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Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels

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Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels is a 1986 side-scrolling, action-platform game developed and published by Nintendo as the first sequel to their 1985 bestseller Super Mario Bros The games are similar in style and gameplay, apart from a steep increase in difficulty Like the original, Mario or Luigi venture to rescue the Princess from Bowser Unlike the original, the game has no two-player option and Luigi is differentiated from his twin plumber brother with reduced ground friction and increased jump height The Lost Levels also introduces setbacks such as poison mushroom power-ups, counterproductive level warps, and mid-air wind gusts The game has 32 levels across eight worlds, and five bonus worlds

The Lost Levels was first released in Japan for the Famicom Disk System as Super Mario Bros 2 on June 3, 1986, following the success of its predecessor It was developed by Nintendo R&D4—the team led by Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto—and designed for players who had mastered the original Nintendo of America deemed the title too difficult for its North American audience and instead chose another game as the region's Super Mario Bros 2: a retrofitted version of the Japanese Doki Doki Panic North America first experienced The Lost Levels, as the Japanese sequel became known, in the 1993 Super Nintendo Entertainment System compilation Super Mario All-Stars It was later ported to the Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, and Virtual Console Wii, Nintendo 3DS, and Wii U

The title is known for its intense difficulty, which contributes to its reputation as a black sheep in the franchise Reviewers viewed The Lost Levels as an extension of the original release, especially its difficulty progression Journalists appreciated the game's challenge when spectating speedruns, and recognized the game as a precursor to the franchise's subculture in which fans create and share nearly impossible levels This sequel gave Luigi his first character traits and introduced the poison mushroom item, which would be used throughout the Mario franchise The Lost Levels was the most popular game on the Disk System, for which it sold about 25 million copies It is remembered among the most difficult games by Nintendo and in the video game medium, and among the least important games in the Mario series

Contents

  • 1 Gameplay
  • 2 Development
  • 3 Rereleases
  • 4 Reception and legacy
  • 5 Notes
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links

Gameplay

Screenshot of gameplay from the 1986 Japanese release, showing a poison mushroom

The Lost Levels is a side-scrolling, platformer action game similar in style and gameplay to the original 1985 Super Mario Bros, save for an increase in difficulty As in the original, Mario or Luigi ventures to rescue the Princess from Bowser The player jumps between platforms, avoids enemy and inanimate obstacles, finds hidden secrets such as warp zones and vertical vines, and collects power-ups like the mushroom which makes Mario grow, the Fire Flower which lets Mario throw fireballs, and the Invincibility Star Unlike the original, there is no two-player mode but at the title screen, the player chooses between the twin plumbers, who are differentiated for the first time: Luigi, designed for skilled players, has less ground friction and higher jump height, while Mario is faster

The game continues the difficulty progression from the end of its predecessor The Lost Levels introduces irritants including poison mushrooms, level warps that set the player farther back in the game, and wind gusts that redirect the player's course mid-air The poison mushroom, in particular, works as an anti-mushroom, shrinking or killing the player-character Some of the game's levels require "split-second" precision and others require the player to jump on invisible blocks There were also some graphical changes from its predecessor, though their soundtracks are identical After each boss fight, Toad tells Mario that "our princess is in another castle" The main game has 32 levels across eight worlds and five bonus worlds A hidden World 9 is accessible if the player does not use a warp zone Bonus worlds A through D are accessible when the player plays through the game eight times, for a total of 52 levels

Development

The game's director, designer, and composer pictured together in 2015: Takashi Tezuka, Shigeru Miyamoto, and Koji Kondo

The original Super Mario Bros was released in North America in October 1985 Within four months, it had sold tens of millions of Nintendo Entertainment System Famicom in Japan video game consoles and signaled the end of the 1983 video game crash When developing a version of the game for Nintendo's coin-operated arcade machine, the VS System, the team experimented with new, challenging level designs They enjoyed these new levels, and thought that Super Mario devotees would too Shigeru Miyamoto, who created the Mario franchise and directed Super Mario Bros, no longer had time to design games by himself, given his responsibilities leading Nintendo's R&D4 division and their work on The Legend of Zelda Thus, the Super Mario sequel was delegated to its predecessor's assistant director, Takashi Tezuka, as his directorial debut He worked with Miyamoto and the R&D4 team to develop a sequel based on the same underlying technology, including some levels directly from Vs Super Mario Bros

