VS. Super Mario Bros.

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VS. Super Mario Bros.
VSSMB Title Screen.png
The title screen of the game.
Developer Nintendo EAD
Publisher Nintendo
Hamster (Arcade Archives)
Platforms Arcade
Nintendo Switch (Arcade Archives)
Release date Arcade:
USA 1986
Nintendo Switch (Arcade Archives):
Japan December 22, 2017
USA December 22, 2017
Europe December 22, 2017
Australia December 23, 2017
Genre 2D Platformer
ESRB:ESRB E.svg - Everyone
PEGI:PEGI 3.svg - Three years and older
CERO:CERO A.svg - All ages
ACB:ACB G.svg - General
Mode(s) 1-2 players
Nintendo Switch:
Media DL icon.svg Digital download
Nintendo Switch:

VS. Super Mario Bros. is a two-player VS. System version of Super Mario Bros. which was released in 1986.


The plot is the same as the original Super Mario Bros., featuring Mario and Luigi (second player only) setting out on a quest to free Princess Toadstool from the evil Bowser and restore the fallen kingdom of the Mushroom People.


This game has higher gameplay difficulty than the original Super Mario Bros., with fewer warp zones and power-ups, and more enemies. Six new levels were created for the game[1], all of which were reused in Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels.

Detailed set of level differences[edit]

The original version of Super Mario Bros. has some levels repeat, with an easier version with some obstacles removed (fire bars in the castle, fewer enemies, etc) earlier on, and then a later "full" version, e.g. 1-3 is the easier version of 5-3; 1-4 is the easier version of 6-4; 2-2/2-3 are the easier version(s) of 7-2/7-3; and 2-4 is the easier version of 5-4.

In the arcade version, most of the "easier versions" (all except 1-3) are replaced by the "harder version" to make way for new levels.

The following table summarizes the changes. Unlisted levels are mostly the same as the corresponding level in Super Mario Bros., but with minor difficulty increases. Various ? Blocks, especially those that contain power-ups, are often either moved to much harder-to-reach places, or even removed altogether, or the power-ups are replaced with coins. Many bottomless pits have been added as well.

VS. level Corresponding level Description
1-2 Super Mario Bros. 1-2 Some bricks above the end pipe have been removed to prevent use of the Minus World glitch, though all of the warp pipes are still present and it is still possible to perform the glitch.
1-4 Lost Levels 1-4
2-2 Super Mario Bros. 7-2 Replaced with harder variation from original game.
2-3 Super Mario Bros. 7-3 Replaced with harder variation from original game.
2-4 Super Mario Bros. 6-4
3-1 Super Mario Bros. 3-1 The Koopa Troopas on the final staircase have been replaced with Goombas to prevent use of the infinite 1-Up exploit.[2]
3-2 Lost Levels 2-2 Similar to 3-2 from Super Mario Bros., but with more obstacles and a large gap requiring use of hidden blocks and a high floating pipe to cross.
4-2 Super Mario Bros. 4-2 The level is largely the same, but the warp pipes to Worlds 7 and 8 have been removed.
4-4 Super Mario Bros. 5-4 4-4 and 5-4 have been switched, but are mostly the same otherwise.
5-3 Super Mario Bros. 6-3 This is now a normal night level instead of the gray night as seen in Super Mario Bros.
5-4 Super Mario Bros. 4-4 4-4 and 5-4 have been switched, but are mostly the same otherwise.
6-3 Lost Levels 4-3 Some extremely long jumps to platforms, including one that requires a bounce off of a Paratroopa. This is even harder to pull off than in The Lost Levels because Mario doesn't get nearly as much extra height from a bounce as he does in that game, requiring near-perfect accuracy.
6-4 Lost Levels 5-4 Lots of long, hard jumps and some tricky small ones, plus an extra long firebar only seen in 5-4 of Super Mario Bros.
7-2 Lost Levels 6-2 A harder and longer version of 7-2 of Super Mario Bros., with very little floor and stretches of low-hanging reef.
7-3 Lost Levels 6-3 An extra-long bridge with lots of gaps and many more Cheep-Cheeps and Paratroopas than 7-3 of Super Mario Bros.
7-4 Super Mario Bros. 7-4 The layout is largely the same, but the solution to the maze is slightly different.[2]
8-4 Super Mario Bros. 8-4 Same general layout, but with the hidden block needed to reach a necessary warp pipe moved one space higher, and the Bowser bridge now has bricks above, making it more narrow.

The hidden 1-Up mushrooms in 2-1, 4-1, 6-1, and 8-1 have been removed. The ones in 3-1, 5-1, and 7-1 are only available if enough coins are collected in one of two previous -3 levels:

  • World 3-1: Must collect at least 21 coins in World 1-3 or all 35 coins in World 2-3
  • World 5-1: Must collect all 22 coins in World 3-3 or all 27 coins in World 4-3
  • World 7-1: Must collect at least 23 coins in World 5-3 or at least 24 coins in World 6-3

Depending on operator settings, the player may now start with two lives instead of three and the timer may be set to run faster than the NES version's timer did. The coin counter now has three digits instead of two, meaning that Mario/Luigi may have to collect more than 100 coins (can be set to 100, 150, 200, or 250 by the operator) to earn an extra life. After a game over, depending on operator settings, the player may continue with four lives instead of three.

The ending is identical to that which would later appear in The Lost Levels, including awarding 100,000 points for each life the player has left, but the music uses the original Super Mario Bros.'s instrumentation. The second verse was removed to make for a looping song. After the song ends, the game is over and the player can enter his/her initials.

Production and release[edit]

VS. Super Mario Bros. was to be called VS. Mario's Adventure. The only remnant of this earlier title is an arcade flyer with a trademarked name.[3]

Despite the arcade version of the game never being officially released in Japan, Japanese arcade operators allegedly found ways of getting access to the game to use in their arcades.[4][5]

Arcade Archives port[edit]

In the September 2017 Nintendo Direct, Nintendo announced Arcade Archives: VS. Super Mario Bros., a port of VS. Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo Switch as part of Hamster Corporation's Arcade Archives series. This time, two detached Joy-Con are used to play with two players.[6] It was released in Japan[7], the Americas and Europe on December 22, 2017, and in Australia on December 23, 2017.




  • The game contains a rearrangement of the original Super Mario Bros. overworld theme, which is played during Name Registration on the rankings list. This song was re-used as the world select theme in Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3, a bonus stage song in the Super Mario Maker series for Super Mario Bros. style, and plays in part of the Sky music for Super Mario Maker 2 in the Super Mario Bros. style.


VS. Super Mario Bros. coverage on other NIWA wikis:
  1. ^ Nintendo (December 7, 2010), Super Mario Bros. 25th Anniversary - Interview with Shigeru Miyamoto #2. YouTube. Retrieved December 21, 2015.
  2. ^ a b https://web.archive.org/web/20170707123117/http://bbh.marpirc.net/skatekid/
  3. ^ VS. Mario's Adventure arcade flyers
  4. ^ "Jaleco Ships New Game For "VS. System"" (Paragraph 5). Game Machine. Amusement Press. Published May 1, 1986.
  5. ^ "Namco's "Family Stadium" Has Enjoyed Popularity" (Paragraphs 9-11). Game Machine. Amusement Press. Published June 15, 1987.
  6. ^ GameXplain. (September 13, 2017). Arcade Archives for Nintendo Switch Announced (Mario Bros. more). YouTube. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  7. ^ (December 13, 2017). VS. Super Mario Bros. releasing next week. Japanese Nintendo. Retrieved December 14, 2017.