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Retro Recap: Super Mario Bros

by on August 13, 2013  

Super Mario Bros gave me countless hours of fun during my youthful days and still does now. It’s a game that you can happily go back to at any time. You remember all the good times you had when you pick it back up again and continuously curse the [piranha plant] on appearing at the most inopportune moments. If you want a game that’s not only fun, but can kill a few hours easily with no fear of being overwhelmed by storylines or tutorial missions, Mario is definitely the way to go.

Weren’t those the days? The simplicity, yet addictiveness of it all. A two dimensional plumber on a quest to save the Princess from an evil turtle (yeah, I know he looks like a dragon, but trust me, he isn’t). Basic plotlines didn’t even have to make sense! For me, the satisfaction never came from saving the Princess, but from how quickly I could proceed through the game; taking as many warp tunnels and shortcuts as possible. This seemed to be only my thing, and friends and family who had a play often had different objectives. I always remember my Dad giving it a go and collecting a flower power up, despite already having one. His response of “Points” always stuck with me. Not because it gave me a new outlook on the game, but because he is still, to this day, the only person I knew to ever play a Mario game for the points.


Enough of reminiscing (isn’t that the point?), Super Mario Bros! The very first in a long history of our favourite plumber (how many more do we actually know?), Mario has come a long way since his debut as Jumpman. No longer is he limited to jumping and climbing, he ascends new heights with the power of growth. With the lack of a checkpoint or save function due to hardware limitations of the NES, each time you play was a new game. Starting from the eponymous World 1 – 1, you traverse a number of unusual terrain, one even underwater! If you were the younger sibling of course, this adventure would take a different approach in the use of Luigi. As the elder sibling, I never had that burden, but of course my brother would know all too well what this was like. I was such a cruel child.

Still, I find Mario a very fun game to play, even in the current era of gaming marvels and consoles galore. Back then, there were no cheat guides, it wasn’t made by Konami, nor could you check GameFaqs for a walkthrough. It was all done on your own merit. There are a number of secrets to behold, namely in the warp tunnels, but also in extra lives dotted around the worlds. Very recently I found a hidden extra life that I never encountered before. It’s like that joyous moment when you find an episode of your favourite TV show that you haven’t watched.

Out of respect for such a game; a game that defined a generation, I still have never searched online for completion tips and tricks. It’s always off my own back, and I like it that way. With modern games being so expansive, you cannot possibly find everything on your own; a little research is required here and there. Not with Super Mario Bros. There’s nothing to it but basic functionality. Left, right and jump. A game that does that in this era would be shunned.

Fun Super Mario Bros facts:

  • The clouds and the bushes in the game use the same sprites with different colour palettes
  • There is a hidden level called World 0 -1 that can be accessed through a glitch
  • Koopas use black magic, as mentioned in the instructions manual of the game
  • Mario wears a hat and a moustache because the creators thought to would be too difficult to draw hair and a mouth in such a small space

Mario’s first profession was not actually a Plumber. He was a Carpenter in his Donkey Kong appearance. He decided on a career change for Super Mario Bros.
And a slightly more Nintendo related fact, but amusing nonetheless:

  • “Super Hornio Bros” and “Super Hornio Bros II” are 2 pornographic parodies of Super Mario Bros. Nintendo owns the rights to these, although it is to make sure that they’re never released again

Take a look at the “speed run “ I did a while back. This game can be very frustrating at times, but after years of repeatedly playing, a lot of things become second nature, like your hands already know. There’s also a bloopers reel too, which highlights my general incompetency over this game. Did you guys think I was good at this game? I hope not.

What was your first experience of a Mario game? Did you play this one? What was your fondest memory of this? Let us know in the comments section!

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