Super Mario Bros. Originally Had Beam Guns and Rocket Packs

Super Mario Collection Special Pack includes a book chronicling the history of Super Mario from the 1985 Famicom/NES classic to Super Mario Galaxy.

But there’s more to the book just a history lesson. Nintendo has also included some never-before-seen design document images penned by Shigeru Miyamoto himself. These reveal that the original plan for Super Mario Bros. was a ways different from what we ended up getting.

The basic specifications resemble the final game, although the descriptions are a bit abstract. One piece of graph paper labeled “Super Mario Test Specification,” stamped by “Creative Division Head Miyamoto” and dated February 20, 1985, shows a basic layout of the game screen. The screen is marked with Mario’s starting position, a couple of platforms, enemy obstacles, and the point where Mario’s movement triggers scrolling.

The description above and below the layout describes the game as featuring large Mario characters and using the “athletic part” of “Junior Mario Bros.” This is presumably in reference to Donkey Kong Jr., with the “athletic part” referring to the running and jumping components. The text also mentions making Mario bigger, scrolling, and gimmicks like lifts. It precisely describes the scrolling method, even noting that the scrolling will only go left to right and not right to left.

The book also has a spread showing a bunch of design document pages scattered on a table. Included are graphs of the level layouts and even the title screen. These are precisely laid out, with even the position of coins showing.


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Mickey – who has written posts on NintendoFuse.

  • Jim

    Ok.. what about the beam guns and rocket packs? Where are pictures and/or explanations of those? Why’d you tease that in the title without mentioning them in the article?