Mario Bros. Special
Mario Bros. Special (マリオブラザーズ スペシャル) is a game developed and released by Hudson Soft in 1984. The game had versions for the PC-6001mkII/PC-6601, PC-8001, PC-8801, PC-9801, FM-7, Sharp X1, Sharp MZ-1500, Sharp MZ-2200, Hitachi S1, and SMC-777, 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.
Like Punch Ball Mario Bros., the game is not a straight port of Mario Bros, but more of a sequel. It has adjustments to the game's graphics and sounds and even a Time Limit. Players start with four lives but there is no way of getting an extra life.
There are four different wraparound screens. In the first, Mario must make his way to the top of the screen through four platforms with moving gaps, 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.
For the second stage, Mario must jump on trampolines to stun enemies and kick them off, avoiding a green 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 stage, Mario must take the lift up to the top Conveyor Belts and collect disappearing dollar signs while avoiding enemies, which can be stunned by jumping on the conveyor belts while they're on them like the trampolines above. Once six dollar signs 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 touching it will complete the stage.
Finally, the fourth screen is a bonus stage with no enemies. If Mario collects all eight dollar signs before the time runs out, a ring will appear at the top for extra bonus points. In later stages, the platforms have moving gaps like the first screen.
Excluding Fireballs, there can be no more than six enemies per phase. Unlike in Mario Bros, enemies don't change color or move faster after righting themselves up or becoming the last enemy on screen. There are two ways of dispatching enemies. The first way is to jumping over or right next to them and hitting a platform or object above the player. This will not permanently defeat them but send them back to the pipes to respawn and awards 100 points. The second and permanent method is to stun them while they are on the trampolines or conveyor belts and kicking them for 800 points. Defeating multiple enemies in a row will give higher scores.
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 early version of the second stage has its trampoline layout reversed, while the conveyor belt layout of the early version of the third stage matches the trampoline layout of the final second stage.