North American arcade flyer
- JP: July 14, 1983
- NA: July 20, 1983
- Atari 2600
- JP: September 9, 1983
- NA: June 23, 1986
- NES (Classic Series)
- Atari 5200
- Apple II
- Commodore 64
- Amstrad CPC
- Atari 7800
- ZX Spectrum
- Atari 8-Bit
- Nintendo e-Reader
- Game Boy Advance
- Z80 @ 3.072 MHz
- I8039 @ 0.73 MHz
|Sound||DAC, discrete circuitry|
|Display||256 × 224 (horizontal)|
Mario Bros.[b] is a platform game developed and published for arcades by Nintendo in 1983. It was designed by Shigeru Miyamoto and his coworker and Nintendo’s chief engineer Gunpei Yokoi. Italian-American plumber Mario and his brother Luigi exterminate creatures emerging from the sewers by flipping them on their backs and kicking them away. The original versions of Mario Bros.—the arcade version and the Family Computer/Nintendo Entertainment System (FC/NES) version—were received positively by critics.
An updated version of Mario Bros. is included as a mini game in all of the Super Mario Advance series and numerous other games. Mario Bros. has been re-released for the Wii's, Nintendo 3DS's, and Wii U's Virtual Console services in Japan, North America, Europe and Australia. It has also been re-released through Nintendo Switch Online.
Arcade version, showing Mario about to defeat a Shellcreeper.
Mario Bros. features two plumbers,Mario and Luigi, having to investigate the sewers of New York after strange creatures have been appearing down there. The objective of the game is to defeat all of the enemies in each phase. The mechanics of Mario Bros. involve only running and jumping. Unlike future Mario games, players cannot jump on enemies and squash them, unless they were already turned on their back. Each phase is a series of platforms with pipes at each corner of the screen, along with an object called a "POW" block in the center. Phases use wraparound, meaning that enemies and players that go off to one side will reappear on the opposite side.
The player gains points by defeating multiple enemies consecutively and can participate in a bonus round to gain more points. Enemies are defeated by kicking them over once they have been flipped on their back. This is accomplished by hitting the platform the enemy is on directly beneath them. If the player allows too much time to pass after doing this (apox. six seconds), the enemy will flip itself back over, changing in color and increasing speed. Each phase has a certain number of enemies, with the final enemy immediately changing color and increasing to maximum speed. Hitting a flipped enemy from underneath causes it to right itself and start moving again, but it does not change speed or color.
There are four enemies which emerge from the pipes: the Shellcreeper; the Sidestepper, which requires two hits to flip over; the Fighter Fly, which moves by jumping and can only be flipped when it is touching a platform; and the Slipice, which turns platforms into slippery ice. When bumped from below, the Slipice disappears immediately instead of flipping over and does not count toward the total number that must be defeated to complete a phase. All iced platforms return to normal at the start of each new phase. A fifth enemy, fireballs, fly around the screen instead of sticking to platforms. Later in the game, icicles form under the platforms and at times on the top of the pipes and fall loose.
The "POW" block flips all enemies touching a platform or the floor when a player hits it from below. It can be used three times before it disappears. Bonus rounds give the players a chance to score extra points and lives by collecting coins without having to deal with enemies; the "POW" block regenerates itself on each of these screens.
In the Super Mario Bros. 3 in-game Player-Versus-Player version of this minigame, each of the three uses causes the opponent to lose a card and all the enemies to be flipped over. Another feature in this small remake is that the pipes are straight, occasionally spitting out large fireballs at the two plumbers. When any enemy type except a Slipice is defeated, a coin appears and can be picked up for bonus points; however, the phase ends as soon as the last enemy is defeated.
Shigeru Miyamoto (pictured) and Gunpei Yokoi collaborated on the design of Mario Bros.
Mario Bros. was created by Shigeru Miyamoto and Gunpei Yokoi, two of the lead developers for the video game Donkey Kong. In Donkey Kong, Mario dies if he falls too far. For Mario Bros., Yokoi suggested to Miyamoto that Mario 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 superhuman abilities. He designed a prototype that had Mario "jumping and bouncing around", which he was satisfied with. 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 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 moustache, 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. The game's music was composed by Yukio Kaneoka.
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 feature waste grounds with pipes lying around. 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 late president Satoru Iwata called 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.
Mario Bros. introduced Mario's brother, Luigi, who was created for the multiplayer mode by doing a palette swap of Mario. The two-player mode and several aspects of gameplay were inspired by Joust. To date, Mario Bros. has been released for more than a dozen platforms. The first movement from Mozart's Eine kleine Nachtmusik is used at the start of the game. This song has been used in later video games, including Dance Dance Revolution Mario Mix and Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
The game was released in Japan on July 14, 1983. A port for the NES was released in North America on June 23, 1986.
Mario Bros. was ported to the Apple II, Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Atari 8-bit family, Atari 7800,Amstrad CPC, and ZX Spectrum. The Commodore 64 has two versions: an Atarisoft port which was not commercially released and a 1986 version by Ocean Software. The Atari 8-bit computer version by Sculptured Software, as well as the Apple II port programmed by Jimmy Huey of Designer Software, were the only home versions of the game to feature the falling icicles. The latter conversion was not sold either.
