Super Mario Bros. 2
Super Mario Bros. 2 (known as Super Mario USA in Japanese, and Super Mario 2 in Super Mario Advance) is the second game in the Super Mario series outside Japan. It is a 2D platforming game originally released for the Nintendo Entertainment System in North America on October 9, 1988. In the years that followed, it has been ported to many other systems, including a release on the Wii's Virtual Console in 2007, the Nintendo 3DS's Virtual Console in 2012, and the Wii U's Virtual Console in 2013. As a result of Japan already having a Super Mario Bros. 2 (known in English as Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels), the game did not make its debut in the country until after the release of Super Mario World, on September 14, 1992, making it Japan's fifth installment of the series.
One of the central game mechanics that differentiates Super Mario Bros. 2 from other Super Mario games is that players can select four characters – Mario, Luigi, Toad, or Princess Toadstool – and each of these characters have their unique gameplay mechanics, offering advantages and disadvantages in their stats. Another distinction is that players cannot defeat enemies by stomping on them: players need to either toss items at enemies or pick up and toss enemies at each other to defeat them.
Super Mario Bros. 2 came about after Nintendo of America deemed Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels too difficult for Western audiences, which led Nintendo to redevelop the Family Computer Disk System game Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic into a Super Mario Bros. game for the international release. After its release, the game became a commercial success, and eventually the game became well received enough that it was also released in Japan. After performing well both critically and commercially, Super Mario Bros. 2 has been re-released as one of the Mario games featured in Super Mario All-Stars, and as well as having its own remake in Super Mario Advance. Many enemies first introduced in Super Mario Bros. 2 have become common recurring enemies in the Mario franchise, like Bob-Ombs, Pokeys, Shyguys, and more, while the gameplay mechanic of picking up various items and tossing them has been reused in several later games.
Story from Instruction Booklet
Mario discovers that Subcon has been taken over by Wart and that the events of his dream are true. Mario and co. are now on a quest to defeat Wart and restore peace to the dream world. At the end of the game, Mario, Luigi, Toadstool and Toad are seen being chanted on by the inhabitants of Subcon, who are carrying Wart across the room. Mario then wakes up and wonders about whether the events were true or just a dream. He then continues sleeping and the game ends.
Since the game is a reskin of Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic, it has little in common with the original Super Mario Bros. For example, in order to defeat enemies, the player needs to pluck clumps of grass to receive items (such as vegetables), and then throw the vegetables at them. It is also possible to defeat enemies by jumping on them, picking them up and then throwing them to other enemies. There are a few elements in common with its predecessor, however, such as the appearances of the Mushroom and Starman, although the former has a different function. If the player has one health point remaining, they turn into their Small form. Additionally, there are no power-ups in the game that grant the player additional abilities in the Super form such as the ability to shoot fireballs, making Super Mario Bros. 2 one of the only 2D Super Mario titles (with the other being Super Mario Run) to not have additional forms after the Super form.
At the beginning of each level, the player can choose between the playable characters: Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Princess Toadstool. All four characters have different powers and statistics. When entering the next level or losing a life, players can select a different character.
At the end of most levels of the game, the player fights Birdo. The player has to jump on the eggs that Birdo spits, grab them and throw them back, hitting Birdo three times to gain a crystal which opens the Mask Gate at the end of the level. There are several colors of Birdos: pink, which only spits eggs; red, which spits eggs and fireballs and green, which only spits fireballs. For the green Birdos, there are Mushroom Blocks nearby for the player to use instead.
There are seven worlds in this game. The first six has three levels apiece, and the seventh has two. At the end of each world, the player encounters one boss. Mouser is encountered at the end of World 1, Tryclyde in World 2, Mouser again in World 3, Fryguy in World 4, Clawgrip in World 5, Tryclyde again in World 6, and Wart himself at the end of World 7.
Defeated enemies and Birdo can re-spawn if the player runs one screen away from the area where they normally appear and return, which may allow the player to defeat the enemies again in order to regain health if necessary; this still occurs in later releases (except Super Mario Advance), but a defeated Birdo does not reappear unless the player completely leaves and re-enters the areas where Birdo is fought.
List of levels
Enemies that make their first level appearance are marked with an asterisk.
Super Mario Bros. 2 started out as a prototype Mario-style platform game developed by Kensuke Tanabe, a developer for Nintendo. The prototype game emphasized vertically scrolling levels and throwing blocks. It was originally intended to be a two player co-op game, allowing players to toss each other around. However, the technical limitations of the Nintendo Entertainment System made it difficult to produce a polished game with these elements. It was decided to add more Mario-like elements, such as horizontal levels (although many vertically oriented levels were retained in the final project). Some time later, the Fuji Television Company requested that Nintendo create a video game using Yume Kōjō mascots, and Tanabe developed the prototype into Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic, which became one of the best-selling games for the Family Computer Disk System.
