Super Mario Bros.

Video Description

It's up to Mario to save the Mushroom Kingdom from the hands of the evil Koopa King who kidnapped Princess Toadstool.

Can you believe I’ve never played the original Super Mario Bros. until now? I played several of the future games, but never actually played through the original in its entirety. I’ve seen playthroughs and know the basic gameplay, but such a classic game was not one I had when I was a kid, and it came out before I was born. I had to play it! However, it’s hard going back to the original when you’re use to the features and quality of life improvements of the newer games.

This was an iconic game that had many sequels, including one that was initially only released in Japan. It was titled “Super Mario Bros. 2” but was not the same one released in other parts of the world. In fact, it was actually “Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels” which is a harder version of the original Super Mario Bros. I decided to play the “definitive version” mod which adds the lost levels after the main game. The definitive version adds a few other extras as well, including a world 9 after the main game which is based off glitch levels that were in the original game.

An arcade version also exists titled “Vs. Super Mario Bros.” And a Game Boy Color port titled “Super Mario Bros. Deluxe” which contains the main game, the lost levels, and a few other extras. There is also a remake for the SNES titled “Super Mario All-Stars.” As it’s a remake and is different in many areas, I decided to play the original classic.

This game was played using the NES emulator Mesen, in RetroArch.

My Rating:


A normal day in the Mushroom Kingdom turned dark when it was invaded by the Koopa, a tribe of turtles famous for their black magic. The Mushroom people turned into stones, bricks, and plants. Only Princess Toadstool, the daughter of the Mushroom King, can return them to normal. However, she was kidnapped by the Koopa King. Mario hears of the struggles of the Mushroom people and sets out of a quest to save the princess and restore the kingdom to normal.

He fights through many castles, turning up empty handed. Until finally, he makes it to the right castle, defeating the Koopa King, and rescuing the princess.


It’s weird going back to such a primitive game after playing some of the new ones where there are many more features, mechanics, and quality of life improvements. This game is a platformer that is quite simplistic. Mario can jump, walk, run, and duck. Your goal is to make it from the start of the level to the end of it, trying not to die. You can jump on enemy heads to kill them, and pickup a fire flower to shoot fireballs at your opponents. There is also a starman that will make Mario invincible for a brief period of time.

Mario does not have a health bar, but he has two forms. One is when he’s big. He can get big by getting a fire flower, or a regular mushroom. When Mario is big, he can essentially take two hits. When he gets hit, he becomes small Mario and will die whenever he is hit again. There are also various warp pipes hidden in some levels that will take you to further levels. You can basically complete the game after just a few levels by using them.

There are a total of eight worlds, with four levels in each world. The fourth level of each world is a castle where you fight Bowser at the end by dodging his fireballs, hammers, and jumping abilities. You can either shoot him enough times with the fire flower, or hit the axe behind him which will destroy the bridge he’s on as he falls into the lava. Toad will greet Mario afterwards saying that their princess is in another castle. That happens up until the world eight castle where Mario finally rescues her.

In the lost levels, there are poisonous mushrooms which will do damage to Mario, so watch out! There are even backwards warp pipes in the Lost Levels that will take you back to prior levels. Additionally, there is wind in some levels, making platforming difficult, and many secrets that you’ll need to find if you actually want to progress. The Lost Levels also don’t end at world eight. Rather, there is a secret world nine, but beyond that there is world A – D, ramping up the difficulty even more, which is only available when you play through the main Lost Levels eight times.


The crisp pixelated style is certainly nostalgic. The enemies, ground, sky, even Mario himself all look pretty good for such an old game. The Definitive mod makes the game look like the Lost Levels as opposed to the original, but they are similar enough. The Lost Levels has more detailed and some changes here and there.

Sound / Music

The music is classic. Even though there is barely any variety of songs that play, it is certainly catchy and memorable. Even hearing just the sound effects and jingles will bring you back as you know exactly what they signify in the game.


Game Info

Super Mario Bros. (Cover)
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: September 13, 1985
Platforms: NES / Famicom, Arcade
Published: (updated: )


About the Author

Asphodel Gaming
Asphodel Gaming
I am a streamer and game reviewer that enjoys older games (PS1, PS2, PSP, Genesis, Dreamcast, Game Boy, N64, GameCube, and more), and indie games.
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