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Proto:Super Mario Bros. 2 (NES)

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This page contains changes which are not marked for translation.

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Other languages:
Deutsch • ‎English • ‎français • ‎한국어
This page details one or more prototype versions of Super Mario Bros. 2 (NES).
Download.png Download Super Mario Bros. 2 (Prototype)
File: Super Mario Bros. 2 (USA) (Prototype).nes (128 KB) (info)

A prototype of the American Super Mario Bros. 2 was bought in cartridge form on eBay and afterwards dumped. It features some interesting changes done during the conversion from Doki Doki Panic to the final Super Mario Bros. 2.

General Differences

To do:
Implement in page.
  • The lamp item from Doki Doki Panic is still present. This was changed to a potion in the final game.
  • The "idle" Phanto sprite is not implemented yet. All Phantos seen in key rooms are static background objects; the enemy sprite is not actually spawned until you leave the room. (The implementation of this sprite in the final version led to a somewhat amusing oversight: re-entering a key room while still holding the key will activate the idle sprite again, causing two Phantos to chase you.)
  • The cartridge contains an MMC1 mapper chip, 128KB of PRG ROM, and 8KB of both WRAM and CHR RAM, a configuration that was commonly used for FDS-to-cartridge conversions. The final game's hardware was upgraded to an MMC3, 128KB of both PRG ROM and CHR ROM, and 8KB of WRAM; this allowed for greater variety in the graphics, animations for objects that were previously static, and the cartoon-like ending sequence. Load times between levels were also shortened, as graphics no longer had to be copied to VRAM.
  • The sound of Birdo shooting eggs or fire starts earlier, immediately as the sprite changes.
  • There is no mushroom on Subspace near the rocket in 4-1.
  • Shaking of the rocket is heavier.
  • Conveyor belt is different from the final version.
  • Wart takes 4 hits instead of 6.


You cannot run in this build of the game. But if you die, you get taken back to the character select screen and you can continue from where they died. Normally, you have to stick with the character you started with and keep going.

(Source: The Mushroom Kingdom)

Debugging Features

There are some debugging features enabled in the prototype to make testing easier:

  • You can select which world to start in by pressing A a certain amount of times on the title screen. If you don't press A, it defaults to World 1 (obviously), but by pressing A a number of times corresponding to a certain world, you can start on any world you want.

However, there's no limit on how often you can press A, leading to the ability to start on invalid worlds (much like the so-called "Minus World" in Super Mario Bros.). These worlds may crash the game or load another world with corrupted graphics. In addition, it may cause the graphics in the character select screen to become messed up. If one manages to complete the level, it will load the next level from whatever world was loaded. Also, pressing A while it displays the backstory does not increase the world, which limits the number of worlds you can easily access through this method.

  • If you press Select during gameplay, you get 15 HP. The life counter becomes a glitchy mess, but it will still work. Note that if you collect a life heart in this state, the life counter will actually overflow. Interestingly, this debug feature was shown in a commercial for the game!
  • You can continue an infinite number of times.

(Source: The Mushroom Kingdom)


The underground theme is a remix of the one from Super Mario Bros. with loud drum samples, which would later be remade in Super Mario Bros. 3. In the final, it was replaced with a spruced-up version of the Doki Doki Panic underground theme.

The invincibility theme uses noise-based drums (like Super Mario Bros.), rather than the drum samples of the final.

(Source: The Mushroom Kingdom)


The title screen uses a different, rather monotonous yellowish palette in the prototype which was changed to the final's red/blue palette. Also, the story has slightly different wording in the prototype, most notably that Mario heard a faint voice as opposed to just a voice.

Proto Final
Smb2 title proto.png Super Mario Bros. 2-title.png
Smb2 story1 proto.png SMB2-Story1-Final.png
Smb2 story2 proto.png SMB2-Story2-Final.png

(Source: The Mushroom Kingdom)

Character Select

Prototype Final
Smb2 ellipses proto.png Smb2 ellipses final.png

The Character Select screen has an ellipsis between "EXTRA LIFE" and the amount of lives, which was removed in the final for some reason, but added back in Super Mario All-Stars. The prototype is also missing the inside edges of the curtains, though the graphics are present in the ROM. Finally, you start off with 19 lives, which is more than likely for testing purposes.

World Intro

Prototype Final
Smb2 world7 proto.png Smb2 world7 final.png

The "WORLD X-X" text was positioned slightly differently in the prototype, and World 7 has no scenery shown at all.

