10 things you didn't know about Super Mario Bros 2

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!


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.

Above: WeeGee! 

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 


  • Nannirk - July 15, 2010 9:38 p.m.

    Btw, your site is giving me popups.
  • Nannirk - July 15, 2010 9:37 p.m.

    Is that crab really US exclusive? I thought all the non-Asian versions were the same as the US version..
  • kibbles0515 - May 30, 2010 5:05 p.m.

    I can't read gamesradar anymore. Anyone in the journalism business should know that it is spelled "O-N-O-M-A-T-O-P-O-E-I-A", not onomonopia. Shame on you. Use spell check. Good day.
  • tayls - May 29, 2010 6:09 p.m.

    Great article; I certainly learned a lot. In SMB3, Mario is actually exiting stage LEFT, as stage directions are given from the actor's POV, not the audiences. But that's just nitpicking.
  • kiwicrossing - May 29, 2010 5:50 a.m.

    I just restarted New SMB and looking forward to a time when I can get these other older titles on the Virtual Console.
  • The_Tingler - May 28, 2010 2:51 a.m.

    F**KING HELL that picture of Pokey from Super Mario 64 is creepy as f**k! I don't remember him having an "I'm going to rape you and I'm just one huge set of spiky ass beads" smile on his face!
  • BurntToShreds - May 28, 2010 2:28 a.m.

    Birdo wouldn't send the ENTIRETY of Texas into DEFCON 2. Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and all of the relatively large cities and towns in Texas are more civilized than that. It was still a great zing, though. /rant ReCAPTCHA: to ires
  • Randomwordcombination - May 27, 2010 10:50 p.m.

    Great article!
  • HeroOfLegend - May 27, 2010 7:05 p.m.

    That last picture about Mario 3 is too much for me to handle.
  • philipshaw - May 27, 2010 11:07 a.m.

    Great article Chris, I with you in that I'm get sick of people saying SMB2 is not a real mario game
  • TyeTheCzar - May 27, 2010 2:24 a.m.

    Oh, I love that stab at Texas you took there. Very nice. I hate living in a state with a morally and mentally-deficient(morally mostly) governor and politicians. Oh, and wanna know the reason Texas went Republican? They were against the Civil Rights Act, therefore Texas is racist.
  • purple_omlet - May 27, 2010 1:23 a.m.

    mario would actually be exiting stage left in smb3.
  • Ridgley - May 26, 2010 9:49 p.m.

    I really enjoyed this game on my copy of all stars.
  • LBD_Nytetrayn - May 26, 2010 9:39 p.m.

    Wrote an article like this a few years back, touching on a number of these points. I do like this one, though: any voice saying that SMB2 is a real Mario game is fine by me. In fact, with the number of shared elements and things that would go on to become Mario staples, as well as how much else it defined, I can't help but wonder if Miyamoto didn't intend this to be a Mario game all along.
  • Transmatrix - May 26, 2010 6:45 p.m.

    Obligatory comment since cantista told me to on the last TalkRadar. I liked smb2.
  • Bawheidbob - May 26, 2010 5:05 p.m.

    Excellent reading - Loved SMB2 myself though i never quite go the hang of jumping on the eggs and picking them up
  • jimmdogg - May 26, 2010 3:52 p.m.

    Well researched. Good read.
  • Conman93 - May 26, 2010 3:12 p.m.

    Great article! I remember this game really well. It was really hard!!
  • shadowarrior99 - May 26, 2010 2:59 p.m.

    Nice article :) What about the world warper in smb3? Is that part of the play? I guess it depends what play you go to :P
  • ensabahnur - May 26, 2010 2:47 p.m.

    Antista, this was a great article, makes me want a sequel to this SMB2, on the DS would be perfect. I think (IMO) this was one of the more challenging Marios also, and Luigi and Toad were my go to guys in this game, i beat the game without using Mario, if they did it now i would want some seperate endings for each character depending on percentage used throughout the game. I remember Mario was the average one, your generic, Luigi was the jumper and able to get to harder to reach places and toad was the beast, and princess had the hover ability which was useful for the super long jumps that even Luigi couldnt make, its almost the creation of the class system in games (im kidding), dont actually know the first game that used a class system. Still, a great read.

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