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User:Hiccup/Prerelease:Super Mario Bros.

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This page details prerelease information and/or media for Super Mario Bros..

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Early Iteration

The development of Super Mario Bros. began with a 16x32 pixel square used as a placeholder, which couldn't jump at all and moved about a single screen. After taking notice of the sales figures for Mario Bros., Tezuka proposed the idea of using Mario for the game to Miyamoto, which was accepted. Visible checkpoints were considered in development.

The game was initially far more focused on shooting than platforming. Mario could carry weapons (with a rifle and a "beam gun" mentioned as being usable), and the control scheme was different; the up arrow of the Control Pad was used to jump, while pressing A used whatever item Mario carried or kicked when empty-handed.

The game was initially divided between ground and sky segments, which had Mario riding a rocket (or a cloud in later stages of development) and shooting enemies. The sky-based bonus round of the final game are apparently a remnant of this idea.

Shigeru Miyamoto initially wanted Mario to ride a dinosaur-like creature in the game, but technical limitations of the NES prevented the concept from being implemented. This idea eventually evolved into Yoshi, who was able to be introduced in Super Mario World for the more powerful Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

The development sketches included in Super Mario All-Stars Limited Edition show that the game initially had screen-by-screen scrolling (similar to the later-released Super Mario Bros. Special) rather than continuous scrolling as in the final version.

There were Early builds of super Mario bros.

Ending theme

Koji Kondo originally composed the ending theme with an AABA structure, but, since the song would take up too much memory, the "B" portion was cut. The original version of the ending theme was later used for the Famicom Disk System version of Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels.

Iwata Asks: New Super Mario Bros. Wii


  • The player was originally a Super Mario sized square that could move in a wavy manner and couldn't jump.
  • The environment was just one screen.
  • At the time, this was groundbreaking.
  • Mario was chosen because of the consistently good sales of the Mario Bros. game and Miyamoto's desire to use the character in all his video games.


(This is near the start of the development process, but possibly a later build than described previously):

  • There was just the blue sky with white clouds and the ground. Nakago was surprised that the Famicom could produce such vivid graphics.
  • At first they thought that the levels would need to last about a minute, so they thought they would need sixty screens. But Miyamoto said "We're going to have all sorts of things going on in between, so twenty screens should be enough for a single level.".
  • Most levels in the final game is about 12 screens long. The longest level in the game is about 32 screens.
  • Miyamoto didn't have any level plans initially, but was confidant in what they would do next.
  • The levels were drawn out on huge pieces of graph paper, then the data was painstakingly entered by hand.
  • Any level modifications were a headache. They were often having to make changes to levels every day.
  • After the data was burned to the ROM, Tezuka and Miyamoto would play through the level and decide if anything needed to be changed.
  • They didn't start with the first worlds, generally starting around World 3 or 5.
  • When designing levels, they thought about the various outcomes the players actions would create.
  • World 1-1 was made towards the end, to cater for beginners.
  • They were going to scrap sky levels because they couldn't make levels "where Mario would climb on clouds." because of memory constraints. But they revived the idea with vines.
  • They used coins to show safe areas where the player could jump.
  • A lot of trial-and-error and tricks were needed to fit they game within the limitations of the hardware available at the time.
  • The clouds and bushes use the graphics, but with a different pallete. Some objects were made symmetrical, so they could be flipped and use half the memory, instead of having unique tiles for each half.


  • The most common enemy in the game, the Goomba was implemented after the Koopa Troopa. They were created because the developers thought that the Koopa was too hard for such a common enemy. This is evident in the final games code as Goombas are sprite number 6.