Punch Ball Mario Bros.

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Punch Ball Mario Bros.
PBMB Boxart.jpg
The game's artwork, in which Mario is holding a Punch Ball.
Developer(s) Hudson Soft
Platform(s) NEC PC-6001mkII/NEC PC-6601, NEC PC-8801, FM-7, Sharp X1, Sharp MZ-1500, Hitachi S1, IBM JX
Release date Japan 1984
Genre Retro/Platform
Mode(s) Up to two players simultaneously
Media 5.25-inch floppy, Cassette

Punch Ball Mario Bros. (パンチボールマリオブラザーズ) is a game created by Hudson Soft in 1984. The game had versions for the PC-6001mkII/NEC PC-6601, PC-8801, FM-7, Sharp X1, Sharp MZ-1500,[1] and IBM-JX, [2] most of which had noticeable differences between each other (palette, sound, flow of gameplay, etc.). It is very similar to Mario Bros., but with new objects called Punch Balls that could now be thrown to stun enemies. Once stunned, the hit enemy could be hit like normal. The details of the licensing of this game are not clear, but Punch Ball Mario Bros. is probably one of the earliest licensed Mario games. It is unknown why Hudson Soft was permitted the rights to and chose to make the game. Hudson also produced two other Mario games for Japanese home computers: Mario Bros. Special and Super Mario Bros. Special.


The story page in the instruction manual explains that while humanity has evolved throughout the ages, mastering fire and developing advanced technology, some people such as Mario and Luigi are primitive people who do not know of modern society and must use "stone balls" and their jumping abilities to defend themselves from outsiders.

The story, from the instruction booklet:


の骨、石のかけらを利用した単純なものであった。人類は英知をふるい、道 具を改良していった。それが、火を使い、風を利用し、そして今では原子力 をも駆使し、高度な文明を築き始めたのである。  だが、ある一方ではまだ石を利用しているだけの人々もいるのである。彼 らはどのようにして獲物をとり、外敵から身を守るのであろうか。彼らは強 力なジャンプ力と石の玉を持っているだけである。それをうまく利用し、彼 らの身を守って欲しい。  ここに、そういった人々のうちの2人を紹介しよう。そう、彼らの名前は マリオとルイージ。彼らが高度な文明を身につけるのはいつになるのだろうか。

At some point, humans gained the ability to use tools... At first, they were simple things using the bones of animals and fragments of rock. Using their wisdom, humans improved their tools. Harnessing fire, wind, and nowadays even atomic energy, they began to build up a sophisticated culture.
On the other hand, however, there are people who still only use stone. How do they catch game and defend themselves from outsiders? Using only their strong jumping power and stone spheres. They use those skillfully to defend themselves.
Here, we introduce two such people. It seems their names are Mario and Luigi. Will they ever learn about sophisticated culture?


Like in the original, Mario and Luigi starred in the game. Common enemies from the original also appeared, such as Shellcreepers and Sidesteppers. Unlike the original, the floor-level design is almost the exact opposite of the original Mario Bros. For instance, the first platform (above the floor) in the original extends from the edges, with a gap in the middle. In this game, the platform is in the middle, with gaps around the edges. Footholds are sturdier and do not trip the enemy if hit from underneath like the first Mario Bros. - either the Punch Ball or the POW Block must be used to achieve this. The button for throwing the Punch Ball is the same as jumping, so Mario and Luigi must remain still to throw the Punch Ball rather than jump. Once thrown, the Punch Ball stays on the ground until collected by one of the plumbers.

Since Freezies do not appear, stages that are ice are completely ice.


Main programmer[edit]

  • Kikuta Masaaki