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Remembering Super Mario Bros.

Remembering Super Mario Bros. (Page 2)

by Justin Berube, Becky Hollada, Kimberly Keller, John Rairdin, and Matt West - September 9, 2015, 9:19 am EDT

Even more Super Mario Bros. memories from our staff.

Matt West, Associate Editor

I was born at the tail end of the 1980s, and so I don't remember the launch of Super Mario Bros. By the time I was old enough to remember playing video games, Nintendo had already released two sequels to the original masterpiece. That said, I do recall several nights sitting with my Dad while we played classic NES games. Super Mario Bros. was one of the games that we played, and I remember being unable to make it very far into the game at all the first few times I tired it. Despite my lack of gaming skills, I continued to play this game countless times over the years, and in various versions too.

We got this game again in 1993 when Super Mario All-Stars hit the SNES, and then again on Game Boy Color when it was re-released as Super Mario Bros. Deluxe. I've also purchased it on three different Virtual Consoles. There is just something about this game that makes me play it over and over, like some kind of video game version of comfort food. Not one time in the last two decades have I ever grown tired of a quick Super Mario Bros. play-through. Other great games have come and gone in my life, but this one sticks around because it is the definition of a classic in my mind.

I mentioned above that the first times I played Super Mario Bros. I wasn't very good. As time has gone on, Super Mario Bros., more than any other game, has allowed me to track my skill level. Going from dying several times in World 1-1 as a toddler, to now where I am able to speed through all eight worlds in less than twenty minutes with little to no deaths is fun to look back on. The fact that this game is turning 30 years old this year is insane to me because even my earliest memories of it feel fresh. Super Mario Bros. has aged well and is just as much the work of genius today that it was back then. It launched one of my favorite game series which led to countless sequels, RPGs, Sports, and Party game spinoffs that have provided me with thousands of hours of joy. Happy birthday, Super Mario Bros. Here's to many more.

Kimberly Keller, Associate Editor

I'm pretty sure the first time I played Super Mario Bros. was on my TI-89 calculator back in elementary school. We all had to get one and someone had Mario on theirs and was transferring it to everyone's calculators during class. The whole class got so into it our teacher decided to postpone the lesson for a Mario competition to see who could get the farthest. I immediately wanted a Game Boy Color after that.

John Rairdin, Associate Editor

I grew up with the SNES so my first experience with the original Super Mario Bros. was on Super Mario All-Stars. Looking back it's incredible how well that game could hold up to the later entries in the series with just some updated sprites. I remember spending hours jumping at random spots hoping to find hidden blocks and other secrets. Most of all, I remember the music. It's safe to say this was the start of me purchasing game soundtracks.

Becky Hollada, Associate Editor

My sisters did me the service of killing our family's NES before I developed the motor skills to play it, so my first time playing Super Mario Bros. was at my cousin's house. It came second to playing Duck Hunt however. After I decided that game was the best thing ever, I thought I would give Super Mario Bros. a try and hoped it would be just as good. Lucky for me, it was. Unlucky for me, I was really bad at it and I had to ride my sisters' coat tails if I wanted to get anywhere in the game. It also sucked that I could only play once every few months. I didn't end up beating it until years later and it was probably the best feeling ever.



Ian SaneSeptember 09, 2015

My memory of SMB is going to be kind of a downer.  To me it was "that old game".  I didn't have an NES when I was a kid and didn't really become aware of it until probably about 1987 or 88 through kids at school.  At that point many sidescrolling games that were clearly inspired by SMB had come out and made it look outdated in comparison (for example SMB has one boss that repeats while all the then current games had multiple unique bosses).  I missed that impact of seeing SMB as a big jump up from one screen high score games.  The idea of multiple scrolling levels was just what videogames were so I didn't see it as some big innovation.  SMB also was a pack-in which us kids saw as a sign of inferiority (basically if you still played Mario 1 it meant your parents were too cheap/poor to buy you another game) and it had the ultimate kiss of death - the old blocky style graphics on the cover.  We associated that with old ass games like Excitebike and Donkey Kong.  Once games like Zelda and Mega Man had come out we didn't bother with those "old" games (yeah when you're six a game that is like 18 months old seems ancient).

