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New Super Mario Bros. U

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Title Screen

New Super Mario Bros. U

Developer: Nintendo EAD Tokyo
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Wii U
Released in JP: December 8, 2012
Released in US: November 18, 2012
Released in EU: November 30, 2012
Released in AU: November 30, 2012


AreasIcon.png This game has unused areas.
CodeIcon.png This game has unused code.
EnemyIcon.png This game has unused enemies.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
MusicIcon.png This game has unused music.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.


This cactus is UNDER CONSTRUCTION
This article is a work in progress.
...Well, all the articles here are, in a way. But this one moreso, and the article may contain incomplete information and editor's notes.

New Super Mario Bros. U is the fourth installment to the series, and the first Mario game in high definition. Graphical updates aside, though (and a few other improvements such as a challenge/mission mode), it's still the same schtick you've been playing for six-odd years.

Hmmm...
To do:

Subpages

Blank.png
Unused objects
Stuff that developers always forget.

Unused Music

Hmmm...
To do:
Test if this plays in-game when you put Yoshi in a Jungle-music-using level, noting if the .ogg is mixed correctly.

Jungle Yoshi Drums

The "jungle" music track has an accompanying drum track meant to play when Mario is riding Yoshi, but it is used for stages that don't have Yoshi at all. Therefore, the drum track is never heard. It is not known whether this was meant to be used, or is just a result of the developers being thorough when creating the audio assets.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Unused Graphics

New Super Mario Bros. Leftovers

The leftover graphics from NSMB that were in NSMB Wii are here too.


(Source: Hiccup)

Sample Challenge Image

NSMBU Sample challenge image.png

This image is the first one in the ChallengeImage folder, which stores all of the challenge previews. Obviously intended as a placeholder, it shows an early version of the Nohara tileset, which includes flowers taken from New Super Mario Bros. Wii, as well as the early 1-1 background. The level featured strongly resembles the beginning of NSMBW's level 1-1, albeit with rearranged flowers.

The castle seen in the far back is not only very different from the one featured in the final game, but also seems to rest on some sort of cliff. In addition, the castle appears at the end of the level in the finished game, whereas this seems to be the beginning.

Unused Graphics in Jyotyu Tilesets

All of the jyotyu tilesets feature giant brick and question block graphics. Some of the graphics are unused, and don't show up but have collision when tested. However, the 1-coin giving ? block works, almost all of the invisible tiles work, the collision tiles are used, and the lines are used. The pipes are used for collision with the pipe sprites. The pipe connector graphics were eventually used in Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition.

Other unused tiles include non-switch-activated Blue Coins, a pole tile, and an overhead rope tile. This is carried over from New Super Mario Bros. Wii, which also had those tiles, similarly scrapped in favor of object versions. The game also references a jyotyu_setsugen tileset, which isn't used at all, and also wasn't used in NSMBW.

Normal Yougan
NSMBU JYOTYU.png
NSMBU JYOTYU YOUGAN.png

Furthermore, drawn on the alpha channel are various labels which describe or represent the tiles they're drawn on. These were most likely used in Nintendo's level creator. Notable is the fact that many of the overlays come from New Super Mario Bros. Wii, such as the pipes, or even New Super Mario Bros., such as the placeholder flower graphics. Some graphics were seemingly deleted, while others had spots reserved for them, which were ultimately unused and just marked with numbers. Note that the layout of the tiles (such as the order of powerups) is similar to NSMBW's.

Translated text:

FIRST ROW:
empty
empty hit
beanstalk stop
empty half
empty hit
climbing pole hit
rope hit
"ma" (the equivalent of a single letter in English; it might stand for "multiplayer")

SECOND ROW:
muncher hit

SEVENTH ROW:
muncher hit 2

Of tiles with text on them, the second "empty hit", the "climbing pole hit", the "rope hit" and the "muncher hit 2" tiles are unused.

Early Meringue Clouds Tileset Edges

7-Airship (Boarding the Airship) contains broken Meringue Clouds ground edges, which are displayed when the mechanical Bowser hand punches through the ground; they are not used anywhere else in the game. Due to the structure of the game, though, there are corresponding tiles for this purpose in the underground and lava tilesets, which go unused. The lava tiles are uninteresting placeholders (see #Unused_graphics_in_Jyotyu_tilesets), but the underground ones are from an early version of the Meringue Clouds tileset.

