Super Mario Bros. Special

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Not to be confused with Mario Bros. Special.
Super Mario Bros. Special
For alternate box art, see the game's gallery.
Developer Hudson Soft
Publisher Hudson Soft (Japan)
Static Soft (South Korea)[1]
Platform(s) PC-8801
Sharp X1
Samsung SPC-1500[1]
Release date Japan 1986
South Korea c. 1987[1]
Genre Platformer
Mode(s) Single player
Media 5.25-inch floppy, Tape

Super Mario Bros. Special (Japanese: スーパーマリオブラザーズ スペシャル, Sūpā Mario Burazāzu Supesharu) is a platform game that was developed by Hudson Soft and released in 1986 for the PC-8801 and Sharp X1 series of Japanese computers, and later for the Samsung SPC-1500[1] in South Korea. Super Mario Bros. Special was the second Nintendo-licensed follow-up to Super Mario Bros., released around two months after Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels.[2] Two years prior, Hudson Soft had released Punch Ball Mario Bros. and Mario Bros. Special, which were both based on the original Mario Bros.

While superficially very similar to the original Super Mario Bros., the game features original new levels and has a screen-by-screen scrolling mechanism. The latter is implemented more smoothly in the X1 version, which features Zelda-style scrolling, where the screen visually slides to the next lock point (with some overlap between screens), whereas the PC-8801 version simply turns black for a moment while loading the next screen.

Jumping and dashing physics also differ from the original NES, providing a more challenging experience than Super Mario Bros. Adding difficulty is the fact that the stage time is slightly faster than in the original NES game. Mario's Hammer from Donkey Kong makes a reappearance as a rare item, alongside a variety of past foes from earlier arcade Super Mario titles and new exclusive items.

Due to the PC-8801 and X1's technology being inferior to that of the NES/Famicom, the graphics and audio differ slightly from the original game as well, although they are closely replicated. Additionally, the game does not include Luigi, nor does it contain a multiplayer mode. The X1 version contains partial scrolling and slightly more colorful graphics, featuring all eight colors possible with 100% and 0% RGB, including lime-green, cyan, magenta and white. While the PC-88 is able to produce eight colors, Super Mario Bros. Special only uses half of the PC-88's hardware palette, restricted to only black, red, yellow, and blue, including dithered results with those four colors. Further, sprites exclude the use of blue to allow transparency in the sprites.

New enemies[edit]

Hudson Soft's staff took these enemies from earlier Super Mario games, none of which can be stomped, and provided them with new names:

Name X1 image PC-88 image Description
Chokichoki Chokichoki Chokichoki in Super Mario Bros. Special (NEC PC-8801) Originally from Mario Bros. Walks in a straight line. Can be defeated with a fireball, invincibility, or a bump from below. Found in Worlds 4-2, 5-2, 7-3, 8-1, and 8-3.
Nakaji Nakaji Nakaji Originally from Mario Bros. It moves by taking small hops. Can be defeated with a fireball, hammer, invincibility, or a bump. Found in Worlds 5-1, 5-2, 8-1, 8-2, and 8-3.
Tsurara Tsurara Tsurara Originally from Mario Bros. Can be defeated with a fireball. Found in Worlds 4-2, 4-4, 5-3, 6-4, 7-4, 8-3, and 8-4.
Sigebou Sigebou Sigebou Originally from Donkey Kong. Like Chokichoki, it moves horizontally. Found in Worlds 7-4 and 8-2.
Tarusar Tarusar Tarusar Originally from Donkey Kong. These barrels roll down ledges and can be defeated with a hammer or a bump. Found in Worlds 3-4, 4-3, 6-2, 6-4, 7-1, and 8-2.


The object of the game is to get to the flagpole to advance to the next level. While on his way to the goal, Mario encounters many enemies and power-ups.


Name X1 image PC-88 image Description
Magic Mushroom Magic Mushroom Magic Mushroom Grab this to change into Super Mario. 1000 points awarded.
Fire Flower Fire Flower Fire Flower Grab this to change into Fiery Mario. 1000 points awarded.
Starman Starman Starman Grab this to briefly change into Invincible Mario. 1000 points awarded.
Hammer HammerSMBS.png "Hummer" The hammer power-up from Donkey Kong, which spawns a hammer in front of Mario that rapidly swings. Found in Worlds 3-4 and 5-1. 1000 points awarded.
Wing The Wing from Super Mario Bros. Special. Wing Collecting this causes Mario to briefly act as if he is swimming in the air. Found in Worlds 3-2 and 4-1. 1000 points awarded.


