Mario Bros. Special
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Mario Bros. Special (マリオブラザーズ スペシャル) is a game developed by Hudson Soft in 1984. The game had versions for the NEC PC-6001mkII/NEC PC-6601, NEC PC-8801, FM-7, Sharp X1, Sharp MZ-1500, MZ-2200, Hitachi S1, and NEC PC-9801, most of which had noticeable differences between each other (palette, sound, flow of gameplay, etc.). About two years later after Mario Bros. Special and Punch Ball Mario Bros. were released, Hudson released Super Mario Bros. Special.
A version of the game was planned for Sony's SMC-777, but was canceled for unknown reasons.
The game is again not a straight port of Mario Bros, but more of a sequel of sorts, an original arcade-style platformer with adjustments to the game's graphics and sounds, and even a bonus timer.
There are four different screens. In the first, Mario must make his way to the top of the screen, avoiding enemies in later stages. Once there, he must hit five switches, twice each, and quickly make it to either side before the switches deactivate. Enemies can be killed by jumping over or right next to them and hitting a platform or object above him.
For the second stage, Mario must jump on trampolines to stun enemies and kick them off, avoiding the fireball once it appears. Once all enemies are gone, a platform will appear at the top of the screen, and jumping onto it will complete the stage.
In the third, Mario must take the elevator up to the conveyor belts and collect dollar signs while avoiding enemies, which can be killed by jumping on the conveyor belts while they're on it. Once enough have been collected, a ring will appear at the top of the screen, and getting onto the moving platform, from there onto the top middle one, and running into it will complete the stage.
Finally, the fourth stage is Test Your Skill. Mario must collect all the dollar signs, which replace coins, and hit the ring at the top before the time runs out. In later stages, the platforms move.
Pre-release and unused content
The July 1984 issue of Micom Basic Magazine had screenshots published by Hudson Soft to advertise the then-upcoming game. Since this was prior to release, there are several differences between these screenshots and the final game. The most notable changes were made to the third stage, which was seemingly going to simply be a harder version of the second stage with conveyor belts in place of the trampoline. Interestingly, the beta version of the second stage has its trampoline layout reversed, while the conveyor belt layout of the beta version of the third stage matches the trampoline layout of the final second stage.