Early (Underground) Final
NSMBU Meringue Clouds Broken Edges Unused.png
NSMBU Meringue Clouds Broken Edges Used.png

The broken edges in the early tileset are much wider, and the cracks on the edges are much taller and deeper. The grass also looks completely different.

Unused Lava Tiles

NSMBU 8-2 Unused Tiles.png

Covered with Xs to mark them as "not to be used," these 22 unused tiles are in 8-2 (Peach's Castle-2: Magma-River Cruise). A few of them also exist in challenge level 15-1 (Mole to Goal Returns). In each level, they are hidden behind used tiles. Shown below is where they are located.

In 8-2:

NSMBU 8-2 Unused Tiles Placement 1.png NSMBU 8-2 Unused Tiles Placement 2.png NSMBU 8-2 Unused Tiles Placement 3.png NSMBU 8-2 Unused Tiles Placement 4.png NSMBU 8-2 Unused Tiles Placement 5.png

In 15-1:

NSMBU 15-1 Unused Tiles Placement.png

Unused Ghost House Corner Tile

Early Final
NSMBU 4-Ghost House Corner Tile Unused.png
NSMBU 4-Ghost House Corner Tile.png

Found just before the secret (red) flagpole in 4-Ghost House (Swaying Ghost House), this tile is covered up by the grassy version. In context (see below), it indicates that the area originally did not have grass at all. The dirt in this area is positioned one tile too high in most places, which further implies that the floor objects were originally only one tile high (as would be expected if there was no grass).

Early Final
NSMBU 4-Ghost House Corner Tile Unused Context.png
NSMBU 4-Ghost House Corner Tile Context.png

Debug Tile Overlays

Debug Final
NSMBU Underwater Bottom Corner Tiles Debug.png
NSMBU Underwater Bottom Corner Tiles.png

Within the unfinished underwater level found in 11-2.szs are versions of the bottom corner tiles that include overlaid purple triangles.

NSMBU Prerelease W1 Miis Screenshot.png

Very similar red rectangles on the Acorn Plains tileset were shown in video that was part of the New Super Mario Bros. U E3 2012 edition of Iwata Asks. These were most likely used to make tiling easier for the level designers.

Castle Cannon Background Tiles

Tiles Normal Map
NSMBU Castle Cannon Background.png
NSMBU Castle Cannon Background Normal Map.png

The normal map for the tiles that go behind the cannon at the end of every castle are missing a column of normal map imagery. However, the stone in the top-right corner of the normal map actually displays a nonexistent left edge, implying that the cannon was one tile wider when the normal map was rendered. This also explains why this graphic includes one column of tiles on the left side of the cannon but two on the right.

Early Castle Staircase Column

Tiles Normal Map
NSMBU Castle Stairs Column.png
NSMBU Castle Stairs Column Normal Map.png

The column supporting the staircase leading to the cannon at the end of every castle has a normal map showing an earlier version of itself. It was originally much thinner, almost coming to a point in multiple places. It also had a capital not seen in the final version.

Shipwreck Normal Map Oddities

Tiles Normal Map
NSMBU Shipwreck Bottom Left.png

NSMBU Shipwreck Bottom Right.png
NSMBU Shipwreck Bottom Left Normal Map.png

NSMBU Shipwreck Bottom Right Normal Map.png

Some tiles for the bottom-left and bottom-right corner of structures in 3-Ghost House (Haunted Shipwreck) have normal maps that don't match the graphics. The normal map for the bottom-left corner even includes a normal map for a climbable pole, suggesting that the climbable poles in that course were once tileset objects (the final game uses sprites instead).

Hidden Toad House Collisions Tiles

NSMBU NSLU 3-25 Hidden Tiles.png

Three invisible tiles provide collisions for the mushroom platforms in 1-Up Blast toad houses. The red rectangle image above is hidden in their transparent texture.

Unused Level Icons

NSMBU-Pepper-Level-Icon.png NSMBU-Star-Level-Icon.png

These pepper and star level icons are both unused. Icons like these are used for secret courses which act as shortcuts between worlds.

