Super Mario Brothers

Released: Late 1985

Super Mario Bros. is listed in The Guinness Book of World Records as the best-selling video game of all time, and was largely responsible for the initial success of the Nintendo Entertainment System , as well as ending the two year slump of video game sales in the United States after the video game crash of 1983 . It has inspired countless imitators and was one of Shigeru Miyamoto 's most influential early successes. The game starred the Italian plumber Mario and his slightly younger brother Luigi, the former who would eventually become one of Nintendo's most well known mascots.

The player takes the role of Mario, or in the case of a second player, Mario's brother Luigi. The ultimate object is to race through the Mushroom Kingdom, evade or eliminate King Koopa's forces, and save Princess Peach (or "Princess Toadstool" as she was commonly known in North America until 1996).

Mario's primary attack is simply jumping on top of his enemies, which kills the mushroom traitors, known as Goombas, and sends the turtle soldiers known as Koopa Troopas into their shells. Mario can then kick these shells into other enemies, which will conveniently dispatch them; but conversely, kicked shells can bounce back off walls or other vertical obstructions and hit him. Jumping on enough enemies in succession or kicking a shell into enough enemies in succession (combos) results in double points earned with each enemy killed, eventually earning Mario a 1-up, an extra life and another chance to pass the level. Mario can also obtain 1-ups through finding 1-up mushrooms and by collecting 100 coins. To this day, there is still debate as to how Mario gains a 1-up after getting 100 coins. Many fans speculate that since Mario does not want to be in debt, he will only use the extra 1-ups in his pocket until he has enough money to afford them. Some enemies can be killed only by fireballs or shell impact; stomping them will hurt Mario.

Aiding him in his quest are several powers. Mario can be hurt if he touches an enemy. If he takes a hit from an enemy as Super Mario or Fiery Mario, he simply reverts to regular Mario and the game continues. However, if he takes a hit as regular Mario, falls down a pit (regardless of status), or if the time clock runs out, he loses a life and starts again. The point where Mario continues depends on how far he ran through the level before dying: either from the very beginning or at an invisible "checkpoint" partway through the level. There are no checkpoints in castles or in world 8, the final world. Mario can also collect a star and become invincible. While invincible Mario is impervious to the touch of enemy characters and most obstacles, he will still die if he falls in a pit of lava or time runs out.

The game consists of eight worlds with four levels in each world. Though each world is substantially different, there are basic similarities: typically the first sub-world is a generic above-ground (overworld) level, the second is in an underground dungeon or underwater (or in the overworld with a unique challenge), the third is a series of platforms suspended high in the sky, and the fourth is always a fortress or castle. The third and sixth worlds take place at night, and all other worlds take place during the day. At the end of each castle level, Mario fights "King Koopa" (who, until the final level, is actually a lesser enemy disguised as King Koopa) across a bridge over a pool of lava. In the later worlds (worlds 6-8), King Koopa throws hammers as well as occasional jets of fire breath. King Koopa may be defeated in one of two ways: either by touching the ax at the edge of the bridge (thereby dropping King Koopa into the lava) or, as Fiery Mario, throwing fireballs at him to defeat him directly and reveals what enemy is in disguise. At the end of each world save the last, Mario is greeted with the words, "Thank you Mario! But our princess is in another castle!", spoken by a Toad retainer, which became a popular quotation among gamers.

After beating the game, the player is given the option to start the game again in "'Hard' Mode", where all Goombas are replaced by Buzzy Beetles (Koopa Troopa-like enemies who cannot be killed by fireballs), and all enemies walk faster. In addition, the elevator-style lifts are about 60% their original size throughout.

Players may get to the begining of any world with a relatively small amount of effort by using hidden warp zones in a number of levels. One is in level 1-2 and is reached by walking on the blocks at the top of the level passing the exit pipe. This zone allows jumping to worlds 2, 3 and 4. The other two are in 4-2, one is in the same place as the one in 1-2 but this only allows access to world 5. The other is reached through a beanstalk that grows from a hidden block and takes the player into a surface area that leads to worlds 6, 7 and 8.

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