Mario Bros. (game)
Mario Bros. is an arcade game developed by Nintendo and released on July 14, 1983. It was also released on the NES under the Arcade Classics Series series of games (a version itself later ported to other systems), Atari 2600, Atari 5200, and Atari 7800 as well as a large multitude of home computer systems. The game is often stated to be the first appearance of Luigi in a game; moreover, Nintendo officially acknowledged this as well during the Year of Luigi that commemorated his debut. However, this is incorrect as Luigi actually had previously appeared in the Game & Watch game of the same name, though the arcade game was in development first. Beyond featuring the Mario brothers, the Game & Watch game bears no similarity to the arcade game. This was the first game to introduce coins, pipes, and POW Blocks.
Mario Bros. is also included as a separate minigame, functioning like the original game with updated graphics, in the two-player mode of Super Mario Bros. 3, for Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, and all four games in the Super Mario Advance series.
The premise of this game revolves around twin plumbers, Mario and Luigi, who are in the sewer system of New York (their house according to Atari). The sewers are overrun by waves of enemies, which must be defeated for coins.
The game features a simple stage in which the player plays in an endless game. Much of the gameplay appears to have been inspired by an arcade game named Joust. Enemies come from the pipes on the top and head downwards, where they may enter the pipes again to return to the top. The game features over 99 phases (although phase 2 was removed from non-Japanese versions of the game) with the highest score possible being 999,990, and after phase 99 has been completed, it merely loops phase 99 from then on. The goal in each phase is to defeat all enemies, which is done by jumping up and hitting the floor below enemies. This flips them, giving the player the chance to kick them away, which is rewarded with 800 points. The POW Block can also be used to flip enemies; however, it can be used only three times. After an enemy is knocked away, a coin (a "wafer" in the Atari 2600 version of the game) appears from one of the pipes, and gives 800 points when collected. When all enemies are defeated, the player continues to the next phase. In later levels, different types of enemies and harming fireballs appear. From time to time, a bonus level appears where all the coins have to be collected in order to get an extra 3,000-5,000 points. The POW Block regenerates after the second bonus level and every subsequent bonus level. Unlike the arcade original, the NES version has no kill screen. Upon reaching Phase 100, the screen reads "Phase 0" and the stage is normal. Completing it, it reads "Phase 1" and the game loops infinitely from there.
Wii U controls
Nintendo Switch controls
Target enemies must be defeated to clear the phase while other enemies should be defeated by the player's discretion. Each phase consists of one or two types of targets with a maximum of six targets. Shellcreepers and Sidesteppers appear together only in Phase 5 (6 in Japanese). The last target enemy will always move at its fastest pace unless said enemy is a Fighter Fly.
The game has received mostly positive reviews. IGN rated the game 91st in their Top 100 NES Games list .
Remakes and ports
In addition to the arcade version, Mario Bros. was ported into several other gaming systems and computers:
An enhanced port of Mario Bros., released in 1988 for the Family Computer Disk System. It is based on the previously released Famicom/NES version, but adds several elements to make the game more arcade-accurate. In addition, a new mode titled "Nagatanien World" has been added, and the player can now change direction in mid-air.
In 1993, Nintendo released a European-exclusive NES version of the game called the Classic Series version. It was based on the aforementioned Kaettekita Mario Bros., and retained all the arcade features from it, while removing everything else. This version was perhaps the closest port of the arcade game, and was one of only two ports to have the original arcade intermissions (the other being the Atari XE version). Of note is that while the enemies use their sprites and colors from Kaettekita Mario Bros., Mario & Luigi use theirs from the first NES port.
Super Mario Bros. 3
A form of Mario Bros. is included as a separate battle mode minigame, called Classic Mario Bros. or simply Mario Bros., in Super Mario Bros. 3 for the NES and as part of the game's remake included in Super Mario All-Stars, utilizing Super Mario Bros. 3's physics and a variation of its graphics. This was the first version where Spinies replaced Shellcreepers, making it more obvious not to jump on the enemy, which would become standard in later remakes to avoid confusion with the ubiquitous Koopa Troopas of later games.
It includes two bonus levels - a fountain that sprays out coins, and a series of kickable ? Blocks.
A battle can be entered in two-player mode in the main game, by the active player on the map opening the Ⓜ or Ⓛ that represents the inactive player. This allows the players to fight over the cards, obtained by finishing a normal level, that give one to five extra lives when three are collected.
In Super Mario All-Stars, a competitive Battle Game was added with expanded gameplay, selectable on the title screen.
Game Boy Advance remakes
A remake of Mario Bros. is included in every Super Mario Advance game, as well as Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (though it does not reappear in the 3DS remake). All of these games can connect to each other to play Classic or Battle mode with up to four players. Classic is based on the co-op mode from the original. Battle is based on the Battle Game from Super Mario All-Stars. The remake also uses the GBA's Single-Pak multiplayer feature. It can connect and play with other GBA systems without the game, although Battle is the only multiplayer mode that can be played in this way.