So any real appreciation I have for the game is in retrospect as I became more familiar with videogame history and realized SMB's massive importance.  Of course I would still rather play SMB3 or SMW.

NintendadSeptember 09, 2015

Being older than most of you guys, I have very vivid memories of this game. I got it for Christmas 1987 when I was 15 years old. While we had a Colecovision and Atari, this was the first time I had ever played an NES, and it blew me away. I didn't ask for it for Christmas and barely even knew about it. I just got lucky and this game turned me instantly into a Nintendo fan that nearly 30 years later has not faded.

I remember the bright, colorful, crisp graphics upon turning the game on. Remember, we were mostly used to Atari before this. The first time I jumped up and hit a block to see it explode into smaller pieces was amazing. I actually remember feeling stressed when I kept hitting a coin block and coins kept coming out. Do I keep getting coins while the timer ticks or should I just go? Relief set in when the game made the decision for me! The first time someone accidentally ducked while standing on a pipe left us all in astonishment when we discovered a room below. My dad would later yell at me when I made my little brother duck on all the pipes. Dad thought I was just messing with him since he saw nothing happening!

World 2-2, the first water level was incredibly difficult. At the end of the day my uncle had made it the farthest, level 2-4. We went to sleep thinking that castle was impossible!  Over the coming months I spent tons of hours on that game. I eventually got to where I could beat it playing through all 32 levels in about an hour. Once I even went through all 32 without dying! To me the game was perfect and I'd say it still holds up today better than most of the games of that period.

AlphaBeardSeptember 10, 2015

Just want to say that I had Super Mario Deluxe as well and to this day I have never beaten that game, all because of that final Hammer bro. I guess I will have to go back and finish it now I have it on 3DS.

azekeSeptember 11, 2015

Because of me growing up in post Soviet republic, we didn't had access to videogames until 90s.

I had some limited console experience with Dendy -- Famicom knock-off with a very limited library. No Zelda, no Mega Man, but some games here and there did made it here through pirates -- Contra, Adventure Island 1, DuckTales 1+2, Rescue Rangers 1+2, TMNT -- mostly it was either very early Famicom stuff or very late NES games, mostly licensed.

SMB was one of them. I remember beating it one night as a kid and being really proud of it. It was the first videogame i ever finished. The only other game i finished back then was Felix The Cat.

It took me yet around 20 years to get back to gaming through PC and then discover that console gaming still exists and not just a stupid dodgy little thing from my childhood.

Because SMB1 was the only Mario game i knew as a kid, it is the most iconic for me. It also made transition to New Super Mario Bros series smooth, because i wasn't expecting anything having never played 3 and World at the time and physics felt like just like SMB1.

ShyGuySeptember 11, 2015


I first played Super Mario Bros in the arcade, on a machine like the picture. The NES wasn't quite ubiquitous in the mid 80s just yet, and most of the local kids got their first taste putting in quarters. You know how games like GTA are praised for being huge and having tons of stuff to do? That was how Super Mario Bros was viewed. There were multiple levels! There were secrets in the levels! In 1-1 you could choose to go down the pipe to get coins or progress through the main game! It felt massive and deep back then compared to Asteroids and Space Invaders.

When I first touched the NES gamepad at a friend's house to play it I didn't like the gamepad. It felt too sensitive. I missed the arcade sticks of the Atari 2600.

I saved up my allowance money and bought an NES in, I think, 1987. I played through and finally saved the princess. Then I practiced until I could beat the game without any warp pipes. I think my final accomplishment was going into minus world.

One of the best, most influential, timeless games ever. 10/10

ThePermSeptember 11, 2015

We got out NES in '89. From our perspective it was a new thing. Though, I'd known about it for a bit.

