilobite where he loses Yoshi quickly and must trudge along. Go to page ninety-eight.

Splits: page 98

Path: from page 35, page 32

Page 98 Chapter 51: Mario walks around the shore to spot dinosaurs on the other side. He can use a raft to get across or swim. Use the puzzle for advice.

Puzzle: 1, word search, ‘just a hint’ (error?)

Splits: page 6, page 83

Path: from page 81, 64, 51

Puzzle solution: Unscramble the dinosaur names and then use the indicated letters to know what to theory.. I believe the names are Tyrannosaur Rex, Stegosaurus, Brachiosaurus, and Triceratops but I could not figure out the message. I get ‘no boto’??? I have this puzzle listed as an error so just know that both paths, the raft and swimming are safe as long as you lack the apple items.

Page 52 Chapter 27: In the jungle they stumbling upon a koopa football game. Solve the puzzle to know where to go.

Puzzle: 1, decipher

Splits: page 79, page 33

Path: from page 35, page 4, page 65

Puzzle solution: While a lot to take in at first glance it’s actually simple. Look at the key to see what the body language of the koopas on field mean. Pick a koopaling referee at the top, Larry, Morton, or Iggy and see what their players on field are saying. To save trouble, the options will be page thirty-three for Iggy’s players and page seventy-nine for Larry and Morton. Head to seventy-nine.

Page 116 Chapter 60: Mario and the dinosaurs search for food when Mario spots a hammer bro who has captured dinosaurs. They get away. Mario and Yoshi reach the Valley of the Koopas. You go to twenty-seven next.

Splits: page 27

Path: from page 55

Page 27 Chapter 14: In the Valley of Koopas they encounter Dino Rhinos spitting fire. Use the puzzle to know where to hide, the rocks or garbage?

Puzzles: 1, ‘get a ruler’

Splits: page 58, page 4

Path: from page 27

Puzzle solution: Hide behind the rocks on page fifty-eight or you will hit a LARGE hazard that can cost depending on where you are in the book.

Page 58 Chapter 30: Mario and Yoshi get away and then reach Bowser’s Fortress just in time for Bowser’s guests to arrive in celebration of his fake award. Wart even shows up. Anyway, decipher the license plate puzzle.

Puzzle: 1, decipher

Splits: page 74, 103

Path: from page 27

Puzzle solution: Remove the numbers from the plates as stated and you’ll get an easy to see message. Sneak around back on page one-hundred three.

Page 74 Chapter 37: Mario and Yoshi try sneaking in and fail.

Game over

Path: from page 58

Page 93 Chapter 47: Yoshi snacks on spike tops safely and Mario finds coins. They find a mansion ahead.

Reward: five coins

Splits: page 9

Path: from page 45

Page 9 Chapter 5: Mario and Yoshi are in the desert (or back in the desert depending on how you get here). They get harassed as usual by something, this time Pokeys. Now use the puzzle to figure out where to go.

Puzzle: 1, decipher

Splits: Page 39, page 64

Path: from page 93

Puzzle solution: Go to page thirty-nine to enter the mansion for the item you’ll need there. The other path is a loop around.

Page 64 Chapter 32: Mario looks for Yoshi with no success and he finds he’s alone on the island (or rediscovers that depending on the path here you took). Go on to page ninety-eight.

Splits: page 98

Path: from page 9

Page 6 Chapter 3: Mario tries rafting but is pulled into racing waters. Later he wakes up in an unfamiliar home with no idea how he got there.

Splits: page 8

Path: from page 98

Page 8 Chapter 4: Mario goes downstairs to the basement, getting scares along the way.

Splits: page 21

Path: page 6, page 68

Page 21 Chapter 11: Mario lands on the ground safely. He avoids hazards before having a run in with Meta Monty Moles. Use the puzzle to get an escape path.

Puzzle: 1, maze

Splits: page 86, page 34

Path: from page 8, page 71

Puzzle Solution: Choose path A and head to page eighty-six. Path B will not end well. Since the rules do not state you cannot turn back, you should always hit the right one.

Path 34 Chapter 18: Mario while escape falls through a hole in the floor, landing in an oil pool. He’s not alone..

Game over

Path: from page 21

Page 79 Chapter 40: Mario beats the football players at their own game then finds a useful item in a fallen athlete’s pockets, a feather.

