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Super Mario Bros.

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Super Mario Bros. (スーパーマリオブラザーズ Sūpā Mario Burazāzu) is a 1985 platform video game developed by Nintendo, published for the Nintendo Entertainment System as a pseudo-sequel to the 1983 game Mario Bros. It is the first of the Super Mario series of games. In Super Mario Bros., the player controls Mario and in a two-player game, a second player controls Mario's brother Luigi as he travels through the Mushroom Kingdom in order to rescue Princess Toadstool from the antagonist Bowser.

The success of Super Mario Bros. has caused it to be ported to almost every one of Nintendo's major gaming consoles. Nintendo released special red variants of the Wii and Nintendo DSi XL consoles in re-packaged, Mario-themed, limited edition bundles in late 2010 as part of the 25th anniversary of the game's release. In 2005, IGN's poll named it as The Greatest Game Of All Time.


The player takes on the role of the main protagonist of the series, Mario. Mario's slightly younger fraternal twin brother, Luigi, is only playable by the second player in the game's multiplayer mode, and assumes the same plot role as Mario. The objective is to race through the Mushroom Kingdom, survive the main antagonist Bowser′s forces and save Princess Toadstool. The player moves from the left side of the screen to the right side in order to reach the flag pole at the end of each level. A prevalent rumor that it is possible to jump over the flag pole was later confirmed by Gametrailers.

The game world has coins scattered around it for Mario to collect, and special bricks marked with a question mark ("?"), which when hit from below by Mario, may reveal more coins or a special item. Other "secret" (often invisible) bricks may contain more coins or rare items. If the player gains a red and yellow Super Mushroom, Mario grows to double his size and can take one extra hit from most enemies and obstacles, in addition to being able to break bricks above him. Players are given a certain number of lives (and may gain additional lives by picking up green and orange '1-Up' mushrooms, collecting 100 coins, or defeating several enemies in a row with a Koopa shell), which are lost when Mario takes too much damage, falls in a pit, or runs out of time; the game ends when all lives are lost. Mario's primary attack is jumping on top of enemies, though many enemies have differing responses to this. For example, a Goomba will flatten and be defeated, while a Koopa Troopa will temporarily retract into its shell, allowing Mario to use it as a projectile. These shells may be deflected off a wall to destroy other enemies, though they can also bounce back against Mario, which will hurt or kill him. An alternate way to damage enemies is with the Fire Flower, an item which, when picked up, changes the colour of Mario's outfit (or only increases his size if a red and yellow mushroom had not been used previously) and allows him to shoot fireballs. A less common item is the Starman, which often appears from concealed or otherwise invisible blocks. This makes Mario temporarily invincible to most hazards and capable of defeating enemies on contact.

The game consists of eight worlds with four sub-levels called "stages" in each world. The final stage of each world takes place in a castle where Bowser or one of his decoys are fought. The game also includes some stages taking place underwater, which contain different enemies. In addition, there are bonuses and secret areas in the game. Most secret areas contain more coins for Mario to collect, but others may contain "warp pipes" which allow Mario to advance to later worlds in the game, skipping over earlier ones.


Super Mario Bros, the successor to the 1983 arcade title Mario Bros., was designed by Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka, both of whom belonged to Nintendo's former Creative Department at the time. The game's development was motivated by a desire to give Famicom (i.e., Nintendo Entertainment System game cartridges) a swan song in light of the forthcoming Famicom Disk System, and to further progress Nintendo's work on "Athletic games". Originally, the game was based around a shooting mechanic with very different controls. This may have made the final product as a special level, but a desire to focus on jumping and the mapping of the mechanic to the A button resulted in its being dropped. Unlike in Mario Bros., where Mario would be hurt by stomping on turtles without first flipping them on their backs, Mario could defeat turtles by stomping on their shells, as the developers decided the previous method had been illogical. The ability to have Mario change size was a result of basing level design around a smaller Mario, then intending to make his size bigger in the final version. They later decided it would be fun to have Mario become bigger as a Power-up. Early level design was focused on teaching players that Mushrooms were distinct from Goombas and would be beneficial to them: In World 1, level 1, the first Mushroom is difficult to avoid if it is released.

Using Mushrooms to change size was influenced by folk tales in which people wander into forests and eat magical Mushrooms; this also resulted in the game world getting the name "Mushroom Kingdom". The "Infinite 1-Up" trick was by design, but the developers did not expect players to be able to master it as well as they did.