Name X1 image PC-88 image Description
1 up Mushroom 1 up Mushroom 1 up Mushroom If Mario collects one, he will get an extra life.
Coin Coin Coin Collect 100 coins for a 1 up.
Hachisuke Hachisuke Hachisuke The bee from the Hudson Soft logo. If Mario finds this item, he will be awarded 8000 points. Found in World 1-1.
Clock Clock Clock from Super Mario Bros. Special (NEC PC-88). Upon picking this up, Mario will get an additional 100 seconds added to the timer. Found in World 8-3. 1000 points awarded.
Lucky Star Lucky Star Lucky Star Resembles an atom. If Mario collects it, all the enemies on-screen will be defeated and award their normal point values as if hit by a Starman (similar to a POW except it also affects airborne foes). Found in World 4-1. 1000 points awarded.


Due to both the PC-88 and X1 technology being inferior compared to the NES/Famicom, some glitches and tricks that were previously not present in the original appear here.

Infinite 1-Up trick[edit]

Like in the original Super Mario Bros., jumping on a Koopa Troopa or a Buzzy Beetle when it is about three pixels away from an edge or wall makes Mario jump on it continously, thus allowing the player to gain infinite 1-Ups. Unlike the original, the trick is much easier to perform due to the game's different collision physics launching the player higher after a stomp, and can be done in virtually any area with both a Koopa Troopa and an edge or wall.

When a sliding Koopa shell is stomped and stops moving, the timer before the Koopa gets back up does not reset, continuing from where it left off when the shell was kicked. Because of this, it is possible for a Koopa to break itself out of the trick, requiring Mario to re-set it up.

The player can accumulate a maximum of 255 lives, with the number of current lives remaining represented in hexadecimal numbers (such as "85" for 133 lives and "DE" for 222 lives). Collecting any more loops the counter back to 0 lives.

Harmless Fire-Bars[edit]

Sometimes, touching the edge of a Fire-Bar does not deliver any damage, likely because of the game's limits in hardware and registering hitboxes with moving obstacles.

Glitched pipes[edit]

The Warp Zones from the original were changed in such a way that Super Mario Bros. Special has no true Warp Zone. In World 1-2, reaching the area over the pipe instead leads to the single bonus room that could be accessed normally in the stage, but with a pipe that still leads to the overworld, thus to the end of the level. In World 4-2, a room that more resembles a true Warp Zone can be found, however the only pipe it holds does not have any destinations defined. The pipe can still be entered, but the player remains stuck there indefinitely, forcing the player to be killed by the timer.

In World 4-3, there is a beanstalk that leads to a Coin Heaven. When trying to leave, sometimes Mario is unable to enter the exit pipe. It is assumed to be an overlooked program error, as the entrance back to the main level from this bonus area is present underneath the mushroom stairs leading to the flagpole.

Course designer Ichirou Sakurada has acknowledged that these are unintentional glitches.[3]

Out-of-service jumping board[edit]

Compared to the original Super Mario Bros., the jumping board present in World 2-1 is much more difficult to perform a higher jump off of due to poor collision detection, sometimes being stuck in its animation frames when Mario jumps off. Sometimes holding the jump key while landing on the board guarantees success in jumping off, and in the event that a player would have trouble, the set of invisible blocks placed around the board allows players to bypass it.

Disk error (PC-88)[edit]

Screenshot of Super Mario Bros. Special PC-8801 Disk Error Screen
Disk Error

If the system encounters an error while trying to read and load data from the disk, the screen displays the message: "DISK ERROR! PLEASE RESTART GAME PUSH IPL SWITCH" (the IPL switch being a reset button present on PC-8801 family machines). The error is caused by corrupted data, which may be a result of a damaged disk or a improperly performed ROM dump, the most notable example being a ROM in which 8-4 is corrupted.[4] This error, being a disk read error, is likely to exist in other versions of the game, but it has not been confirmed, and it is improbable that the error is identical across all systems.

Music stop error[edit]

Due to bad pipe entering detection, if Mario gets too close to a horizontal pipe that can be entered and quickly turn around, the pipe-entering sound plays and the music stops until Mario actually enters the pipe. The player can do this multiple times in the same room which repeats the pipe-entering sound.


Main article: List of Super Mario Bros. Special staff

Programmed By[edit]

  • Yukio-Takeoka

Course-Designed By[edit]

  • Ichirou-Sakurada

Sound Effected By[edit]

  • Fumihiko-Itagaki
  • Megumi-Kawamata

Produced By[edit]

  • Takashi-Takebe


For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Super Mario Bros. Special.


For a complete list of media for this subject, see List of Super Mario Bros. Special media.
Audio.svg Ground Theme
File infoMedia:SMBS Overworld.oga
Audio.svg Underwater Theme
File infoMedia:SMBS Underwater.oga
Audio.svg Starman
File infoMedia:SMBS Invincible.oga
Audio.svg Castle Theme
File infoMedia:SMBS Castle.oga
Audio.svg Lost a Life
File infoMedia:SMBS Lost a Life.oga
Help:MediaHaving trouble playing?


External links[edit]