Right, on this day thirty years ago in Nippon the quite legendary Super Mario Bros. was released on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Everyone knows it. The little plumber Mario, the music, the mushrooms, the 1 Ups, the noise when Mario jumps, and the seemingly perpetual “But our Princess is in another castle!” statement.
We remember as kids (Professional Moron first played the game circa 1988 – we couldn’t complete it back then) being stunned after taking out the monster boss at the end of the castle levels, only to be yet again told: “Thank you Mario! But our Princess is in another castle!” by the diminutive Toad. The game seemed to last forever! Which is a great thing, because it’s brilliant.
Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario Bros. is simple but effective. Princess Toadstool has been kidnapped by Bowser, you must go and rescue her – cue the opportunity to traverse many weird and wonderful levels.
For the record, there are eight worlds in all, so the “But our Princess” line only occurs seven times, but when you’re a dimwitted kid you note these things.
Considering how far video games have come in that time, it’s pretty remarkable Nintendo’s title is still as good as it is. Back then it was instantly revolutionary, and its impact on the industry can’t be underestimated – it set the quality bar outstandingly high, and laid down the foundations for what makes a classic game.
Super Mario Bros., along with the NES, went on to revitalise the flagging games industry after the market crashed in 1983 (at a time when Atari dominated proceedings but failed to draft in enough innovation to maintain punter interest), with developer Shigeru Miyamoto’s games defining a generation.
30 years on and there have been 17 Mario adventures altogether, and we’d lay down the claim the absolute best is the Wii U’s glorious Super Mario 3D World. But as for the title that started it all, it’s since become something of a speedrunner’s dream, with the title dragged under the five-minute completion mark by some seriously manic gamers.
Regardless, Mario’s games have created endless landmark moments and have continuously shifted the industry in exciting new directions. Without Mario, simply put, video games simply wouldn’t be what they are today.
The occasion hasn’t gone unnoticed by Nintendo, of course, as Super Mario Maker was released on Friday.
It allows fans from across the world to design levels, with the Wii U’s GamePad, in the style of Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, and New Super Mario Bros. – this is a lot of Super. Check out the review tomorrow, ladies and gentlemen, and for now Happy Birthday!