Development was aimed at keeping things simple, in order to have a new game available for the end-of-year shopping season. Originally an idea for a shoot-'em-up stage in which Mario would jump onto a cloud and fire at enemies was to be included; however, this was dropped to maintain the game's focus on jumping action, but the sky-based bonus stages still remained.

Koji Kondo wrote the six-song musical score for Super Mario Bros. Before composition began, a prototype was presented to Kondo for the game, only to see where Mario was, as he ran through a big black area and jumped. Kondo wrote the score with the help of small pianos for an appropriate melody of this scene. After the development of the game showed progress, he realized that his play did not quite fit the storyline, so he changed it a bit by increasing the tempo. He composed his main motive in about synchronization with the control rate, which would require a new player for the game characters. The musical elements were adjusted to the expected reactions of the player.

The Minus World

The "Minus World" (also referred to as "World Negative One") is the name given to an unbeatable glitch level in Super Mario Bros. World 1-2 contains a hidden warp zone, with warp pipes that transport the player to Worlds 2, 3, and 4, accessed by running over a wall near the exit. If the player is able to exploit a bug that allows Mario to pass through bricks, the player can enter the warp zone by passing through the wall and the pipe to World 4-1 may instead transport the player to a stage labeled "World -1". This stage's map is identical to Worlds 2-2 and 7-2, but upon entering the warp pipe at the end, the player is taken back to the start of the level, thus trapping the player in the level until losing all extra lives. Although the level name is shown as " -1" (note the leading space) on the heads-up display, it is actually World 36-1; the game displays tile #36, which is a blank space, to the left of the hyphen.

The Minus World bug in the Japanese Famicom Disk System version of the game behaves differently and creates multiple, completable stages. "World -1" is an underwater version of World 1-3 with an alternate colour palette, and contains sprites of Princess Toadstool, Bowser, and Hammer Bros. "World -2" is an identical copy of World 7-3, and "World -3" is a copy of World 4-4, also with an alternate colour palette, and contains flying Bloopers, no Bowser, and water instead of lava. After completing these levels, the player returns to the title screen as if the game were completed.

The Minus World bug was fixed in Super Mario All-Stars and subsequent remakes; however, the Virtual Console releases for Wii and 3DS allow players to perform the glitch, as they are emulations of the original Super Mario Bros.

Alternate versions

As one of Nintendo's most popular games, Super Mario Bros. has been re-released and remade numerous times, ranging from an arcade version released soon after the original NES release, to the game being available for download on the 3DS's Virtual Console.


Super Mario Bros. was ported many times in the years following its original release on the NES. A side-scrolling platform game entitled Super Mario Bros. was released for the Game & Watch range of handheld LCD game systems by Nintendo. The Game & Watch Super Mario Bros. is an entirely new game, featuring none of the stages from the NES original. In Japan, Super Mario Bros. was released for the Family Computer Disk System, Nintendo's proprietary floppy disk drive for the Famicom. This version also had multiple Minus World levels and featured on its packaging an artwork drawn by Miyamoto himself. It was also released for the NES with other games on the same cartridge (Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt and Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt/World Class Track Meet).

Vs. Super Mario Bros.

One alternate version, Vs. Super Mario Bros., is nearly a separate game in its own right. This game, one of several games made for Nintendo's NES-based arcade cabinet, the Nintendo Vs. Unisystem (and its variant, the Nintendo Vs. Dualsystem), is based on Super Mario Bros., and has an identical format. The stages, however, are different; the early stages are subtly different, with small differences like the omission of 1-up mushrooms or other hidden items, narrower platforms and more dangerous enemies, but later stages are changed entirely. These changes have a net effect of making Vs. Super Mario Bros. much more difficult than the original Super Mario Bros. Many of these later, changed stages reappeared in the Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2.

As with many older arcade games, it is unclear exactly when this game was released; while the arcade boards themselves are stamped "1985", the Killer List of Video Games, the title screen, and the MAME game listing list the game as having been released in 1986.

All Night Nippon Super Mario Bros.

All Night Nippon Super Mario Bros. is a very rare version of Super Mario Bros. with graphics based upon the popular Japanese radio show All Night Nippon. The game, which was only released in Japan for the Famicom Disk System, was a special promotional version that was given away by the show in 1986. The creators altered the sprites of the enemies, mushroom retainers, and other characters to look like famous Japanese music idols, recording artists, and DJs as well as other people related to All-Night Nippon. They also used the same slightly upgraded graphics and physics that Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels used. It was published by Fuji TV, the same company that published the game Doki Doki Panic (which was later modified into the Super Mario Bros. 2 that was released outside Japan).

