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Mario Bros. (JP) (also called MB) is an arcade video game by Nintendo. Released in 1983, Mario Bros. is the successor to the 1981 game Donkey Kong and predecessor to Super Mario Bros. The game is noteworthy for being the first multiplayer Mario game and is also the first appearance of Mario's brother younger, Luigi and a few enemies.

Despite debuting in the arcades, Mario Bros. has appeared on countless home platforms and handhelds, including Nintendo systems such as the Nintendo Entertainment System and the Virtual Boy, as well as an extra in games such as Super Mario Bros. 3 and all four Super Mario Advance games as well as Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga.

Mario Bros. expanded upon the Mario franchise. It gave Mario a history and introduced new characters as well as a brand new occupation as being a plumber in New York. Various aspects of the game, including the location and his heritage as an Italian-American, would be altered in future games as Earth is taken out of the equation and the series is granted its own universe.

Plot

In this game, Mario, along with his brother Luigi, have to defeat creatures that have emerged from the sewers in New York City.

Gameplay

In Mario Bros., the player will take control of Mario. Luigi is also available as a playable character to a second player who wishes to work competitively or cooperatively alongside another player. There are various stages in Mario Bros., and in each one the ultimate goal is to eliminate the threat of pesky critters that have been infiltrating New York's sewers. Stages consists of four levels, including the very bottom one. In order to defeat an enemy, the player is requested to go directly underneath the platform the enemy is on and jump.

If the portion of the platform that the enemy is on rises, then it will topple over (note this is not the case with some enemies that require multiple hits). Once this has been accomplished, the player is requested to go to the enemy and kick it off the screen, thus eliminating it from the game. If an enemy reaches the bottom of the stage, the only way the player can destroy it is by hitting the POW block (which can only be done a limited amount of times). Once the enemy crawls off screen, it will eventually come back out of the pipe at the top.

Mario bros.jpg

After a stage is completed, the next one begins. When a player reaches the farthest side of a stage, whether it be to the left or right, they will always pop out at the opposite end of the platform. For example, if they walk to the very right side of the stage and continue to walk, they'll reappear at the left side of the platform.

This is the same case with all types of enemies excluding fireballs, suggesting that you're actually in a circle like area, or a big pipe. If you kick 2 enemies in a row, you'll get a 2 combo, doubling the points you would have gotten if you had kicked the enemies separately. The combos work as follows:

  • 2 Combo: 2x 1600
  • 3 Combo: 2x 2400
  • 4 Combo: 2x 3200
  • 5 Combo 2x 3200
  • 6 Combo 2x 1UP

This combo system may only work for the Game Boy Advance versions of the game.

In the game there are bonus rounds where the goal is to rack up as many points as possible by collecting the coins that are scattered throughout the stage. Bonus rounds appear on level 3 (4 in the Japanese version), 8 (9 in the Japanese version), 15 (16 in the Japanese version), 22 (23 in the Japanese version), and 29 (30 in the Japanese version).

In the bonus stage there are ten coins that are placed in the same place every time (two on the bottom level, two on the second, four on the third, and two at the top). There are no enemies in the Bonus Stage, and as the game puts it is simply to "test your skill". The first time the player participates in a bonus round they'll be given twenty seconds to collect all of the coins, though every other time they'll be given only fifteen. The first bonus stage is relatively normal, though on the second bonus stage all of the platforms excluding the bottom one are frozen, and on the third, fourth and fifth stages the platforms are all invisible.