There are also two unused duplicates of the Peach's Castle level icon.

Purple Exclamation Mark Button

NSMBU-Exclamation-Mark-Button-Icon.png

This purple exclamation mark button icon is stored with the level icons, though it doesn't look like a level icon. It's hard to guess what it might have been used for.

Unused Yoshi Colors

Hmmm...
To do:
Upload the textures.

The game still contains the textures for Blue/Pink/Yellow Yoshis from New Super Mario Bros. Wii. They're loaded along with the green ones, but never used. The Yoshi Egg model doesn't contain those colors, however.

World Map Overview

NSMBU - worldMap.png

A hastily slapped together map overview can be found in CS_WorldMap.bfres/worldMap.gtx. This was likely a placeholder graphic until a proper world map overview was created. Despite its rough appearance, the map has all of the features of the final map, including between-world shortcuts and Superstar Road. However, the entirety of Superstar Road is present on this map, while in the actual game, Superstar Road is in a completely different map and only a small star with an extra-dimensional portal is present in that area.


(Source: Hiccup)

Unused Backgrounds

NSMBU Unused BG Nohara.png

What appears to be the standard grassland background from New Super Mario Bros. Wii is found in the distant_view folder under the name dv_Nohara.szs.

NSMBU Unused BG SabakuChika.png

dv_SabakuChika.szs ("desert cave") also appears to be copied from New Super Mario Bros. Wii. The name implies that it was intended to be yellow.

NSMBU Unused BG Shiro.png

dv_Shiro.szs ("castle") is a port of the New Super Mario Bros. Wii castle background. The used castle background in this game (dv_Siro) uses a slightly different romanization, which may be why this one was forgotten about.

NSMB Unused BG Cloud Boss.png

dv_KumoUe_Boss.szs ("Cloud Boss") Probably a version for the fight against a boss.

Configuration files exist for seven more unused backgrounds. They cannot be rendered, because they lack 3D models.

Name Probable use
dv_Isiyama This would be an older version of dv_Isiyama_2 and dv_Isiyama_3, the main backgrounds used for Acorn Plains.
dv_Kougen This would be similar to the dv_Siro_Kougen and dv_End_Kougen backgrounds used in 7-Castle, which feature swirling purple clouds.
dv_Kougen_Isiyama This would be some combination of purple clouds and Acorn Plains.
dv_KumoUe_Setugen This would be snowy ("setugen") clouds ("KumoUe") (most likely at night, to match the rest of the snow levels in the game).
dv_Obake_3 This would be a third ghost house background.
dv_Tika_tate This would be an older version of the used background dv_Tika_tate2 (a dark cave wall).
m_Kumonaka This is the only background file in the distant_view folder without the "dv_" prefix. dv_Kumonaka is a used cloud background.

Unused Level Features

Lone pipe

Located below all of the zones of Layer Cake Desert Tower is a lone green sideways pipe.

Unused flagpole area

Aren't I the least interesting thing ever?

Located on the far right of the level canvas in Sparkling Waters-3 is an unused flagpole area. A zone wasn't created for it; it's just a bunch of tiles. In the final level, the flagpole is in the main zone.

Early layout of Frosted Glacier Ghost House

Area 3 of 4-20.szs contains an earlier layout for the level. None of the entrances in Areas 1 or 2 link to them, meaning they're all unused.

Zone 1

Early Final
GO THERE
Follow the Blue Coin Road

The early area is longer than the final, meaning it was slightly more difficult to clear. The blue coin arrow was changed into a blue coin trail. There was also no fake door at the end. The real doors both lead to Zone 2.

Zone 2

Early Final
Too many choices
Neo, choose the upper door or the lower door

This area was completely redesigned; early one contains four doors, three of which are enterable; the top-left and bottom-right ones lead to Zone 8, top right to Zone 3. The final zone has only two enterable doors, which also lead to those two zones, but you have to wait for moving bricks to line up with a specific door.

Zone 3

Early Final
Too many coin arrows
Introducing the concept of death

Another completely redesigned area; the early one guides you to doors using blue coin arrows and blue coin arches. The visible door leads to Zone 4, while the hidden one to Zone 7. The final one is made more dangerous by including a bottomless bit and excluding the arrows. The visible door leads to Zone 6, while the hidden one to Zone 4.

