Nintendo's Revised History Of Super Mario Bros.

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Super Mario Bros. is 25 years old this year. To commemorate that anniversary, Nintendo is releasing the Super Mario All-Stars collection for Wii. The way Nintendo explains what Super Mario Bros. is and how one plays it has changed over the years.

None of those changes are dramatic, though. What Nintendo calls Super Mushrooms in the Wii manual it used to call Magic Mushrooms. The Super Star, the power-up that makes Mario invincible, was called Starman in 1985. Understandable tweaks.

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Other changes are more severe, like the description of how one actually plays a Super Mario Bros. After all, everyone knows how to play a Super Mario Bros. game by this point, right? That's what the Wii Super Mario All-Stars manual pretty much assumes. The directions are simple: "Defeat enemies and reach the flagpole at the end of each stage before time runs out! Clearing three stages and a castle stage will allow you to advance to the next world."

The Wii manual has three other Super Mario Bros. games to explain, so its brevity is also understandable.

The NES manual for Super Mario Bros. explains how a video game works in much more detail. (Click to view larger.)

Illustration for article titled Nintendos Revised History Of Super Mario Bros.
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The motivation behind Mario's adventure to save Princess Peach—or, as she was known in the NES manual, Princess Toadstool—has also been updated. Did you know that the Koopa turtle tribe was a practitioner of black magic, for example? Yeah, they used it to turn the Mushroom People into field horsehair plants.

Super Mario Bros. - The NES Version

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This is the story of Super Mario Bros., 1985 edition.

One day the kingdom of the peaceful mushroom people was invaded by the Koopa, a tribe of turtles famous for their black magic. The quiet, peace-loving Mushroom People were turned into mere stones, bricks and even field horsehair plants, and the Mushroom Kingdom fell into ruin.

The only one who can undo the magic spell on the Mushroom People and return them to their normal selves is the Princess Toadstool, the daughter of the Mushroom King. Unfortunately, she is presently in the hands of the great Koopa turtle king.

Mario, the hero of the story (maybe) hears about the Mushroom People's plight and sets out on a quest to free the Mushroom Princess from the evil Koopa and restore the fallen kingdom of the Mushroom People.

You are Mario! It's up to you to save the Mushroom People from the black magic of the Koopa!

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Poor Luigi. The other brother doesn't even get a mention.

Super Mario Bros. - The Wii Version

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Decades later, after Mario became one of the most recognizable fictional characters and Super Mario Bros. has gone on to become one of the bestselling games of all time, this is how Nintendo explains the story of its NES classic for Wii owners.

The Mushroom Kingdom was the peaceful home of the Toads until the day Bowser and his wicked minions invaded. Using powerful magic, Bowser transformed the Toads into bricks and quickly conquered the land.

Only Princess Peach had the power to remove Bowser's curse and save her people. But Bowser kidnapped the princess and hid her in his castle. All hope seemed lost, and darkness reigned...

When the Mario Brothers, Mario and Luigi, heard this story, they decided to rescue Princess Peach and defeat the evil Bowser. Can the brothers save the beautiful princess before it's too late?

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Finally, Luigi gets his due.

Super Mario All-Stars for the Wii comes to North America on December 12.

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DISCUSSION

Where do Goombas fit in?

Are they an indigenous tribe that has no links to either to Koopas or the Mushroom Kingdom folk?

Why are that so volatile, is it because a land that was once there own has now been taken over by two rival forces?

Think about it. Who are the Toads? If they are residents of the Mushroom Kingdom then why does Peach look like a normal person. Did Peach's father, the first to discover the Mushroom Kingdom breed Toads? Did he mix human DNA with Goomba DNA? Or did he do something much more perverse?

Why do we not see the King? Why is the Mushroom Kingdom structured like an insect colony. The genderless serving a single queen? Did Peach usurp the King and create this after taking advantages of the King's experiments?

Moving to the Koopas. Bowser is different, perhaps he isn't the 'King' but more a God or Deity of some kind. Perhaps the natives of the Kingdom were Goombas and Koopas and when the Goombas became tools for experimentation, the Koopas resorted to Black Magic in an attempt to summon there God: Bowser. Maybe it's something else....

Perhaps the Koopas were also experimented with, perhaps Bowser was the first. Orginally a normal Koopa that was fused with Human DNA that made him smarter and larger. He then inherited traits of humans and wanted to rid the Land of Princess Peach and her despicable Father. Maybe Bowser is actually the hero of the tail...

Where does Mario fit in. He just seems like some kind of variable. Perhaps he is like the 'Godzilla' of the story. No aim, no allies. He just wants to destroy. But as he is human, why does he not return to the real world. Luigi does, that would explain his absence from some of the titles. But why does Mario stay. What has he done. Looking at his mindless carnage and mass murdering of Mushroom Kingdom residents, one can only assume that he has a very, very dark past.

What a horrific game.