My first experience with NES and Super Mario Bros was I went over to my friend David's house in Valdosta Ga. He showed my brother and I the game. I remember the little blue mushroom guys and the "powder boxes" that had mushrooms in it. They didn't let me play. It was fun to watch. I probably say it for the first time when I was 3 or 4 and got it when I was 5

Mop it upSeptember 17, 2015

We got our NES Action Set in Christmas of 1989 when I was 3 years of age, so it was the set that came with two controllers, the gun, and the SMB/DH combo cartridge. Oddly, I don't remember us paying much attention to Duck Hunt, so I don't think it's something that any of us really cared about. I didn't actually play myself though, and instead preferred to watch my older brother play, he was then 7. I'm pretty sure it wasn't until a while later, I think I was 5, that I actually tried it myself. When I finally did though, I knew most of the game from watching others play, and so I ended up making it all the way through and beating the game. In fact, I was the first one of us to do so.

Growing up, I continued to enjoy watching other people play games, and it was also a good way to learn some things about games, since different people approach games differently. That interest lessened as time went on, but I still don't mind it today.

It's interesting when I hear stories like Ian Sane's, because that was not my experience at all. We viewed systems before NES as being old and lame, but even in 1989 and 1990 kids still thought that the NES was awesome, regardless of when games were released on it. It wasn't until a few years into the 16-bit generation and kids started getting SNES and Genesis systems that we started viewing the NES as old, though I don't recall anyone thinking it was lame and still liked some of the games. We weren't ingrates and were very appreciative of the things we had.

Ian SaneSeptember 17, 2015

Quote from: Mop

It's interesting when I hear stories like Ian Sane's, because that was not my experience at all. We viewed systems before NES as being old and lame, but even in 1989 and 1990 kids still thought that the NES was awesome, regardless of when games were released on it. It wasn't until a few years into the 16-bit generation and kids started getting SNES and Genesis systems that we started viewing the NES as old, though I don't recall anyone thinking it was lame and still liked some of the games. We weren't ingrates and were very appreciative of the things we had.

Oh the NES was still seen as awesome until the SNES came out (though some people were getting on board the Genesis bandwagon and I knew one guy with a TurboGrafx-16).  It's the old style blocky graphics boxart games like SMB, Mario Bros, Duck Hunt, Donkey Kong that were seen as "old".  Like those games were passe and you were to play newer games like SMB2, Zelda, Castlevania, Mega Man, Ninja Gaiden, etc.

Although I grew out of it probably around grade 9, the general vibe I got from my classmates through elementary and high school was that anything older than two years was fucking old.  Hell I remember around 1996 a guy telling me that the Smashing Pumpkins song Bullet with Butterfly Wings was old while 1979 was not.  I pointed out they were on the SAME ALBUM.  His response "nah, 1979 is on disc 2".  Always remember that minors are STUPID.

LucarioSeptember 17, 2015

I grew up with a SNES as a kid in the 2000's mind you.
With SMB on all-stars after 3 it was my second most played game lost levels was too hard and 2 sucked and my copy of the game didn't have world. (I remember liking MK but looking back now at how bad it was)
with the Playstation I remember Crash Bandicoot (holy shit that was fun!) and being a Dragon with Spyro.

and then a got the giant ass DS
with Pokémon Ruby (my introduction) and MK DS and Mario party DS my first Mario party exp.
and then one of my favourite video game characters Lucario in Pokémon Diamond.

a PS2 was my second console (when the PS3 was coming out) remember spyro and tombraider not much else.

and then the motherload my own gaming laptop in 2009.
with the introduction of Steam I felt like the man with so many good and amazing games at my fingertips I soon found my love of Borderlands, Bioshock, counter-strike, team fortress, Half-life the list goes on.

the 3ds was my next console with MK7 (kinda disappointing)
but heaps of amazing games since (Kid Icarus and Fire Emblem for the win!)

and the new 3ds with xenoblade is the latest console.

But all this can be linked back to All-stars and this game (along with DK country) made me love hard platformers and gaming in general.

So, Thank you Nintendo.

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