“It's still not clear, however, why Mario's pictured with a carrot...”
April 14, 2018 3:31 PM   Subscribe

This History of Super Mario Bros 2 Might Surprise You Inspired by the Japanese version of Carnival, Yume Kojo '87. [Motherboard] “Ever play Super Mario Bros 2 and realize how trippy that game is? Ever wonder why? It turns out that Doki Doki Panic was easier than the original Super Mario Bros 2, and basically fit the requirements for marketing to America. It was also horizontally based, unlike the failed prototypes of Super Mario Bros 2. So in essence, the Super Mario Bros 2 that eventually reached American gamers was a reiteration of Doki Doki Panic, only the four mascots were replaced with characters that were already familiar to Americans. Imajin became Mario, Mama became Luigi, Lina became Princess Peach, and Papa became Toad. The Doki Doki Panic-turned-Super Mario Bros 2 also introduced some new elements to the game, such as the ability to pick up your enemies and throw them, or the shells on the ground, that originally were meant to represent masks from the Yume Kojo carnival.” [YouTube][Super Mario Bros 2 Commercial]

• The Story of Super Mario Bros. 2 [YouTube][Gaming Historian]
“Learn the complete history behind Super Mario Bros. 2 and its Japanese counterpart, Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic.”
• Super Mario Bros. 2 [YouTube]
“10 minutes of pure gameplay.”
• Mario History: Super Mario Bros. 2 [Nintendo Life]
“Its re-skin for a release in the West achieved various things - it allowed playable members of the original's cast, establishing trends such as Luigi's high jump and Peach's steady descent that have been revived in various games since. As you can see in the Doki Doki Panic video above, meanwhile, the original had various enemies that would go on to be favourites in Mario spin-offs, such as Shy Guys and Birdo. Perhaps a little by accident, the Subcon setting added some welcome diversity and a flourish of extra creativity to the Mario universe that would endure in years to come. As for the game itself, it's certainly got merits. Levels have a great deal of verticality and even aspects of problem solving, with the main mechanic being to pick up and throw items and enemies. Playing with different characters shakes up the experience, and it's a title full of quirky enemies and creative environments. It was a commercial success, too, shifting a huge number of units on the NES.”
• Will the Real "Super Mario Bros. 2" Please Stand Up? [Mental Floss]
“Aside from the gameplay and art differences, the overall vibe of DDP was super weird -- and a lot of that carried over to SMB2. The game was envisioned as occurring in an Arabian dreamworld, where many characters are masked (DDP even included masks looking suspiciously like the members of the rock group KISS), a lot of action occurs at night, and you finish each stage by stepping into the mouth of a creepy head embedded in a wall. Of course, it can be argued that this is no weirder than the mushrooms/castles/turtles trip of the original SMB. But the overall concept was less clear, partially because of the DDP-to-SMB2 adaptation -- in the original DDP, a family was trying to rescue two children held hostage by Wart. In SMB2, Wart was more of a generic bad guy, who created masked minions using a Dream Machine and generally just messed up the world of Subcon (it's no accident that the game takes place in the Subcon(scious), and at the end -- spoiler alert -- is revealed to be Mario's dream, possibly the result of eating too many turnips just before bed).”
• I Try To Play Super Mario Bros. 2 Once A Year [Kotaku]
“The very first level is mind-bending for anyone who played the original game. First, you can choose between four characters—Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Peach—each of whom platforms a little differently and can pick things up at different speeds. Level 1-1 opens on the top of a tall, green hill, but instead of going to the right you drop straight down, literally the last thing you ever wanted to do in the previous game. A Shy Guy is wandering around this beginning area, but if you try to jump on its head you just land there and nothing happens. Instead you might try pressing B, leading you to pick up the Shy Guy and throw it. There’s also a turnip you can pull out of the ground, before going to the bottom of the area and opening a door to the next. Even replaying it decades later, it’s hard not to appreciate how, in only a few seconds, one sequel could subvert all the rules of its predecessor.”
• History Counts: Stop Shitting on Super Mario Bros. 2 [Lumpz Media]
“I’m not saying that you have to enjoy the game, or that you’re any less of a gamer if you don’t. What we’re talking about here is a crossroads in time that could’ve led to very different outcomes. Mario forever entering into the lexicons of time as a timeless character, or one doomed to be the next Bubsy? All on its own with no conspiracy horseshit and/or salty purist fanboys to muddy things up, Super Mario Bros. 2 sold over 10 million copies and is one of Top 20 best-selling games of all-time. Not only that, but its legacy has been passed on to future entries in the franchise, all to great fanfare.”
posted by Fizz (11 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
Lina became Princess Peach

PRINCESS TOADSTOOL

HER NAME IS PRINCESS TOADSTOOL

AND HER HAIR IS BROWN

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
posted by Sys Rq at 3:39 PM on April 14 [14 favorites]


it’s hard not to appreciate how, in only a few seconds, one sequel could subvert all the rules of its predecessor

For me it was being able to play as Princess Toadstool, jumping up super high and then floating down was my favourite thing to do. I loved this game more than the original. I loved its bright colours and the fact that I didn't really know where I was, not a whole lot made sense to me, but it only added to my wonder.
posted by Fizz at 4:16 PM on April 14 [4 favorites]


Of course, she was always Peach in Japan, and her name got switched in the US around the time of Mario 64. (One previous US SNES game called her Peach, I forget which one right now.)

