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    FAQ by War Doc

    Version: 1.0 | Updated: 02/22/04 | Printable Version | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

                           | M A R I O   B R O T H E R S |
                  GAME:  MARIO BROTHERS
              PLATFORM:  ARCADE
                 GENRE:  ARCADE ACTION
               CREATOR:  NINTENDO OF AMERICA Copyright 1983
    AUTHOR OF THIS FAQ:  Kevin Butler AKA War Doc
                E-MAIL:  kevinb(at)technologist(dot)com
           FAQ VERSION:  1.0
                                  TABLE OF CONTENTS
    1.  Legal Stuff
    2.  Version Information
    3.  Acknowledgements
    4.  Welcome
    5.  Overview
    6.  The Game
        6.1  The Controls
        6.2  The Playing Field
        6.3  Scoring
        6.4  The Critters
        6.5  The Rounds
    7.  Playing the Game
    8.  Conclusion
    To find a particular chapter or subchapter do the following:
    1.  Highlight the chapter or subchapter name you wish to find.
    2.  Press CTRL-C
    3.  Press CTRL-F
    4.  Press CTRL-V
    5.  Press CTRL-F
    5.  You will arrive at the desired chapter or subchapter.
    ********************************* U N I T  I **********************************
    | 1.  LEGAL STUFF |============================================================
    This guide may not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal
    private use.  It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed
    publicly without advanced permission from the author.  Use of this guide on
    any other web site or as part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and
    a violation of copyright.  All content in this guide is Copyright 2004 by
    Kevin Butler.  Only the sites listed below have permission to publish this
    work or to display it:
    If you wish to put this guide on your site, e-mail me and ask.  Save yourself
    the headache of putting up with lawsuits and whatnot because you failed to ask
    a simple "Can I post your guide on <insert site>?".  If you wish to use info
    in this guide, please acknowledge that you have done so.  If I don't respond or
    I say no, accept it as fact.  This especially goes out to Dave at
    www.cheatcc.com since he has a habit of taking guides without permission.  In
    addition, do not modify this guide in any way whatsoever to suit your purposes.
    The latest version can always be found at www.gamefaqs.com.
    If you see this guide on any other site then the one listed above, please
    e-mail me.  If you wish to ask questions or give input to this guide, please
    e-mail me.  Just have Mario Brothers as the subject so I know it isn't another
    kooky vendor trying to sell me hair gel or another XXX site telling me I have
    new friends.
    | 2.  VERSION INFORMATION |====================================================
    Version 1.0   2/22/04:  A guide is born.
    | 3.  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS |=======================================================
    The following are a list of people or organizations that have made this FAQ
    My wonderful family (who has had to put up with the tapping on the keyboard)
    Nintendo of America for making a great arcade game
    GameFAQ's for putting up this FAQ
    | 4.  WELCOME |================================================================
    Welcome to my FAQ for Mario Brothers.  Since the game has you continuously
    taking on various creatures until all your men are killed, there is no walk-
    through per se.  Instead it will be broken up into the game itself and
    strategies for survival.  Input is appreciated along with constructive
    criticism.  If you wish to e-mail me thoughts on this FAQ, better ways of doing
    things, other strategies, etc., feel free.  Make sure you put Mario Brothers as
    the subject.  If you don't, I'm liable to discard the e-mail as spam.
    | 5.  OVERVIEW |===============================================================
    Mario Brothers was Nintendo's return to their tried and true formula of using
    Mario in a game.  Mario had become the mascot of Nintendo so they decided not
    to mess with it.  Another new thing about this game was the introduction of
    Mario's brother, Luigi.  The idea for Luigi's name, of course, came from a
    pizza place.  This game came out at the time of the big arcade game collapse.