Zone 4

Early Final
Too easy
More like it

The early Zone 4 simply makes you choose between more doors; middle-bottom leads to Zone 5, middle-top and rightmost-bottom both to Zone 9 (albeit different doors). In the final one, a moving row of bricks is introduced as a way of accessing one of the doors. Furthermore, one of the choices is hidden behind some foreground tiles. The choices are also more varied; the leftmost door leads to Zone 9, the middle-top to Zone 11, the hidden one to Zone 5.

Zone 5

Early Final
Jump, jump, perhaps walljump
Jump, jump, cannot walljump

The early version of the zone has some boxes on the sides, which the final lacks. Also, at the bottom, there's an invisible Fire Flower powerup box in addition to the Starman one. The door at the top isn't hidden behind foreground tiles and leads to Zone 6 in the early version of the level, and Zone 7 in the final version. The door under that one leads to the normal flagpole area in both versions. The final level features a door at the bottom of the stage, meant to serve as a way of resetting the room (leads to Zone 10). However, this room is not beatable due to forced back-and-forth auto-scrolling, which prevents the player from moving the camera upward. (Here, as in the final version of this zone, the player would need to use the camera-following brick blocks to reach the exit door at the top of the zone.) Attempting to enter the door results in the player being brought back to the same room.

Zone 6

Early Final
You win the secret exit!
You win a redo of the entire level!

Both of these are very similar, but the entrance door and one of tiles was slightly moved in the final. What's more interesting, is that the early level leads to the Secret Exit room (or, at least, probably did, as entrance 2 doesn't exist in it anymore), while the final goes back to Zone 3.

Zone 7

Early Final
Too easy
Perfect

Also very similar, the final version makes you walljump to get the 3rd Star Coin of the level, while the early version is a bit easier and just gives it to you. Both lead to the Secret Exit room.

Zone 8

Early Final
Illusion of choice
Go back!

Aside from minor aesthetic changes, the final version doesn't have an exit door and makes you go back the way you came, which leads to Zone 2. The early one has an extra door, but they still both go to Zone 2.

Zone 9

Early Final
Let's confuse you further
Let's help you a bit

The final version just has some coins, the early has some extra doors, one in an secluded area. All doors lead to Zone 4.

The early layout doesn't have Zones 10 or 11.

Lone tile

5-7.sarc has one of the basic tileset objects placed under the zone.

Arrows

Whee

Located above the zone in 6-5.sarc are arrows indicating areas where player leaves to and returns from the level's secret area.

Background strip

6-6.sarc has a long row of background tiles placed under the zone.

Forgotten entrances

6-22.sarc, which is the second tower in Rock Candy Mines has two ID 0 entrances located out of the zone. In addition, the entrance used as the level's starting point is also ID 0.

Early credits stage

Huh?

4-25.sarc contains an early layout for the credits stage, seemingly meant to occur inside as opposed to final game's outdoor setting. It crashes due to sprite 556 not working in the game. It's notable that the background music is assigned to ID 3, which is the Underwater theme.

Unfinished water level

Huh?

11-2.sarc, which is the second coin battle stage, contains an unfinished water area; while the overall shape is complete, the tiling and object placement is not. Outside of the zone is a tile scratch pad. This area does not fit at all with the rest of the coin battle level, and is probably a leftover from when someone used this stage's file; this is strangely consistent with New Super Mario Bros. Wii, which had the same thing happen with this same stage. The stage also introduces the vertical Dragoneel, which functions perfectly. The underwater background renders incorrectly above a certain height because it wasn't designed for vertical levels such as this.

Early coin battle

Early Final
Slightly different
Different slightly

11-6.sarc has an early version of itself in Area 3. The early version features less coins and some improperly tiled pillars.

Another early coin battle

11-8.sarc features an early version of itself in Area 2. Zone 1 is the same between versions.

Zone 2

Early Final
Easy money
Slightly harder money

The early version of this level is a bit longer and uses no multiplayer-only passthrough coins; the final version balances gameplay by replacing roughly half of the regular coins with them. Final version also has more platforms that prevent falling to death as the stage keeps scrolling, and some of the pipes were moved upward by a few tiles relative to the early layout. It's also notable that the old version used the small blocks and tile gods rather than the bigger Question and Brick blocks in the final version. The early version also has Yoshi Eggs inside of the Question Blocks. The early version also has munchers.