Another thing SMB2US did was tighten Mario's controls a little bit. In the original Super Mario, Mario's actually pretty weighty. The characters in SMB2US can turn around a lot more sharply, helping the gameplay be a bit more immediate.

While its got a reputation as the easiest of the four NES Mario games, Some areas in SMB2US are still very difficult. World 5-2 is probably the hardest, demanding that the player jump between the heads of fish leaping, each in turn, high from the water. (The difficulty can be mitigated, a little, by picking Luigi or the Princess and making long jumps.) 5-3 isn't a picnic either, filling the screen with Bob-Ombs (they originated in this game), some of which must be used to break open walls. World 6 isn't a slouch, with a long ride on the backs of birds that you must jump between, and even backtrack a little.

A relatively little-known thing about SMB2US is that it has a few alternate routes that can be taken with a bit of forethought, like going down at the start of 3-1. If you see desert quicksand going under a wall, try letting it drag you down a bit while standing against that wall. Once you're low enough, hold toward the wall and keep jumping, and eventually you'll reach a secret room in the other side. And although walls reach to the top of the screen in SMB2US, unlike SMB1, you can still jump on top of them and sometimes use them to skip areas. (The power squat-jump, where you hold down until you flash then jump, is useful for this.) In places where a ladder or chain reach up off-screen, you can often jump off of it near the top and then land on top of one of the nearby walls. Especially try this in the last level, 7-2.
posted by JHarris at 5:14 PM on April 14 [8 favorites]


Find me an example of a Japanese name that's superior to the American version.

Dr. Robotnik > Eggman
Princess Toadstool > Princess Peach
Megaman > Rockman (fight me)
Phoenix Wright > Naruhodō Ryūichi
Terra > Tina
Optimus Prime > Convoy
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 6:08 PM on April 14 [6 favorites]


Toad or GTFO.

World 5-2 is probably the hardest, demanding that the player jump between the heads of fish leaping, each in turn, high from the water. (The difficulty can be mitigated, a little, by picking Luigi or the Princess and making long jumps.)

...except for that damn level, where Toad's short jumps are a huge liability.
posted by neckro23 at 6:21 PM on April 14 [2 favorites]


I think her name is Peach, but her title is 'Princess Toadstool' of the Mushroom Kingdom...like Prince Charles is also the Prince of Wales. Or something. Like, if she was a normal person her name would just be 'Peach Toadstool'. Also, in the original SMB, she was definitely a redhead...and very...lumpy. I'm guessing that princess died young immediately after due to inbreeding and then the throne passed to 'Princess ???' (Daisy?) in SMB2 and then she was overthrown by Peach in a bloody uprising immediately after... that was never mentioned by anyone else ever again under the threat that she would whip up a really huge batch of cream of mushroom soup if anyone opened their treasonous toadhole to speak heresy. The Mushroom Kingdom is a dark dark place and its dungeons are filled with fire.
posted by sexyrobot at 10:35 PM on April 14 [9 favorites]


I think her name is Peach, but her title is 'Princess Toadstool' of the Mushroom Kingdom...like Prince Charles is also the Prince of Wales. Or something. Like, if she was a normal person her name would just be 'Peach Toadstool'.

I never understood this. Isn’t their surname Mountbatten-Windsor?
posted by leotrotsky at 5:35 AM on April 15 [1 favorite]


To further go down the layers of skinning, the unlicensed and buggy NES game "Bible Adventures" appears to use the same game engine so that Noah can pick up animals and carry them to the Ark.
posted by AzraelBrown at 6:00 AM on April 15 [3 favorites]


BRB, registering “treasonous toadhole” as a sock puppet
posted by ejs at 2:16 PM on April 15 [3 favorites]


I think her name is Peach, but her title is 'Princess Toadstool' of the Mushroom Kingdom...like Prince Charles is also the Prince of Wales.

It also squares with how she is the ruler of a nation of mushroom-descended people while being ethnically non-mushroom herself.
posted by Strange Interlude at 6:25 AM on April 16 [5 favorites]


I never understood this. Isn’t their surname Mountbatten-Windsor?

Yes, it's a combination of the two parents names Elizabeth Windsor and Phillip Mountbatten. Except both of the last names are made up on the spot. Windsor from the Windsor Castle that the House of Windsor is named from and Mountbatten as a translation of the House of Battenburg from German.

By custom though the Royal family didn't have a surname because they were Royalty and surnames were for commoners. Mountbatten-Windsor is a nod to modernity where a lot of areas not having a last name causes problems like suing someone in French court where the family is required to use the Mountbatten-Windsor last name instead of the Royal titles due to France being super Republican.

Prince of Wales is more like a job title than a name, like President of the United States, where people will call the person by their title job formally.
posted by jmauro at 7:19 AM on April 17 [3 favorites]


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