    Companies such as Atari, Konami, and Taito saw a drastic reduction in sales for
    their arcade machines.  Smaller arcade companies such as Centuri (producer of
    Pleiades and Phoenix) simply went out of business.  Although some notable games
    such as Cloak and Dagger, Track and Field, and Elevator Action were released,
    none of them had strong sales.  Mario Brothers did develop a strong following
    and, of course, became Nintendo's mascot even to the present day.  In 1993
    there was a Super Mario Brothers movie with Bob Hoskins and Dennis Hopper.
    Unfortunately, unlike the Nintendo games, the movie didn't do very well.  Good
    luck in keeping the critters in the sewer system.
    ******************************** U N I T  II **********************************
    | 6.  THE GAME |===============================================================
    Mario Brothers is a two-dimensional, platform style game.  Your job as Mario,
    in one-player, and Luigi, in two-player, is to contain the critters that are
    coming out of the drain pipes.  These critters consist of turtles, crabs, and
    flies.  In addition, hazards and rewards will also exit the pipes.  Your only
    defense is the ability to knock them around and to use the almighty POW button.
    Of course, not all the critters can be taken down the same way so you will have
    to learn some strategies in order to survive.  The plumber's life of being
    overworked and underpaid.
    / 6.1  The Controls /__________________________________________________________
    The controls on this game are very easy.  It may, though, take just a little
    bit of time to get used to them.
    -  A two-way joystick for moving left and right
    -  A jump button.
    / 6.2  The Playing Field /_____________________________________________________
    Mario Brothers consists of one field.  It is on this playing field that you
    will not only play the regular rounds, but you will also play the bonus rounds
    as well.  I have included an example of what this field looks like:
        | MARIO SCORE                 TOP SCORE                 LUIGI SCORE |
        |                                                                   |
        |                                                                   |
        |      || BC                                              BC||      |
        |  +---+| MEN LEFT                                          |+---+  |
        | /  +-+|                                                   |+-+  \ |
        ||  /  ||                                                   ||  \  ||
        ||  +                                                           +  ||
        |   /                                                           \   |
        |-----------------------------+      +------------------------------|
        |-----------------------------+      +------------------------------|
        |      BC BC                                               BC BC    |
        |                                                                   |
        |                                                                   |
        |                +----------------------------------+               |
        |---------+      +----------------------------------+      +--------|
        |---------+            BC                  BC              +--------|
        |                                                                   |
        |                                                                   |
        |                                                                   |
        |                                                                   |
        |-----------------------+      +---+       +------------------------|
        |-----------------------+      |POW|       +------------------------|
        |            BC                +---+                   BC           |
        |  ||                                                           ||  |
        |--+|                                                           |+--|
        |--+|                                                           |+--|
        | CURRENT ROUND                                                     |
    BC = Bonus Coin.  This is where the Bonus Coins are located during the bonus
    You control Mario and/or Luigi through this screen.
    / 6.3  Scoring /_______________________________________________________________
    Scoring in this game is relatively simple.  It is based on how many critters
    you knock off the ledges:
    Shellcreeper :    800 points
    Sidestepper  :    800 points
    Fighterfly   :    800 points
    The above scores are for knocking only one critter off the ledge.  If you knock
    off two in a row, you get 1,600 points.  Three nets you 2,400 points while
    knocking four or more off in a row garners you 3,200 points.
    You also get points for things other then the above:
    Slipice      :    500 points
    Coin         :    800 points
    Red Fireball :  1,000 points
    Blue Fireball:    200 points
    In addition to getting points for the above, you also can get points during the
    bonus rounds:
    You get 800 points x the number of coins you gather.
    If you get all ten coins, you get 5,000 points in the first bonus round and
    8,000 points for each bonus round thereafter.
    You start the game with 3-6 lives.
    You get a bonus man at 30,000, 40,000, 50,000 points.  The machine can also be
    set up where you don't receive a bonus man at all.
