Mario Bros. (game)

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This article is about the arcade title first released in 1983. For information about further uses, see Mario Bros..
"MB" redirects here. For information about the Mario Baseball series, see Mario Baseball (series).
Mario Bros.
NES Box Art of Mario Bros.
Developer(s) Nintendo Research & Development 1
Intelligent Systems (NES port)
Nintendo Research & Development 2 (NES port)[1]
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Platform(s) Arcade machine, NES, Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Atari 7800, Apple II, Commodore 64, FM-7, NEC PC88, Amstrad CPC, Atari 8-bit, Game Boy Advance/e-Reader, Virtual Console (Wii, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS)
Release date Arcade
Japan July 14, 1983
USA July 20, 1983
Atari 2600
USA July 26, 1983
Atari 5200
USA December 31, 1983
Japan September 9, 1983
USA June 23, 1986
Europe September 1, 1986
Apple II
USA July 10, 1984
Commodore 64
Europe June 18, 1984
USA July 26, 1984
Atari 7800
USA July 10, 1987
Japan January 1, 1984
Japan March 10, 1984
Amstrad CPC
Europe June 19, 1987
Atari 8-bit
USA November 22, 1988
USA November 11, 2002
Game Boy Advance
Japan May 21, 2004
Europe May 22, 2004 (only as secondary)
Australia May 23, 2004 (only as secondary)
USA May 24, 2004 (only as secondary)
Virtual Console (Wii)
USA November 19, 2006
Australia December 7, 2006
Europe December 8, 2006
Japan December 12, 2006
South Korea December 30, 2008
Virtual Console (3DS)
Japan May 8, 2013
Europe January 9, 2014
Australia January 9, 2014
USA January 30, 2014
Virtual Console (Wii U)
Japan May 29, 2013
USA June 20, 2013
Europe June 20, 2013
Australia June 20, 2013
Genre Platformer
ESRB:ESRB E.svg - Everyone
PEGI:PEGI 3.svg - Three years and older
CERO:CERO A.png - All ages
ACB:ACB G.svg - General
Mode(s) Up to 2 players simultaneously
Media DL icon.svg Digital download
Wii U:
Media DL icon.svg Digital download
Game Boy Advance:
Media GBA icon.png Cartridge
Nintendo 3DS:
Media DL icon.svg Digital download
Control pad
Wiimote Sideways.png Wii Remote (Sideways)
Wii U:
Game Boy Advance:
Nintendo 3DS:
Home Computer System:

Mario Bros. is an arcade game made 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 introduces the first appearance of Luigi in a game, and is the first instalment in the Mario Bros. after the Game & Watch game of the same name. It is also included as a separate minigame, playing like the original game with updated graphics in the two-player mode of Super Mario Bros. 3 and for the role-playing game Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga and all four games in the Super Mario Advance series on the Game Boy Advance.

Although Donkey Kong was the first official game to feature Mario, Mario Bros. is often considered the first "real" Mario game, as it is the first game to actually use Mario's name. Donkey Kong is also a part of the series of the same name.


The story of this game revolves around two plumbers, Mario and Luigi, who are working in the sewers of New York[2]. The sewers are overrun by waves of enemies and the Mario Bros. have to defeat the enemies and get coins to receive their pay.


Mario and Luigi in Phase 1 of the arcade version.

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 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[3]) 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 coins have to be collected in order to get an extra 3000-5000 points. The POW Block regenerates after the second bonus level and every subsequent bonus level.



Game Boy Advance[edit]

  • Red Mario with blue overalls. (Player 1)
  • Green Mario with purple overalls. (Player 2)
  • Yellow Mario with white overalls. (Player 3)
  • Blue Mario with yellow overalls. (Player 4)


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 Japan). The last target enemy will always move at its fastest pace unless said enemy is a Fighter Fly.

Target enemies[edit]

  • Shellcreeper - The first enemies in the game, a possible relation to Koopas. They are replaced by Spinies in remade versions.
  • Sidestepper - Crab creatures that are harder to defeat and have appeared in various games. They first appear in Phase 4 (5 in Japan).
  • Fighter Fly - Flies that jump up and down. They first appear in Phase 6 (7 in Japan).