The Lost Levels, originally released in Japan as Super Mario Bros 2 on June 3, 1986, was similar in style to Super Mario Bros but much more difficult in gameplay—"nails-from-diamonds hard", as Jon Irwin described it in his book on the sequels Tezuka felt that Japanese players had mastered the original game, and so needed a more challenging sequel Recognizing that the game might be too difficult for newcomers, the team labeled the game's packaging: "For Super Players" They also added a trick to earn infinite lives as preparation for the game's difficulty Commercials for The Lost Levels in Japan featured players failing at the game and screaming in frustration at their television After Zelda, The Lost Levels was the second release for the Famicom Disk System, an add-on external disk drive with more spacious and less expensive disks than the Famicom cartridges

When evaluated for release outside of Japan, Nintendo of America considered The Lost Levels too difficult for the North America market and declined its release Howard Phillips, who evaluated games for the president of Nintendo of America, felt that the game was unfairly difficult, even beyond the unofficial moniker of "Nintendo Hard" that the company's other games sometimes garnered His opinion was that The Lost Levels would not sell well in the American market "Few games were more stymieing," he later recalled of the game "Not having fun is bad when you're a company selling fun"

Nintendo instead released a retrofitted version of Doki Doki Panic as its Super Mario Bros 2 outside of Japan Doki Doki Panic had originally been developed by Miyamoto and Kensuke Tanabe as a modified take on a Super Mario Bros game before it was released in Japan as a standalone game as part of a collaboration with Fuji Television Miyamoto spent more time on Doki Doki Panic than on The Lost Levels Doki Doki Panic's characters and artwork were modified to match Super Mario Bros before being released in America, and the re-skinned release became known as the "big aberration" in the Super Mario series The American Super Mario Bros 2 was later released in Japan as Super Mario USA

Rereleases

The Lost Levels was the second game released for the Famicom Disk System attached below the Famicom, as pictured

Nintendo "cleaned up" parts of the Japanese Super Mario Bros 2 and released it in later Super Mario collections as The Lost Levels Its North American debut in the 1993 Super Mario All-Stars collection for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System featured updated graphics including increased visibility for the poison mushroom and more frequent checkpoints to save player progress All-Stars was rereleased as a Limited Edition for the Nintendo Wii console in remembrance of Super Mario Bros's 25th anniversary in 2010 It was also ported to other platforms

The Lost Levels is an unlockable bonus in the 1999 Game Boy Color game Super Mario Bros Deluxe The game was edited for the handheld device: the visible screen is cropped and some features are omitted, such as the wind and five bonus worlds The Lost Levels was rereleased in 2004 for the Game Boy Advance on the third volume of Nintendo's Japan-only Famicom Mini compilation cartridges

Nintendo's digital Virtual Console platform brought the unedited 1986 Japanese release to North America for the first time The Lost Levels was released for Nintendo's Wii Virtual Console digital platform in 2007 partially in support of Nintendo's Hanabi Festival, and the 3DS version followed in 2012 The Wii U Virtual Console release came to Japan in 2013, and to Europe and North America the next year The Lost Levels were also included in Nintendo classic game compilations including the 2014 NES Remix 2 Wii U and Ultimate NES Remix 3DS

Reception and legacy

Reception
Review scores
Publication Score
Eurogamer Wii: 8/10
GameSpot Wii: 65/10
IGN 3DS: 85/10
Nintendo Life Wii U: 8/10

At the time of its release, The Lost Levels topped Famicom Tsūshin's charts The game was the most popular game on the Disk System, for which it sold about 25 million copies Retrospective critics viewed The Lost Levels as an expansion of the original, akin to extra challenge levels tacked on its end Despite their similarities, the sequel is distinguished by its notorious difficulty 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die summarized the game as both "familiar and mysterious" and "simply rather unfair" The Lost Levels replaced the original's accessible level designs with "insanely tough obstacle courses" as if designed to intentionally frustrate and punish players beginning with its first poison mushroom

Retrospective reviewers recommended the game for those who mastered the original, or those who would appreciate painful challenge Casual Mario fans, GameZone wrote, would not find much to enjoy Nintendo Life's reviewer felt that while the original was designed for recklessness, its sequel taught patience, and despite its difficulty, remained both "fiendishly clever" and fun On the other hand, GamesRadar felt that the game was an unoriginal, boring retread, and apart from its "pointlessly cruel" difficulty, not worthy of the player's time GamesRadar and IGN agreed with Nintendo of America's choice against releasing the harder game in the 1980s, though Eurogamer thought that The Lost Levels was "technically a much better game" than the Doki Doki Panic-based Super Mario Bros 2 the American market received instead

