Miyamoto: Super Mario Bros. was nearly a shooter hybrid

Mario's dad talks up how the most important platformer in history could have turned out

TODO alt text

But strangely,giventhatit's the most important gamefrom one of the most important companies in video game history, we know remarkably little about how it came to be. Admittedly, most of us assume it was just gifted to the world, fully-formed and perfect, by the very gods themselves, but that's not true. And now, in a chat with Famitsu, Shigeru Miyamoto has finally spilled some very interesting and very surprising beans pertaining to how Mario became what he is. And what he very easily could have been.

Most surprising of all, the original Super Mario Bros. nearly had a much bigger shooting emphasis. Mario's fireballs were originally bullets, and Miyamoto planned to allow him to fly around on a cloud blasting enemies (an idea that very possibly inspired Super Mario Land's scrolling shooter levels). The original control set-up also allowed Mario to sprint around shooting as many fireballs as he wanted, until Shigs realised that made him too much ofan apocalyptic Rambo-style arse-kicker. And jumping was going to be controlled by pressing up on the d-pad, which, given SMB's later influence, could have made games crap forevermore.

There are plenty of other juicy details in the interview, such as Miyamoto's justification for the Mushroom Kingdom's totally-bonkers-and-a-bit-suspect-when-you-actually-think-about-it obsession with magic 'shrooms and turtles.He alsoexplains that the notorious infinite 1-up trick was intentional (and that the even more notorious Minus World glitch wasn't, but he's cool with it regardless because it doesn't actually break the game). Want a few more tasty morsels? You can get 'emhere.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Long-time GR+ writer Dave has been gaming with immense dedication ever since he failed dismally at some '80s arcade racer on a childhood day at the seaside (due to being too small to reach the controls without help). These days he's an enigmatic blend of beard-stroking narrative discussion and hard-hitting Psycho Crushers.
We recommend