I’m sure I’m not the only one who holds a special place in their hearts just for the original Super Mario Brothers on the NES. No, I’m not talking about the very first “Mario bros” but rather our beloved first real Mario side scrolling platformer that has set the standard for the Super Mario Brothers series! Super Mario Bros.!

Today we have 14 awesome facts about Super Mario Brothers for you to enjoy! We also made a video on this topic too so if you prefer your Mario content in video form jump to the very bottom of the post!

Starting at Number 14 we have game sales!

Back in 1999 Super Mario Bros entered the Guinness world records as the best selling video game! The Mario classic has sold around 40.23 million copies world wide!

Super Mario Coin

Number 13 – Re-releases!

It’s no wonder so many copies have been sold, this game has been re-released on just about every Nintendo console since the games origin! The game has been released on the Nes, as an arcade machine, the Super Nes, game boy colour, game boy advance and of course on the virtual console making it available also on Wii, WiiU and the 3DS. Not bad for a game that was almost the farewell game for the NES as a cartridge system!

nintendo consoles SMB1 is available on

Number 12 – The fastest completion!

The fastest ever time to complete Super Mario Bros was 25 years after it’s release! Andrew Gardikis completed the game in just 4 minutes and 58 seconds, beating the previous record holder by a whopping 10 seconds!

fastest Super Mario Brothers completion time

Number 11 – Jackie Chan had an indirect influence on Mario

Mr Miyamoto has mentioned several times that the game Kung-Fu was a big inspiration for Super Mario Bros because of it’s smooth side scrolling action and vibrant colours. What you might not know about Kung Fu is that in Japan it was officially licensed as a Jackie Chan game! That’s right, indirectly Jackie Chan had some form of influence over our favourite jumping plumber!

jackie chan inspired super mario brothers

Number 10 – size of the Mario cartridge

No, I’m not talking about the dimensions of the cartridge I am talking about the storage size! The original Super Mario Brothers was stored on a 256 kilobit cartridge, that’s right kilobit. To put that in perspective this translates to 32 kilobytes, The average jpeg is maybe around 100 kilobytes! Pretty amazing when you think about the game play! (The page you are viewing right now is much larger than the entire Super Mario Bros game :D)

Super Mario Bros cartridge size

Number 9 – we nearly missed out on our beloved Goomba!

Even though our first introduction to the chaos of the Mushroom Kingdom is a Goomba these little guys nearly didn’t make the cut! It was at the last moment that Mr Miyamoto and his team decided the game needed a simpler enemy compared to koopa troopers! Because of the limited resources on the cartridge the Goomba was born with it’s 2 sprite walking action. On a side note Goombas are known as Kuribo in Japan which translates to “chestnut people”!


Number 8 – The 10 life Crown

This is a good one! You might have noticed that if you have over 10 lives in Super Mario Bros the counter is replaced with a crown. During the recording of the music for the game, composer Koji Kondo was able to save 20 bytes once everything was complete allowing Mr Miyamoto to add in this crown to congratulate people on having 10 or more lives!

super mario bros crown

Number 7 – The weird Mario back story

Have you guys ever actually read the original Super Mario Brothers story? Apparently a tribe of Koopa that are renowned for their use of black magic waltzed into the Mushroom Kingdom and turned everyone into stones, bricks, bushes and mushrooms. So, as many of you mentioned in the comments, every time you smash a brick you are in fact taking out a former member of the Mushroom Kingdom! And if Bowser is so good at black magic, why didn’t he just get one of these Mario and Luigi Voodoo dolls and get it over and done with?

Super mario bros official storyline

Number 6 – The Super Mario Box art comes from Donkey Kong!

Ever taken a close look at the box art from Super Mario Bros? You might notice that the sprite is actually from Donkey Kong. Also, what is going actually on here? Is aim of the game to jump into walls and fall into lava? Maybe I have been doing it wrong all these years.

super mario bros box art

Number 5 – Sprite Reuse

Again because of restricted space Nintendo got pretty good at reusing things! The sprites for the clouds and the bushes were re-use and Bowser’s castle was also just a compilation of smaller castles!

smb_castle-big SMB Bush - Triple SMB Cloud - Triple

Number 4 – Sound re-use

Saving space is a big deal! Did you ever notice that the sound of Mario getting smaller is the same sound as going down a pipe? (Download the Mario Pipe sound here)

Number 3 – Unknown North American release date

In all the confusion of getting the game out in North America it seems that no one took the time to note the exact release date! Although it was released sometime in 1985 the exact release date of Super Mario Brothers remains unknown in North America!

unknown North American smb release date

Number 2 – Mario originally starred as a blank square!
Whilst Mario was already a known Nintendo Character he wasn’t the pinnacle of Nintendo at the time. During the game’s creation Mr Miyamoto and his team just knew that they wanted to create a large side scrolling game. For a while Mario’s stand in was a blank square 16 pixels wide by 32 pixels high. Luckily Takashi Tezuka had found out that Mario bros on the famicon19 was selling consistently well and when he told Mr Miyamoto he replied with “Mario seems like the way to go”.

And finally at Number 1 – Mario was going to carry guns and ride a rocket!

That’s right, original game plans included Mario wielding a rifle, beam gun and even had dedicated shooting stages involving Mario riding a rocket or a cloud! Quite a far cry from our gentle Goomba flattening plumber we love now! This image here shows an early sketch of this crazy concept:

mario cloud shooter original sketch

That’s it today for our list of 14 cool Super Mario Bros 1 facts! If you want to re-hear these facts be sure to watch our video below and if you haven’t already go and subscribe to us on youtube!

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