Catalogue of Arcade Emulation Software - the Absolute Reference

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Mario Bros. (US, Revision F)

Mario Bros. (c) 03/1983 Nintendo.

Mario Brothers is a superb, single-screen platform game in which the legendary "Mario Brothers", Mario and Luigi, must try to rid each level of a number of pests that have infested the waterworks : Shellcreepers (turtles), Sidesteppers (crabs that need to be hit twice) and Fighterflies (flies, that can only be attacked when they touch a platform).

Players can jump upwards to hit the platform above them, which will 'flip' any enemies on the above platform onto their backs. The prone enemies can then be kicked into the water to remove them. A 'POW' button also appears on a number of screen; this can be 'butted' by a player, causing all on-screen enemies to flip onto their backs; as well as destroying any enemy fireballs that may be around. Each POW can only be used a maximum of three times.

As well as the game's enemies, players are also hampered by the huge amount of inertia that comes into play when controlling Mario or Luigi. This is due to the low degree of traction that exists between the Mario brothers and the platforms. On later levels, ice appears on the platforms reducing the amount of traction even further. As the game progresses, water drops hang below the platforms and freeze into deadly icicles, which will eventually break off and fall.


Main CPU : Z80 (@ 3.072 Mhz)

Sound CPU : I8039 (@ 730 Khz)

Sound Chips : DAC (@ 730 Khz), Samples (@ 730 Khz)

Screen orientation : Horizontal

Video resolution : 256 x 224 pixels

Screen refresh : 60.00 Hz

Palette colors : 256

Players : 2

Control : 2-way joystick (LEFT, RIGHT)

Buttons : 1 (JUMP)


The US version was released on 05/1983 (see Updates for more information).

Shigeru Miyamoto was inspired to make "Mario Bros." a two-player game after seeing Williams' 1982 platform game, "Joust". This would in turn lead to the creation of Mario's brother, Luigi.

Mario Brothers was the first platform game designed entirely around its eponymous hero, Mario, and his brother, Luigi. Although the plumber had, of course, featured in the first and third games in the legendary "Donkey Kong" series. The game's simple-yet-involving gameplay only hinted at the greatness that was to follow for both Mario and Nintendo itself.

The Mario character would soon become Nintendo's mascot; and while the plumber's arcade outing would be few and far between, Mario would prove to be at the cornerstone of the massive critical and commercial success Nintendo would subsequently enjoy. The "Mario Bros." arcade game also saw the introduction of Mario's brother, Luigi; named after a pizzeria that was situated near the then-new Washington headquarters of Nintendo of America, called "Mario and Luigi's".

Despite being released at the time of the infamous videogame industry collapse of 1983; when smaller arcade companies, such as Centuri, (producers of "Pleiades", "Phoenix" and "Time Pilot") simply went out of business; and even industry giants such as Atari, Konami and Taito saw a drastic reduction in arcade revenue; "Mario Bros." was a huge success and would provide a firm foundation for Nintendo to make a move into the home console market for which they are now known.

The musical introduction at the beginning of the game is the first movement of Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.

Perry Rodgers holds the official record for this game with 3, 481, 550 points.

Two bootlegs of this game are known as "Masao" and "Pest Place".

A Mario Bros. units appears in the 1986 movie 'Over the Top'.


The Japanese version features an extra life every 30000 points, compared with only one free life per game in the English version.

The Japanese version features three all-Shellcreeper rounds before the first bonus round, instead of two. In the US version, you have to kick off 3 Shellcreepers in the first round, and 6 in the second. In the Japanese version, you have to take care of 3 Shellcreepers in the first round, 4 in the second, and 6 in the third.


Scoring in this game is relatively simple. It is based on how many critters you knock off the ledges :

Shellcreeper : 800 points

Sidestepper : 800 points

Fighterfly : 800 points

The above scores are for knocking only one critter off the ledge. If you knock off two in a row, you get 1,600 points. Three nets you 2400 points while knocking four or more off in a row garners you 3200 points.

You also get points for things other then the above :

Slipice : 500 points

Coin : 800 points

Red Fireball : 1000 points

Blue Fireball : 200 points

In addition to getting points for the above, you also can get points during the bonus rounds :

1) You get 800 points x the number of coins you gather.

2) If you get all ten coins, you get 5000 points in the first bonus round and 8000 points for each bonus round thereafter.


* When you start the game, Mario and/or Luigi will be in the middle almost under the POW button. Your job is to go after the critters entering from the upper left or right pipe. Learn how to jump not only up, but also sideways. The platforms don't have a lot of room for jumping straight up. You need to learn how to jump sideways so you can quickly make it to the next platform. This is both for running and standing still.

* Know how each of the critters moves and what their behavior is. You can use this knowledge to your advantage. For example, an easy way to take care of Sidesteppers is as follows (assume that critter is moving left. Do the opposite of what is stated below if the critter is moving right) :

1) When they are just to the right of Mario or Luigi, jump up and hit the platform. This will make the Sidestepper mad and it will move left again.