Reward: Magic feather, five coins

Splits: page 32

Path: from page 52

Puzzle solution: Enjoy this needed item and move on to a new branch, or old one if you have looped.

Page 32 Chapter 16: From a high vantage point Mario can see the lake, desert, and Valley of Koopas. Pick carefully.

Splits: Page 81, page 45, page 27

Path: from page 79

Puzzle solution: What items do you have? If you have the feather and the starman head to the Valley on twenty-seven for the last stretch. If you lack the starman however, go to the desert on forty-five or you will be locked into a dead end. Whatever you do, the lake option offers little in comparison.

Page 103 Chapter 54: Mario and Yoshi sneak around the fortress, soon spying on a mad kitchen scene. Next they must hide when footsteps are heard. Use the puzzle for a hint.

Puzzle: 1, word search

Splits: page 19, page 94

Path: from page 58

Puzzle solution: The puzzle is a word search but with no word bank. I just don’t have all of the words so I’ll just share the path results. Go to ninety-four to leave the scene rather than stay in the kitchen. Page nineteen has a penalty and you will not have an option for the last needed item to complete the book.

Page 39 Chapter 20: Mario explores the mansion and must choose between up and downstairs. Use the puzzle.

Puzzle: 1, logic

Splits: page 109, page 68

Paths: from page 9

Puzzle solution: The correct path should be upstairs using the puzzle involving judging the size of steps to others. Both paths are ‘safe’ but page one-hundred nine is the only way to get a needed item.

Page 86 Chapter 43: Mario escapes the moles and picks up coins. You go to fifty-one.

Reward: five coins

Splits: page 51

Path: from page 21

Page 51 Chapter 26: Mario reaches and exit and is eventually at Lake Trilobite.

Splits: page 98

Paths: from page 86, page 114

Page 4 Chapter 2: Mario and Yoshi hide behind a trash can but get fired up anyway. Literally. A hole burnt in Mario’s pockets costs you.

Buffet: lose ALL objects

Splits page 52

Path: from page 27

Puzzle solution: This is pretty serious but the loop back on fifty-two does allow you to get back on path to gain anything lost again. Basically this wastes time. Refer to fifty-two’s entry.

Page 19 Chapter 10: Mario and Yoshi hide in the kitchen where they get mugged by Larry koopa and dumped into batter. Keep moving to page twelve.

Buffet: Lose ten coins

Split: page 12

Path: from page 103

Puzzle solution: Just keep moving for now.

Page 94 Chapter 48: Mario and Yoshi dash out of the kitchen but not before attracting trouble.

Puzzles: 1, logic

Splits: page 75, page 30

Path: from page 103

Puzzle solution: For the puzzle you choose a number bank to navigate to the bottom. You want door A on page seventy-five for an item coming up.

Page 109 Chapter 57: Mario goes upstairs where swooper enemies attack. Use the puzzle to see if his safety net trick will work.

Puzzles: 1, ‘get a ruler’

Splits: page 33, page 62

Path: from page 39

Puzzle solution: The swoopers must fit perfectly in the net by lining up their bottom half with the indention in the net. This is not explained well in book and it looks like they can fit only they cannot at thirty-three is a game over. I will not consider this an error as I may be misunderstanding the puzzle but I do consider this vague. Either way, head to sixty-two.

Page 62 Chapter 31: Mario escapes the bats and finds a box with an item. Finally head downstairs.

Reward: ten coins, Starman item

Splits: page 68

Path: from page 109

Page 68 Chapter 34: Mario goes downstairs either first or as a second option depending on how you navigated to this page. The room is FULL of monsters. Hopefully you have an item to help.

Reward: five coins

Splits: page 71, page 8

Path: from page 39, page 62

Puzzle solution: Use the feather on seventy-one to progress but if you have no choice go to page eight. From here, it might help to compare where you are to the ‘optimal route’ at the bottom of this guide. Otherwise it may get easy to get lost all over again.

Page 71 Chapter 36: Mario takes to the sky with the cape and he collects so many coins becomes weighed down. Use the puzzle to see if he can make it.

