Wrecking Crew

From the Super Mario Wiki, the Mario encyclopedia

It has been requested that this article be rewritten and expanded to include more information.

This article is about the game for the Nintendo Entertainment System. For other uses, see Wrecking Crew (disambiguation).
Wrecking Crew
North American box art
Developer Nintendo R&D 1
Publisher Nintendo
Platforms Famicom/NES, Family Computer Disk System, Game Boy Advance, Virtual Console (Wii, 3DS, Wii U), Nintendo Entertainment System - Nintendo Switch Online
Release date Famicom/NES:
Japan June 18, 1985
USA October 18, 1985[1]
Europe October 15, 1987
Family Computer Disk System:
Japan February 3, 1989
Game Boy Advance:
Japan May 21, 2004
Virtual Console (Wii):
Europe August 24, 2007
Australia August 24, 2007
USA November 19, 2007
Japan February 5, 2008
Virtual Console (3DS) Ambassador Program Release):
Japan August 31, 2011
USA August 31, 2011
Europe September 1, 2011
Australia September 1, 2011
Virtual Console (3DS) (Full Release):
Japan September 19, 2012
USA March 7, 2013
Europe May 9, 2013
Australia May 10, 2013
South Korea May 18, 2016
Virtual Console (Wii U):
Japan June 19, 2013
Europe June 20, 2013
USA June 20, 2013
Australia June 20, 2013
Nintendo Entertainment System - Nintendo Switch Online:
Japan July 17, 2019
USA July 17, 2019[2]
Europe July 17, 2019
Australia July 17, 2019
HK July 17, 2019
South Korea July 17, 2019
Genre Puzzle/Platformer
ESRB:ESRB E.svg - Everyone
PEGI:PEGI 3.svg - Three years and older
CERO:CERO A.png - All ages
ACB:ACB G.svg - General
Mode(s) Singe player, 1-2 players alternating
Media NES icon.png Game Pak
Floppy disk
Media DL icon.svg Digital download
Wii U:
Media DL icon.svg Digital download
Game Boy Advance:
Media GBA icon.png Game Pak
Nintendo 3DS:
Media DL icon.svg Digital download
Wiimote Sideways.png Wii Remote (Sideways)
Wii U:
Wiimote Sideways.png Wii Remote (Sideways)
Nintendo Switch:
Game Boy Advance:
Nintendo 3DS:

Wrecking Crew is one of the first Mario games, originally released in 1985 for the Family Computer in Japan and later that year for the Nintendo Entertainment System in North America, eventually making it to Europe in 1987. Wrecking Crew was released on the Wii's, Nintendo 3DS's, and Wii U's Virtual Console. In the game, the player controls Mario (Player 2 as Luigi) working on a demolition site. The goal is to break down all of the stone walls on each stage.

The game also features a custom level maker, where players can make their own Wrecking Crew levels. The game had the ability to save those custom levels. However, the required peripherals (the keyboard and Data Recorder accessories) were released only in Japan, as the peripherals are only available in the Family BASIC accessory. The games Excitebike and Mach Rider have the same limitations as Wrecking Crew. This functionality was fully utilized in the Virtual Console rereleases of these games as they emulate the peripherals behind-the-scenes. However, this feature is not included in the Nintendo Switch Online version of the game.


A screenshot from Wrecking Crew.

As the player tries to break all the blocks with his hammer, he is attacked by various enemies. Defeating the enemies is not easy, as the regular hammer deals them no damage. If an enemy wanders underneath a drum, the player can trap it by causing the drum to fall. Sometimes Foreman Spike appears in the background and smashes blocks himself. He can also try to push the player off the platforms, but if he can hit Foreman Spike with his hammer, Foreman Spike will fall down instead.