Mario Bros. was only modestly successful in Japanese arcades. In Japan, Game Machine listed Mario Bros. on their July 15, 1983 issue as being the third most-successful new table arcade unit of the year. The arcade cabinets have since become mildly rare. To date in Japan, the NES version of Mario Bros. has sold more than 1.63 million copies, and the Famicom Mini re-release of the NES version has sold more than 90,000 copies. Despite being released during the North American video game crash of 1983, the arcade game (as well as the industry) was not affected. Video game author Dave Ellis considers it one of the more memorable classic games.Atari sold 3,800 Mario Bros. arcade cabinets in the United States, while the Atari 2600 version sold 1.59 million cartridges, becoming the best-selling game of 1983. The NES version sold 2.28 million cartridges worldwide, bringing total Atari 2600 and NES cartridge sales to 3.87 million units sold worldwide.
Opinions on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) version of Mario Bros. have been mostly mixed, but does receive positive reviews from gamers. However, in a review of the Virtual Console game, GameSpot criticized the NES version for being a poor port of the arcade version. The Virtual Console version in particular was heavily criticized. GameSpot criticized it, saying that not only is it a port of an inferior version, but it retains all of the technical flaws found in this version. It also criticizes the Mario Bros. ports in general, saying that this is just one of many ports that have been made of it throughout Nintendo's history.IGN complimented the Virtual Console version's gameplay, even though it was critical of Nintendo's decision to release an "inferior" NES port on the Virtual Console. IGN also agreed on the issue of the number of ports. They said that since most people have Mario Bros. on one of the Super Mario Advance games, this version is not worth 500 Wii Points. The Nintendo e-Reader version of Mario Bros. was slightly more well-received by IGN, who praised the gameplay, but criticized it for lack of multiplayer and for not being worth the purchase because of the Super Mario Advance versions.
The Super Mario Advance releases and Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga all featured the same version of Mario Bros. (titled Mario Bros. Classic). The mode was first included in Super Mario Advance, and was praised for its simplicity and entertainment value. IGN called this mode fun in its review of Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2, but complained that it would have been nice if the developers had come up with a new game to replace it. Their review of Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3 criticizes it more so than in the review of Super Mario Advance 2 because Nintendo chose not to add multiplayer to any of the mini-games found in that game, sticking instead with an identical version of the Mario Bros. game found in previous versions. GameSpot's review of Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 calls it a throwaway feature that could have simply been gutted. Other reviewers were not as negative on the feature's use in later Super Mario Advance games. Despite its use being criticized in most Super Mario Advance games, a GameSpy review called the version found in Super Mario Advance 2 a blast to play in multi-player because it only requires at least two Game Boy Advances, one copy of the game, and a link cable.
The game was also rereleased on the Virtual Console service in North America, Australia, Europe and Japan for the Wii,Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.
It was also remade on copies of games in the Game Boy Advance's Super Mario Advance series as well as Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, and it was included as a mini-game in Super Mario Bros. 3. The Game Boy Advance version was included in the 10 free games given out by Nintendo in the 3DS ambassador program due to its inclusion on the cart for the GBA port of Yoshi's Island which was one of the games on the list. The game was featured among other games from the NES and SNES to be released for the 3DS on a tech demo called Classic Games at E3 2010, though it was never commercially released.
The NES version was included as a piece of furniture in Animal Crossing for the GameCube, along with many other NES games, though this one required the use of a Nintendo e-Reader, a Game Boy Advance accessory, and a North America-exclusive Animal Crossing e-Card. This version was later re-released in the second series of NES e-Cards, and was even re-released through the Famicom Mini series in Japan. An improved port called Kaette Kita Mario Bros.[c] was released in Japan for the Family Computer Disk System, with added features and revisions to gameplay. It also featured cutscenes and even advertisements, being sponsored by the food company Nagatanien. Kaette Kita is very rare since it was only available as a Disk Writer promotion. A later NES port was released exclusively in Europe in 1993, called Mario Bros. (Classic Series); this version had a more refined control and stage intermissions closer to the original arcade version.
In 1984, Hudson Soft made two different games based on Mario Bros. The first was Mario Bros. Special,[d] which was a re-imagining of the original Mario Bros. with new phases, mechanics and gameplay. The second was Punch Ball Mario Bros.,[e] which featured a new gameplay mechanic involving punching small balls to stun enemies. Both games were released for the PC-8801, FM-7, and X1 and have been described as average for the most part, neither the best nor worst games in the series.Mario Clash, a game released in 1995 for the Virtual Boy, was developed as a straight remake of Mario Bros., with the working title Mario Bros. VB. It was the first stereoscopic 3DMario game. The objective of the game is to knock all the enemies in a particular phase off ledges. Instead of hitting them from below, like in Mario Bros., the player must hit enemies using Shellcreeper shells.
In 2004, Namco released an arcade cabinet which contained Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr. and Mario Bros. This version of Mario Bros. was altered for the vertical screen used by the other games, with the visible play area cropped on the sides.
The Wii U game Super Mario 3D World contains Luigi Bros, a version of Mario Bros. starring Luigi. This game will be unlocked if the Wii U console contains save data from New Super Luigi U or the player completes all normal worlds. On October 16, 2015, Steve Kleisath obtained the world record on Mario Bros (arcade) at 5,424,920 points verified by Twin Galaxies.
On September 27, 2017 the original arcade version of Mario Bros. was released for the Nintendo Switch as part of the Arcade Archives series of emulated arcade machine games. The NES version of the game was released as one of the launch titles for Nintendo Switch Online.
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