Puzzle: 1, ‘get a ruler’

Splits: page 114. page 21

Path: from page 68

Puzzle solution: Trace a clean path between two different Marios for the puzzle. The answer I believe is that he can even though it doesn’t look like it on page one-hundred four, BUT you will hit a hazard as well and lose the feather in exchange for a ton of coins. That makes that path a high score path but ultimately a loop back. Go to twenty-one instead and work your way from there. If the grand scheme isn’t making sense (it didn’t for me either) refer to the ‘optimal path’ and other information at the bottom of this page.

Page 114 Chapter 59: Mario takes the risk and it pays off sort of.

Reward: three-hundred coins

Buffet: lose Magic feather

Splits: page 51

Path: from page 71

Puzzle solution: Well.. you kind of needed that feather. Just move on from here.

Page 75 Chapter 38: Mario and Yoshi sneak into the next room with sleeping hammer bros. They wake up of course. Use the puzzle to move on.

Puzzle: 1, math, logic

Splits: page 107, page 92

Path: from page 94

Puzzle solution: Compare the hammers to the dents in the walls. The answer is thirty-six sides so head to page one-hundred seven.

Page 92 Chapter 46: Mario and Yoshi get whacked for a bad end.

Game over

Path: from page 75

Page 30 Chapter 15: Mario goes to the left for a messy situation with Bowser still behind him. In the storage room Bowser catches up once they get stuck.

Splits: page 12

Path: from page 94

Page 107 Chapter 56: Mario dodges hammers and the floor gives in. Escaping the disaster Mario snags a pair of scissors and money.

Reward: ten coins, scissors

Splits: page 26

Path: from page 75

Page 26 Chapter 13: Mario and Yoshi escape for Bowser to catch up and knock em out!

Splits: page 12

Path: from page 107

Page 12 Chapter 6: Mario wakes up in the kitchen stuck in a giant pie tin. He learns of Bowser’s plans involving Dinosaur Land’s population in eggs and whatnot. Move on to forty-three.

Splits: page 43

Path: from page 19, page 30, page 26

Puzzle solution: The home stretch. Role call: got the scissors, feather, and starman?

Page 43 Chapter 22: Bowser’s ‘genus’ idea is revealed! He will make a dinosaur omelet casserole thing to feed to his guests as he wins the Snowbell award. With that new privilege he will have access to the museum where he can harass the princess. Yes. But Yoshi meanwhile has been eating everything, allowing Mario an escape.

Split: page 89

Path: from page 12

Page 89 Chapter 45: Mario makes a break for the omelet machine’s controls. There are two levers but no readable labels. Use the puzzle to know which to pull.

Puzzle: 1, decipher

Splits: page 14, page 96

Path: from page 43

Puzzle solution: Simple deciphering puzzle that says ‘Beware emergency SLOP’ to go to ninety-six. The only danger is trying to guess at it without realizing it’s ‘slop’ and not ‘stop’. What if you make that mistake? See below.

Page 14 Chapter 7: ‘Emergency slop’ happens and Mario is covered in nasty stuff. Bowser gets to Yoshi and it’s all over.

Game over

Path: from page 89

Page 96 Chapter 49: Mario makes the conveyor go in reverse so the eggs roll off and dinosaurs are free. One egg is noticeably green..

Split: page 119

Path: from page 89

Page 119 Chapter 61: Evil creatures that are sort of creative hatch and attack. A ‘Tie-rack-asaurus Necks’ in particular may have an exploitable weakness.

Splits: page 48, page 50

Path: from page 96

Puzzle solution: Use your scissors and go to forty-eight.

Page 50 Chapter 25: The monster gets Mario.

Game over

Path: from page 119

Page 48 Chapter 24: Snip snip snip and the monster is too self conscious to be an issue anymore. Before a breather there is yet another ‘Slimosaur’ attacking.

Split: page 101, 65

Path: from page 119

Puzzle solution: Go to one-hundred one if you have the feather but sixty-five otherwise. Strange that the book has a loop back option here but not for the scissors item which can only be gotten once you’ve entered Bowser’s fortress and has a single path leading to it… Refer to the optimal route and summary far below to see how the puzzle pieces all fit. This book is a bit ‘quirky’ like that.

Page 65 Chapter 33: Mario gets knocked out and wake sup on a grassy hill with Yoshi. His memory is foggy but they move on to crossroads. Use the puzzle.

