Super Mario Bros. - On this day
One title is unavoidable when we talk about the most important video games in history. Super Mario Bros. for the NES console came out in 1985 and was considered the savior of the video game industry after the infamous market crash that occurred two years earlier. Mario and his brother Luigi, with their imaginative design, gave players back hope in video games and proved how this medium can offer a quality kind of entertainment.
Super Mario Bros. for many it was their first acquaintance with an Italian plumber, but it wasn’t really the first game in the series. It was a sequel to the arcade game Mario Bros., although Nintendo did not initially consider a sequel but a completely new game. The idea was to make a game that would continue the tradition of "athletic" gameplay, which included running and jumping. It was only in the post-prototype phase that it was decided that Mario would be the main character, given that the previous Mario Bros. sold well.
The story of Super Mario Bros. was not told within the game but through the textual description that came in the package. So we find out that Mario has set out to save Princess Peach who is the only one who can save the mushroom kingdom from the tribe of turtles who practice black magic. If that reminds you a bit of Zelda, it’s no coincidence - SMB and Zelda were developed in parallel.
The very idea of the mushroom as an object that offers improvement is based on Japanese folklore and stories about magical mushrooms. It is also interesting that Nintendo has consciously decided not to immediately put the player in the role of "Super" Maria, but will give him a sense of achievement and progress with the mechanics of mushroom picking.
Super Mario Bros. was also remembered as one of the first games during the development of which the division of labor was practiced. Until the mid-1980s, games were developed by very small teams, and it was not uncommon for only one person to be in charge of developing the entire game. Super Mario Bros. there was a seven-member team led by Shigeru Miyamoto and each member was in charge of a specific aspect of the game - someone designed the controls, someone the levels, someone the music. Such a division of labor in the video game industry has become standard and is still practiced today.
There are many things that Super Mario Bros. was a pioneer in the video game industry, and one such was access to music made for the game. The practice until then was that the music for the game was always made after the game was already over. However, in the case of SMB, the music was done in parallel with the game, and composer Koji Kondo wanted it to accompany the player. At first, this is not noticed, but the tempo of the music in SMB fits perfectly with the speed of the game. In moments when players are asked to react faster, the music suggests it at a faster pace.
It is also specific how Super Mario Bros. there isn’t really what today’s games call a tutorial and the player is already in the first three seconds of playing the basics of the gameplay. The first level of SMB is purposefully designed with this in mind and is often taken as a fundamental example of good gameplay design as it allows the player to gradually and naturally understand the mechanics and rules of the game.
About the success of Super Mario Bros., you don’t need to spend a lot of words. The game has sold more than 40 million copies, which was the best sales result for Nintendo games for 20 years. Super Mario Bros. he opened the door to a series without which not a single Nintendo console was left. It's simple - if you can't play Super Maria on the console, then it's not a Nintendo device.
Today Super Mario Bros. you can play on several Nintendo platforms. From 2018, the game became available on the current Nintendo Switch console as part of the subscription to the Nintendo Online service. If you want to have it in your possession, the best way to play it would be to get the NES Classic Edition console that this game comes bundled with. The price also includes the original editions of Super Mario Bros., which are sold at auctions in an unopened state for more than a million dollars.