In 1987, Nintendo of America got its first look at the Japanese version of Super Mario Bros. 2. Nintendo of America believed that Super Mario Bros. 2, which was a slightly altered version of the first Super Mario Bros. game with an increased difficulty level, would not be a commercial success in the United States and elsewhere in the world. To deal with this, Nintendo took the finished Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic and reverted the licensing changes to once again feature Mario and his friends as playable characters. The game would later be released in Japan under the name Super Mario USA in 1992.
Many characters and abilities from Super Mario Bros. 2 later reappear in the Super Mario series. Princess Peach's occasional ability to hover in midair and pull vegetables from the ground (Super Smash Bros. Melee), for example, originates from this game. Toad's nimbleness (as seen in the Mario Kart series, where he is a light driver with good acceleration, and from his running speed in Mario Sports Mix) could also have been influenced from his uprooting speed first introduced in Super Mario Bros. 2. Shyguys, Snifits, Bob-Ombs, Pokeys, and Birdo were also introduced and would later be incorporated into later Mario games. Some of the enemies (most notably Bob-Ombs and Pokeys) have made countless reappearances as enemies within many of the later Super Mario titles. Wart, the main villain, never reappeared in a Mario game after Super Mario Bros. 2, but he appeared in the Nintendo Comics System, and was mentioned in later games. He also appeared as an ally in The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening under his Japanese name, "Mamu". The four playable characters return in Super Mario 3D World, where they retain their unique abilities from Super Mario Bros. 2.
Remakes and ports
Super Mario Advance
The most notable port of Super Mario Bros. 2 is Super Mario Advance for the Game Boy Advance. This port featured the enhanced graphics and sound effects of the Super Mario All-Stars remaster, as well as voice acting and various other slight changes. It was bundled with an enhanced port of the original Mario Bros. game.
Notable mistakes and errors
Some errors can be found in the credits of the game:
These errors remain in Super Mario All-Stars. In the Japanese version of Super Mario Advance, the Ostro and Birdo mistake was corrected, and in the International version, the remaining names were corrected to match the manual.
Another mistake which was never fixed for the enhanced ports is the color of the vegetable tufts – in Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic, the grass is consistently black, while in Super Mario Bros. 2 they are red, but keep the black coloring after being picked up. Enhanced ports maintain the red coloring for the tufts, though they turn green when dug out.
Additionally, at least three versions of the North American manual exist. One version provides the full description of Birdo ("Ostro") as "He thinks he is a girl and he spits eggs from his mouth. He'd rather be called "birdetta."[sic], while another version omits the second sentence. The full "Birdetta" version is more true to the original Japanese version, which explains that Birdo, known as "Catherine" in Japan, would rather be called "Cathy." A third version of the manual is known to exist which properly labels Birdo and Ostro, keeps the full Birdo bio, and shows artwork of the unusual pink Beezo as gray and misnamed. This matches its depiction in the game and the Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic manual.
The NES Super Mario Bros. 2 manual reuses enemy sprites and artwork from the Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic manual (with the notable exception of the Pokey artwork, as well as the omission of a gray Shyguy and addition of Tweeter, Flurry, Spark, and Clawgrip). Thus, it uses the designs of Albatoss and Phanto from Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic.
During the ending celebration sequence in the NES version, there are common mistakes in the number of levels each hero completes.
A number of people involved in the game include the composer Koji Kondo, known for composing the main Super Mario Bros. theme. Kensuke Tanabe is the director of the game with Shigeru Miyamoto and Hiroshi Yamauchi as producers.
Pre-release and unused content
In the game's prototype, there is a different color palette for the in-game title, which includes tans and oranges, which contrasts with the final version's reds and blues. Princess Toadstool is shown to have more hair. Characters need to use a Magic Lamp to access Sub-space, similar to Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic. The characters also lack the whites of their eyes and the ability to run.
This glitch requires precise timing; the character must be small and must enter a jar at the same time they are hit by a Phanto. If this is done correctly, the defeat fanfare plays as usual. However, the character still goes through the jar. When they exit, the character has no health sections left, yet is still alive. This glitch remains in the Super Mario All-Stars enhanced port.
Disappearing Mushroom Blocks
If the player throws a Mushroom Block offscreen and does not see it land, even to a place where it should safely land, it disappears until the player leaves through a door and comes back.
Super Mario Bros. 2 has been received positively, with IGN editor Lucas Thomas praising the graphics, sound and replay value, although he insisted that Western gamers could have gotten into the Japanese version of the game. GameSpot critic Alex Navarro agreed, and commented that the game "...shows that veering from the beaten path of a franchise's standard game design isn't always a bad idea".
The game placed 47th in the 100th issue of Nintendo Power's "100 best Nintendo games of all time" in 1997. It also placed 81st in the 200th Issue of GameInformer's "Top 200 Games of All Times" and placed 18th on IGN's Top 100 NES Games list. As for sales, it is the fourth best-selling NES game, with 10 million copies sold worldwide.
References to other games
References in later media
Names in other languages