Enemies

  • Shellcreeper - There are two types of Shellcreepers in the game including Green Shellcreepers and Red Shellcreepers. They're the simplest form of enemy and are the predecessors, forerunners, and possibly ancestors to the Koopa Troopa of later games. A single jump from underneath will cause them to turn over regardless of their color. Following this the player is requested to kick them away. The only difference between the two is that the red variations are a bit faster.
  • Sidestepper - The Sidesteppers resemble crabs, and there are three types including Red Sidesteppers, Green Sidesteppers and Pink Sidesteppers. Sidesteppers first appear on the scene on the fourth (fifth in the Japanese version) round. In order to defeat a Sidestepper, the player is required to jump underneath their platform twice before they are completely knocked on their head. Following that, the player can kick them away. After the first bop they start to increase in speed. The Red Sidestepper is the slowest of the bunch, the green is in the middle and the pink is the fastest.
  • Fighterfly - The Firefly first appears on the sixth (seventh in Japan) stage of the game. They're tricky because they are constantly jumping, and the only way to flip them over is to knock them when they are on the ground. Unlike the Sidesteppers, they only require one punch from underneath. Once they're on their head, the player can knock them away as they can any other enemy. This is the last of the standard enemies that the player will encounter in the game.
  • Slipice - The last creature the Mario bros. encounter, is the icicle-like enemy, called a Slipice, or Freezie in later games. They can be defeated by being hit from underneath, and don't have any other defenses. If the Mario Bros. fail to be defeat the Slipice in time, the platform it is standing on will become covered in ice, and will make it harder to control the brothers while on the platform. Slipices have made the most appearances outside this game, than any other enemy included in Mario Bros.

Obstacles

An obstacle to appear in the sewers, are the Red and Green Fireballs. If touched by a brother, he will be defeated. Red Fireballs move in an up and down pattern, whereas the Green Fireballs move straight across the screen, not being effected by gravity (Something taken into effect in Super Smash Bros. Melee). They can be defeated by a hit from underneath, if the fireball is touching the platform. Otherwise, there is no other way to defeat them. Icicles, which hang from the top of platforms, will occasionally appear in stages. When they drop from the platform, it is best to stay clear out of their way since they'll automatically kill either of the brothers if it touches them.

Ports

In addition to the arcade version, Mario Bros. was ported into several other gaming systems and computers:

  • NES
    • Cutscenes have been removed.
    • The bonus rounds appear on different stages.
    • Mario and Luigi's clothes are colored differently.
  • e-Reader for the GBA
  • Amstrad CPC
  • Apple II
    • Game was canceled and never officially released. Despite this, its code was leaked and was widely distributed in the 1980s via piracy.
  • Atari 2600
  • Atari 5200
  • Atari 7800
  • Atari 8-bit computers
    • The game was planned to be released in 1984 as a straight port of the Atari 5200 version, but was canceled for unknown reasons.
    • A completely different port was released in 1988, which was very arcade-accurate.
  • Commodore 64
    • A fully-coded port by Atari was planned for an '84 release, but as with the 8-bit and Apple II ports, it was canceled.
    • The game was re-ported by Ocean and released in 1987 exclusively in Europe. This version had very strange visuals and music.
  • PC-8801
    • This licensed port for the PC-8801 has extremely loud, screeching sound effects, along with low-quality visuals and animation.[1][2] This may have been the result of a poorly done conversion.
  • ZX Spectrum

Kaettekita Mario Bros.

An enhanced port of Mario Bros., released in 1988 for the Family Computer Disk System. It is based on the previously released Famicom/NES version, but adds several elements to make the game more arcade-accurate. In addition, a new mode titled "Nagatanien World" has been added, and the player can now change direction in mid-air.

Classic Series

In 1993, Nintendo released a European-exclusive NES version of the game called the Classic Series version. It was based on the aforementioned Kaettekita Mario Bros., and retained all the arcade features from it, while removing everything else. This version was perhaps the closest port of the arcade game, and was one of only two ports to have the original arcade intermissions (the other being the Atari XE version). Of note is that while the enemies use their sprites and colors from Kaettekita Mario Bros., Mario & Luigi use theirs from the first NES port.