Instead of being a straight port from Super Mario Bros. with graphical changes, All Night Nippon Super Mario Bros. combined variations of levels from Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels and Super Mario Bros.

Super Mario Bros. Special

Super Mario Bros. Special was a game released only in Japan by Hudson Soft for the NEC PC-8801 and Sharp X1 computers in 1986. Although it has similar controls and graphics, there are new level layouts and the game scrolls in a different manner than the original game (differing based on the computer). In addition, many new enemies are included, including enemies from Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong.

On the NEC version, the game goes at a greater speed, meaning that the timer drains more swiftly, and the screen does not scroll. The Sharp X1 version has a speed that is much closer to the original game. Neither version features Luigi or a two-player mode.

Super Mario All-Stars

In 1993, Nintendo released an enhanced SNES compilation titled Super Mario All-Stars. It includes all of the Super Mario Bros. games released for the Nintendo Entertainment System and Famicom. The version of Super Mario Bros. included in the compilation has improved graphics and sound to match the SNES's 16-bit capabilities, as well as minor alterations in some collision mechanics. Another new feature introduced in this game is the ability for the player to switch to Luigi after the end of the stage, unlike in the original Super Mario Bros. where the second player could only play after Mario died. The new version also included a save game feature. Several glitches from the original NES release were also fixed. This version has also been released for the Wii under a re-packaged, special 25th anniversary compilation known as Super Mario All-Stars 25th Anniversary Edition.

Super Mario Bros. Deluxe

Super Mario Bros. was released on the Game Boy Colour in 1999 under the title Super Mario Bros. Deluxe. It featured an overworld level map, simultaneous multiplayer, a Challenge mode (in which the player had to find hidden objects and achieve a certain score in addition to normally completing the level) and eight additional worlds based on the main worlds of the Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2 (which was released on Super Mario All-Stars as Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels) as an unlockable extra, under the name "For Super Players". It also was compatible with the Game Boy Printer. The game did not, however, feature any upgraded visuals (aside from some graphics such as water and lava now being animated rather than static), and, since the screen resolution of the Game Boy Color was smaller than the NES, the view distance of the player is reduced. To compensate, players can press up and down to see above and below the player. Pressing select during the game also places the player in the middle or off to the left of the screen so that player can see well. Players can also go back for a very short distance instead of always going to the right. Players can alternate between Mario and Luigi by pressing select on the map screen, and Luigi's outfit was changed from the original white overalls and green shirt to green overalls and brown shirt to better match Mario and the more common colour palette. Fire Luigi, originally identical to Fire Mario, took on normal Luigi’s original colors to fit with his Fire colors in later games.

The game holds an aggregate score of 92.11 percent on Game Rankings, coming in as the second best game on the Game Boy Colour and the 150th best game overall on its lists. IGN's Craig Harris gave it a perfect score, praising it as a perfect translation of the NES game. He hoped that it would be the example for other NES games to follow when being ported to the Game Boy Colour. GameSpot gave the game a 9.9, hailing it as the " killer app" for the Game Boy Colour and praising the controls and the visuals (it was also the highest rated game in the series, later surpassed by Super Mario Galaxy 2 which holds a perfect 10). Both gave it their Editors' Choice Award. Allgame's Colin Williamson praised the porting of the game as well as the extras, noting the only flaw of the game being that sometimes the camera goes with Mario as he jumps up. Nintendo World Report's Jon Lindemann, in 2009, called it their "(Likely) 1999 NWR Handheld Game of the Year," calling the quality of its porting and offerings undeniable. Nintendo Life gave it a perfect score, noting that it retains the qualities of the original game and the extras. St. Petersburg Times′ Robb Guido commented that in this form, Super Mario Bros. "never looked better." The Lakeland Ledger′s Nick S. agreed, praising the visuals and the controls. In 2004, a Game Boy Advance port of Super Mario Bros. (part of the Classic NES Series) was released, which had none of the extras or unlockables available in Super Mario Bros. Deluxe. Of that version, IGN noted that the version did not "offer nearly as much as what was already given on the Game Boy Colour" and gave it an 8.0 out of 10. Super Mario Bros. Deluxe ranked third in the best-selling handheld game charts in the U.S. between 6 and 12 June 1999 and sold over 2.8 million copies in the U.S. It was included on Singapore Airlines flights in 2006. Lindermann noted Deluxe as a notable handheld release in 1999.

