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Encyclopedia > Super Mario Bros
Super Mario Bros.
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Designer: Shigeru Miyamoto
Release date: 1985
Genre: Platform game
Game modes: Single player, multiplayer
Platform: Famicom/NES
Media: 2-megabit cartridge

Super Mario Bros. is a cartridge-based video game for the Nintendo Family Computer (Famicom) in Japan and the Nintendo Entertainment System in North America and Europe that made Mario famous. It featured the first appearance of Princess Peach Toadstool, King Bowser Koopa and other characters. The classic game is widely considered to have been one of the first side-scrolling platform games of its kind, introducing players to huge, bright, expansive worlds that changed the way video games were created, played, and perceived.

The game was directed by Shigeru Miyamoto, who created the Mario character. He has created many other famous Nintendo titles including Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda, F-Zero, and Star Fox, among others. The famous music including the classic Mario theme was composed by Koji Kondo.


Game mechanics

The player takes the role of Mario, or in the case of a second player, Mario's brother Luigi. The ultimate object is to race through the Mushroom Kingdom, eliminate Bowser's forces, and save Princess Toadstool.

Mario's primary attack is simply jumping on top of his enemies, which kill the mushroom traitors, Goombas, and send the turtle soldiers known as Koopa Troopas into their shells. Mario can then kick the shells into other enemies, which conveniently dispatch them; but conversely, can also bounce back and hit him. Jumping on enough enemies in succession, or kicking a shell into enough enemies in succession, double points earned with each enemy killed, eventually earning Mario a 1-up, an extra life and another chance to pass the level.

The Super Mushroom slides toward Mario. When it touches him, it disappears, causing him to earn 1000 points and double in size.

Aiding him in his quest are several power-ups, including the Super Mushroom, which would turn Mario into Super Mario, doubling his size; the Fire Flower, which turns Mario into Fiery Mario, allowing him to throw fireballs (though only attainable as Super Mario); Starman, which gives him temporary invincibility; and the 1-up Mushroom, which grants him an extra life.

Grey Goombas in world 8-4.

If Mario takes a hit from an enemy as Super Mario or Fiery Mario, he simply reverts back to regular Mario and the game continues. However, if he takes a hit as regular Mario, falls down a pit (regardless of his status), or if the time clock runs out, he loses a life, and starts again, either from the beginning of the level or a set location that he had passed before dying, approximately halfway through the level.

The game consists of eight worlds with four sub-worlds, or levels, in each. The first sub-world is an above ground (overworld) level, the second is below ground (sometimes in water), the third is usually a sky level (if not, it is an above ground level like the first sub-world), and the fourth is a castle. At the end of each castle level, Mario fights Bowser across a bridge over a pool of lava.

The third and sixth worlds take place at night, and all other worlds take place during the day.

After beating the game, the player is given the option to start the game again in "Hard Mode", where all Goombas are replaced by Buzzy Beetles (Koopa Troopa-like enemies who cannot be killed by fireballs), and all enemies walk faster.

Game popularity

The title screen of Super Mario Bros. has gone down in video game history.

The game sold approximately 40 million copies in North America alone. It has been estimated that this game, next to Tetris, is the bestselling game of all time. However, although the game was popular enough on its own, this is more attributable to the popularity of the NES itself, as Super Mario Bros. was most often packaged along with the console.

The game's popularity eventually led to dozens of sequels and spinoffs; there are three direct sequels to this game on the NES platform: Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario Bros. 2 (Japanese, also called "The Lost Levels"), and Super Mario Bros. 3.

There was even a TV series and a movie based on it. Mario has since been known as Nintendo's mascot and one of the most popular video game characters of all time.

Enhancing the game

The re-release of Super Mario Bros. on the Super NES featured enhanced graphics and sound.

In 1993, Super Mario Bros. was released with enhanced graphics for the Super Famicom and Super Nintendo Entertainment System for Super Mario Collection and Super Mario All-Stars, respectively. It was later released with additional features (but not enhanced graphics) for the Game Boy Color as Super Mario Bros. Deluxe. In early 2004, Nintendo rereleased 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 rereleases, these versions contain no graphical updates. Differences between this and the original are that the screen images appear a bit squished, due to the smaller GBA screen, and the high score is saved to the cartridge. In addition, there is an option that allows linked play.

Release dates

The NES version of Super Mario Bros. was re-released in 2004 on the Game Boy Advance as part of the .
The NES version of Super Mario Bros. was re-released in 2004 on the Game Boy Advance as part of the Classic NES Series.


World -1

There exists a method to reach World -1 (the Minus World). This level is sometimes claimed to be a myth, but it does exist although it can be difficult to reach. The Minus World is an infinite water level, only accessible through World 1-2, and not an intentionally designed level but the result of a coding glitch. Once World -1 is reached, it cannot be escaped and Mario is destined to die from Time Over. World -1 can be reached if Super Mario uses another glitch to pass through the bricks to the left of the warp zone area, and then enters one of the warp pipes quickly before the "Welcome to warp zone" message appears. More "glitch" levels are available, but only through special memory-modifying tools such as the Game Genie.

The Minus World in the Japanese Famicom Disk System version of the game is considerably different, and has three levels, after which the player is returned to the title screen as though he or she completed the game.

Jumping the flag

Dating from the time of the original Super Mario Bros. release, urban legend claimed that in levels 3-3 and 7-2 it is possible to jump over the flag at the end of the level by exploiting pulleys. The claim was for the most part unsubstantiated until 1999 when a NESticle movie demonstrating the capability was publicly released. [1] (http://www.princeton.edu/~jdonald/emulation/flagpole.html) When the engine was redone for the SNES game Super Mario All-Stars, this ability was retained while found less difficult to perform (and, interestingly, the -1 bug was removed). Creators of tool-assisted console videos have also demonstrated (in the original NES game) that the flagpole can be surmounted on several other levels including 1-1. This is done by exploiting a glitch to induce a Koopa Troopa to walk across the bottom edge of the screen and then using it for an extra bounce over the pole. However, jumping the flag is not very useful as the level goes on forever and is completely empty after this. There is nothing to do but to keep running forward until Mario dies from Time Over.

Super Mario and the Game Genie

It is a well-known phenomenon among those who possessed a real Game Genie that by some quirk in how the original Super Mario Bros. was programmed, the game has proven to be extremely receptive to Game Genie codes, responding with far more effects than any other known NES game. Hundreds (possibly thousands) of codes have been generated, and although large lists of them exist, none of them has proven truly comprehensive.

Current World Record

The current world record time for this game has been set by Trevor Seguin with a time of 5 minutes and 9 seconds. This claim has been confirmed by Twin Galaxies. This is only 9 seconds slower than the fastest known tool-assisted speedrun, which currently measures at just under 5 minutes.

Related links

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Wikibooks has a textbook about:
Super Mario Bros.
  • The Mushroom Kingdom (http://www.classicgaming.com/tmk)
  • Supermariobrothers.com (http://www.supermariobrothers.com/)
  • Super Mario Bros. Headquarters (http://www.smbhq.com/)
  • Super Mario Bros at The NES Files (http://www.nesfiles.com/NES/Super_Mario_Bros/Super_Mario_Bros.asp)



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