The GBA remake of Mario Bros. enhances the graphics to take advantage of the GBA's 32-bit capabilities, including adding backgrounds to the stages. Music is added where it was originally absent, and voice clips are added in single-player mode. Jumping onto platforms has been made easier; mid-air turning is allowed, as opposed to the original where Mario or Luigi had to stay in one direction during jumping. The POW Block resets every few stages, and two such blocks appear now as opposed to just one. The Power Squat Jump from Super Mario Bros. 2 has been added, and the Bonus Stages are now noticeably easier than they were originally. There are also two POW Blocks per phase set, and they can be picked up much like in Super Mario Bros. 2.
Arcade Archives: Mario Bros.
A port of the original arcade version of Mario Bros. was released on the Nintendo Switch on September 27, 2017 as part of Hamster Corporation's Arcade Archives series, under the name Arcade Archives: Mario Bros. The Joy-Con can be used to play in two-player mode.
Ports of NES version
Several direct ports of the NES version, running under emulation, have been released on later consoles. First was Mario Bros.-e, a game for the e-Reader, released on November 11, 2002 in the United States of America only, which omitted the two-player support. Japan next got an exclusive release in the Famicom Mini series for Game Boy Advance, unconnected with the remade version described above, on May 21, 2004.
It was also re-released on Virtual Console for Wii for 500 Wii Points in November/December 2006, and for 3DS on May 8, 2013 (Japan), January 9, 2014 (Europe and Australia), and January 30, 2014 (North America, US$4.99). It has also been released on the Wii U for the same price.
Card 1 of 5/codes 1-2
English flavor text: There are pests in the plumbing and Mario has arrived to flush them out. Test your skills as a beginner or expert exterminator. + Control Pad Moves player (Up & Down not used)
L Button + R Button Resets game to Title Screen
SELECT Selects game mode
A Button Jumps
B Button Not used
Card 2 of 5/codes 3-4
HOW TO PLAY As bad guys fly out of the pipes, punch them from below to stun them. After a short time, they get up faster than before, so kick them while they're down to finish them off.
Eliminate all the pests to complete each round. The rounds get progressively harder with new enemies as you go along.
You only have a limited time to finish a round before Fireballs show up–don't waste a second!
Card 3 of 5/codes 5-6
ENEMIES There are five types of enemies in the game: Turtles, Crabs, Fighter Flies, Fireballs, and Freezies.
Turtles need one hit to flip, while crabs require two. Fighter Flies can only be flipped when they touch the surface.
Freezies come along later in the game to freeze the beam and make life slippery! Two types of Fireballs, red and green will heat you up. Only the POW can get rid of the green ones.
Card 4 of 5/codes 7-8
SCORING Punch the fireballs when they hit the floor to get higher scores. But beware–revived red fireballs are dangerous!
When you exterminate a pest, a coin appears. Hit it to add points to your score. You get special high scores for kicking down several baddies in a row. When your score passes 20,000, you get an extra life.
Periodic bonus rounds let you earn more bonus points. Collect 10 within a limited time for a perfect score.
Card 5 of 5/code 9-10
TECHNIQUES AND HINTS If a flipped enemy is hit again, it will be returned to full health and be faster and deadlier than ever! If left alone they can also flip themselves over. Try to eliminate them ASAP!
Using the POW delivers a hit to all pests that are touching a beam. A POW hit equals one hit, so crabs still need to be hit twice to flip. You only get three POW hits before it disappears.
Mario can walk through the left edge of the screen to reappear on the right, and vice versa. Use this to your advantage!
An emulation of the game known as Luigi Bros. is included in Super Mario 3D World as unlockable content, with the only difference being that Mario is replaced by Luigi in his current appearance (green hat and shirt with blue overalls); player 2's Luigi retains his original appearance (white hat and shirt with green overalls, similar to Fire Luigi's color scheme in later Mario games). Unlike Super Mario 3D World itself, which is usually played using a 16:9 "Widescreen" aspect ratio, Luigi Bros. uses a 4:3 aspect ratio due to the original Mario Bros. NES game using it. Luigi Bros. is unlocked by defeating Meowser in The Great Tower of Bowser Land in World Bowser. If the player has save data of New Super Luigi U, Luigi Bros. can be played straight away without having to be unlocked.
The game had three obscure sequels: two direct 1984 follow-ups for Japanese home computers called Punch Ball Mario Bros. and Mario Bros. Special, and a 1995 entry for the Virtual Boy called Mario Clash.
References in later games
The Arcade and NES versions were directed by Hiroshi Yamauchi, both versions were designed by Shigeru Miyamoto. The music of both versions was composed by Yukio Kaneoka. However, the Commodore 64 version music was composed by Fred Gray.
Names in other languages
Classic Mario Bros.