    / 6.4  The Critters /__________________________________________________________
    There are three main critters you will be dealing with throughout your time on
    Mario Brothers.  They are the Shellcreeper, Sidestepper, and Fighterfly.  You
    will also have to deal with the Slipice later on.  These are the
    characteristics of these critters.
    | Shellcreeper |
    Your basic turtle.  They basically move slowly and are pretty easy to deal
    with.  It only takes one hit to turn a Shellcreeper over.  Their color
    indicates their speed:
    Green:  The color they enter the playing field as.
    Blue :  Medium speed.
    Red  :  Fast speed.
    | Sidestepper |
    Your basic crab.  They move at medium speed and are a little harder to deal
    with.  It takes two hits to turn the Sidestepper over.  The first hit makes it
    made while the second will flip it over.  Their colors and speeds are:
    Red   :  The color they enter the playing field as.
    Blue  :  Medium speed.
    Purple:  Fast speed.
    | Fighterfly |
    Your basic fly.  They move at slow speeds but they hop.  It only takes one hit
    to flip them over, but you must hit them when they are on the platform.  Their
    colors and speeds are:
    Blue      :  The color they enter the playing field as.
    Light Blue:  Medium speed.
    Purple    :  Fast speed
    | Slipice |
    They lay ice on the platforms making for a very slippery footing.  It only
    takes one hit to take them out.
    / 6.5  The Rounds /____________________________________________________________
    The rounds in Mario Brothers are arranged in a specific order.  In addition,
    there are a couple of other things that occur.
    After Round 21, the order of the critters remains the same as Rounds 16 through
    21.  The rounds are set up like this:
                    | ROUND | CRITTER(S) || ROUND | CRITTER(S) |
                    |   1   |    SC      ||  12   | SC/SS/FF   |
                    |   2   |    SC      ||  13   |   SS/FF    |
                    |   3   |   BONUS    ||  14   |   SS/FF    |
                    |   4   |    SS      ||  15   |   BONUS    |
                    |   5   |   SC/SS    ||  16   |    SB      |
                    |   6   |   FF       ||  17   |   SS/FF    |
                    |   7   |   SS/FF    ||  18   |   SS/FF    |
                    |   8   |   BONUS    ||  19   |   SC/FF    |
                    |   9   |   SC/FF    ||  20   |   SS/FF    |
                    |  10   |   SS/FF    ||  21   |   BONUS    |
                    |  11   |   SC/FF    ||
    Some other events occur at specific levels:
    -  Slipice appears in Round 8.
    -  Icicles appear in Round 16.
    -  The platforms become invisible in the Bonus Rounds on Round 15 and beyond.
    ******************************** U N I T  III *********************************
    | 7.  PLAYING THE GAME |=======================================================
    When you start the game, Mario and/or Luigi will be in the middle almost under
    the POW button.  Your job is to go after the critters entering from the upper
    left or right pipe.
    -  Learn how to jump not only up, but also sideways.  The platforms don't have
       a lot of room for jumping straight up.  You need to learn how to jump side-
       ways so you can quickly make it to the next platform.  This is both for
       running and standing still.
    -  Know how each of the critters moves and what their behavior is.  You can use
       this knowledge to your advantage.  For example, an easy way to take care of
       Sidesteppers is as follows (assume that critter is moving left.  Do the
       opposite of what is stated below if the critter is moving right):
       -  When they are just to the right of Mario or Luigi, jump up and hit the
       platform.  This will make the Sidestepper mad and it will move left again.
       -  Right when it passes over, hit it again.  This will launch it up and make
       it drop to the next platform for easy pickings.
    -  Try to get the critters grouped together.  That way, when you flip them
       over, you can knock more of them off in a row therefore yielding bigger
    -  Also remember, that unlike the fireballs, the critters can wrap around the
       screen.  So if one disappears off the left edge, be prepared for it to re-
       appear on the right edge.
