Blog — February 23, 2013 2:19 pm

Obsession of the Day: Alternate Super Mario Bros.

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I’ve been very fascinated lately by variations of the original Super Mario Bros. game.  Here’s a quick run down on a few…

Vs. Super Mario Bros.


It would be easy to mistake Vs. Super Mario Bros. as a straight port of the NES version turned into a quarter gobbling arcade game.  I remember skipping this game at pizza places when I was a kid, simply because I thought it was exactly the same game I had at home.  It wasn’t until recently, that I learned it’s actually a really crazy hard mode difficult version of Super Mario Bros… turned into a quarter gobbling arcade game.

Many of the easier levels of the game were replaced with levels from Super Mario Bros. 2 (Japan) aka The Lost Levels.  To give this some perspective, the Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2 was not released in the states at the time because it was considered too difficult for American players… and damn right, they were!  What a brilliant strategy to fool a player into thinking he can impress a lady with his home-learned Super Mario Bros. skills only to force him to insert quarter after quarter on the first castle.  You know, the castle that was easiest on the NES version?

Super Mario Bros. Special


For some wacky reason, Nintendo gave Hudson Soft the okay to create a psuedo-sequel to Super Mario Bros.  On the surface, it looks like a lousy seven-color port of the original.  Surprisingly, the game takes different directions with some levels and adds a few new stages altogether.   Hudson Soft even had the audacity to make their mascot a power-up that awards players with bonus points.  For some reason, they also included a bunch of Donkey Kong items and enemies, too.


Unfortunately, this game is unbearably painful to play.  The graphics are about as glitchy as Pac-Man for Atari 2600.  Ouch!  As one YouTube commenter put it, “If a SMB cartridge ever consumed alcohol, this would be the outcome…”  I couldn’t agree more.


All Night Nippon Super Mario Bros.


Inspired by a radio show, All Night Nippon Super Mario Bros. is essentially a Nintendo-approved hack.  Enemies throughout the game are replaced by DJs and the characters rescued at the end of each castle were changed to Japanese celebrities.  A few of the graphics were altered as well.

This is an interesting variation, but it feels like an in-joke that probably doesn’t make much sense to people outside of the All Night Nippon fanbase.

Do you have Mario memories to share?  Tell us about it in the comments below!

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