Other enemies[edit]

  • Slipice - Ice creatures that appear in a lot of games. They have been renamed Freezie, and first appear in Phase 9 (10 in Japan). When one self-destructs, it covers its platform in ice, hence the name.
  • Icicle - They first appear in phase 16 (17 in Japan) and attack by dropping from the ceiling.
  • Fireball - Red ones bounce diagonally around the stage while Green ones travel horizontally. They can be defeated by bashing them from underneath, just as they hit the ground. The player can also use a POW Block to defeat them as well. The sprites for green fireballs are swapped with Boos in the Super Mario All-Stars version's Battle Game but not for the in-game 2 player mode where both types appear red.

Remake exclusives[edit]

  • Koopa Troopa (Super Mario All-Stars)
  • Spiny (Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario Advance series and Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga)
  • Boo (Super Mario All-Stars)
  • Bowser (Super Mario Advance series and Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga)


The game has received mostly positive reviews. IGN rated the game 91st in their Top 100 NES Games list [4].

Remakes and ports[edit]

Classic Series[edit]

In 1993, Nintendo released a European-exclusive version of the game called the Classic Series version. This version was perhaps the closest port of the arcade game, and was one of only two ports to have intermissions (the other being the Atari XE version). It was based on Kaettekita Mario Bros., and retained all the arcade features from it, plus being able to change direction in mid-air.

Super Mario Bros. 3[edit]

"Battle Mode" in Super Mario Bros. 3.

Mario Bros. is included as a separate minigame, called "Battle Mode", in Super Mario Bros. 3 for the NES and as part of the SMB3 port included in Super Mario All-Stars, utilising SMB3 physics and a variation on 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 also 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.

Game Boy Advance remakes[edit]

Title screen of the remake.

A remake of Mario Bros. is included in every Super Mario Advance game, as well as the RPG Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. 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 (US version) has been added, and the Bonus Stages are now noticeably easier than they were originally.

Ports of NES version[edit]

Mario Bros.-e
Famicom Mini: Mario Bros.

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 only, which omitted the two-player support (see Mario Bros.-e below). 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 8 May 2013 (Japan), 9 Jan 2014 (Euro/Aus) and 30 Jan 2014 (NA, US$4.99). It has also been released on the Wii U for the same price.

The NES and Famicom version is also one of the 30 titles included in the NES Classic Edition and Nintendo Classic Mini: Family Computer, respectively.

Mario Bros-e[edit]

Card 1 of 5/codes 1-2[edit]

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

START Start/Pause

SELECT Selects game mode

  • Game A is beginner mode
  • Game B is expert mode

A Button Jumps

B Button Not used

Card 2 of 5/codes 3-4[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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!

Luigi Bros.[edit]

The title screen of Luigi Bros..

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). If the player has save data of New Super Luigi U, Luigi Bros. can be played straight away without having to be unlocked. 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, obviously 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.


The game had three obscure sequels: two direct 1984 follow-ups for Japanese home computers called Punch Ball Mario Bros. & Mario Bros. Special, and a 1995 entry for the Virtual Boy called Mario Clash.

References in later games[edit]


Main article: List of Mario Bros. staff

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.


For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Mario Bros. (game).

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese マリオブラザーズ
Mario Burazāzu
Mario Brothers
Spanish Mario Bros. -
German Mario Bros -


  • Phase 2 was removed for non-Japanese versions of the game.
  • The music that plays when the player begins Phase 1 is Mozart's Eine kleine Nachtmusik, which is also featured in Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix and Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
  • Three months before this game was released to arcades, a game called "Mario Bros." was released as a Game & Watch. Beyond featuring Mario & Luigi, it bears no similarity to this game.
  • Mario's outfit on the Japanese cover would later be used as an alternate costume for Mario in Super Smash Bros for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U and an alternate costume for Wario in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U. The outfit also made a cameo during Mario's transformation into a Super Mario in the DIC cartoons. Additionally, Luigi's outfit on the Japanese cover would later be used as an alternate costume for Mario in the Super Smash Bros. series and an alternate costume for Wario in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U.


  1. ^ Iwata, Satoru et al. Iwata Asks: New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Nintendo. Retrieved May 01 2015
  2. ^ "Exclusive Interview With Nintendo Gaming Mastermind Shigeru Miyamoto". Popular Mechanics. October 19, 2009. Retrieved 25 November 2009.
  3. ^ Mario Bros. Atari instruction booklet, page 2.
  4. ^ [1]