Get your turnip removing gloves ready because it’s time to delve into the weird, whacky and wonderful world of Super Mario Brothers 2 with these 9 awesome facts!

SMB2 facts

Number 9 – Super Mario USA

Super Mario Bros. 2 is actually known as “Super Mario USA” in Japan! The title “Super Mario Bros. 2” in Japan is what most of us know as “The lost levels” from Super Mario All Stars, which is essentially a harder version of the original Super Mario Brothers game. Because Japan already had this Mario sequel it wasn’t until nearly 4 years later that they received what the western world knows as Super Mario Bros 2! To put that in perspective, Japan received Super Mario Bros 2 after the release of Super Mario World!

super mario usa

Number 8 – primitive prototype

There is an old prototype cartridge of Super Mario Bros 2 that shows a number of different changes to the final release. For example, title screen was presented in a sepia tone, the bonus screen was much simpler and there were various other sprite and map changes throughout. Interestingly it looks like this sepia title screen may have influenced the final version of the bonus game!

Smb2_bonus_final Smb2_bonus_proto Smb2_title_proto

Number 7 – Distinct Luigi

Prior to the release of Super Mario Bros 2 in 1988, Luigi was an exact clone of Mario! But now he was taller, had his own distinct behaviours and was overall just more Luigi than he was before. Along with this introduction of the more loveable Luigi character this game also gave us a few more enemies that have become synonymous with the Mario franchise! These include bob-ombs, shy guys, pokey and of course Birdo.

SMB2 Luigi Running Sprite

Number 6 – It all never happened

If you haven’t played Super Mario Bros. 2 and you want to keep the plot details a secret, now might be a good time to close your eyes!

Super Mario Brothers 2 never happened. In case this ending scene didn’t give it away, the game manual does more than hint at the fact that the entire game happened in Mario’s subconscious. In fact, the opening lines read “One evening, Mario had a strange dream”. This is one of those things you probably took with a grain of salt as a kid, but it’s actually a pretty mind blowing story line when you think about it in retrospect.

super-mario-bros-2-mario_sleep the story of smb2

Number 5 – Birdo is actually a boy

If we take a closer look at the Super Mario Bros 2 game manual again it actually sheds some light on the much debated topic of Birdo’s gender. The booklet states that Birdo is a Boy who believes that he is a girl and spits eggs from his mouth. In later releases of the game however there is no longer any mention of his gender, even in the manuals.

smb2 booklet birdo is a boy

Number 4 – Underwater remix

Have a closer jam to the Super Mario Bros 2 title music, it is actually a remix of the Underwater theme from the original Super Mario Bros game!

At Number 3 we have – Links Awakening

There seems to be a bit of an interesting cross over between Super Mario Bros 2 and Links Awakening! As it turns out, Wart is actually the same character as Mamu in Link’s Awakening! This makes even more sense when you know that Wart’s name in Japanese is also Mamu! On top of this character cross over, both games also take place in dream worlds, with Link’s Awakening happening on an island created by the Wind Fish’s dreaming and Mario 2 simply taking place in Mario’s subconscious dream!

Mamu wart mamu zelda smb2 crossover

Number 2 – Game Credit mistakes

Perhaps caused by the haste of the release there are a few mistakes in the games credits. Birdo and Ostro had their names mixed up, Hoopster’s name was misspelled (as “Hoopstar”) and Clawgrip is known as Clawglip. Interestingly these mistakes were not fixed when the game was ported and remain in the Super Mario All Stars version.

smb2_ostro-birdo_credit_typo smb2_hoopstar_credit_typo  smb2_clawclip_credit_typo

And finally at Number 1 we have – Doki Doki Panic

You all knew it was coming but there is a bit of a twist!


But tor those of you that don’t know, Super Mario Bros 2 wasn’t an original game, but rather an upgraded version of a Japanese game named Yume Kojo: Doki Doki Panic which roughly translates to “Dream Factory: Heart-Pounding Panic”. This remake replaced the existing characters with Mario ones but also left some of it’s original charm behind! As mentioned at number 9, this remake wasn’t released until later in Japan because the lost levels had been released as the Super Mario Brothers sequel. What I didn’t mention however was that Nintendo actually created Super Mario Brothers 2 because the Lost Levels was considered too hard for the western audience at the time.

smb2 to doki doki panic comparison

There is some dispute as to whether this makes Super Mario Bros 2 a true sequel to Super Mario Bros or not but there is some pretty good evidence to suggest it actually is.

A little while after the original Mario game was released, Nintendo’s Research and Development team in Kyoto started work on a new Mario game engine that incorporated vertical scrolling as well as horizontal. This prototype game engine based it’s game play around throwing items, carrying things and even featured a 2-player co-op that allowed you to throw other players too hard to reach places! Shortly after development began a deal was made with Fuji TV and this prototype became Doki Doki Panic, featuring the companies mascots as characters but sadly dropping the 2 player co-op. But who lead this game’s development? Shigeru Miyamoto of course! In fact he has even said that he spent more time working on Doki Doki Panic than he did on the Japanese Mario sequel Lost Levels!


So, even though the game was slightly high jacked by another company, one could easily argue that Super Mario Brothers 2 is in actuality a true Super Mario bros. sequel!

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