Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels
Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels (known as Super Mario Bros. 2 in Japan, Super Mario Bros.: For Super Players in Super Mario Bros. Deluxe, and Super Mario Bros. 2: For Super Players in the Japanese version of Super Mario All-Stars) is a direct sequel to Super Mario Bros., and is not to be confused with the game released in Western markets as Super Mario Bros. 2.
Super Mario Bros. 2 was initially released in 1986 for the Japan-only Family Computer Disk System. It uses a slightly altered Super Mario Bros.'s engine, with some new features, altered graphics and new enemy behavior, and different, significantly more challenging levels. Nintendo of America originally deemed this game too difficult and too much like the original to sell well in Western countries, so in order to prevent the early series being associated with frustration and staleness, it adapted Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic and released it as Super Mario Bros. 2. This game (known as the "Western" Super Mario Bros 2.) was later released in Japan under the title Super Mario USA.
The first time this game was released outside of Japan was its remake in Super Mario All-Stars, where it gained its title Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels in 1993. The original unaltered release was not available until the debut of the Virtual Console, over two decades later.
Despite being considered a direct sequel to Super Mario Bros., the storyline of the game is completely identical: Koopa and his forces have transformed the inhabitants of the Mushroom Kingdom into inanimate objects and have kidnapped its princess, the only person who can undo the spell, so Mario and Luigi set off to save them.
Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels is divided into 13 new worlds of the Mushroom Kingdom, each of which have four levels like in Super Mario Bros. Mario and Luigi have to get to the end of the level by jumping over various gaps and avoiding or defeating the members of the Koopa Troop on their way. The Mario Bros. can use several platforms (some of them collapse when Mario or Luigi lands on them), stairs in the level, as well as Jumping Boards. There are also Warp Pipes along the way, some of which Mario can enter to visit various secret coin rooms before returning to the level, a bit further ahead than when he left. At the end of each level, a castle stands with a flagpole nearby. When Mario reaches the flagpole, he takes down the enemy flag and enters the castle, completing the level. The higher the spot that Mario hits the flagpole, the more points he receives.
Unlike Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels doesn't have two-player mode in the game. Mario or Luigi has to be played alone. Mario retains the same abilities as Super Mario Bros., but Luigi returns with the ability to jump higher than Mario can (which is retained in Super Mario Bros. 2 and some other Mario games). On the downside, Luigi has slippery traction, so he could prove to be unruly at times.
Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels includes the same enemies from Super Mario Bros.: Goombas, Koopa Troopas, Buzzy Beetles, Koopa Paratroopas, Bullet Bills, Hammer Brothers, and leaping Cheep Cheeps. All these enemies can be defeated when Mario jumps on them once, except for Koopa Troopas and Buzzy Beetles, which now run faster than in Super Mario Bros. and hide in their shell when jumped on, which Mario can kick to defeat other enemies and hit blocks or Brick Blocks. Koopa Paratroopas lose their wings and fall to the ground when Mario or Luigi jumps on them. Other enemies include Piranha Plants (including new red Piranha Plants, which have replaced green ones in later games) found in pipes, the Spiny-throwing Lakitus and the Hammer Brothers. There are a few levels which take place underwater. In the water, Mario can swim freely from the top to the bottom of the screen. The enemies in underwater levels are Bloopers and Cheep Cheeps, with the inclusion of Goombas, Koopa Troopas, Buzzy Beetles, Koopa Paratroopas, Hammer Bros., Lava Bubbles, Fire Bars and Piranha Plants; Mario can only defeat these creatures by shooting them with fireballs. In some levels, Bloopers are found floating in the air.
Mario or Luigi can get special power-ups out of ? Blocks or, uncommonly, Brick Blocks. Most of the ? Blocks in which Mario can find these items are visible, but some are hidden and only become visible when hit from below. With the Super Mushroom, he turns into Super Mario. As Super Mario, he can survive the hit of an enemy one time, at the cost of turning back to Small Mario. He may also destroy empty Brick Blocks by jumping beneath them. Lost Levels introduces a tricky opposite versions of the Super Mushroom, the new Poison Mushrooms, which injure Mario or Luigi by simply touching one. Additionally, he can also get the Fire Flower. With the Fire Flower, Super Mario turns into Fire Mario, which allows him to shoot fireballs at enemies to defeat them from a distance. With the 1-Up Mushroom, he gains a life; he can also get an extra life by collecting 100 coins. With the rarest item of all, the Super Star (which can only be found in Brick Blocks), Mario turns invincible for short of time and can kill enemies by touching them.
If Mario takes a hit or Poison Mushroom while Small, falls down a pit, or if the time runs out, he loses a life and restarts the level. The point where Mario continues depends on his progress through the level before getting defeated; either from the beginning, or at one of several invisible "checkpoints" throughout the level.
