Programmer and digital artist Sammu recently put out a nifty video showcasing her work combining the two different versions of Super Mario Bros. 2 into a mega-game featuring the mechanics of one and the levels of the other. As a fan of both, I desperately want to play it.
The original 1986 Super Mario Bros. 2 was released in Japan as a traditional follow-up to the first game with more difficult levels. Afraid that it would be too challenging for western audiences, Nintendo of America suggested that Nintendo proper develop a separate for the United States, resulting in the release of a completely different Super Mario Bros. 2 in 1988.
This new, safe-for-Americans version of Super Mario Bros. 2 was based on a game known as Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic in Japan. Funnily enough, Doki Doki Panic itself began as a Mario prototype before adopting the Yume Kōjō licensing to market a Fuji Television tech expo of the same name.
While a departure for the franchise at the time, the game—titled Super Mario USA in Japan—introduced the series’ first playable versions of Princess Peach and Toad, lifting and throwing mechanics, and now-iconic Mario characters like Shy Guys and Birdo. The original Super Mario Bros. 2 eventually made its way west—where it’s known as Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels—as part of the 1993 Super Nintendo compilation Super Mario All-Stars.
That’s all to say that Sammu’s work combining the two is both completely genius and obvious in a “why has no one ever done this” sort of way. The project, she explained, was born of a personal project remaking Super Mario Bros. 2 levels in GameMaker. Nintendo’s proclivity for threatening independent creators, however, has Sammu unsure she’ll ever release the mash-up for public consumption, a completely understandable decision.
In any case, she deserves lots of kudos here. Really awesome work, Sammu!