4. Super Mario 2 was actually a huge upgrade
Above: Albatoss from Doki Doki on left, Super Mario 2 on the right [Source]
For starters, players were finally given the B button to run, because what would a 2D Mario be without that feature. And beyond the player re-skins, the entire world received a significant visual overhaul as well.
Above: The plants... they move?
Everything from vines to cherries, on down to vegetable leaves and enemies, received extra frames of animation, giving give SMB2 a far more vibrant feeling than the game on which it’s based. And to avoid repetition the sunglasses-sporting Mouser boss from World 3 was removed entirely, and replaced with the ferocious crustacean Clawgrip… which makes him a US exclusive, bitch!
Above: ONLY IN AMERICA, BITCH!
5. Super Mario 2 defined Luigi as you know him
Before SMB2, Luigi was just a palette-swap twin of Mario; little more than a doppelganger in white and green coveralls. Only in the 1986 Mario anime, which even Nintendo doesn’t like to acknowledge, had Luigi ever appeared taller than Mario.
Above: Mario and Luigi, as they originally appeared on my 13” black and white TV
Super Mario 2 was the game let the world know that even though Luigi would always play second fiddle to Mario, at least he’s a better jumper. That clumsy, spastic demeanor you see in Mario Galaxy today? SMB2 put that in motion, five long years after his inception.
6. Super Mario 2 created several lasting characters
Although the game lacked familiar faces like Koopas, Goombas and Bowser, Super Mario 2 spawned several characters that’ve been promoted to full fledged Mario mainstays:
Above: Bob-omb’s are now synonymous with the Mario Series
Above: Shy Guys took on a starring role in Yoshi’s Island
Above: Pokey remains the most adorably dangerous flora in the Mushroom Kingdom
Above: And who could forget B-B-Birdo
7. Oh yeah, Birdo’s a dude
Oh, how could we not bring this up again. It’s too wonderful not to mention. For young gamers (like me!) who developed crushes on her/him, this shocking revelation is the gaming equivalent of when the lead singer of Judas Priest came out to a legion homophobic metalheads dressed to the nines in skin tight leather left wondering if their dicks will fall off. Hilarious!
Above: This is why you always read the manual!
The Japanese give not a shit about your Western transgender taboos. They play fast and loose with androgyny, reveling in the kind of gender play that’d send the entire state of Texas into DEFCON Level 2. It’s right there in the manual, plain as day. Since then, Birdo’s quietly tucked her junk and assumed a full on lady role in the US… which is sorta creepier, somehow?
Above: Nothing to see here, people... Just two gay dinosaurs in love