Super Mario Bros. 2

I always thought that Super Mario Bros. 2 was a little bit of an anomaly. The game is a complete departure from from the original game, and it seemed only tangentially related. I would later figure out the real story behind it. But I guess that doesn’t really matter if you’re not a scholar of obscure video game minutiae.

So what you end up with is a game where you have to guide Mario, Luigi, Toad, or the Princess on a quest to save the realm of Subcon from a giant frog named Wart. They all have varying abilities: Luigi jumps real high, Toad picks things up real fast, and so on. You pick up whatever’s growing on the ground or one of your enemies and you chuck it at the remaining enemies.


I guess I really liked this game because it was so different than its predecessor. I would play the game almost to death trying to figure out its general strangeness.

For example: hidden throughout the stages are potions that, when thrown, create a door. You go through the door and you have a few seconds of access to a shadowy version of the screen you were on. In that mystery realm any vegetables growing out of the ground are mysteriously coins that you use for the Extra Life Machine at the end of the level. But there are also two locations on each level where a mushroom is placed. Get the mushroom and you get an extra hit point. Sometimes the mushrooms were hidden near the potions, but sometimes not. It took more lots of trial and error to find them. And, the feeling of elation when I did find a particularly craftily-hidden goody was pretty intense.

And I only found one game-breaking bug that manifested very late in the game. It’s possible to get irreparably stuck about 80% of the way through the game, requiring a reset. Thankfully this was fixed in some rereleases, so I don’t even worry about that any more. I just worry about killing a frog by throwing turnips in his open mouth.

3 Responses to “Super Mario Bros. 2”

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  2. [...] and then try to make a Super Mario game, you’re either going to end up with something like Super Mario Bros. 2 or Super Mario [...]

  3. [...] few years after the completely out-of-place Super Mario Bros. 2, we were treated to a new, proper, Mario game. One that felt more like the original game, which was [...]

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