How things could have been...

We've only just recovered from the bombshell that Super Mario Bros. nearly had a shoot 'em up stage, but prepare for more shocks as original design documents show the path the plumber nearly took.

Part of the History of Mario booklet contained in the Super Mario All-Stars 25th Anniversary Edition, the documents reveal Mario's moveset was originally a little richer than just running and jumping.

When Mario grabbed a rocket item, pressing B in the air would send him flying at great speed, whereas pressing A would make Mario use his item – a beam gun or rifle, according to the document – or unleash a kick if no item was held.

A kicking, rifle-toting, rocket-flying Super Mario is just a little different from the version we got. Would such a hero have been such a family favourite 25 years on? It's unlikely.