Super Mario Bros. 3

Mario Bros. is included as a separate minigame, called "Battle Mode", in Super Mario Bros. 3 for the NES and as part of the game's remake included in Super Mario All-Stars, utilizing Super Mario Bros. 3s physics and a variation of its graphics. This was the first version where Spinies replaced Shellcreepers, making it more obvious not to jump on the enemy, which would become standard in later remakes to avoid confusion with the ubiquitous Koopa Troopas of later games.

It includes two bonus levels - a fountain that sprays out coins, and a series of kickable ? Blocks.

A battle can also be entered in two-player mode in the main game, by the active player on the map opening the Ⓜ or Ⓛ that represents the inactive player. This allows the players to fight over the "cards", obtained by finishing a normal level, that give one to five extra lives when three are collected.

Game Boy Advance remakes

A remake of Mario Bros. is included in every Super Mario Advance game (except for Super Mario Advance 3), as well as the RPG Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (though it does not reappear in the 3DS remake). All of these games can connect to each other to play Classic or Battle mode with up to four players. Classic is based on the co-op mode from the original. Battle is based on the Battle Game from Super Mario All-Stars. The remake also uses the GBA's Single-Pak multiplayer feature. It can connect and play with other GBA systems without the game, although Battle is the only multiplayer mode that can be played in this way.

The GBA remake of Mario Bros. enhances the graphics to take advantage of the GBA's 32-bit capabilities, including adding backgrounds to the stages. Music is added where it was originally absent, and voice clips are added in single-player mode. Jumping onto platforms has been made easier; mid-air turning is allowed, as opposed to the original where Mario or Luigi had to stay in one direction during jumping. The POW Block resets every few stages, and two such blocks appear now as opposed to just one. The Power Squat Jump from Super Mario Bros. 2 (US version) has been added, and the Bonus Stages are now noticeably easier than they were originally.

Arcade Archives: Mario Bros.

A port of the original arcade version of Mario Bros. was released on the Nintendo Switch on September 27, 2017 as part of Hamster Corporation's Arcade Archives series, under the name Arcade Archives: Mario Bros. The Joy-Con can be used to play in two-player mode.[3]

Ports of NES version

Several direct ports of the NES version, running under emulation, have been released on later consoles. First was Mario Bros.-e, a game for the e-Reader, released on November 11, 2002 in the United States of America only, which omitted the two-player support. Japan next got an exclusive release in the Famicom Mini series for Game Boy Advance, unconnected with the remade version described above, on May 21, 2004.

It was also re-released on Virtual Console for Wii for 500 Wii Points in November/December 2006, and for 3DS on May 8, 2013 (Japan), January 9, 2014 (Europe and Australia), and January 30, 2014 (North America, US$4.99). It has also been released on the Wii U for the same price.

The NES and Famicom version is also one of the 30 titles included in the NES Classic Edition and Nintendo Classic Mini: Family Computer, respectively.

Mario Bros. was made available as one of the 20 NES titles at the Nintendo Switch Online subscription service's launch in September 2018, and features online play.[4]

Legacy

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Mario Bros. is one of the most pivotal games in the series. Various aspects from the game would later be integrated into future Mario titles. The brothers' occupation as plumbers would be retained and pipes, which were introduced in this title, would appear in nearly every future title. Coins, which were present in the bonus stages of Mario Bros., would become the primary form of currency in the Mario series.

Luigi, Mario's brother, would following this title be a prominent character and appear in most of the main games as well as spinoffs. The Shellcreeper design would eventually evolve into what is the Koopa Troopa, while Fighterflies would be included in Super Mario Land and Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. Clawgrip from Super Mario Bros. 2 would be revealed to be a Sidestepper in Super Mario Advance. The crabs from Mario Kart: Super Circuit are suspected to be Sidesteppers due to the resemblance.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

There is a stage based on this game in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. It appears in its retro form. This stage has narrow KO zones, making it hard to score normal KO. However, players can stun the enemies that appear on the stage (Shellcreeper or Sidestepper) by hitting them from below through a floor, pick them up and then throw it at someone. A POW Block also appears in this stage.