Zone 3

Early Final
NSMBU-11-8Zone3Early.png
NSMBU-11-8Zone3Final.png

Similarly to Zone 2, the final has more multiplayer coins. A seemingly-useless sprite area was removed, the coins were moved upward to make them easier to collect when jumping for the top of the flagpole, and a red Koopa Troopa was added.

Credits oddity

The level used for the credits stage has its ground object extended far, far beyond the zone. This is useless, as the credits consist of only one screen.

Entrance area

I don't know what to do in this level. SCRAPPED.

18-1.sarc, located between many of the challenge levels seems to feature nothing more but an unfinished entrance area that just has a pipe that spawns Goombas infinitely with a timer of 100 seconds.

Early World 1 Climbing Stage

13-2.sarc originally instantly crashes the game by default when loaded, and it needs changes to load. It is missing the required Pa0 tileset in its archive, and the tileset string in the level file doesn't exist. The level also has objects placed that aren't in the tileset. After the level is fixed and loads, it's a bland walljumping level with green Paratroopas flying up and down. The level is very short and beatable.

Early Koopa Shell Following Level

13-4.sarc contains a level that is similar to the final level in the original name, named Follow That Shell! which uses a similar gimmick of following a koopa shell to the finish. It uses seesaw mushrooms to get more coins, tile gods, and uses the unused sprite 329 which is a bolt-controlled metal platform used to raise the koopa shell.

Colored Block Level

13-7.sarc contains a level that really serves no true purpose. It uses wooden colored blocks and is quite difficult if the player doesn't have a powerup. There are sections with fuzzies on lines (except for one frozen fuzzy that wasn't assigned to a line controller), Pipe Venus Fire Traps, Giant Goombas, Huckit crabs, and many coins. The level is beatable.1

Early Lakitu Challenge Level

16-1.sarc seems to be a very early challenge level. It contains 2 moving platforms that move left and right, a Koopa, 4 brick blocks, and a Lakitu that drops Spinies. It's not very clear what the challenge was, because it's not possible to have more than 5 Spinies dropped from a single Lakitu, and using the Koopa shell to get a 1-Up is impossible.

Early Fuzzy Cliffs

16-2.sarc seems to be an early version of Fuzzy Cliffs. It is more of a vertical level, but by default the player spawns and dies. This is due to the level having a duplicate entrance 0 outside of the zone, causing the game to spawn the player through the entrance outside the zone. Deleting this zone lets the player play the level. Sadly by default, there is no way to progress from the start without the use of specific powerups, due to there being no platforms to stand on. There is a goal flagpole in the level, as well.

Unused Behaviours

  • Munchers can be walked on by Yoshi without harm, like in Super Mario World.
  • Medium Goombas and Large Goombas split into smaller Goombas (like when stomped on), if Yoshi tries to eat them.
(Source: Kinnay)

Uncompiled Shaders

Download.png Download Uncompiled Shaders in Eset_Cafe.ptcl
File: EsetCafeCode.ptcl_extracted_code.zip (14 KB) (info)

Found in data/content/CAFE/effect/Eset_Cafe.ptcl are six source code files for GL shaders. Three are .vsh files and three are .fsh files.

UsrShader.fsh is notable because its filename does not begin with "eft_" like the others. It also lacks the standard copyright header comment found in the others, and instead includes its own unique header comment.

All of the files are encoded in S-JIS.

Internal Name

New Super Mario Bros. U is named cafe_redpro internally. "Cafe" is the Wii U's code name, and the "red" prefix is used for other Mario games, namely Super Mario 3D World and Super Mario 3D Land.

Revisional Differences

Nintendo has released three updates for this game. Each adds a little marker indicating the current version on the bottom right corner of the screen.

  • 1.1.0 - Adds Miiverse functionality into the game.
  • 1.2.0 - Released March 16, 2013, changes which Miiverse community the game uses; in-game posts were moved to a separate one.
  • 1.3.0 - Released June 20, 2013, adds Wii U Pro Controller functionality into the game and an option to download New Super Luigi U.