Super Mario Bros.: Trapped in the Perilous Pit

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The cover of the book.

Super Mario Bros.: Trapped in the Perilous Pit was a Golden Look-Look Book featuring Mario & Co. and aimed at very young readers, written by Jack C. Harris. The 24 page book was illustrated by Art and Kim Ellis and published by the Western Publishing company in July, 1989.[1][2][3] (However, some sources say it was published in 1990, like the other two Golden Books[4][5][6].)

A book-and-cassette version was also made. The audio cassette was narrated by William Woodson, and featured Lou Albano, Danny Wells, and Jeannie Elias (the respective voice actors for Mario, Luigi, and Princess Toadstool on The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!) reading their characters' lines while John Stocker replaces Harvey Atkin (the original voice actor for King Koopa in the DIC Mario cartoons) while reading King Koopa's lines.


Mario and Luigi are cleaning a clogged sewer underneath a fortune-teller's store in Brooklyn when they are accidentally sucked into a Warp Zone and taken to the Mushroom Kingdom. They have no choice but to work for Princess Toadstool until they can find a way back home.

Later, the brothers are seen repairing the palace's pipes while King Koopa travels down the corridor, intending to kidnap Princess Toadstool. Mario, who is out of mushrooms for his "mushroom-and-jelly sandwiches", travels further along the passageway, but after finding fresh ones growing in the area, he witnesses King Koopa. He decides to take action, and swallows a mushroom, knowing it is a Super Mushroom. He chases King Koopa and his underlings off in his giant form, but King Koopa uses magic to shrink him and tangle him in pipes. Luigi, who is searching for his brother as he picks flowers, notices the Koopas harassing Mario and saves him from King Koopa by using a Fire Flower to fend him and his minions off. After Luigi untangles Mario from the pipes, the brothers try to flee from the Koopa Troop in hope of warning Toadstool about the oncoming minions, but instead fall into a deep pit beneath the floor. Meanwhile, King Koopa and another squadron of Koopas invade the princess's throne room, ambush her and her royal guards, and throw her into the pit with the Mario Bros.

After King Koopa locks the exit, the Mario Bros. ponder what to do to escape, since their power-ups are useless. But when Toadstool suggests they cooperate to escape the pit, Mario grows larger by polishing his final Super Mushroom, allowing him to reach the top of the pit. Luigi, while standing on Mario's palm, sprays the remaining fire in his Fire Flower to burn down the locked door. After their escape, the Mario Bros. drive off King Koopa and his underlings by opening a water pipe. Mario, Luigi, and Toadstool then return to the castle to celebrate their victory. The book ends with Mario complaining that he has no mushrooms left for his "mushroom-and-jelly-sandwiches" and Luigi quipping that, "I'd face a hundred other dark and perilous pits, but I'd hate to see what's down in the pit of Mario's stomach!"

See also[edit]

Illustration errors[edit]

It has been requested that this section be rewritten and expanded to include more information. Reason: include more errors

  • While the cover shows Luigi trying to break through a standard wooden door, the illustrations in the book show the trap door on the ceiling, much like an actual pit.
  • There are several illustration errors in the book. Some noticeable ones are Mario without his hat when he is tangled up in the pipes and a Koopa Troopa without his shell or arms when Luigi is washing King Koopa and his troops away.


  • Charles Martinet, voice actor of Mario and Luigi, at the June 2013 Vancouver Retro Gaming Expo, narrated the contents of the book in Mario and Luigi's voices.[7]


  1. ^ Barnes& with the July 1989 publication date. (Note that Western Publishing was eventually acquired by Random House, which is why that is listed as the publisher.) Retrieved December 2, 2010
  2. ^ Super Mario Bros.: Trapped in the Perilous Pit on Internet Archive, with a 1989 publication date. Retrieved December 2, 2010
  3. ^ uses the 1989 publication date. Retrieved December 2, 2010
  4. ^ with a February 1990 publication date. Retrieved December 2, 2010
  5. ^ with an August 1990 publication date. Retrieved December 2, 2010
  6. ^ A picture of a cassette tape of Super Mario Bros.: Trapped in the Perilous Pit copyright 1990 Nintendo of America. Retrieved December 2 2010
  7. ^ Broken CRT Productions. (Feb 19, 2014). "Mario Reads a Story". YouTube. Retrieved September 23, 2020.