Certain elements of Mario and Luigi such as their Italian-American background, their occupation as New York plumbers and enetering another world via the sewers provided the narrative basis for the notorious 1993 film adaptation, Super Mario Bros.

It is one of the 16 games included in NES Remix.

Development

Mario Bros. was created by Shigeru Miyamoto and Gunpei Yokoi, two of the lead developers for the video game Donkey Kong. Donkey Kong had become one of Nintendo's biggest hits in years. Inevitably a host of sequels would follow. Donkey Kong Jr. was a direct sequel, but with its follow up Miyamoto would focus more on the protagonist of the first game and omit Donkey Kong altogether. In Donkey Kong, Mario dies if he falls too far. Yokoi suggested to Miyamoto that he should be able to fall from any height, which Miyamoto was not sure of, thinking that it would make it "not much of a game."

He eventually agreed, thinking it would be okay for him to have some super-human abilities. He designed a prototype that had Mario "jumping and bouncing around", which he was satisfied with. No longer would it be possible for Mario to die if he was to fall from a great hieght such as he was in the Donkey Kong game. Also the element of combating enemies from below was introduced after Yokoi suggested it, observing that it would work since there were multiple floors. However, it proved to be too easy to eliminate enemies this way, which the developers fixed by requiring players to touch the enemies after they've been flipped to defeat them. This was also how they have introduced the turtle as an enemy, which they conceived as an enemy that could only be hit from below.

Because of Mario's appearance in Donkey Kong with overalls, a hat, and a thick mustache, Shigeru Miyamoto thought that he should be a plumber as opposed to a carpenter, and designed this game to reflect that. Another contributing factor was the game's setting: it was a large network of giant pipes, so they felt a change in occupation was necessary for him. A popular story of how Mario went from Jumpman to Mario is that an Italian-American landlord, Mario Segale, had barged in on Nintendo of America's staff to demand rent, and they decided to name Jumpman after him. Miyamoto also felt that the best setting for this game was New York because of its "labyrinthine subterranean network of sewage pipes.

The pipes were inspired by several manga, which Miyamoto states features waste grounds with pipes lying around it. In this game, they were used in a way to allow the enemies to enter and exit the stage through them to avoid getting enemies piled up on the bottom of the stage. The green coloring of the pipes, which Nintendo president Satoru Iwata calls an uncommon color, came from Miyamoto having a limited color palette and wanting to keep things colorful. He added that green was the best because it worked well when two shades of it were combined. The music of the game is based around the beginning of Mozart's Eine kleine Nachtmusik.

Reception

The game has received mostly positive reviews. IGN rated the game 91st in their Top 100 NES Games list [5].

Gallery

  Main article: Mario Bros./gallery

Videos

Main article: Mario Bros./videos

Trivia

  • The music that plays when the player begins Phase 1 is part of Mozart's Eine kleine Nachtmusik, which is also featured in Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix and Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
  • Mario's outfit on the Japanese cover would later be used as an alternate costume for Mario in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U and an alternate costume for Wario in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U. The outfit also made a cameo during Mario's transformation into Super Mario in the DIC cartoons. Additionally, Luigi's outfit on the Japanese cover would later be used as an alternate costume for Mario in the Super Smash Bros. series and an alternate costume for Wario in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U.
  • Mario and Luigi have three different death sprites. A frozen one for colliding with Slipice and Icicles, a burnt one for Fireballs, and finally a generic one for all the other enemies.

References

  1. PC-8801 Footage (Warning: Loud Noises)
  2. https://www.gamepres.org/pc88/library/1984/1984_2.htm (Warning: NSFW content on webpage)
  3. GameXplain. (September 13, 2017). Arcade Archives for Nintendo Switch Announced (Mario Bros. more). YouTube. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  4. Nintendo Entertainment System – Nintendo Switch Online. Nintendo. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  5. [1]

External links

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