The Rocket

Rocket shakes differently.

Bonus Chance

Prototype Final
Smb2 bonus proto.png Smb2 bonus final.png

The bonus screen is a completely bland green screen similar to that in Doki Doki Panic. The final uses the prototype's title screen palette with a black background, which itself got reused as the Super Mario USA title screen. The slots also use the original item graphics, instead of edited ones.

Mushroom Blocks

Prototype Final
Smb2 mblocks proto.png Smb2 mblocks final.png

In the prototype, the Mushroom Blocks of World 5 are the same as those in World 1. The final added spots to the World 5 blocks to differentiate them.

World 7 Vegetable

Prototype Final
Smb2 veggie proto.png Smb2 veggie final.png

The tall, lean World 7 vegetable from Doki Doki Panic was changed to a short, squat design for the final.


Prototype Final
SMB2proto-7-1.png SMB2final-7-1.png

In the third part of 7-1, there was an additional cloud platform to the left of the tall pillar and ladder, guarded by a grey Snifit. It was possible to leap from the Snifit's head and pass over the top of the pillar, thus bypassing a significant portion of the area. This was somewhat fixed by removing the platform and moving the Snifit onto the short pillar to the left, though Luigi and the Princess can still take the shortcut.


Prototype Final
Smb2 subcon proto.png Smb2 subcon final.png

When you release the Subcons from the jar, a Thank You message appears on the screen in the prototype (as it did in Doki Doki Panic). This message was removed in the final.

The Subcon release scene is glitchy if you're Luigi or Toad. If you're Luigi, he'll jump inside the jar and pull out the plug. If you're Toad, he'll jump across the screen multiple times, pull out the plug in mid-air, and then continue to fly across the screen.

Prototype Final
Smb2 ending proto.png Smb2 ending final.png

Instead of a contribution score, you get prize money based on how often you died – the less you died, the more money you got. The table goes as follows:

Deaths Prize Money
0-3 $10,000,000
4 $1,000,000
5-9 $500,000
10-12 $100,000
13-18 $50,000
19+ $10,000

The prize money tiles remain in the final, but go unused.

Prototype Final
Smb2 theend proto.png Smb2 theend final.png

The game ends on a simple "THE END" screen. The Mario scene and remixed Doki Doki Panic intro music are totally absent.

Sprite Changes

Some changes were done to the sprites. But, it seems that for the Character Select screen, that the Prototype sprites were used in the final.


Prototype Final
Smb2 marios1.png Smb2 marios2.png
Prototype Final
Smb2 mariob1.png Smb2 mariob2.png
Prototype Final
Smb2 luigis1.png Smb2 luigis2.png
Prototype Final
Smb2 luigib1.png Smb2 luigib2.png
Prototype Final
Smb2 princesss1.png Smb2 princesss2.png
Prototype Final
Smb2 princessb1.png Smb2 princessb2.png

Mario, Luigi, and Peach got some white eyeballs for the final.


Prototype Final
SMB2-LuigiSmall-Proto.png SMB2-LuigiSmall-Final.png

Small Luigi's front foot is less round in the final.


Prototype Final
SMB2-ToadSmall-Proto.png SMB2-ToadSmall-Final.png

Small Toad's feet were seemingly removed in the final.


Prototype Final
SMB2-PeachForward-Proto.png SMB2-PeachForward-Final.png

Peach's hair has been altered slightly to be less in her face in the final.

Prototype Final
SMB2-PeachCrouch-Proto.png SMB2-PeachCrouch-Final.png

Peach's face was redone for the final. Her face was almost unrecognizable in-game.

(Source: The Mushroom Kingdom)

Hold Positions

Proto Final
SMB2-Bigmario proto.png SMB2-Bigmario final.png
SMB2-Littlemario proto.png SMB2-Littlemario final.png
SMB2-Bigluigi proto.png SMB2-Bigluigi final.png
SMB2-Littleluigi proto.png SMB2-Littleluigi final.png
SMB2-Bigtoad proto.png SMB2-Bigtoad final.png
SMB2-Littletoad proto.png SMB2-Littletoad final.png
SMB2-Bigpeach proto.png SMB2-Bigpeach final.png
SMB2-Littlepeach proto.png SMB2-Littlepeach final.png

Besides the usual tweaks to the characters, Toad's position of holding a vegetable was tweaked to suit their sprite better.