2) Right when it passes over, hit it again. This will launch it up and make it drop to the next platform for easy pickings.

* As often as possible, try to kill animals in groups. Any animal killed is worth 800 points (plus the 800 point bonus coin). If you kill two animals in a short time (approx 1 second), the first is still only worth 800, but the second animal is worth 1600 points, not just 800. For three animals, the points are 800-1600-2400. For four animals, the points are 800-1600-2400-3200. The point for a killed animal is never more than 3200. So if you were to kill 5 at once, the fourth and fifth animal would both be worth 3200.

* Also remember, that unlike the fireballs, the critters can wrap around the screen. So if one disappears off the left edge, be prepared for it to reappear on the right edge.

* Use the POW button conservatively. You only get three uses in the game, so plan those uses wisely. The best time to use the POW is when a lot of critters are on the screen at one time. In addition, make sure they are close to the bottom when you flip them over or you may not have time to knock them off the upper platforms.

* After you flip a critter over, you have about 5 seconds to knock it off the platform. If you fail to do this, it will change color and speed up.

* The last critter, with the exception of the Fighterfly, in a round will automatically go to its fastest pace.

* Learn how the critters move. If they bump into each other or a coin, they will reverse direction. You can work this to your advantage by trapping some critters between two flipped over critters. Again, be quick or they will recover and be faster.

* Coins can be collected by either grabbing them or by hitting them from under the platform they are traveling on.

* Things such as the Fighterfly, Orange Fireball, and Blue Fireball must be hit when they are in contact with the platform. This can make these things a challenge especially when there are other things harassing you.

* Speaking of the fireballs, some players hunt them for extra points. There are some things to keep in mind :

1)The more times you knock off the Orange Fireball, the faster it gets.

2) You can escape off either edge to escape the fireballs. They cannot wrap around the screen.

3) As you get into the higher rounds, the Blue Fireballs appear much quicker so you must be ready to get out of their way.

4) Only one Blue Fireball will be active at a time, however, when one ends the other can immediately begin.

* If you get killed, you will be placed on a platform above the first gap. You have 10 seconds of invincibility before the platform disappears and puts you in the thick of things. Plan your re-entry carefully.

* The Bonus Rounds are pretty easy once you get a pattern down. You will have 20 seconds to get the ten bonus coins.

* The later rounds become challenging because not only do you have critters to deal with, icicles will fall down from the upper platform and pipes to add to the hazards you already have to deal with. Using the POW will knock them down before they do any damage.

* When you are playing as two players, both of your characters are on the screen at the same time. It is up to the players as to whether they wish to cooperate or turn it into a death match.


1. Mario Bros. (1983)

2. Super Mario Bros. (1985, Nintendo Famicom)

3. Super Mario Bros. 2 (1986, Nintendo Famicom)

4. Super Mario Bros. 2 (1988, Nintendo Entertainment System) : remake of Yumekojo Doki Doki Panic (1987, Nintendo Famicom)

5. Super Mario Bros. 3 (1988, Nintendo Famicom)

6. Super Mario Land (1989, Nintendo Game Boy)

7. Super Mario World (1991, Nintendo Super Famicom)

8. Super Mario Land 2 - 6 Golden Coins (1992, Nintendo Game Boy)

9. Super Mario Land 3 - Wario Land (1993, Nintendo Game Boy)

10. Mario Clash (1995, Nintendo Virtual Boy)

11. Yoshi's Island - Super Mario World 2 (1995, Nintendo Super Famicom)

12. Super Mario Land 4 (1997, Nintendo Game Boy)

13. Super Mario 64 (1997, Nintendo 64)

14. Yoshi's Story (1998, Nintendo 64)

15. Super Mario Sunshine (2002, Nintendo Gamecube)

16. Super Mario 64 DS (2005, Nintendo Dual Screen)

17. New Super Mario Bros (2006, Nintendo Dual Screen)

18. Super Mario Galaxy (2007, Nintendo Wii)


Designed and programmed by : Shigeru Miyamoto

Music by : Hirokazu Tanaka

Produced by : Gunpei Yokoi


* Consoles :

Atari 2600 (1983)

Atari 5200 (1983)

Atari XEGS

Nintendo Famicom (1986)

Nintendo Famicom Disk (1988, "Kaettekita Mario Bros.")

Atari 7800 (1988)

Nintendo Famicom ("Super Mario Bros. 3") : appears as the 2-Player Battle Mode.

Nintendo Game Boy Advance (2001, "Super Mario Advance")

Nintendo Game Boy Advance (2002, "Super Mario Advance 2 - Super Mario World")

Nintendo Game Boy Advance (2003, "Super Mario Advance 3")

* Computers :

Atari 800 (1983)

Apple II (1984)

Commodore C64 (1984)

Amstrad CPC (1987)


F.A.Q. by Kevin Butler A.K.A. War Doc