Puzzle: 1, ‘get a ruler’, decipher

Buffet: all coins lost

Splits: page 52, page 97

Puzzle solution: Draw lines across the field where the arrows point and the remaining letters are the clue. It directs you to the jungle so go to fifty-two. You will not get a high score on this path but fifty-two is a good point to be and gives the needed item aside from the fact that you’ll have to go through the linear path all over again.

Page 97 Chapter 50: Mario and Yoshi reach various pits, falling victim eventually.

Game over

Path: from page 65

Page 101 Chapter 53: Mario uses the feather to leap high then blind folds Yoshi with the cape for a clever plan.

Splits: page 18

Path: from page 48

Page 18 Chapter 9: Mario’s plan worked but now he has six Slimosaurs heading his way and must escape again.

Buffet: lose feather

Split: page 24, page 78

Path: from page 101

Puzzle solution: Use the starman from the mansion on page twenty-four. Don’t be alarmed by the loss of the feather. It’s unavoidable and will not be needed again anyway, making this an odd design choice..

Page 78 Chapter 39: The attacking ‘Thesaurus’ trounces, crushes, stomps, etc, Mario.

Game over

Path: from page 18

Page 24 Chapter 12: Mario uses the star and antics ensue involving Yoshi and a falling spice rack, etc.

Split: page 56

Path: from page 18

Page 56 Chapter 29: Bowser’s guests don’t appreciate the antics and leave. Mario collects a reward, but it’s not over yet.

Reward: two-hundred coins

Split: page 16

Path: from page 24

Page 16 Chapter 8: The machine spits out one more large green egg. Should Mario open it now or wait?

Puzzle: 1, decipher

Split: page 100, page 42

Path: from page 56

Puzzle solution: It says something like ‘don’t hit it’ so head to forty-two.

Page 100 Chapter 52: Mario cracks open the egg and Luigi’s (dead) body (or implied enough) is inside!

Game over

Path: from page 16

WIN Page 21 Chapter 42: Seconds later from what would presumably be the above bad ending, the egg hatches on its own and Luigi is okay. He, Mario, and Yoshi get out of the madhouse from the kitchen window. It’s over.

Path: from page 16

Summary: I almost want to praise the book for how open ending the early to middle parts are with many distinct locations to explore, too bad it becomes too much of a good thing as THREE of the available four items will be needed during the final stretch where. Except for the feather, you are give no loop back options until it is too late. The over all design was a bit off for me, with little indication of what was needed plus extreme linearity towards the end. Notice how many pages are marked as the black color towards the end. Once you get into Bowser’s kitchen fortress thing there really is only one usable path and the finale drags at that. The only save for the last part is that Bowser’s Slimosaurs are slightly entertaining. Yoshi is not a talking companion for Mario so unlike other books I consider flawed, like Monster Mix-up, you don’t even get any banter between the protagonists. So, with that rant over, here is what I consider the optimal path..

Optimal path:

Remember that the feather comes from the football part and the starman the mansion part but only if you go upstairs and you also have to avoid losing you feather there. If you have those items target the Valley of Koopas and during the kitchen scene, don’t hide in the kitchen or that locks you out of the scissors item. Honestly I didn’t total up a coin amount for the route because of page eighty-six’s variable shenanigans.

Concluding thoughts: Mostly I’ve covered this in the summary. I got this book several years later after owning my others and it’s least favorite easily. In fact before attempting this guide I’d never made it to the end without getting stuck or annoyed, typically due to the items needed for the end. The ‘item of doom’ isn’t cruel but very early so it won’t mess you up at the end. Still, meh. 2/5

Item locations:

Puzzle analysis: Eighteen puzzles, disproportionately ‘get a ruler’ (six) and ‘decipher’ (six) with a few crossover puzzles. There are two ‘maze’ puzzles, two ‘word search’, three ‘logic’. One puzzle is math/logic, one puzzle ‘get a ruler’/decipher. Several okay ideas were brought down by unclear instructions. Otherwise the level of the puzzles are easy. Difficulty comes from trying to gain the items and avoid the hazards.

*New* Book Goals:

Visit the haunted house: Needed to get the starman.

Wake the sleeping hammer bros: one seventy-five this is needed to get the scissors next page. That all the ‘hints’ Dinosaur Dilemma gives. How cruel!

Last edit: 2/20/20, 11/13/20