The fourth level of each world plays inside a castle. They are usually filled with Fire Bars and Lava Bubbles. At the end of a castle level, Mario is confronted with a Bowser Impostor in Worlds 1 - 7, 9, & A - D and the real Bowser in World 8. To defeat a Bowser Impostor or the real Bowser, Mario has to either touch the axe to destroy the bridge, causing either the Bowser Impostor or the real Bowser to fall into the lava, or hit Bowser with a number of fireballs, which produces the same result and reveals the true forms of the fakes.
After defeating a Bowser Impostor, Mario frees one of the seven Toads from the castle, at which point they say their iconic sentence: "Thank you Mario! But our princess is in another castle!" and Mario will proceed to the next world. At the end of the castle in World 8, Mario or Luigi frees the grateful Princess Peach and completes the adventure.
Unlike the first game, there are hidden worlds to discover. Playing through the game without warping forward will take the player to the Fantasy World. Completing the game eight times will also unlock Worlds A-D, with Princess Peach waiting to be rescued from a Bowser Impostor (the actual Bowser in Super Mario All-Stars version) in the last level.
Differences and Additional features
Although the mechanics in The Lost Levels adhere closely to those of Super Mario Bros., the game does feature some significant changes and additions.
Graphical and sound additions and changes
New game features
Tweaked game features
With the exception of the newly introduced Poison Mushroom, Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels features the same collectible elements as the original Super Mario Bros.:
List of levels
Reception in America
The Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2 was intended to be a game for expert gamers that had mastered the original Super Mario Bros. and were looking for a new challenge.
In the book Game Over by David Sheff, the author quotes then-Nintendo of America CEO Howard Lincoln relating his considerable frustration over Super Mario Bros. 2, describing it as an irritatingly challenging game with many "cheap" gimmicks that add excessive difficulty (such as changing winds that can easily ruin precise jumps). Believing the game would not sell well in America due to this, the decision to ignore the original Super Mario Bros. 2 in favor of a new, special "Super Mario Bros. 2" based on the considerably easier Family Computer Disk System game Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic was made.
Super Mario Bros. Deluxe was marketed as a Game Boy Color enhancement of Super Mario Bros., but if a player gets on the high score table with 300,000 points or more, a Luigi head appears on the main menu. Players may select the Luigi head to play The Lost Levels under the name of Super Mario Bros.: For Super Players.
In this game, as in the Super Mario All-Stars version, the player may save and resume at any level. However, most changes removed features from the original release. This remake removes the graphical changes from The Lost Levels and thus looks just like Super Mario Bros. Additionally, Luigi's higher jump and lower traction are removed, as is wind. As a result of the lack of wind, some levels are modified to make the jumps possible. Another change is the removal of Worlds 9 and A-D, although they are all at least somewhat present within the game's coding.
Released only in Japan, this is an exact duplicate for the Game Boy Advance of the original game.
Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels was released on the Virtual Console in Japan on May 1, 2007 for the Wii, on July 25, 2012 for the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U in Japan on August 8, 2013. It was also released for the Wii in Europe and Australia on September 14, 2007 along with Mario's Super Picross and Neutopia II as the part of the Japanese Hanabi Festival, and in North America on October 1, 2007, making the first time the original version of the game was available to most English-speaking audiences. It costs 100 Wii Points more, as usual for imported games. Unlike other games, however, the PAL version was removed from the Wii Shop Channel on October 1, 2007, before being re-added permanently on August 22, 2008.
It was released on the Virtual Console for the Nintendo 3DS in Japan on July 25, 2012, and outside Japan on December 27, 2012. It was released on the Virtual Console for the Wii U in Japan on August 8, 2012, in Europe and Australia on January 23, 2014 and in North America on March 13, 2014.
Wii Shop description
Originally released in Japan as Super Mario Bros.® 2, this game has previously made only brief cameo appearances in the Western hemisphere. Now available on the Virtual Console in all of its original splendor, Mario fans will appreciate the familiar look and feel of the game, while finding that its updated game play creates an entirely new challenge. No longer content just to wear different-colored overalls, Mario and Luigi also possess different skill sets (Mario can stop quicker, while Luigi can jump higher). In addition to the classic enemies already known to fans worldwide, there are also Poison Mushrooms, backward Warp Zones, and the occasional wind gust (which can help or hinder your progress) to take into account. And if that's somehow not enough, expert players can go looking for the game's secret worlds. So get ready to put your Mario skills to the ultimate test, and save the Princess again. Just don't be surprised if she's in another castle!
References in later games
Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels contains several glitches; the most famous glitch is the Infinite 1-Up Trick, which can be performed several ways using a Koopa Shell. Another glitch can be performed by touching the Axe while the timer is at zero, looping it to 999.