The Lost Levels is remembered among the most difficult games by Nintendo and in the video game medium Three decades after the game's release, Kotaku wrote that the demanding player precision required in The Lost Levels made fast playthroughs speedruns "remarkably fun" to spectate NES Remix 2 2014, a compilation title for the Wii U, similarly segmented The Lost Levels into speedrun challenges, which made the challenging gameplay more palatable Many years after the release of The Lost Levels, fans of the series would modify Mario games to challenge each other with nearly impossible levels The challenges of The Lost Levels presaged this community, and according to IGN, The Lost Levels shares more in common with this subculture than with the Mario series itself Indeed, the sequel is remembered as a black sheep in the franchise and a reminder of imbalanced gameplay in Nintendo's history

Luigi received his first distinctive character traits in The Lost Levels: less ground friction, and the ability to jump farther IGN considered this change to be the game's most significant, though the controls remained "cramped" and "crippled" with either character The game's poison mushroom item, with its character-impairing effects, became a staple of the Mario franchise Some of the Lost Levels appeared in a 1986 promotional release of Super Mario Bros, in which Nintendo modified in-game assets to fit themes from the Japanese radio show All Night Nippon Journalists have ranked The Lost Levels among the least important in the Mario series and of Nintendo's top games

Notes

  1. ^ Super Mario Bros 2 Japanese: スーパーマリオブラザーズ2, Hepburn: Sūpā Mario Burazāzu Tsū

