News Article

Super Mario Bros. Nearly Had a Shoot 'em Up Stage

Posted by James Newton

Before fireballs came bullets

You might know enough about Super Mario Bros. to win our 25th anniversary competition, but did you know a shooting stage was planned for the game?

A Famitsu interview with Shigeru Miyamoto reveals that using Mario's original controls, pressing Up would jump, with B to dash and A to fire bullets, before the team settled on fireballs. The game would have turned out very differently with these original controls, as the plan was to put shooting stages into the plumber's adventure.

We originally thought about having a shoot-'em-up stage where Mario jumps on a cloud and shoots at enemies, but we dropped it because we wanted to focus on jumping action. The sky-based bonus stages are the remnants of that idea, you could say.

Mario's been in plenty of different genres over the years, from racing to party, but to think his debut could have been part-platformer, part-shooter is surprising to say the least.

Oh, and the Minus World? It's a feature, apparently:

That's a bug, yes, but it's not like it crashes the game, so it's really kind of a feature, too!

Every cloud has a silver lining.

[via 1up.com]

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User Comments (48)

GamesX99

#2

GamesX99 said:

Lol Bowser comes breathing fire and Mario just pulls out a gun...I see some good sells

PSICOffee

#6

PSICOffee said:

ha wow that would have totally made the game as standard as the rest of the games that were gun shooters on the NES. Mario would have NEVER been as popular as he is today like that. Throwing fireballs is a key staple that makes him stand out. Its interesting but I'm glad they did what they ended up doing. Believe me, I've played games like Platoon and Rush 'n Attack and having to jump with the dpad up and then to the side as pressing diagonal upper right is a pain and not as responsive as you think.

The minus world is the only glitch I can get to flawlessly work too. Perfecting some other glitches in SMB and finally finishing Balloon Trip in balloon fight (got to rank 3 before carelessly dieing and never trying again) are some of my big "goals" for NES games.

motang

#7

motang said:

Interesting, but we do have something like that, and it's called Cave Story. :D

Punny

#11

Punny said:

It's kind of hard to imagine Mario with a gun.

/looks at Yoshi's Safari

Wait a minute! :D

Hokori

#14

Hokori said:

Hay at least weve got Pole's Big Adventure..... OK we dont, but Japan does..... I WANT MY WII TO BE JAPANESE!

FonistofCruxis

#20

FonistofCruxis said:

Although I enjoy shmups, I'm glad this didn't happen. It just wouldn't suit Mario and it wouldn't have been as original. If this had happened Mario probably wouldn't be the awesome series we have today or even worse, it may not have been able to save the game industry like it did and gaming wouldn't exist anymore. :O Although I wouldn't mind it if this concept turned into a new game. That might be a really good game.

Meta-Rift

#23

Meta-Rift said:

@22: Funny you should say that, one time I almost ended up making an SMB FPS fan game.

StarDust4Ever

#24

StarDust4Ever said:

Minus world: You will need Big Mario. Stand on the pipe at the end of 1-2, and break all but the rightmost block on the cieling. Duck on the edge of the pipe and do a "crouch jump" by hitting A while holding D+R on the D-pad. If done correctly, Mario will slide underneath the block and get sucked into the wall. Let Mario slide almost to the right edge of the screen, then walk him over until he falls into the warp room. Immediately go down the first pipe without allowing the screen to scroll any further. Enter world " -1" :P

Besides World " -1", the "Thank you dead Mario" glitch is another fun one that's fairly easy to pull off. You will need to be little Mario. After you jump under or over Bowser, move Mario to the far right side of the bridge. Wait until Bowser approaches, then jump into the air just as the gap closes, and when you land, try to touch Bowser and the Axe at the same time. Mario will "die" but also complete the level and move on to the next world, or save the princess if in 8-4.

Xiao_Pai

#27

Xiao_Pai said:

I could never pull off the -1 glitch, is it basically the first water level only looped?

Iggy

#29

Iggy said:

Dont just think about how this would change the mario franchise but the whole gaming industry. Im sure the game would be fun but who knows if video games would be even popular today if they were mario bros. with guns.

Chunky_Droid

#30

Chunky_Droid said:

This is probably why Mario Land had them, I enjoyed those stages, totally looking forward to it being re-released on the 3DS!

DestinyMan

#33

DestinyMan said:

Mario was originally going to be a shooter? You learn something new every now and then...

Objection

#34

Objection said:

Interesting but I'm glad it didn't go down that route. Mario is fun and different because it doesn't take the same routes so many other games do. :)

Nintendo-is-my-love

#38

Nintendo-is-my-love said:

so happy it didnt have a shooting stage i hate xbox and playstation with all here shooting stages that are all the same thats what i love about nintendo is how all there games are different

JimLad

#40

JimLad said:

Good for him, there were enough scrolling shooters at the time. It pays to break away from the pack every now and then. cough

cough

COUGH FIRST PERSON SHOOTERS
cough

LuWiiGi

#43

LuWiiGi said:

FPS is probably the only popular genre that Mario hasn't explored. Maybe it could work, as long as Mario didn't fire an actual gun.

Mach-X

#45

Mach-X said:

More glitches :I'm sure most of you are familiar with repeatedly jumping on the koopa troopa coming down the stairs at the end of 3-1 or other levels for virtually unlimited lives
But how about fireball ability while small? Yes I've done this, you need to be fighting bowser in any -4 level and be fire mario. Run under/over bowser and stand next to the switch. Now this takes practice and timing, what you need to do is jump and hit the switch and bowser at exactly the same time. If it works, you'll hear the 'shrink' noise and bowser will fall. When you start the next level you will be small, orange and white and wield fireballs!

Capt_N

#46

Capt_N said:

Note for all reading this: Most games on VC are the original game/rom image. So, those particular exact-copy games bear all their original errors/etc.

@BellGoRiiing: Minus World is actually 7-2(which itself is a repeat of 2-2, w/ more enemies) looped. From what little I know about why the glitch occurs, it basically happens b/c you go down the warp zone pipes, w/o the "Welcome To The Warp Zone". If that text doesn't occur, the game hasn't changed the pointers to where the pipes take you, thereby taking you to where they point by default. The pipe that goes to world 3 takes you to world 5-1. The pipes that take you to worlds 2, & 4 both take you to world 36-1, which is represented in game code/on-screen text as -1. A blank space is the numeral 36 in the game's character table.

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