20 Fascinating Facts You May Not Know About ‘Super Mario Bros.’

By: 04.24.14  •  18 Comments

9) Japan got a different version of the Minus World. Okay, I’m not even including Minus World as a fact on this list, because come on, everyone knows about Minus World. For the few of you who don’t know about the most famous glitch in gaming history, you can pass through a wall at the end of World 1-2 and get to the first Warp Zone via a method the game didn’t intend. Enter the far left pipe and you’ll enter World -1, an infinitely looping underwater stage.

Now, here’s where things get even weirder — in Japan SMB was remade for the Famicom Disk System. In this version of the game, Minus World still exists, but it’s completely different than the one in the cartridge version of SMB. The Disk System version is very much like World 1-3 (the level with the big mushroom platforms) except you can swim through the air as multiple Princess Toadstools and a slightly terrifying headless Bowser float around. Most interesting of all, you can actually finish this version of the Minus Word, leading to World -2 and World -3. Finish World -3 and you’ll be taken back to the title screen with Hard Mode unlocked, a reward you usually have to beat the game to earn. Were these new Minus Worlds a case of Nintendo taking a glitch and turning it into an Easter egg? It certainly seems like it.

10) Minus World isn’t the game’s only secret world. You can actually access 256 more, but only if you also own a copy of Tennis. Now, warning, doing this could hurt your system, but hey, you can get a replacement NES for five bucks at any flea market these days, so I’m not too worried about passing on this trick.

First off, this will only work on the mini top-loading NES Nintendo released in the early 90s. Put your Mario cartridge in, then take it out with the system still on. Put the Tennis cart in, then reset. Serve once, run around for a bit, and then take Tennis out with the system still on and put Mario back in. Reset Mario, then press A and start together and you’ll start on one of the 256 glitched out “secret levels”. There’s actually a logic to why this happens, but I’ll let the guys at GameTrailers explain it for me…

11) The Mario sprite on the game’s box art is actually from Donkey Kong. Also, it’s pretty clear Mario is about to run face-first into a wall, fall in lava and die horribly.



12) Super Mario Bros. is stored on a 256-kilobit cartridge. Note I said kilobit — 256 kilobits translates to 32 kilobytes. To put that in perspective, it would take around three Super Mario Bros. cartridges to store the single JPEG screenshot of the game you see below.



13) The bushes and clouds are the same sprite. The makers of Super Mario Bros. were pretty into recycling — not only are the clouds and bushes the same sprite, but the big castle that proceeds Bowser levels is just cobbled together from multiple small castles.

14) The sound of getting hit and going down a pipe are also the same. Yeah, I know, the sound Mario makes when he gets hit and when he goes down a pipe are totally different! Well, that’s just your brain playing tricks on you — they’re actually the exact same sound effect. Weird.

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