A Brief History Of:
Super Mario Bros. 2


Ever wonder why Super Mario Bros. 2 is so different from other Mario games? Like why you have a health bar of hexagons, or throw veggies at your enemies? Well, what if I told you that it wasn't originally going to even be a Mario game at all?

After the release of Super Mario Bros. a prototype was developed at Nintendo for a new Mario-like game where two players would progress vertically by stacking blocks to climb on. The project didn't seem like it was going to work out, until Super Mario Bros. designer Shigero Miyamoto jumped in and helped by suggesting the addition of more side-scrolling areas. Soon, a full fledged game known as Doki Doki Panic was being developed.

Interestingly enough, the four main characters, who look like they could be from the Arabian Nights, came out of Nintendo's partnership with a television company known as Fuji Television. The characters had been the mascots for Fuji TV's Yume Kojo'87 festival that promoted several of their upcoming shows. The festival also prominently featured masks, so many of the games' enemies and items are masks or are wearing masks. Other members of the Super Mario Bros. development team were involved such as director Kensuke Tanabe and composer Koji Kondo.

The Doki Doki Panic Japanese box art.

You may still be wondering what all this has to do with Super Mario Bros. 2. Well, Nintendo had developed a Super Mario Bros. 2, but it was extremely similar to the original except much harder. It was released in Japan, but it was feared that Western gamers wouldn't like it, so Doki Doki Panic was transformed into a Mario game for release in other countries. The main characters were replaced with Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad. Some of the graphics and levels were also altered, and some music was changed from Arabian sounding themes to Super Mario Bros. remixes. Upon release, the game was hugely successful. The original Super Mario Bros. 2 was eventually released worldwide as Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels in the SNES game Super Mario All-Stars; and the North American Super Mario Bros. 2 was released in Japan as Super Mario USA.

Lost Levels (original Super Mario Bros. 2) on Super Mario All-Stars.

Though Super Mario Bros. 2 may have not originally been a Mario game, it has still become a classic. Many now-common Mario enemies and characters such as Bob-ombs, Pokeys, Shy Guys, and Birdos first appeared there. More of the original Super Mario Bros. team worked on Doki Doki Panic then the original Super Mario Bros. 2! Though the game can be rather odd, I, and many other Mario fans, love it.

The Author


I'm the guy who programmed this whole website from scratch and I'm responsible for most of the content you see here (including these cool author profiles!). I've been a huge fan of Nintendo since I picked up my first NES controller when I was 3. When I'm not writing articles or filming a new video, I enjoy playing and composing music, reading, math, art, and computer programming.

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