How To Buy and Play Super Mario Brothers

Super Mario Brothers (or Super Mario Bros.) is largely considered the most influential video game of all time.  Cited as the best-selling video game ever, it was one of the first popular games for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and quickly gained popularity.  Today it is undoubtedly a classic.

  1. Buying Super Mario Bros. Some classic NES games are difficult to find.  Super Mario Bros. will vary in availability depending on your location.  Look for it at a local used game shop -- calling ahead in advance to make sure that they carry NES games would be wise. 

    If you can't find Super Mario Bros. in your area, try looking online (eBay is a good bet).  The game will probably range in price from $5-$20.

  2. Know the characters.  The first playable character is Mario, a fat Italian plumber who wears red overalls.  The second playable character is Luigi, who wears green overalls.  In later games he was made taller and skinnier than Mario, but in this game they appear relatively the same.  Both characters undergo color changes when they acquire Fire Power.  The goal of the game is to save the Princess, who will later be known as Princess Peach.  Mario's nemesis here is Bowser, a hulking, spiky turtle king.  Other enemies include Goombas (mushrooms), Koopa Troopas (turtle soldiers), and the Hammer Bros (turtles who throw hammers at you).
  3. Know the items.  Mario and Luigi can collect the Mushroom (causing them to grow larger), the Fire Flower (giving them fire power), and the 1-Up mushroom (giving them an extra life).
  4. Understand the gameplay.  Super Mario Bros. is a sidescroller.  It has a choice of one or two players.  If one-player mode is chosen, the operable character will be Mario.  If two-player mode is chosen, the first controller will control Mario, and the second controller will control Luigi.  Players will take turns running their characters through the level until they lose a life, when play will switch to the other controller.  Human players do not play the same game, share lives, or pick up where the other has left off; they take turns. 

    The directional pad is used to move left and right.  The A button is used to jump.  The B button launches a (bouncing) fireball when the player has obtained a Fire Flower. When held down, the B button causes Mario or Luigi to run faster (they gain momentum).  The bouncing fireball will dispatch most enemies.  To defeat Goombas, Mario (or Luigi) must jump on their heads to squash them flat (with the A Button).  The Hammer Bros. can also be defeated by head-jumping, though it is easier to run past them.  To defeat Koopa Troopas, Mario must jump on their heads, causing them to retract into their shells, and then jump on them again, causing them to slide over the ground. They continue to slide until they encounter something, bounce off and slide the other way.  Watch out!

    More advanced enemies will be encountered (such as the Bullet Heads, who will never die, only freezing for a few moments), but it is up to you to discover their strategies!

    A player will progress through the levels of the Mushroom Kingdom, which are counted in the format world-level (ex. 1-4).  There are eight worlds with four levels in each.

The last step is to play the game!  Practice makes perfect, and the experience of playing what might be the most influential game of all time will no doubt be enlightening.


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