Mario Bros.: Classic Arcade Game Video, History & Game Play Overview


Created in 1983 by Nintendo, Mario Bros. was the first action packed, platform themed arcade game of a franchise that would go on to make history. Nearly 20 sequels and spin-off titles were created thanks to the original Mario Bros. title. Designed by Shigeru Miyamoto, Mario Bros., many others involved in the creation of several 1980s classic arcade titles also played a hand in this game.

The main character in Mario Bros. actually made his first appearance in Donkey Kong. This title was also created by Shigeru Miyamoto. Mario’s brother and sidekick, Luigi, appears for the first time in this game.

Mario Bros. was produced by Gunpei Yokoi, while Hirokazu is credited for the soundtrack. After becoming a smash success at the arcades, the first home port for Mario Bros. was made available on the Super Famicon in Japan. Shortly thereafter, the title premiered to home audiences in the US on the Nintendo Entertainment System. All ports for Mario Bros. were strictly licensed by Nintendo, appearing on every home gaming system up until the Nintendo Wii. This arcade game was such a hit that Nintendo was able to thrive at a time when other veterans in the industry were collapsing.

After the original title came Super Mario Bros. Next came Super Mario Bros. 2 and 3, then Super Mario Land. Super Mario World debuted in 1991, and Super Mario Land 2 came out the next year. A total of 19 sequels and spin-offs to the original have been created in the last 25 years. Currently, the most recent title in the Mario Bros. series was released by Nintendo in 2012, titled New Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo Wii.

Two copycat versions of the game, named Pest Place and Masao, came out soon after Mario Bros. They both experienced limited success. Mario Bros. supports one and two player game play.


Game Play Overview

Mario Bros. is set in the sewer system of NYC, where a group of mutant creatures have been plaguing citizens. Mario and Luigi, two brothers who also work together as plumbers, have been sent on a mission to exterminate the sewers and find the origins of these pesky beings. Neither Mario nor Luigi have any weapons, but they can jump and kick.

There are 35 stages in the game, and there are also a preset number of enemies on each level. Mario and Luigi take turns eliminating monsters in order to progress to the next stage. Enemies consist of tortoises, crabs and fighterflies. If either Luigi or Mario runs into an enemy, they will lose a life. In order to defeat them, they must be flipped over.

Once an enemy has been flipped over, run and kick them so that they completely disappear. Some enemies require multiple hits before they are knocked over. In addition to standard opponents, there are also multiple secondary enemies and bonus items in Mario Bros. On some stages where the temperature drops, deadly icicles hang from the ceilings. Fireballs are generated whenever a player takes an extended amount of time to complete a level. These fireballs form on the outer edges of the screen, then fly in the direction of Mario and Luigi.

Slipices make navigating platforms and pipes more difficult by creating unstable surfaces. If players do not take them out right away, they can sabotage an entire stage. Coins appear on both regular stages and bonus rounds. Collecting all coins that appear will give you an extra point bonus.

Whenever an enemy has been flipped over, 10 points are added to the player’s score. Killing a crab, tortoise or fighterfly earns players 800 points. When two enemies are defeated consecutively, 1600 points will be awarded. Blue fireballs are only worth 200 points, but red fireballs are valued at 1,000 points each. Slipices are worth 500 points each.

Special Features

On each level, the top platform holds a block etched with the word ‘POW.’ When hit, the POW block will deliver a decisive blow to all enemies currently on that level. Enemies that have been turned over on their backs will be eliminated, while opponents still in good health will be incapacitated. The POW block feature should not be abused as players can only use it a limited number of times.

Bonus rounds where 10 coins are placed on various platforms and ledges every few levels. These bonus rounds are timed, with a predetermined maximum number of points that players can earn. If you collect the maximum number of coins, you will be rewarded with 8,000 points.


POW – The POW block is present at the top of every board, on each level. After the POW block has been hit three times, it will disappear until after the next bonus stage has been completed.

Icicles – Icicles only appear on certain levels, but they are always dangerous. Mario and Luigi can prevent icicles from forming altogether by paying close attention to water than collects on the ceiling, then jumping up and hitting it.

Crabs – This is one of the main enemy groups that plagues the sewers in Mario Bros. Crabs have to be hit several times to be killed.

Tortoises – Tortoises are slow. They are also considered to be one of the easiest opponents to take out.

Mario – Mario works as a team with his brother to destroy all foreign critters walking around in the sewers of NYC.

Fighterflies – Unlike the other two main enemy groups, fighterflies are capable of jumping. Mario and Luigi have to wait until fighterflies touch the ground in order to hit or knock them over.

Slipices – Slipices make pipes difficult to walk or run over for Mario and Luigi. If destroyed early on, they are harmless.

Fireballs – These secondary enemies only appear when it takes longer than usual for a player to complete a level. They can be hit and kicked just like other enemies.

Luigi – Luigi only appears in the game when two player mode is selected. He works as Mario’s partner and sidekick.

How to Play Mario Bros.

Only the left, right and action buttons are used in Mario Bros. When two player mode is activated, Mario is always the first character played. After the first player loses a turn, Luigi is controlled by the second player.

Each stage starts with the player placed directly beneath the POW block. All enemies originate at the top of the screen, coming out of one of the pipes that are on the left and right sides of the screen. Normally, the platforms remain solid, allowing Mario, Luigi and enemies to walk around unhindered. However, when Luigi or Mario jump up and hit a platform with their heads, the platform will momentarily become pliable.