References

  1. ^ a b c d "Super Mario Bros 2" Atari HQ May 4, 1999 Archived from the original on March 11, 2015 Retrieved April 1, 2015 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Thomas, Lucas M October 3, 2007 "Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels Review" IGN Archived from the original on April 1, 2015 Retrieved April 1, 2015 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m McLaughlin, Rus September 13, 2010 "IGN Presents: The History of Super Mario Bros" IGN p 3 Archived from the original on April 1, 2015 Retrieved April 1, 2015 
  4. ^ a b c d e Farokhmanesh, Megan March 16, 2014 "Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels hits Wii U Virtual Console" Polygon Archived from the original on April 1, 2015 Retrieved April 1, 2015 
  5. ^ a b c Miller, Skyler "Super Mario Bros 2" AllGame Archived from the original on November 14, 2014 Retrieved April 1, 2015 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Whitehead, Dan September 15, 2007 "Virtual Console Roundup" Eurogamer Archived from the original on April 1, 2015 Retrieved April 1, 2015 
  7. ^ a b c d Provo, Frank October 5, 2007 "Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels Review" GameSpot Archived from the original on August 24, 2015 Retrieved August 24, 2015 
  8. ^ a b c d Donlan, Christian 2010 "Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels" In Mott, Tony 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die New York: Universe p 129 ISBN 978-0-7893-2090-2 OCLC 754142901 
  9. ^ Thomas, Lucas M June 1, 2012 "Building to New Super Mario Bros" IGN Archived from the original on April 1, 2015 Retrieved April 1, 2015 
  10. ^ McLaughlin, Rus September 13, 2010 "IGN Presents: The History of Super Mario Bros" IGN p 2 Archived from the original on April 1, 2015 Retrieved April 1, 2015 
  11. ^ a b c "Nintendo Channel Interview with Shigeru Miyamoto Volumes 1 and 2" The Mushroom Kingdom December 2010 Archived from the original on June 5, 2017 Retrieved June 5, 2017 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h Irwin, Jon October 6, 2014 Super Mario Bros 2 Los Angeles: Boss Fight Books pp 22–29 ISBN 978-1-940535-05-0 
  13. ^ "NES Classic Edition Developer Interview" Nintendo Archived from the original on January 1, 2017 Retrieved November 24, 2016 
  14. ^ a b Claiborn, Samuel June 15, 2012 "This Is Shigeru Miyamoto's Favorite Mario Game" IGN Archived from the original on April 1, 2015 Retrieved April 1, 2015 
  15. ^ a b Schreier, Jason January 7, 2015 "30 Minutes Of Impossibly Precise Mario Speedrunning" Kotaku Archived from the original on April 1, 2015 Retrieved April 1, 2015 
  16. ^ a b c Ashcraft, Brian October 28, 2010 "Super Mario All-Stars Coming To America" Kotaku Archived from the original on April 1, 2015 Retrieved April 1, 2015 
  17. ^ Irwin, Jon October 6, 2014 Super Mario Bros 2 Los Angeles: Boss Fight Books pp 30–37 ISBN 978-1-940535-05-0 
  18. ^ van Duyn, Marcel March 7, 2014 "Super Mario Bros Deluxe 3DS eShop / Game Boy Color Review" Nintendo Life Archived from the original on April 1, 2015 Retrieved April 1, 2015 
  19. ^ Parish, Jeremy April 17, 2014 "The 25 Greatest Game Boy Games" USgamer Archived from the original on April 1, 2015 Retrieved April 1, 2015 
  20. ^ Harris, Craig August 13, 2004 "Famicom Mini: Series 3" IGN Archived from the original on April 1, 2015 Retrieved April 1, 2015 
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h Hughes, Robert January 31, 2014 "Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels Wii U eShop / NES Review" Nintendo Life Archived from the original on April 1, 2015 Retrieved April 1, 2015 
  22. ^ a b Claiborn, Samuel April 23, 2014 "NES Remix 2 Review" IGN Archived from the original on April 1, 2015 Retrieved April 1, 2015 
  23. ^ Blake, Vikki October 16, 2014 "Ultimate NES Remix Coming to 2DS and 3DS November 7" IGN Archived from the original on April 1, 2015 Retrieved April 1, 2015 
  24. ^ a b IGN Nintendo Nostalgia Crew September 24, 2014 "The Top 125 Nintendo Games of All Time" IGN p 1 Archived from the original on April 1, 2015 Retrieved April 1, 2015 
  25. ^ a b Sanchez, David January 2, 2012 "Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels - Does It Hold Up" GameZone Archived from the original on January 20, 2015 Retrieved March 26, 2017 
  26. ^ a b Gilbert, Henry December 28, 2011 "Why every Mario game is the best AND worst in the series" GamesRadar Archived from the original on April 7, 2016 Retrieved May 31, 2017 
  27. ^ McGee, Maxwell December 16, 2015 "The classic games that define 'Nintendo Hard'" GamesRadar Archived from the original on November 12, 2016 Retrieved May 31, 2017 
  28. ^ Oxford, Nadia July 22, 2015 "What are the Hardest Video Games" USgamer Archived from the original on May 10, 2017 Retrieved May 31, 2017 
  29. ^ a b Doolan, Liam May 28, 2014 "Mario Kart Month: A Brief History Of Mario Kart Item Evolution: Mighty Mushroom" Nintendo Life Archived from the original on April 1, 2015 Retrieved April 1, 2015 
  30. ^ Gilbert, Henry May 16, 2014 "Every single Mario Kart item ranked from worst to best 33 Poison Mushroom" GamesRadar p 5 Archived from the original on April 21, 2016 Retrieved March 25, 2017 
  31. ^ Rorie, Gamespot January 18, 2006 "Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door Walkthrough" GameSpot Archived from the original on June 22, 2016 Retrieved March 25, 2017 
  32. ^ "Top 20 Galactic Moments" GamesRadar November 12, 2007 Archived from the original on April 1, 2015 Retrieved April 1, 2015 
  33. ^ Totilo, Stephen November 22, 2011 "Super Mario Bros 2 Was a Tiny, Tiny Influence on Super Mario 3D Land" Kotaku Archived from the original on April 1, 2015 Retrieved April 1, 2015 
  34. ^ Koopman, Daan October 5, 2016 "Mario Party: Star Rush Review - Review" Nintendo World Report Archived from the original on March 13, 2017 Retrieved March 25, 2017 
  35. ^ Splechta, Mike January 8, 2015 "Puzzle & Dragons expanding to the Mushroom Kingdom" GameZone Archived from the original on March 23, 2016 Retrieved March 26, 2017 
  36. ^ Clements, Ryan October 14, 2012 "NYCC: Doin' Mushrooms in Tekken Tag 2" IGN Archived from the original on April 1, 2015 Retrieved April 1, 2015 
  37. ^ Games that featured the mushroom include Super Mario Kart 1992, Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door 2004, Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time 2005, Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 2007, Super Mario 3D Land 2011, and Mario Party: Star Rush 2016 It also appears in Mario-themed games outside the franchise, such as Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Bros Edition and the Wii U version of Tekken Tag Tournament 2
  38. ^ Fletcher, JC August 14, 2008 "Virtually Overlooked: All Night Nippon Super Mario Bros" Engadget Retrieved June 26, 2017 
  39. ^ Parish, Jeremy; Mackey, Bob; Rignall, Jaz; Benyamine, John; Bailey, Kat; Williams, Mike; Oxford, Nadia November 2, 2017 "What's the Greatest Mario Game Ever Find Out Where Mario Odyssey Lands in Our Updated Rankings! " USgamer Archived from the original on January 1, 2018 Retrieved January 1, 2018 
  40. ^ Shea, Brian March 10, 2017 "Ranking Every Game In The Super Mario Series" Game Informer p 2 Archived from the original on May 14, 2016 Retrieved May 31, 2017 

External links

  • Official website in Japanese
  • The Lost Levels at the Mario Wiki
  • Mario portal
  • Nintendo portal
  • Video games portal
  • 1980s portal
  • Japan portal

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