Super Mario Bros. (also referred to as Super Mario Bros is a video game released for the Family Computer and Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985. It shifted the gameplay away from its single-screen arcade predecessor, Mario Bros., and instead featured side-scrolling platformer levels. While not the first game of the Mario franchise (the first being Donkey Kong), Super Mario Bros. is the most iconic and introduced various series staples, including power-ups, classic enemies such as Little Goombas, and the basic premise of rescuing Princess Toadstool from King Koopa.
As well as kicking off an entire series of Super Mario platformer games, the wild success of Super Mario Bros. popularized the genre as a whole, helped revive the North American gaming industry after the video game crash of 1983, and was largely responsible for the initial success of the NES, with which it was bundled as a launch title. Until it was eventually surpassed by Wii Sports, Super Mario Bros. was the best-selling video game of all time for nearly three decades, with over 40 million copies sold worldwide.
The exact day of the North American release of Super Mario Bros. is heavily disputed, with different sources giving different dates with no way to verify them. Regardless, Nintendo officially pinpoints the release date as October 18, 1985.
One day the kingdom of the peaceful mushroom people was invaded by the Koopa, a tribe of turtles famous for their black magic. The quiet, peace-loving Mushroom People were turned into mere stones, bricks, and even field horse-hair plants, and the Mushroom Kingdom fell into ruin.
The only one who can undo the magic spell on the Mushroom People and return them to their normal selves is the Princess Toadstool, the daughter of the Mushroom King. Unfortunately, she is presently in the hands of the great Koopa turtle king.
Mario, the hero of the story (maybe) hears about the Mushroom People’s plight and sets out on a quest to free the Mushroom Princess from the evil Koopa and restore the fallen kingdom of the Mushroom People.
You are Mario! It’s up to you to save the Mushroom People from the black magic of the Koopa!
One day, the Mushroom Kingdom was invaded by the Koopa, a tribe of turtles capable of using powerful dark magic. Their magic was used to transform all the Mushroom People into inanimate objects such as rocks, bricks, and even horsehair plants, thus spelling the kingdom’s downfall. Only Princess Toadstool can undo the spell and restore her people to life, but she is being held captive by King Koopa himself. Mario hears of the princess’s plight and sets out on a quest through 32 stages to topple the Turtle Tribe and save the once-peaceful kingdom.
Super Mario Bros. is divided into eight worlds, each of them containing four levels. Mario (or, in the case of a second player, his brother Luigi) has to get to the end of the level by jumping over various gaps and avoiding the enemies on his way. He can use several platforms (some of them collapse when Mario lands on them), stairs on the level, as well as jumping boards. There are also pipes along the way, some of which Mario can enter to visit various secret coin rooms before returning to the level, a bit further ahead than when he left.
Enemies include Little Goombas, Koopa Troopas, Buzzy Beetles, Koopa Paratroopas, Bullet Bills, Hammer Brothers, and leaping Cheep-cheeps. All these enemies can be defeated when Mario jumps on them. Koopa Troopas and Buzzy Beetles cower in their shell when jumped on, which Mario can kick to defeat other enemies with. Koopa Paratroopas lose their wings and fall to the ground when Mario jumps on them. Other enemies include Piranha Plants, and the Spiny-throwing Lakitus, and Mario has to either shoot fireballs at them or just avoid them. Two levels take place underwater. In the water, Mario can swim freely from the top to the bottom of the screen. The enemies in underwater levels are Bloobers and Cheap-cheeps. Mario can only defeat these creatures by shooting them with fireballs.
If regular Mario takes a hit, falls down a pit, or if the Time Limit runs out, he loses a life and restarts the level. The point where Mario continues depends on how far he ran through the level before getting defeated; either from the beginning or at one of several invisible “checkpoints” throughout the level. After a Game Over, pressing while holding on to the title screen allows the player to continue from the start of the world. In a 2-player game, if this is done by whoever got a Game Over second, both players will begin in the same world where the second player’s game ended.
After beating the main game, the player is given the option to pick a world (by pressing on the title screen) to play in “a new quest”—a harder mode where all Little Goombas are replaced by Buzzy Beetles, and all enemies walk faster; all of the elevator-style lifts are about sixty percent of their original size, while Fire-Bars appear in all possible locations. Mario and Luigi gain no special powers in hard mode, and they receive no extra points when they defeat an enemy. The story remains the same, as each of the first seven castles contains a mushroom retainer that needs rescuing, while the eighth castle has Princess Toadstool. If the player finishes the game on hard mode, they will not unlock anything new from the previous time the game was finished. However, points can be gained faster by jumping on a Buzzy Beetle and then running with the shell as it hits other Buzzy Beetles and Koopa Troopas. Earlier levels in hard mode are the same as their harder clones; for instance, 1-3, which is an easier version of 5-3 in the normal game, is identical to it in hard mode.