Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic (JP) (translated as Dream Factory: Heart-Pounding Panic and usually referred to as Doki Doki Panic) is a Japan-only video game developed by Nintendo in cooperation with Fuji Television (who also made All Night Nippon Super Mario Bros.) for the Family Computer Disk System to promote its event called Yume Kōjō '87 (translates to Dream Factory '87).
It was later released outside of Japan in an altered format under the name Super Mario Bros. 2, since the original Japanese Super Mario Bros. sequel, Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, was deemed too similar to the original and too difficult for overseas players. Eventually, the altered Mario version of Doki Doki Panic was released in Japan as well, under the title Super Mario USA.
The game takes place inside a book. The book's story tells of the land of Muu, where the quality of dreams determined the quality of the weather the next day. Because of this, the Muu citizens invented a dream machine so they could always have good dreams. One day, an evil toad named Mamu (whose name was changed to Wart for Super Mario Bros. 2) invaded the land and twisted the dream machine into a nightmare machine. However, the Muu people learned of his weakness to vegetables and used them to defeat him.
The book had found its way into an Arabian family. Their pet monkey, Rusa, gives the book to twins Poki and Piki. However, the twins quarrel and end up ripping out the last page of the book, causing its ending to be erased. Mamu, freed, reaches through the pages and grabs the twins, pulling them into the book. Rusa gets the twins' parents, Mama and Papa, their brother, Imajin, and Imajin's girlfriend, Lina, and they enter the book to rescue them.
Impact on the Mario franchise
The Doki Doki Panic engine started as a Mario-style tech demo using vertical-scrolling mechanics as opposed to side-scrolling mechanics. Shigeru Miyamoto suggested the inclusion of side-scrolling mechanics to make it more of a Mario concept. Nintendo entered a licensing deal with Fuji Television, and the game's development proceeded with Yume Kōjō characters. Shigeru Miyamoto, as a result, was more involved with the development of Doki Doki Panic than he was in what eventually became the original Super Mario Bros. 2. Many of the game's enemies have become generic Mario enemies, though many were not intended to be that at the time of their creation. This includes Shy Guys, Birdos, Pokeys, Bob-ombs, and numerous others. Of particular note is how Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Princess Toadstool's skills and attacks have been shaped by the skills of the characters they replaced.
Some Mario elements had already been in place prior to the overhaul for Ameri - both POWs (from Mario Bros.) and Stars (from Super Mario Bros.) are frequent and powerful items that serve the same purposes as in their games of origin.
Differences between games
Several changes were made in order to make the game appropriate for the Mario franchise. Graphical changes were made for certain enemies and characters. Additionally, the cream white Mouser boss was replaced with Clawgrip. This change was in tune with the decision to release the edited Doki Doki Panic in place of the Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2, which Nintendo of Japan feared was too hard for European and American gamers.
- Imajin is the balanced character. While Mario replaces him, Imajin's balance in all areas has since become a staple of Mario's in certain games.
- Mama has the ability to jump higher and lightly hover at the top of her jumps. Luigi takes her place as he had already had higher jumps than Mario in Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels. However, Luigi can jump slightly higher than Mama. Like his older brother's balanced stats, his higher jumps has stayed in the Mario franchise.
- Lina can briefly hover, although she is low in speed and strength. Princess Toadstool replaces her. As a result of the license with Fuji Television expiring, Peach inherited Lina's floating capability and it would be later seen in the Super Smash Bros. series starting with Super Smash Bros. Melee (her first appearance in that series), Super Mario 3D World, and Super Mario Run (which has her slowly descend in mid-air instead).
- Papa is the strongest character in the game and can run the fastest, but he is not very good at jumping. While Toad takes his place, in future video games (other than indirect references in Wario's Woods and Mario Superstar Baseball), Toad rarely has Papa's stats. However, Toad regains these properties in Super Mario 3D World and Super Mario Run, where he is the fastest character and a poor jumper.
- Poki and Piki are non-playable characters who get captured by Wart at the beginning of the game and are rescued after his defeat. They are replaced by the Subcons in Super Mario Bros. 2, which are also present in Doki Doki Panic's endings.
- Shells were originally blackface heads. They were edited due to the controversy over blackface mocking African Americans.
- Magical Potions were originally Magic Lamps. Magic Lamps were also present in the prototype version of Super Mario Bros. 2, as the Magical Potions were not implemented yet.
- Mushrooms were originally Hearts.
- 1-Up Mushrooms were originally the heads of the character being controlled.
- Grass tufts were black instead of red.
- Mask Gates were originally generic masks instead of hawk masks.
- The explosion icon says "BOM" in Doki Doki Panic, and "BOMB" in Super Mario Bros. 2.
- Phantos were less menacing originally.