If the player breaks down the walls in a particular order, he may find the letters "M-A-R-I-O" (or "L-U-I-G-I" for player two). Finding all of these will give the player an extra life. In any level with three or more bombs, hitting three bombs in a specific order will make a Golden Hammer appear. Much more powerful than his regular hammer, the Golden Hammer allows the player to knock down walls much faster, and, if he times it right, he can knock enemies down to the bottom floor.

As well as brick walls, there are also girder stands that can be knocked out, stone ladders that can be used until they are destroyed (Foreman Spike can also destroy these), and bombs that will damage any bricks lined up with it (as well as knocking whoever is nearby off the platform if they do not move away fast enough).




Each level has various enemies that will attempt to stop Mario:

  • Gotchawrench - a dinosaur wrench that chases Mario around the stage.
  • Eggplant Man - a masked eggplant that sprints around, getting in Mario's way.
  • Foreman Spike - the bearded foreman of the construction site. He will constantly try to stop Mario from completing his job by hitting the hero off the beams.
  • Fireball - Spend too long in a particular area and a fireball will appear.


Wrecking Crew was Yoshio Sakamoto's first job as a game designer following a brief stint as a pixel artist. The idea was to create a "puzzle action game" centered around breaking walls[3].

The game originally had no tie to the Mario series, the protagonist being an unnamed overalls-wearing man with no mustache. During development, Shigeru Miyamoto was shown the game and suggested Mario to be the player character as "he’s really easy to draw, and people recognize him[3]."

References to other games[edit]

  • Mario Bros.: The fireball appears in levels if the player takes too long to complete the level.

References in later games[edit]

  • Kid Icarus: Graphics designer Toru Osawa created the Eggplant Wizard in part as a tribute to Wrecking Crew's Eggplant Men, as well as his own love of eggplants[4].
  • Mobile Golf: Foreman Spike reappears.
  • Wrecking Crew '98: This game is a sequel to Wrecking Crew, a port of which is also included. All characters from the previous game are back.
  • Super Smash Bros.: Mario's third color palette, with brown overalls and a white shirt, is said to be a reference to Foreman Spike[5]. This color option for Mario would return in all future installments. Also, Luigi's third color palette, with red overalls and a pink shirt is based on his sprite from the game.
  • Super Smash Bros. Melee: The Eggplant Man reappears as a collectible trophy. Mario's Foreman Spike-inspired color palette returns and Luigi's pink color palette returns.
  • Chibi-Robo!: The Eggplant Man reappears again, this time under the name "Kid Eggplant."
  • WarioWare: Twisted!: 9-Volt has a microgame based off Wrecking Crew simply titled Wrecking Crew.
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl: The Golden Hammer and its theme are included in the game. Mario's Foreman Spike-inspired color palette returns and Luigi's pink color palette returns.
  • Super Smash Bros. for Wii U: A Wrecking Crew stage appears in the Wii U version of Super Smash Bros. Mario's Foreman Spike-inspired color palette returns and Luigi's pink color palette returns.
  • Super Mario Maker: Foreman Spike is one of the 100 Mario Costumes in the game and also several jingles are also heard from this game when playing as him.
  • WarioWare Gold: One of 9-Volt's microgames in this game is the basis of Wrecking Crew.
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: The Golden Hammer from Wrecking Crew returns in this game. Mario's Foreman Spike-inspired color and Luigi's pink color palette also returns.


In 1998, Wrecking Crew '98 was released as a Japan-only game for the Super Famicom. Wrecking Crew '98 is competitive, giving each player their own side to clean up, and opportunity to use doors to send enemies to the opponent's side.

VS. System[edit]

Main article: VS. Wrecking Crew

Wrecking Crew was preceded by a VS. System version of the game called VS. Wrecking Crew.


Game Designer
Original Music
  • Hirokazu Tanaka
Sound Department
  • Hirokazu Tanaka
Programed by
  • Toshihiko Nakago
  • Tomoyo-chan
  • Y. Sobajima
  • Akina-chan



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Wrecking Crew coverage on other NIWA wikis: