Super Mario Bros. 2 is a platformer game released for the Family Computer Disk System in 1988, and is a direct sequel to the original Super Mario Bros., but was not released to American audiences at the time since 94% of a 250-member test group found the game too difficult. It was eventually released in North America as Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels.
In Super Mario Bros. 2, a race of beings known as the Subcon come to Mario in a dream, asking him to help rid their world of the tyrant Wart (a Bowser-like foe). Although the story focuses around Mario, players can also choose to play the game as Luigi, Toad, or Princess Toadstool. The game consists of six worlds containing three levels each, followed by the final seventh world, which has only two stages.
Each character differs in their strengths and weaknesses. Mario, as usual, is the most well-rounded character, adequately skilled in running, jumping, and plucking vegetables but not especially proficient in any of those areas; Luigi's jump possesses the greatest height of the four; Toad is the fastest runner and vegetable plucker but has a weak jump; and the Princess is the slowest vegetable plucker but has a "lunar jump" which allows her to remain suspended in the air for a short time if the player holds down the A button. This floating ability was later resurrected for her character in Super Smash Bros. Melee.
Because the game's graphic design, game mechanics, and core character sets differ so vastly from those of Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. 3, it is often viewed as the "black sheep" of the NES trilogy, with many gamers exhibiting a love/hate attitude toward it. However, some of the enemies that at first only appeared in this game later became mainstays of the Mario universe, most notably the Bob-omb, the Shy Guy, and Birdo. Wart also made a cameo some years later in The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening.
The original North American version of Super Mario Bros. 2 was later released in Japan as Super Mario Bros. USA.
- Shy Guy
As the game did not originate as a Mario series game, many of the items have changed since the original Super Mario Bros. This includes many the use of turnips and other sort of vegetables.
Each level is lined with vegetables which the player could grab out of the ground by its leaves and pick the item up over his or her head and toss it at enemies.
This foe is a walking bomb which the player can pick up and toss at another enemy or at certain blocks to access paths to another part of the level.
Usually carries a baby pigeon which must be attacked, a flying carpet can be directed by the player in order to reach secret areas or even just to advance in the level. It is used on Worlds 1-2, 3-1, and 5-3.
When the player finds one of these it makes a door appear which takes him or her to a reversed twilight version of the visible area the player currently is in. This area contains coins, and special mushrooms which improves the player's HP. This potion does not work over ladders.
Warp Pots often take the player to a room with an enemy that the player must defeat to obtain points or to have the enemy thrown at another enemy.
Originating from the original Mario Bros., the effects of this item is similar to how its effects worked in Mario Bros.; it topples over any enemies in sight and causes the screen to shake. This time, it topples over all the enemies and defeats them.
Adds another gauge to the player's heart meter.
Only accessible in subspace, it warps the player to another world in the game. It is quite rare though.
The original Japanese version of Super Mario Bros. 2 is known in America as Super Mario Bros. The Lost Levels. The Japanese version was directed by Takashi Tezuka and produced by Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Mario and The Legend of Zelda. Visually, it looked like Super Mario Bros. with the same objective but with a higher level of difficulty. Miyamoto did not participate as much in the production of The Lost Levels as he did in Super Mario Bros.. The North American Super Mario Bros. 2 was originally released in North America in October 1988, the same month Super Mario Bros. 3 was released in Japan.
Nintendo of America disliked the Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2, which they found to be frustratingly difficult and otherwise little more than a modification of Super Mario Bros.. As they did not want to risk the franchise's popularity, they canceled its stateside release and looked for an alternative. They found one in Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic (Dream Factory: Heart-Pounding Panic), a game Miyamoto actually put more time on than The Lost Levels.
Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic was a platforming game that followed family of four, each with different abilities, on a quest to rescue kidnapped kids in a strange fantasy land. Mario, Luigi, Peach and Toad were built on Brother, Mama, Sister and Papa's models, respectively, marking the first time that Mario and Luigi had noticeably different heights. Some elements from the Mario universe already existed in Doki Doki Panic, such as Starmen, coin and jumping sound effects, the POW blocks and warp zones. Also, the game's soundtrack was already composed by Kōji Kondō, the original Super Mario composer, and upon the conversion needed only a few alterations such as removing most of the Arabian elements, replacing them with original Mario tunes.
In 1993, Nintendo released an enhanced Super_Nintendo_Entertainment_System compilation titled Super Mario All-Stars. It included all of the Super Mario Bros. games released for the Nintendo Entertainment System and Family Computer. The version of Super Mario Bros. 2 included in the compilation had improved graphics and sound to match the SNES's 16-bit gameplay capabilities, as well as minor alterations in some collision mechanics.
In March-April 1996, Nintendo (in collaboration with the St.GIGA satellite radio station) released an ura or gaiden-version of the game for the Satellaview system featuring graphical enhancements similar to Super Mario All-Stars. This new game was entitled BS Super Mario USA Power Challenge (ＢＳスーパーマリオＵＳＡ パワーチャレンジ, and like all Satellaview titles, it was released episodically in a number of weekly volumes. BS Super Mario USA Power Challenge was never released outside of Japan and as with all other Satellaview titles it has never been re-released as a stand-alone title. The game exists today solely in ROM format and is traded online by Satellaview emulation enthusiasts.
In 2001, Super Mario Bros. 2 received another enhanced remake as part of Super Mario Advance (which also contained a remake of Mario Bros.). Super Mario Advance was developed by Nintendo_Research & Development 2, and was the first Mario title for the Game Boy Advance as well for the system itself. The Super Mario Advance version of Super Mario Bros. 2 includes several new features such as the addition of the enemy Robirdo (a robotic Birdo acting as the boss of world three), the addition of the Yoshi Challenge (in which players may revisit stages to search for Yoshi eggs), and an all-new point-scoring system (a first for the game). Graphical and audio enhancements were also added in the form of enlarged sprites, multiple hit combos, digital voice acting, and such minor stylistic and aesthetic changes as an altered default health-meter level, boss-order, backgrounds, the size of hearts, Princess Toadstool being renamed to the now-standard "Princess Peach," and the inclusion of a chime to announce that Starmen were also added.
Upon release, Super Mario Bros. 2 was highly successful, and it is the third highest-selling game ever released on the Nintendo Entertainment System, with ten million copies sold. Nintendo Power listed Super Mario Bros. 2 as the eighth best Nintendo Entertainment System video game, mentioning that in spite of not being originally a Mario game, it was able to stand on its own merits and its unique takes on the series' trademark gameplay. Super Mario Bros. 2 was ranked 108th out of 200 of the "Greatest Games of Their Time" by Electronic Gaming Monthly.
When it was re-released in 2001 as Super Mario Advance it received generally positive reviews, garnering an aggregate score of 84% on Metacritic. One reviewer concluded "all nostalgia and historical influence aside, Super Mario Bros. 2 is still a game worth playing on the merits of its gameplay alone", also saying that "the only reason you may not want to pick it up is if ... you already own it in another form." However, GameSpot thought that Super Mario Bros. 3 or Super Mario World would have been a better choice for a launch game considering their respective popularity (both titles were eventually also remade as part of the Super Mario Advance series). Conversely, IGN praised the choice, calling it "one of the most polished and creative platformers of the era". The game was named one of the NES best games ever by IGN, saying that the game offers greater diversity in graphics and gameplay than the original, making it a great bridge game between the other Mario titles for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The game was ranked as the ninth worst game in the Mario game series by ScrewAttack; they said that while it was a good game, it felt like a lie because they weren't playing the real Super Mario Bros. 2. They also named the music played in the battle between the final boss Wart the eighth best of the 8-Bit Boss Themes.
Many elements in Super Mario Bros. 2 stayed for the game's sequels and related games in the series. The game added the ability to pick up and toss enemies and objects, a move that has become part of Mario's permanent repertoire, appearing in other Mario games including Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine and New Super Mario Bros. Other elements of Super Mario Bros. 2 have been assimilated into the greater Mario universe as well -– Shy Guys, Birdo, and Bob-ombs are notable examples. This is the first game in which Princess Peach is a playable character; she has gone on to star in other Mario games like Super Princess Peach. This is also the first game where Luigi received the appearance he has today (notably, he is taller than Mario).