Since touching an enemy directly causes players to lose a life, the only way to hit them is to attack from below. Jumping up and bumping platforms when an enemy is walking above will effectively knock them over. After a few moments, overturned enemies will get back onto their feet if they are not hit for a second or third time.

Every few levels, players are presented with a bonus stage. The round ends when the clock runs out, or when all 10 coins are collected.

Level 1
On the first level, there are only three tortoises for Mario and Luigi to defeat. Blue and red fireballs will only appear if you take too long to complete the stage. After all 35 levels of Mario Bros. have been completed, the game is won.

Level 2
There are six tortoises on stage two. They will come out of the pipes fairly quickly, making it harder for players to avoid running into their foes.

Level 3
This is the first bonus stage in Mario Bros. Players have 20 seconds in order to collect the 10 coins that are placed on random platforms.

Level 4
Crabs make their first appearance on level four. Mario and Luigi must battle four crabs in total to make it to the next stage.

Level 5
There are two tortoises and four crabs on level six. If you linger long enough, you will encounter fireballs that move at a slightly faster rate than before.

Level 6
Four fighterflies make up the enemies within level six. Remember that these opponents require more hits than tortoises or crabs.

Level 7
Mario and Luigi must battle two crabs and four fighterflies to make it off of this board.

Level 8
Level eight is another bonus round. All bonus rounds will be exactly the same, with 10 coins to collect within 20 seconds.

Level 9
Stage nine includes four tortoises and a single fighterfly. Additionally, slipices appear on this level.

Level 10
Players must kill off four crabs and a fighterfly to complete level 10.

Level 11
Expect slipices to appear regularly on this stage. In between looking for pesky slipices, a total of two fighterflies and four crabs will be making the rounds.

Level 12
At this point, it will be imperative for players to quickly and effectively complete each level. Fireballs will begin moving at an increased speed, and more secondary enemies will walk across platforms. During stage 12, a fighterfly and four tortoises will generate from the pipes at the top of the screen.

Level 13
One fighterfly and four crabs are standard on level 13. Fireballs and slipices can also appear.

Level 14
Jump and hit the two fighterflies and four crabs to successfully complete stage 14.

Level 15
Level 15 is the third bonus round in Mario Bros.

Level 16
This is the first level where all four secondary enemies will appear. Blue and red fireballs, icicles and slipices will randomly generate every few seconds. Take out the fighterfly and four tortoises as they walk through the sewers to advance to the next level.

Level 17
All secondary enemies, four crabs and a fighterfly make up stage 17.

Level 18
The Mario Bros. must destroy four crabs and two fighterflies on level 18.

Level 19
Fireballs will move much faster across the screen on this board. Keep an eye out for these swift secondary enemies while squashing the four tortoises and single fighterfly that appear on this level.

Level 20
Level 20 features a fighterfly and four crabs.

Level 21
Two fighterflies and four crabs make up stage 21.

Level 22
Luigi and Mario have the chance to earn extra points during this bonus round.

Level 23
All secondary enemies will still be present on stage 23, but fireballs will be moving at the fastest speed possible. Although they are secondary enemies, they should now be considered to be the most dangerous threat in the game. When players are not busy avoiding fireballs, they should focus on the four tortoises and the single fighterfly.

Level 24
Stage 24 has four crabs and a single fighterfly.

Level 25
All four minor enemies are present, along with two fighterflies and four crabs.

Level 26
Four tortoises and a fighterfly are the enemies that Mario and Luigi have to defeat to progress past level 26.

Level 27
Kill all four crabs and the fighterfly to beat stage 27.

Level 28
Level 28 consists of two fighterflies and four crabs.

Level 29
This is another bonus round. No enemies will be present.

Level 30
Fireballs will still be moving at the maximum speed on level 30. In addition, there will be two red fireballs to defeat instead of the usual one. There are four tortoises and one fighterfly on this level.

Level 31
Defeat the fighterfly and the four crabs on level 31 to make it to the next stage in Mario Bros.

Level 32
Even though there are only a few more enemies on this stage than lower levels, the speed of your opponents will be alarming. As soon as a fighterfly or a crab has been defeated, expect to be attacked by a fireball. Jump often in order to kill the four crabs and two fighterflies that navigate the platforms.

Level 33
Four tortoises, two red fireballs, one blue fireball, slipices, icicles and a fighterfly will make it difficult for players to complete level 33.

Level 34
Stage 34 features red and blue fireballs that continue to move at max speed. Eliminate the fighterfly as well as four crabs in order to make it to the last stage in the game.

Level 35
Many people feel that level 35 is the most difficult stage in Mario Bros. However, the last few levels are almost equally as hard. There will be four crabs and two fighterflies, three fireballs and numerous slipices and icicles. Beat them all and you will have the chance to record your high score.

Hints and Tips
– Killing multiple enemies will give you the chance to double the amount of points that you earn, but it can also expose you to twice as much danger. Opt to take out your opponents one by one whenever you start to feel threatened.

– Save the POW block special feature when you start to run low on lives. Remember that you only get three hits in between each bonus stage.


We hope you enjoyed the video and the information shared on this classic arcade game.

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