Nintendo World Championships

Super Mario Bros. is the first mini-game in the Nintendo World Championships. The goal was to collect 50 coins as fast as you can. Otherwise the game was un-modified.

Reception and legacy

Review scores
Publication Score
Allgame 5/5 stars
The Video Game Critic A
Gamespot 8.3/10

Super Mario Bros. was critically acclaimed, and popularized the side-scrolling genre of video games. This led to many sequels in the series that built upon the same basic premise. Altogether, excluding Game Boy Advance and Virtual Console sales, the game has sold 40.24 million copies, making it the best-selling video game in the Mario series and the second best-selling game in the world.

Almost all of the game's aspects have been praised at one time or another, from its large cast of characters to a diverse set of levels. One of the most-praised aspects of the game is the precise controls. The player is able to control how high and far Mario or Luigi jumps, and how fast he can run. Nintendo Power listed it as the fourth best Nintendo Entertainment System video game, describing it as the game that started the modern era of video games as well as " Shigeru Miyamoto's masterpiece". The game ranked first on Electronic Gaming Monthly′s "Greatest 200 Games of Their Time" list and was named in IGN's top 100 games of all time list twice (in 2005 and 2007). ScrewAttack declared it the second-best Mario game of all time. In 2009, Game Informer put Super Mario Bros. in second place on their list of "The Top 200 Games of All Time," behind The Legend of Zelda, saying that it "remains a monument to brilliant design and fun gameplay". In 2012, G4 ranked Super Mario Bros. first of the "Top 100 Video Games of All Time," citing its revolutionary gameplay as well as its role in "almost single-handedly" rescuing the video game industry.

The game was succeeded by two separate sequels that were produced for different markets: a Japanese sequel which features the same game format as the original and a Western sequel that was localized from an originally unrelated game titled Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic. In both cases, the games are titled Super Mario Bros. 2, causing both games to be rereleased in different countries with different titles.

Super Mario Bros. has spawned many successors: Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels (named Super Mario Bros. 2 in Japan), Super Mario Bros. 2 (released in Japan as Super Mario USA), Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World (which had the working title of Super Mario Bros. 4) for the Super NES, Super Mario 64 (for Nintendo 64), Super Mario Sunshine (for Nintendo GameCube), New Super Mario Bros. (for Nintendo DS), Super Mario Galaxy, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Super Mario Galaxy 2 (for Wii), Super Mario 3D Land, New Super Mario Bros. 2 (for Nintendo 3DS), and New Super Mario Bros. U (for Wii U). The game's sequels also inspired products in various media, such as an American television series, The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, from 1989, and a live-action film, Super Mario Bros., released in 1993.

In the United States Supreme Court case Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association, the Electronic Frontier Foundation submitted an amicus brief citing social research that declared Super Mario Bros to be a violent video game. It was compared to Mighty Mouse and Road Runner, cartoons that depict a similar form of violence with little negative reaction from the public.

Super Mario Bros (along with many other Nintendo games) was proved to be NP-hard by Greg Aloupis, Erik Demaine and Alan Guoyz.


In early 2003, Nintendo re-released the game on the Game Boy Advance in Japan as part of their Famicom Minis collection and in the U.S. as part of the Classic NES Series. Unlike previous re-releases, these versions contain no graphical updates and all of the original glitches remain. Super Mario Bros. was one of the best-selling of these re-releases; according to the NPD Group (which tracks game sales in North America), this re-released version of Super Mario Bros. was the best-selling Game Boy Advance game in June 2004 to December 2004. In 2005, Nintendo released this game again for the GBA as part of its 20th Anniversary with a special edition, which sold approximately 876,000 units. Super Mario Bros. is also one of the 19 NES games included in the Nintendo GameCube game Animal Crossing. The only known way to unlock Super Mario Bros. in most versions is by use of a game modification device (like the Game Shark or Action Replay), though it was distributed as a Famitsu prize to owners of Doubutsu no Mori+. The game is fully emulated (in fact, it is the original ROM), so it includes every glitch from the NES including the Minus World glitch. Super Mario Bros. was released on 2 December 2006 in Japan, 25 December 2006 in North America and 5 January 2007 in PAL regions for Wii's Virtual Console. As it is a copy of the original game, all glitches—including the Minus World—remain in the game. Super Mario Bros. is also one of the trial games available in the "Masterpieces" section in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Super Mario Bros. was released on the Nintendo 3DS in September 2011 for members of Nintendo's 3DS Ambassador Program, and a general release came through in Japan on 5 January 2012, in North America on 16 February 2012 and in Europe on 1 March 2012.

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