    -  Use the POW button conservatively.  You only get three uses in the game, so
       plan those uses wisely.  The best time to use the POW is when a lot of
       critters are on the screen at one time.  In addition, make sure they are
       close to the bottom when you flip them over or you may not have time to
       knock them off the upper platforms.
    -  After you flip a critter over, you have about five seconds to knock it off
       the platform.  If you fail to do this, it will change color and move up on
       the speed chart (See Chapter 6.4).
    -  The last critter, with the exception of the Fighterfly, in a round will
       automatically go to its fastest pace.
    -  Learn how the critters move.  If they bump into each other or a coin, they
       will reverse direction.  You can work this to your advantage by trapping
       some critters between two flipped over critters.  Again, be quick or they
       will recover and be faster.
    -  Coins can be collected by either grabbing them or by hitting them from under
       the platform they are traveling on.
    -  Things such as the Fighterfly, Orange Fireball, and Blue Fireball must be
       hit when they are in contact with the platform.  This can make these things
       a challenge especially when there are other things harassing you.
    -  Speaking of the fireballs, some players hunt them for extra points.  There
       are some things to keep in mind:
       -  The more times you knock off the Orange Fireball, the faster it gets.
       -  You can escape off either edge to escape the fireballs.  They cannot wrap
          around the screen.
       -  As you get into the higher rounds, the Blue Fireballs appear much quicker
          so you must be ready to get out of their way.
       -  Only one Blue Fireball will be active at a time, however, when one ends
          the other can immediately begin.
    -  If you get killed, you will be placed on a platform above the first gap.
       You have ten seconds of invincibility before the platform disappears and
       puts you in the thick of things.  Plan your re-entry carefully.
    -  The Bonus Rounds are pretty easy once you get a pattern down.  You will have
       20 seconds to get the ten bonus coins.  Here is the method I use:
       -  As soon as it starts, I take off left and pick up the bottom left coin.
          I wrap-around and pick up the bottom right coin.
       -  I go to the left of the POW button and jump up to the platform and pick
          up the middle left coin.  I then jump up to pick up the two coins to the
       -  I wrap around and pick up the middle right coin, then quickly jump up and
          right to get the two right coins.
       -  I head left then up to the top platform and pick off the upper left coin.
          Wrap around and pick off the upper right coin.
    -  The later rounds become challenging because not only do you have critters to
       deal with, icicles will fall down from the upper platform and pipes to add
       to the hazards you already have to deal with.  Using the POW will knock them
       down before they do any damage.
    -  When you are playing as two players, both of your characters are on the
       screen at the same time.  It is up to the players as to whether they wish to
       cooperate or turn it into a death match.
    ********************************  U N I T  IV *********************************
    | 8.  CONCLUSION |=============================================================
    When Mario Brothers came out, it seemed like a different game since we had
    gotten used to Nintendo games such as the Donkey Kong series.  Although Mario
    was back, the gameplay was different.  One had to use strategy and a good
    knowledge of how the critters operated in order to make it through the rounds.
    As the rounds became more challenging, one wanted to use the POW button
    constantly, but one learned real quick that it was only used in the direst of
    emergencies.  With two players, you could have a lot of fun either working
    together or trying to get each other killed.  The game itself seemed to be
    pretty popular and sometimes one would have to wait a while before they would
    have their chance to play.  Unfortunately, it is very rare to find this machine
    anywhere.  However, through the miracle of emulation, a whole new generation is
    realizing what we "old" folks enjoyed those many years ago.  In addition,
    www.shockwave.com is bringing many of these classic games back.  Check out
    their site to see what ones are there.  I hope this guide helps you in being
    able to get the most amount of gameplay for this game.  If you do have other
    ideas or thoughts, please e-mail me and share them.  Who knows, maybe I'll
    start a Q&A Chapter in this guide if enough people ask the same questions.
    Anyway, thank you again for reading this guide.
    To see other FAQ's I have written please go to:
               ~~~  No trees were harmed in the making of this FAQ ~~~