To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Super Mario Bros.’ release – a venerable writer played… Super Mario Bros. And here’s a transcript of the anniversary play‑through of the game’s first world – you know, the tutorial/easy one… What could possibly go wrong?
Bing. Da-da-da-da-da-da —dum-dum-dum -da-daa-daaaa -dum-da-da-da -da-da -da-daa-daaaaa…
Super Mario Bros, World 1-1
Great plumbing, not so keen on the really poor masonry
GO! THE PLUMBER’S OFF, ACCESS TO EVERY HOME IN THE WORLD, BUT THERE’S ONLY TIME FOR ONE CALL-OUT. RESCUE THE PRINCESS. Packing a set of lives, toolbelt on and stomp in the step. I’m just gonna– whoa, Goomba already, just splat and head butt the block– boom, large mushroom and super large three-tone Mario. Looking a little bit out of shape there old chap…
Smash block, smash block, smash block… 200 points from a jewel, grabbed. Small pipe, squat plumber, squat – nothing. Higher pipe, squat PLUMBER! Sound like King Koopa – nothing doing, all these pipes have blockages! Boom, double stomp on goombas. Even higher green pipe. There is a lot of plumbing done round here – squat, c’mon – yes! Into… A warehouse basement! Great plumbing, not so keen on the really poor masonry, but loads of coins – got ‘em all. Oh yeah. But Mario just seems little bit big for this, again I blame the mason. Into green pipe, out and run… Up… The… Steps like Rocky. The music’s pumping in my ears, the victory sprint, see the flagpole and…. Fly my plumber fly… Epic fail, 100 points.
The red star flag of disappointment rises over that pitiful display. Never hacked that bloody flag pole stuff on the 2d scrollers…
Super Mario Bros, world 1-2
Some rather off-colour Goombas, clearly not a great environment down here
Okay straight out the pipe and run right… Into another pipe! Through the floor, okay underground, this is getting serious. Five boxes and boom a fire flower. Spring up for the fire flower and suddenly Mario’s ginger and looking a wee bit jaundiced. And in shock at the pure white dungarees (I mean, that’s a helluva flower) run straight into a Koopa Trooper. Great. Timing.
Boom, back, run up ignoring all embarrassment, catch the first Koopa, classic shell move to wipe out the next one. Still such a satisfying move. Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom – now pick up the mushroom and those irritating box spires. Just remember, it’s more difficult in 3d, it’s more difficult in 3d. Leap, leap – some rather off-colour Goombas, clearly not a great environment down here. Not exactly racing through here… Racing through this. 100 points, 100 points… Yes, made the high jump from the snaking blocks and then splat, into a Goomba.
Respawn, jump the flower pipes (seriously, y’know, if I had time I’d clear those out but the clock’s ticking). Jump on the rising platforms, knock out the Koopa Troopa with a bit more colour – miss the secret room I just know is lurking round here… Through the green pipe. So close…. And so nice to be outside again! Vitamin D, pause to let it sink in. Still look jaundiced. Run up the steps – whoa, a piranha plant in the pip I just jumped out of – and big moment… Yes, less epic fail. 400 on the flag. Into the castle. 400!
Super Mario Bros, World 1-3
Where did those 20 seconds go?
Treetops and Koopa Paratroopas. I can hear them calling.
Bring it, I’m invincible, just without the invincibility… This camera that raises a few inches is annoying, but hell, time is ticking. The skies so blue, but those clouds are annoying with their blue smirks. Leap around the treetops, take out the Troopa, and so excited, go flying off the tree… No flying Mario yet. A painful lesson. One life left.
Pound through, take out the Troopa, avoid the flight bounce – slight drop of pressure on the confidence gauge. Bounce, bounce. Big plunge to grab some jewels. A rising platform that looks like it disappears, camera trickery. Jump and up and… Hang on… Music speeds up, 20 seconds left!? Damn those clouds, spent too much time trying to throw insults at them… Jump the platforms, can’t spring on the Paratroopa and so close. Time out. Time over!? TIME OVER!? Where did those 20 seconds go? Done. Game over. Man, a 5850 score, sandwiched between Troopa and Lakitu. Man, I am so much bigger than those guys. Embarrassing. Okay… Continue. Race through, no way time’s catching me this time. Even catch a Paratroopa in flight. Take that turtle head (it’s a turtle, with a head, stomped). Boing, platforms, platform, steps… I’m unplayable as I reach the flagpole and… 100 points. Another let down… Shrug, readjust tool belt, carry on.
Super Mario Bros, World 1-4
Ripped the floor out from under the big false fire dragon
Boom, into the black and white brickwork, who built this place!? This is much more stylish (Miyamoto and co, trick question). Pits of lava, I instantly test by diving in. Result not realistic but devastating.
Respawn, the indomitable plumber. Leap three and hit the…. Fire bars, I hate these swirly bastards. There’s a tempting box right there and a giant mushroom. Three deaths and it’s mine – ha ha! It’s all about the timing, dodge the fire bars, getting good and then fire bolts. That’s a lot harder when Mario’s at full weight. And there at the end a platform… Wait, a Goomba impersonating Bowser? Go for the leap…. Fake Bowser jumps.
Take two – smaller this time, easier to dodge the flame bolts until I head butt one. That plumber! Try again, run in, avoid the platform, hit the Goomba, lose my size, still a bit of life left. And over, over, over… Agonising split second plumber lives flash past. And… Hit the axe. BOOM! Ripped the floor out from under the big false fire dragon. If only it was the real Bowser. My reward – a Toad! Welcome to the Mario franchise. And no Toad, you may be ecstatic and heroed out, but no need for the princess thanks. It’s all in a day’s work for this plumber.
Well, easy. Right? Now time for a rest.
Super Mario Bros. Arrived on the NES to wish it all the best. Not only Toads, but quite possibly the most influential videogame of all time.
The one to measure every other game against. Happy 30th SMB.