- Mushroom Blocks were originally various masks.
- Some vegetables looked slightly different.
- Cherries, POWs, vines, grass tufts, Crystal Balls, Bomb fuses, water, cloud platforms, and spikes are still, unlike in Super Mario Bros. 2, where they are animated.
- Albatosses have only two frames of animation, while Super Mario Bros. 2 gives it eight (with only seven showing up outside of remakes due to a glitch).
- Waterfalls and the fast quicksand move much faster.
- The title screen is entirely different.
- The title screen music is the credits theme from Super Mario Bros. 2, but without the sampling from the Super Mario Bros. overworld theme.
- Rather than the storyline taking place in a dream world, it takes place within a storybook. The plot of the game is about two kids named Poki and Piki who fought over reading a book and ended up getting themselves pulled in by Wart after accidentally tearing out the last page. A monkey known as Rūsa witnessed this and informed the Arabian family.
- In Yume Kōjo: Doki Doki Panic, the intro screens of the levels were actually pages from the story book; levels were referred to as "Chapters", page number marks that were commonly used in story books appeared, and the intro screens lacked the location icons. In Super Mario Bros. 2, the intro screens were heavily edited to make them look like cards since Yume Kōjo: Doki Doki Panic's story settings were from a story book instead of a dream; the text "Chapters" was changed to "Worlds", the page number marks were completely removed, and location icons were added.
- A save feature is included.
- The player cannot run by holding the B button.
- It takes four hits for Wart to be defeated in Doki Doki Panic, as compared to six in Super Mario Bros. 2; This is also present in the prototype version of Super Mario Bros. 2.
- Sound effects are changed, as the Disk System adds audio hardware not present in the NES.
- After leaving a Key's homeroom, a Phanto inexplicably begins assaulting the player out of nowhere. In Super Mario Bros. 2, the Phanto now appears, albeit stationary and (seemingly) harmless, in the Key's homeroom. However, once the Key is retrieved, the Phanto comes to life and begins attacking.
- An albino version of Mouser appeared as the boss of 5-3. In Super Mario Bros. 2, he was replaced with Clawgrip, who is the only boss exclusive to Super Mario Bros. 2.
- The highest cloud platform in a section of 7-1 was removed, and the gray Snifit was moved onto a pillar where the cloud was once attached to.
- Imajin, Lina, Papa, and Mama do not shrink when they have one hit point left.
- The characters and artwork are based on an Arabian style theme.
- The Sub-space music for Super Mario Bros. 2 is the overworld theme for Super Mario Bros., while the music for Doki Doki Panic is an Arabian theme.
- The musical score for the player select and overworld themes are slightly shorter. The extended rhythms are exclusive to Super Mario Bros. 2.
- Enemies scream when defeated.
- Upon grabbing the Star, an Arabian-sounding tune plays in Doki Doki Panic, while the standard Super Mario Bros. Star fanfare plays in Super Mario Bros. 2.
- The player must beat the game with all four characters to view the ending in Doki Doki Panic, unlike Super Mario Bros. 2, where the player only needs to beat the game once to view the ending. However, due to Doki Doki Panic being on the Famicom Disk System, each characters' progress through the game was independently saved and could be returned to at a later date.
- The shortcut in 6-3 is slightly different: in Doki Doki Panic, one can simply jump down from the cloud platform with the door; in Super Mario Bros. 2, two more cloud platforms stand between the door and the ground.
Yume Kōjō '87
Doki Doki Panic was based on Yume Kōjō '87, an event sponsored by Fuji TV and held from July 18th to August 30th, 1987. On the last day of this event, there was a grand finale. This finale was meant to introduce a new generation of media that would arrive in the years to come, with various technical displays, as well as to advertise Fuji TV's fall lineup of shows. Elements from the event carried over to the game include the characters of Papa, Mama, Imajin, Lina, Poki, and Piki, the blimp on the title screen, and the use of masks as a visual motif.
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- The Coin counter in Bonus Chance segments is displayed in hexadecimal. When the player gets more than nine Coins in a level, letters from A to F are used instead.
- Despite appearing in the manual, no gray Shy Guys appear in the game.
- Coincidentally, some promotional materials feature Imajin and Lina posing with Mario and Princess Peach, their eventual replacements in Super Mario Bros. 2.
- Doki Doki Panic was given a mention on page 6 of Prima's Super Mario World Game Secrets guide, where it was erroneously referred to as "Dream Fantasy" before being labeled by its properly translated title on the following page.
- The Cutting Room Floor
- Gaijillionaire (July 17, 2016), Yume Kojo! Not The Story of Super Mario Bros 2 vs Doki Doki Panic Nintendo NES History Fuji TV ｜ Gテレ